In May 1882, Hunter was created as the 50th School District. Eight pupils went to school in Granger because there was not a school in Hunter. In 1885, the Hunter Ward house was built and this was used as a school and church for five years. In 1890 or 1891 a two story brick school building was built east of the church. The first school name was The 50 District School.
In 1909 a brick two story 8 room school was build north of the old school with a passageway between the two buildings. The cost was $8,000.00 to build the school and it was heated by coal. There were no telephones in the school. They used a hand bell to signal the beginning and end of school and for recesses. All the desks were hooked together in long rows.
The school boundaries were from 4800 W to 7200 S and as far as the eyes could see North and South. If the students lived too far away from school to walk, they sent a wagon, pulled by horses and driven by a teamster to pick them up. The teamsters were paid $45.00 per month. There were two lady teamsters driving for the district.
In 1905 the became part of the newly formed Granite School District. In 1906 the name was changed to Hunter Elementary and in 1908 the name was changed to Whittier Elementary.
In 1956 22 classrooms, ‘a Gym/cafeteria and library were added. Students were bused from Kearns.
The school did not have its own well and good students had the job of going across the street to the home of Robert Jones and getting buckets of water from the well. The buckets were placed in the corner of each room. Each bucket had a dipper in it to drink from. Each room had a coal stove in the center. In the winter, the students would place their lunches under the stove to keep them warm. If they had left these in the hall (halls were without heat) they might have been frozen. There was a barn behind the school for horses. If the students lived too far away, two lady teamsters would pick them up. At lunch time recess, the girls were taught sewing and the boys carpentry. Originally, kindergarten through 8th grade was taught at the school.
There was no lawn or trees or playground equipment. The students played softball, jump the rope, marbles, and hop scotch. Field day was held at Liberty Park in Salt Lake City and the students traveled there by horses and wagons. At the park they played games, ate lunch and had a great time. They went by horse and wagon until Granite District got buses.
In 1921, 138 students attended Whittier Elementary.
Most girls wore their hair in braids to school. Girls did not wear jeans or long pants to school. They wore dresses and stockings.
Teachers were stricter then and teachers could discipline them without fear of loosing their jobs. Students who would not sit still and do their work, might even be tied up. Most teachers were older men and women until 1950. The 6th grade teacher was also the principle.
During the depression time when few people had money and some children did not eat proper food, the teachers would line up the thin children and give them a dose of cod liver oil every morning.
School lunch started at Whittier in the early thirties at a cost of 3 cents per day. Before that time students either went home for lunch or packed a lunch to school. The winters were very cold with lots of snow and when the children would arrive at school, the teacher would have them stand by the heat and rub their hands together of do exercises to get warm.
During the winter of 1947-1948, there was a blizzard just before the Christmas holiday. It started in the early afternoon and by the end of the school day the buses could not get through and students had to stay at school until their parents could come and get them.
Because the roads were blocked this meant that they either walked home or rode horses. A lay that lived across the street made a large kettle of soup and brought it over to the school for the students to eat.
Christmas programs were a big thing at school. The whole school put on a program for parents. Because there was not a stage at the school then, programs were presented next door at the church.
In 1956, a large addition was added to the school. This is when Whittier School got its very own library. The new addition almost tripled the size of Whittier. Students were bused in from Kearns.
1n 1979, they were called Whittier Stars. The boundaries were 4800 west to 7200 West and from 4700 south to the Great Salt Lake. The boundaries have been changed, the land north of 2100 south is no longer part of Hunter.
In August of 1979, the school received a fresh coat of paint to change the peach-pink hue to a dignified and warm chocolate brown. Only the from face was painted. The rest of the building would be painted next year.