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The History of H. A. Hyde

Henry Alton Hyde       


       Have you ever wondered where H. A. Hyde Elementary School got it's name?  On March 31, 1954, a ceremony was held to dedicate the school to Henry Alton Hyde.  At the time, our school had recently been built and consisted of just six classrooms, a kindergarten, an office, and a nurse's office.


       Henry Alton Hyde was born in 1871 in Fort Fairfield, Maine.  When he was two years old, his father died.  This caused his family to move to California via the transcontinental railroad.  Henry lived in Berkeley and attended school there until he was 13 years old.  


           After 8th grade, Henry moved to Soquel, CA, where he worked alongside his uncle in several sawmills and lumber companies.  Eventually he became manager of the Loma Prieta Lumber Mill.  He even prepared the beams for the new St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Watsonville.  H. A. Hyde Nursery


           Mr. Hyde was active and had many interests.  For example, he enjoyed growing plants and trees.  In fact, he had such a green thumb that he opened the H. A. Hyde Nursery on Main Street which sold fruit trees, plants, and flowers.  He also grew a special strawberry called the "Hyde Banner Berry."  In addition, he volunteered in the community.  He started the Watsonville Band and was the first president of the Watsonville YMCA.  He was elected to the Watsonville School Board where he served for 27 years.


        Henry Alton Hyde died at the age of 78 in 1949.  He is remembered for his community service and his belief that public education is very important for all people.