Chicago (population 2.8 million) is in northeastern Illinois in eastern Cook County. Lake Michigan, along with the Chicago and Des Plaines Rivers are the main waterways in the city. Interstates 55, 57, 90, & 94 will all lead you to the “Windy City.” From what started as a small village in the early 1800’s along the banks of Lake Michigan, Chicago has grown to the nation’s third largest city and one of the most famous places in the world.
Carter Harrison Technical High School was named after 5-term Chicago mayor Carter Harrison of the late 1800s. Harrison HS alum Roger Surbaugh (Class of 65) advises the following regarding the history of Harrison Technical High School:
‘Harrison Tech opened in 1912, and closed (as a high school) in 1983. The mascot name was “The Hornets,” and the school colors were blue and gray. In 1965, the football team (on which I was the starting center) finished 9-1, losing only to Lane Tech for the Public School city championship. Among our famous graduates were Benny Goodman (1922), Irv Kupcinet (1931), and Stuart Brent.
My football coach, William Harden, attained a PhD in education, and became director of all physical education programs for Chicago Public Schools, from 1985-1996. The former high school building is now utilized as Maria Saucedo Magnet Elementary School.”
More information has been found about the school’s opening date. It actually opened as Farragut High School in 1910 in honor of the former US Admiral, David Farragut, who led Union ships to victory during the Civil War at New Orleans and Mobile Bay. The name changed to Harrison in 1912 to honor the former mayor of Chicago who was slain in 1893 at the end of the World’s Columbian Exposition.
The last principal in Harrison High School history was Mr. Bruce Berndt. Principal Berndt tells us:
“I was the principal of Harrison High from 1976 to 1983 when I was charged with the sad duty of closing Harrison as a high school. Very difficult times! I can tell you that the football coach in the early 1980’s was Herb Bias, who also a machine shop teacher.”
Chicago Harrison High School Quick Facts
Year opened (as Farragut): 1910
Year changed to Harrison: 1912
Year closed: 1983
Harrison HS team nickname: the “Hornets”
Harrison HS uniform colors: Blue & Gray
Harrison HS fight song: unavailable
School yearbook: “The Harrisonian”
Seeking a 1960 Yearbook:
“I was a graduate of Harrison (June 1960) and I lost my school yearbook. I am seeking information on how to obtain the yearbook for 1960. some of the graphics were done by Stanley Edwards who became a famous artist, and he was a great friend of mine. The school was integrating I am black, and Stanley was white, I played in a jazz band during the time and Stanley and I hung out after school on weekends on the gold coast. We were considered “Beatniks” and because of the racial turmoil at the time, our black/white relationships were special. The yearbook reflects this and I would be a very happy man if I could find a copy. I do not know the name of the photo company that took printed the book. Could you please help me? Best Regards,
Chicago Harrison High School had some great success stories in IHSA athletics (www.ihsa.org). The school was a member of the Cook County League from 1910-13, but did not win any titles before being a charter member of the Chicago Public League (aka Public League) and taking several championships. These will be documented below. We are searching for any information regarding Harrison High School athletics. Records, coach’s names, and school fight song are all items that we would like to share on this page.
The diamond men of 1959 had a magical run in the state playoffs. Under the leadership of Coach Al Charnes, the team would finish in second place, losing the title game to Maine Township HS! Prior to that, the 1934 team won the Pulbic League title.
1919 2-2 Coach Olice Winter
1934 Public League Champs coach unknown
1959 17-3 2nd in State!! Coach Al Charnes
Edged Danville 3-2 in quarterfinals
Defeated Belleville Township in semifinals, 6-4
Lost to Des Plaines Maine Township in title game, 8-1
*Jerry Arrigo (Class of 1959) – Pitcher who pitched for Harrison High School in 1959…he later played for the Cincinnati Reds.
*Richie Jurkowski & Bob Pactwa (Class of 1956) – named to the Chicago High School All-Stars and played at Comiskey Park between Sox /Yankee double header games.
The Harrison HS hardwood-court warriors brought home a third place trophy from the IHSA playoffs in the 1930-31 season. The school may also have been the largest school in the state with 5500 students, possibly one of the largest in the nation!
1923-24 Public League Lightweight Champions
1928-29 District Champions
1929-30 District Champions
1930-31 3rd in State!!! Coach Charles Krupar
Qualified for State Tourney
Won over Mount Vernon in quarterfinals, 44-33
Lost to Decatur HS in semifinals, 27-20
Held off Johnston City in OT of 3rd place game, 28-26
Eddie Odron was leading scorer at finals with 39 pts/3g, and was named to the all-tournament team
The harriers were one of Illinois’ top high school teams in 1946. This team finished fourth overall at the IHSA State Cross Country Meet.
1946 4th in state!!! Coach unknown
STATE FINAL TEAM STANDINGS
1 Paris 90
2 Chicago Lane 102
3 LaGrange Lyons 115
4 Chicago Harrison 147
5 Chicago Heights Bloom Township 149
1947 William Mulcahey—6th Place
1918 Hornet Heavyweight (varsity) team
Courtesy of Dan Mikal
One of the great Chicago high school football teams of all time may have been the Harrison HS boys of 1931. The grid-iron warriors finished the season undefeated with 12 wins. Several Harrison High School boys also went on to play in professional football.
1914 Public League Lightweight Co-Champs Coach unknown
1918 3-2-1 Coach Olice Winter
1931 12-0 PREP BOWL CHAMPIONS!!! Coach Bob Daugherty
PUBLIC LEAGUE CHAMPS!!
Defeated Mount Carmel 46-6 in Prep Bowl
Defeated Miami High School 18-7 Christmas Day at the Orange Bowl stadium in Miami.
Harrison High School Prep Bowl Champs of 1931
Courtesy of “APDP”
1933 Public League Champs Coach Bob Daugherty
1935 From Rick Biagi:
“My grandfather, Julio Biagi, graduated from Harrison in 1936. He was captain of the Harrison football team for his Junior and Senior years and he played alongside Andy Puplis, who went on to play at Notre Dame. My grandfather received a scholarship to play football at DePaul but their football program was terminated in 1938. Two of my other grandparents graduated from Harrison around the same time as did a number of great-aunts/uncles.”
1938 6-4 Coach Bob Daugherty
1965 9-1CoachWilliam Harden (Lost Public League Championship Game to Lane Tech)
1981 3-5 Coach Herb Bias
1982 3-5 Coach Herb Bias
The 1931 Harrison team, coached by Bob Daugherty, included two backfield stars, Andy Pilney and Andy Puplis, that went on to receive All-America mention at Notre Dame. Harrison went 12-0-0, including a 46-6 win over Mount Carmel for the Chicago city championship, along with a post-season 18-7 win over Miami (Fla.) High at the Orange Bowl on Christmas.
In 1942, Fred Carman of Marshall returned a kickoff 100 yards vs. Harrison.
Harrison preps that made it to pro football:
—Al Brosky (played with the Chicago (now Arizona) Cardinals as a DB in 1954, played college ball at Illinois from 1950-52, set NCAA record for career interceptions at 29, and is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame—inducted in 1998)
—Walt Cudzik (played collegiate ball at Purdue, then professionally with the Washington Redskins (1954), New York Giants, Boston Patriots (1960-63), and Buffalo Bills (1964)). Cudzik started at center from 1960-63 for the Patriots as they won a division title and played in the AFL championship game in 1963, then after trades to Denver and Buffalo, he was the center of the 1964 AFL champs. He later scouted for the Miami Dolphins and was a trial lawyer.
—Clarence Janecek (played one season with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1933 as a guard after playing at Purdue)
—John Karwales (an end at Michigan during the early 1940’s, played for the 1947 Chicago Cardinals)
—Andy Puplis (starred at Notre Dame, later played one season with the Chicago Cardinals in 1943. Was also an outstanding prep football coach at Proviso East for 27 seasons with a record of 128-84 and 12 ties, including three undefeated seasons. At least two of his players wound playing pro ball that are known to Midwestern gridiron fans: Ray Nitschke and Ed O’Bradovich.)
1924 First known competition—Chicago Public League meet with Harrison, Lane, & Englewood
The Harrison boys won the state championship in 1973, defeating Morton East in the title game. Prior to then, the school won three league titles and tied for another during the 1920’s and 1930’s.
1924 Co-Public League champions coach unknown
1929 PUBLIC LEAGUE CHAMPIONS!! coach unknown
1930 PUBLIC LEAGUE CHAMPIONS!! coach unknown
1932 PUBLIC LEAGUE CHAMPIONS!! coach unknown
1973 17-0-2 STATE CHAMPIONS!!! Coach James Dominguez
Public League Champions
Shutout Lake Forest HS, 1-0 in semifinals
Edged Cicero Morton East, 1-0 in state championship match
1919 Harrison Swimming team
Courtesy of Dan Mikal
The swimming program at CHS also had some nice success stories., starting with a city championship for the junior swimming program in the winter of 1918-19. At the state meets, two top-ten team finishes and several individual medalists were the highlights. One individual, John Moskiewicz, brought home two gold medals in fact!
