Colton High “Fact of the Day” – Nov. 19


The Colton High Forensics (debate) team in 1934-35 was coached by champion debater Blossom Mills and veteran teacher J.A. Gillaspie. The team experienced great success that season.

Colton High School opened in 1895. It is one of the oldest high schools in the Inland Empire. In this daily feature, we celebrate Colton High’s rich history.

In 1934-35, Ms. Blossom Mills and Mr. James Addison Gillaspie coached Colton High School’s varsity Debate team. It was Mills’ first of 20 years of service at the school. Gillaspie had already been with Colton High since 1926. 

In 1932, Mills won the National Women’s Extemporaneous Contest, and was recruited by the school as the team’s head coach, with Gillaspie acting as her assistant.

That year, their varsity forensics team won six debates against two losses. However, during interclass debates during the week of February 25, 1935, their freshmen squad was even more impressive, sweeping the upperclassmen in all debates to win the coveted Clark Trophy.

Gillaspie passed away in 1936 and Blossom Mills passed away in 1954.