• Our History


    It all began when Reddick Jasper Cartwright left Illinois in 1869 by covered wagon. Settling in Prescott in 1874 and later in Phoenix in 1877, he homesteaded the area at 51st Avenue and Thomas Road. It was here that ten of the fourteen Cartwright children lived with their parents, Reddick Jasper and Sara Riggins Cartwright.

    In 1884, a Californian homesteader, Tom Brockman, donated land at 59th Avenue and Thomas Road for a school site. Soon, Jasper Cartwright and two neighbors solicited enough funds to build the first one-room school house. This structure was replaced with a two-story brick school. Then, in 1921, Cartwright School consolidated with another neighboring school known as Independence. Thus, the present Cartwright School District was formed! The two-story original all brick structure was eventually replaced with six classrooms, an auditorium, and office and "inside" restrooms that still exist today!

    Historical Facts

    • In the 1950's, the first official PTA began to organize. The original Cartwright group had 10 members.
    • Strawberry festivals and ice cream socials were the big money raisers in those days. Bringing in $100 was quite an accomplishment!
    • In 1918 a teacher, Mrs. Johnson, rode independently on her horse, coming all the way from "Downtown Phoenix," on Central Avenue. She wore her black velvet-riding cap to and from school each day.
    • In 1986, the idea for a Cartwright Heritage House Museum was born!
    • The Phoenix Municipal airport remained the only airport in the Phoenix area until 1928 when it was moved to the area of Sky Harbor.
    • The site of 59th Avenue and Thomas Road (across from the school) was the location of the Cartwright General Store. It was built by Manford Cartwright and was the only store in the area.
    • In 1906, the Methodist Church was built on the SW corner of 59th Avenue and Thomas Road.
    • The PTA's began in 1921 and were known as the "Women's Club." These women dedicated their efforts to the success of the school and its survival.