High school curriculum was probably established in the early 1900s. We are told that Tilden High
School was never more than a two-year high school. Students wishing to complete their four years of high school needed
to attend their junior and senior years at either Sparta or Marissa high schools.
A school bus for the Tilden kids was available very early on compared to other schools in the state.
The caption under the photo to the right reads:
"Hez Sparling of Tilden was undoubtedly the first school bus operater - and builder - in
Randolph County. In 1936 a group of Tilden students who wanted to attend Sparta High School asked Sparling
to drive them back and forth. He had a truck, and designed and built a wooden enclosure for the bed of his truck.
This was designed with benches along the sides. It was also designed to be lifted on and off so that he could use the
truck to haul coal during the day. For heat he added a small stove. A ladder pulled out of the rear opening
to help the students board, then slid back into the "bus" as it started its trip. Each student paid 30 cents a day for
the ride. Sparling operated school busses - not homemade - for the Sparta School
District for 24 years. He said in the early days there were no "snow days" and he managed to get through most
kinds of weather."
The fate of the Tilden High School building is needed.
Tilden High School Quick Facts
Year two-year HS closed: 1948
Sparta School District
Tilden HS team nickname: the "Bluebirds"
Tilden HS team colors: Blue & White
School Fight Song: unavailable
We know the Tilden High School Bluebirds competed in boys basketball. It is quite possible that
baseball or softball, along with track may have been offered to the boys as well. We are still in search of the school's
fight song, team records, and coach's names if any are available.