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Shelandra Y. Ford
Historical Markers of Shelby County

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Millington Central High School

Soon after Millington was founded in the 1870's, a reading school was established in a wood-frame structure on this site by the Shelby County Board of Education. In the 1890's the school was organized into grades and by 1911 two students received twelfth-grade diplomas. Through the State of Tennessee Education Act of 1913, the school became Millington Central High School, or "MCHS". A 1907 brick structure was razed in 1916 and a brick and terracotta "Beaux Arts" style edifice was erected. In 1918 MCHS became the first high school in Memphis or Shelby County to be accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. As transportation developed, MCHS was named the consolidated school for the area and continues to serve grades 9 through 12. Always supportive of school needs, the community, led by the Rotary Club, in 1947 funded the first lighted high school football field in West Tennessee. William L. Osteen, affectionately known as "Mr. Bill," served as principal from 1940 until 1971 and as president of the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association from 1959 until 1971. Widely known and deeply respected for his firm but fair discipline and high standards of sportsmanship, he guided the school through wars, expansion, and racial integration with a commitment to excellence and integrity.