A Short History about McLane High School and Charles McLane
The McLane High School is located at 2727 N. Cedar and serves students in grades 9 through 12. It was first listed in the FUSD directory in 1959-60. The first principal was Paul Easterbrook. One of the unique features of this campus is a football stadium.
The school was named for Dr. Charles Lowrie McLane, who was the fourth superintendent of the Fresno Schools. He became Superintendent in 1899, and served as such until 1913. He served in this post for 14 years after first serving as principal of Fresno High School and other district schools, following experience as an educator in the schools of Missouri, Iowa and Nevada.
Dr. McLane was a native of Missouri. He obtained his undergraduate education at Valparaiso University and later took graduate work at the University of California, the University of Chicago and Harvard University. He also studied law and was a member of the bar in both Missouri and California. He practiced law in Fresno before returning to educational work here.
McLane instituted a number of forward looking programs in the Fresno schools during his administration, but probably he will be best remembered for the fact that he spearheaded, along with other community leaders in Fresno at that time, the establishment in 1910 of the first junior college, not only in Fresno, but in the entire state of California. He was appointed president of the new institution, which post he held in addition to his work as school superintendent.
In 1911, the Fresno State Normal School for the training of teachers was authorized, and McLane was named to head the new institution. Both it and the Fresno Junior College were housed together in Fresno High School in a structure that occupied the block that is now owned and occupied by Frontier Chevrolet Co. In 1913, the Normal School was moved to temporary quarters on the site of the Fresno State College long occupied at Maroa and University Avenues. In 1921, the Normal School became Fresno State Teachers College and later Fresno State College and finally California State University, Fresno. McLane gave up his post as superintendent to accept full time appointment as president of both Fresno State College and the Fresno Junior College. He held these posts until 1927 when he retired.
After his retirement, Dr. McLane became president of the State Board of Education and also held many other posts of importance in Education, including president of the California Teachers Association, the State Teachers Retirement Fund and others.
Dr. McLane was always very active in local civic and business affairs in Fresno. He was a member of the Fresno Rotary Club, chairman of a Board of Free-holders, which prepared a charter for Fresno County in 1933 and was a member of the Board of Trustees of Security-Pacific National Bank, to name but a few.
Dr. McLane was a distinguished educational and civic leader throughout his long life. He passed away in his Fresno home at age 87.
MORE ABOUT CHARLES L. MCLANE
By Irwin O. Addicott
Vice President, Fresno State College
Charles L. McLane, a native of Memphis, Missouri, came to Fresno in 1891 to practice law but soon entered field of education. He became principal of the C Street School and later Central School on the site of the Memorial Auditorium. In 1896 he became principal of Fresno High School
From 1899-1914 he served as superintendent of schools; he established free kindergartens, a parent school, and extension classes in conjunction with the University of California. He also introduced industrial arts, agriculture and physical education as integral parts of the school curriculum.
In 1910 he was responsible for establishing the first public junior college in California in Fresno. He then established a normal school for teacher training in Fresno; he served as its first president of the California State Board of Education. Mr. McLane died in 1949.
McLane is located in Fresno, CA. Our phone number is 559-248-5101.