Clawson's Historical History

Clawson Elementary School, 1235 Seventh Street, was originally known as Clawson Addition School. Clawson Addition was one of Douglas' first subdivisions.

It was named for Spencer Wheeler Clawson, a New York native. His residency in Cochise County began in 1800s Tombstone where he was a shift boss in the Contention Mine. He moved to Bisbee in 1884 to work in the Copper Queen Mine, and eventually became its superintendent.

Because of his involvement with the International Land & Improvement Co., Clawson first visited the site that would become Douglas in 1900. A few years later, he secured entry from the federal government to land he developed as Clawson Addition. He offered to the school district a city block in his subdivision for what became a school named for him.

In September of 1915, the Douglas school board opened bids for construction of two schools. One was Clawson and the other A Avenue. Both have the same floor plan drawn by Phoenix architects Lescher & Kibbe. Estimated cost was $45,000 for each school.

Clawson School is cruciform in shape with a central patio and wings of classrooms radiating off the patio with each wing having its own outside entrance. There were 10 classrooms, library, principal's office, teachers' rooms, dispensary and bathrooms that included showers.

Clawson School was dedicated May 13, 1916 with a large crowd attending the ceremony. In 1920, Douglas' first kindergarten class met in Clawson. Between 1916 and 1948, Clawson also served first-sixth graders.

Clawson was built of pressed brick of a style known as ruffled for its rough finish. This, combined with architectural details made of concrete, meant t building needed minimal upkeep.

It wasn't until 1949 that the school received a complete renovation, including total roof replacement and change-out of water-sewer lines. In 1995, the school board authorized installation of new hearing and cooling, carpeting, and paint.

In 2003, upgrades came to Clawson three years before the school celebrated its centennial. The event included a dance, hamburger sale and entertainment.

-Ms. Cindy Hayostek, District Historical Researcher


Lynn R. Bailey and Don Chaput, Cochise County Stalwarts, Vol. 1. Westernlore Press, Tucson, AZ, 2000.

"Clawson Stops in Douglas", Douglas International (March 17, 1910).

"History of Douglas Public Schools...", International (December 2, 1922).

G. Genevieve Wiggins, "A History of the Douglas Public Schools 1901-1965"

"Clawson celebrates Centennial Saturday", Douglas Dispatch (April 13, 2016).

100th Year Celebration