Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department / School



A historical thesis on the development of speech education at Watertown Senior High School, Watertown, South Dakota, is proposed. The specific purpose is to present, in an orderly fashion, a chronology of the development of curricular and cocurricular speech education from the opening of Watertown Senior High School in 1879 through the 1968-1969 academic school year. A study of the past is often valuable as a guide to the future. Historians from the field of speech recognized this fact when, in 1941, they authorized the compilation of A History of Speech Education in America. Chapters 20 and 21 of that history are especially pertinent to this present study as they describe the "Origin and Development of Departments of Speech" and "Speech Education in Twentieth-Century Public Schools" This national interest in the history of speech education has received emphasis in South Dakota on both the university and high school levels. Two high schools within South Dakota have been studied in regard to speech education: "A History of Speech Training at Washington High School, Sioux Falls, South Dakota," by Robert L. Parlet4 and "A History of Speech Training at Yankton High School, Yankton, South Dakota," by Loy E. Granvholt. The previous studies reflect a continuing interest in the history of speech education. To extend the study of speech education in South Dakota, Watertown Senior High School was chosen for this historical thesis. Watertown Senior High School's outstanding Forensic record of 12 Debate Championships since 1915 and its continuing leadership in the National Forensic League are among reasons for this historical study. Also, a large number of educators currently active in speech education in the United States have been either students or instructors at Watertown Senior High School. Included among these educators are: James H. McBath, Professor of Speech and Department Chairman, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California; Harold M. Jordan, Professor of Speech and Retired Department Chairman, University of South Dakota, Vermillion, South Dakota; and James C. McCroskey, Associate Professor of Speech, Illinois State University, Normal, Illinois.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Watertown Senior High School (S.D.) -- History

Speech -- Study and Teaching

South Dakota State University Theses



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University