C. H. Irion High School, Benton, LA

C. H. Irion mascot

Bossier Parish Training School in Benton was established in 1928 and produced its first high-school level graduating class in the parish in 1932. Training schools were post-elementary schools with an emphasis on industrial subjects or teacher training. There had been an effort to get one in Bossier Parish since at least the 1880s, with the chartering of the Calvary Baptist Industrial High School Association in 1887. The governing board of the association consisted of eight black men, three of whom could not sign their own names, who sought better educational opportunities for the children in their community. The Calvary Baptist Association later supplied land for the Bossier Parish Training School. The school received Rosenwald funding and grew to train local black teachers by offering two years of college. As the only school of its kind in Bossier Parish, many students boarded in dormitories or with local families.