The town of Liberty had the first high school in the county, organized in 1866. Until 1875 a two-room building, located on Union Street, was used for both high school and elementary students. In 1875 a much needed eight-room building was constructed. This building was two-story with the lower floor being used by the grades, and the upper floor used by the high school pupils. This building was located on Union Street, as was the first one.
Movement towards consolidation of the schools began around 1900. This movement created a needed for more classrooms, In 1908 a brick building was erected, to be used by the high school students. This building faced Seminary Street, and
shared the same lot with the building of 1875. This new building housed the high school students, and the gym was located on the upper floor.
The following information about the school building of 1908 was obtained from a. personal interview with Mr. Norman Johnson, retired President of the Union County National. Bank:
The high school building in Liberty, erected in 1908, proved to be unsatisfactory because it was built of inferior materials. It was condemned and torn down af :.er only a few years use. In 1923 Mr. Johnson had just graduated from the high school when the building was razed. His first job was that of plumber's helper in tearing down the high school. The plumbing was removed and transferred to the older elementary building, thus making it modern.
Mr. Johnson also recalled that the gym was small with a low ceiling, and consequently the players could not arch their shots very high. On each end there were beams across the ceiling. The bank boards were fastened close to the walls, and the players used the walls to go in for their lay-in shots. There were a few bleachers for the fans on the side, and they were very close to the playing floor. Basketball started at Liberty shortly after 1900. At the time Mr. Johnson was in high school, the School Superintendent, Lee O. Snook, also served as the coach.
In 1924 a new school building was erected on the east end of Union Street, known as Short High School. and named for Mr. John W. Short, a popular educator and administrator of the Liberty schools. This building enrolled grades seven through twelve. The new school contained a basement and two floors. In the basement was a gym with a few seats on the main floor on both sides, plus seats in a balcony. At one end were the dressing rooms; restrooms and four classrooms were also located on this level. There were small storage rooms for janitorial supplies, and the furnace was in the sub-basement. The first floor had six classrooms, administrative offices, restrooms and cloakrooms. The second floor had four classrooms, plus a large study hall which was also used as a homeroom. Every student was assigned a desk. At one end of the study hall was the school library. There were also storage rooms, restrooms, and cloakrooms