Beardsley School District, in Bakersfield, California, traces its origins back to the late 19th century when Lewis A. Beardsley donated an acre of land and helped build a one-room schoolhouse in May 1882. Mr. Beardsley was a former teacher and principal at Bakersfield School and served as Kern County Superintendent of Schools from 1874-77. Following his county superintendence, he went into farming and later donated an acre of land to establish Beardsley School District. Beardsley School began with two teachers, Louis Beardsley and C.M. Chadwick with an average daily attendance of 25 students. In 1883, Alexander B. MacPherson was added to the staff. Mr. MacPherson also served as Kern County Superintendent of Schools from 1883.
School enrollment remained relatively small during the first thirty years of the district. Then in 1911, the school’s population increased to sixty students. A teacher was added to the staff in a makeshift classroom created for the following school year. In 1913, a $20,000 school bond was approved by the voters to build a new school. The new two-story schoolhouse opened the following year.
With the opening of the new school, a hot lunch program was started in 1914. Lunches were prepared in the classroom and cost five cents. Many of the vegetables used in the lunches were grown in the school garden. The school’s garden products even earned Beardsley an award at the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco.