Estevan, Saskatchewan, Canada

  • 1912-1964
  • Located at 721 Henry St.
  • Cost $13,000.00 to build in 1912

Built by Mr. John Phillips:

Born Aug 29, 1880 at Cruet farm in the Village of Hampsthwaite, Yorkshire, England. He came to Coalfields (Taylorton) May 23, 1904.

May 1905 he moved to Estevan. Passed away Dec 29, 1957, same year Estevan became a City. He is buried in Estevan City Cemetery north of Pleasantdale.

Mr.Phillips also built the Stone extension on Central School and other Brick / Stone buildings in the area.

The First Hillside School had grades 1-6, Before the New School being built, 4-8 after New School was built.

Hillside had the best people in town.

  • Grade 1 Mrs Murphy - she hit me over the head a few times with a spelling book just because I beat up Ellis Robertson.
  • Grade 2 - I don't remember I must have been good that year
  • Grade 3 - Miss Severson
  • Grade 4 - Mrs. Lotten - we got fountain pens
  • Grade 5 - Mr. Third, best damn teacher I ever had.
  • Grade 6 - Mr. Thrift -
  • Grade 7 - Mr. Don Kindopp
  • Grade 8 - Mr Third - Ron was in the first graduating class of the new school (1965)

I Went to Hillside School from Grade 4 to 6 (1958-1961), Then Grade 8 (1963)

I had the best Principal that a person could wish for, Mr. Douglas (Doug) J. Third. I don't think I have ever heard one bad word from anyone, parents or students, of Mr. Third. Those that never had him as their Principal I feel sorry for. He still lives in Estevan. During Grade 6 if I remember right Mrs. Crawshaw, my English teacher at the time, was a little upset that I kept getting F's in her class and so sent me to the Principal's office for a little straightening out. I had come from Bienfait in grade 4 and was not adjusting to Hillside, the strange town, or the school very well. Mr. Third told me that he was going to give me the strap, (the old Razor strap) on each hand. He told me it was going to hurt him more than me! It must have hurt him a heck of a lot!!!! But after that wake up call, I got A's and B's in most of my classes for the rest of my school years. I did not want that to happen to me again, and it never did. I thank him for it now.

I had many friends at Hillside some of these friendships have carried on till this day. Bud Haygarth is still a very close friend. I also correspond with his brother Jim, Ron Hitchcock, Wayne Wagner, and Colleen Slater-Smith. Other family names I remember: (in no particular order)

Hagels, Wagners, McMasters, Thompsons, Matthies, Mehler, Duce, Byers, McNichol, Hinzman (Mr Bill Hinzman was our Scout leader and a real Gentleman!), (Hinzmans was just about out of town in those days) Chipleys, the Grays, Callfas, Samson, Walkers (our neighbours behind), Sam Wilsons, Effords, Lottens, Cooleys, Johnsons, Cundalls, Oszust, Highfield, Stubel, Rosets, Burns, Johnsons, Ohms, Embury, Hedleys, Fischers, Pho , Schmegelsky, Matthies, Wilsons, Beards, Brown, Youngberg …And more when the memory bank kicks in.

During recess it was Soccer or Softball in the summer. I remember picking the honey-suckle blossoms off the hedge on the north side of the school and sucking the sweet nectar. I remember the old wooden staircase with Mr. Thirds office at the top, in the “Tower” facing Henry St. Colleen Slater-Smith reminded me of Mr. Third ringing the bell out the front window of his office, to signal recess and lunch periods were over.

I remember the foot long erasers, made for the blackboard, but used as weapons by the teachers, on those not paying attention. Some of the teachers from those days could have been good 2nd baseman!

Recess time, everyone’s favorite School time. We played Softball and Soccer in the field west of the school. Marbles were a big pastime in the late 50’s. Many a Steely was won and lost by the side of the school. Save those special Tiger Eyes! Other games included tag Girls would be seen skipping rope, playing Jacks, and hula hoop in early 60’s

Every morning would start with singing “Oh Canada” The Queen’s Picture (King in earlier days I am sure) was above each blackboard, in each classroom. Recess was signalled by the Principal, ringing a hand held bell, in the stair well. The 3 R’s were definitely taught in each classroom! Every room had a Hall monitor, (Snitch!) who was the eyes and ears of the Teacher, while she / he was busy. Boots and shoes had to be left at the front door mud room. Hats, coats, and scarves etc. would be hung up in the cloak rooms, behind the blackboards. Older Grades upstairs and younger Grades downstairs. Most classrooms were a combination of 2 grades, (ex. 1&2 together)

Until 1993 the building was used as School Board Offices It is now the office of the RM of the area. Went in there last year to find the lot number of our old farm on the old highway on the corner where you turned left for Bienfait or right to go to Portal. What a change to Hillside School, totally renovated inside, but the outside is still the same. New windows, not the old sliders we had years ago. The old shoe drop area is all carpeted, and I do believe the old staircase was visible but all redone of course. In 2003 they opened the building up, in a complete open house. We got to roam through the school, old 4 classrooms, bathrooms etc.

I hope you remember these and more memories of this great old school. I only went for 4 years but enjoyed those, until today, and beyond! By Doug Gent

The old School is still there, but for how long? Just to the east of the school is a huge apartment complex And now I hear the Offices that were in there have moved to a new building, so guess what? Like all the other old schools in Estevan, this old beauty is on borrowed time. In Europe these old buildings are saved, in Estevan they seem to me, enjoy tearing them down. Let's hope this attitude has changed in 2017. If they tear it down I will guarantee I will be listing all those that made that decision on here. Maybe this will keep the last school from that era standing.

Mr. Doug Third passed away in Regina SK Dec 6, 2019, at 11:30 at night, peacefully in his sleep.
All of Hillside is in mourning! A great man we will all miss.


  • Last modified: 2021/03/29 13:11
  • by dlgent