History of Deshler
Shortly after the War Between the States, Major David Deshler saddened by the death of his son in the Confederate Army and angered by his Eastern relatives' opinion of his adopted Southland, conceived a plan to build a new powerful South. The plan however, remained a secret until his death when he willed his entire estate to the city of Tuscumbia for the formation of a Female Institute in the city.
The Deshler Female Institute opened in September of 1874, but was soon damaged by a tornado. The Masonic Lodge, however, made repairs and operated the school until lack of funds forced its closure in 1917.
Except for a few classes to relieve the overcrowded conditions at the Tuscumbia High School, the Institute remained empty until 1924 when the city suddenly tore the building down, built a new one and moved the entire Tuscumbia High School to the new Main Street building. This new Deshler High School graduated her first class in May 1924.
The school lasted until 1950 when the city opened the present Deshler High School on the site of the antebellum Winston plantation located across the Commons from the Deshler Stadium. In 1954, the people of Tuscumbia added a cafeteria, auditorium, and Junior High Building. In 1966, work began on a new round gymnasium with surrounding vocational shops and a hexagonal library. During the 1966 - 67 school year, both were opened to students.
Now, as the 199-year-old Winston Home glanced over her dynamic six building complex, she must remember David Deshler and conclude that his dream for a New South has come true.