1918-19 City Jr. Interscholastic Champs Coach Leroy Samse
Chicago Harrison HS – Gene Artemenko
Submitted by Bob Artemenko
1945 Gene Artemenko 100-yd backstroke—4th place
Team tied for 8th place at State Finals
STATE FINAL STANDINGS
1 Chicago Lane 46
6 Highland Park Deerfield-Shields 5
7 Waukegan HS 4
8 Chicago Schurz 2
8 Chicago Harrison 2
10 Maywood Proviso 1
1948 (?) Gierek 100-yd backstroke—5th place
1952 John Moskiewicz 100-yd freestyle—STATE CHAMPION!!! (:54.6)
50-yd freestyle—STATE CHAMPION!!! (:24.3)
TIED FOR 5TH PLACE AT STATE FINALS
STATE FINAL STANDINGS
1 Winnetka New Trier 42
2 Evanston Township 30
3 Des Plaines Maine Township 13
3 Highland Park 13
5 Rockford West 12
5 Oak Park-River Forest 12
5 Chicago Harrison 12
One pair of tennis greats faired well for Chicago Harrison. Their accomplishment is listed below.
1931 Cohen & Goldstein Doubles—5th place
In 1926, Harrison defeated Tilden in the first known interscholastic wrestling meet in Illinois. The Public League also held competition in this sport beginning that season as the Hornets won the first team title as well as the second.
1925-26 Public League Champions
1926-27 Public League Champions
BOYS TRACK & FIELD
A top-ten team finish and some individual medalist were the highs of this sport. Theodore “Ty” Wachowski won the State Championship in the high jump in 1925!
1924A Frank Simon Long Jump—2nd place
1925A 880-yd relay—3rd place
1925A Theodore “Ty” Wachowski High Jump—STATE CHAMPION!!! (height 5′ 11 3/8″)
Long Jump—4th place
1925A Milt Brown 100-yd dash—5th place
50-yd dash—5th place
1925A STATE FINAL STANDINGS—8th in State
1 Eldorado 17
1 Danville HS 17
8 Chicago Harrison 11
1929 Joe Pojman 50-yd dash—3rd place
1948 William Mulcahy 1-mile run—5th place
1976AA Fernando Reyes 2-mile run—7th place
GIRLS TRACK & FIELD
Deborah Moses became Harrison’s most decorated track athlete in 1974. Deborah took state championship medals in the 50 yard dash and 80 yard hurdles to lead the lady tracksters to a fourth place overall finish that year at the IHSA State Meet.
“I attended and graduated Harrison High School from 1971 to 1974. Great memories! I noticed that among all the athletic accomplishments listed in the site – Bowling was not included. We won the Public Schools bowling championship in 1974. I was a senior and Capitan of the bowling team. I am pretty sure we defeated Crane for the championship. I don’t remember our coach’s name, but I know that he also taught wood shop. Very nice teacher.”
1974 Chicago Public League Champions
R.O.T.C. DRILL TEAM
Juan Bustamante (Class of 1974) also recalls the that the R.O.T.C. Drill Team won a few championships for their expertise as well.
From Barbara H. Schwartz (Class of 1956):
“During my time at Harrison, we had Concert and Marching Bands, Orchestra, Ensembles and Choruses.
My love of music began at Harrison High. The Orchestra director was Mr. Berg, a gentle man who tried to bring the musical performances out of very rough stock. It worked for me. It was the beginning of my love affair with great music.”
FAMOUS ALUMS AND FORMER HARRISON STUDENTS:
–Benny Goodman— Goodman never graduated from Harrison, but became the King of Swing during the Big Band Era and one of the most notable figures in jazz history.
–Irv Kupcinet — he wrote for the Harrison school newspaper in the 1920s, and eventually became one of the best known newspaper figures in Chicago with his daily gossip column that appeared for many decades in the Chicago Sun-Times. Also was a football commentator on Chicago Bears broadcasts with Jack Brickhouse from 1953-76.
–Arthur Goldberg — Supreme Court justice.
–Barbara Ann Ferrell—officially attended Farragut High School however the graduation exercises were held at Harrison HS – track and field star who participated in the Olympic Games of 1968.
–Irwin Kostal–named a “Disney Legend,” won an Emmy Award for his work on the movies “The Sound of Music.” He also worked on such great movies as “Mary Poppins” and “West Side Story.” http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0467348/bio?ref_=nm_ov_bio_sm. Thank you to 1938 Harrison graduate Marge Pigliwski for providing this information!
From Kim Oliver Anez:
I thought I read that Harrison H.S. opened in 1887. I believe the land came from my family. I believe my g-g-grandfather owned a chicken farm there. I am fourth generation to attend Pickard Elementary and my great-grandmother walked from 24th & California to go to that elementary school.
Seeking Further Information
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