100-years of Nipher


Coco LeGrand

Nipher held their 100 year celebration on Sept. 3, pancakes were served.

On Sept. 3, Nipher held its 100-year celebration from 9-11 a.m. The festivities included performances from the KHS orchestra and band, Tillman Pepper Steppers, Nipher band, bubble machines and pancakes. According to Nipher principal Dr. Laura Havener, the celebration was planned by community members, PTO and a Nipher and KHS staff committee, starting around the second semester of last school year. 

“We always talk about how the library is the heart of the school,” Havener said. “Would have to say the library is my favorite [exhibit].”   

The celebrations included a self-walking tour with QR codes giving information on the building. There was information on the library, the woodworking classroom, the North Gym, the science lab and one of the oldest classrooms. Havener said it was nice to see current families and alumni come and learn about the history of the building, along with how it has changed. Sarah Crook, a 70’s high school graduate, said it was fun to come back to Nipher and be reminded of her time there. 

“There’s new things but it feels the same, [the building] brings back memories,” Crook said. “My grade and junior high school friends are some of my closest friends, and we’re celebrating our 50th high school reunion at the end of this month.” 

Crook said that when she was at Nipher they had grades seven through nine, and the gyms were split between boys and girls, the north gym for boys and the south gym for girls. According to the self-walking tour, the north gym is original to the building when it was first built in 1922. The tour also says that Nipher was designed by William B. Ittner and named after a professor at Washington University in St. Louis, Dr. Francis E. Nipher. According to the President of the Kirkwood Historical Society, Gina Jaksetic, professor Nipher was a world-renowned physicist, who liked philosophy, photography and finance.

“Niphers house was built in 1910 on North Harrison,” Jaksetic said. “His daughter was still there when my family moved in [next door], and when she passed my parents bought all the contents in their house. That’s how [the Kirkwood Historical Society] came to this treasure trove of Nipher artifacts.”