Six schools in the Seventy-First Township consolidated in 1924 to form one: McPherson, Glendale, Haymount, Kornbow, Westover, and Galatia. The new school built on the Glendale site was named after the township. The township was named from the Scottish immigrants who were descendants of the 71st Regiment of the Scottish Highlanders. They fought a war of rebellion against the British in the 1700’s but were defeated at the Battle of the Culloden Moore in 1746. After their lands were confiscated; their clan chiefs executed and kilts and bagpipes outlawed, many of the Highlands Scots emigrated to North America and settled in the Sandhills of North Carolina.
The original school was built in November 1924 consisting of one two story building with thirteen classrooms for grades one through twelve. A total enrollment of three hundred sixty-seven enthusiastic and dedicated students opened wide its doors of learning. On May 25, 1925, Seventy-First inaugurated its first graduation. A class consisting of five members achieved the first commencement exercise.
The original building now houses the Seventy-First Classical Middle School.
In 1962, a new building was built across the street and in the fall of that same year, the first classes were held in the new building. The wing at the back was added in 1965. The school was growing so rapidly that huts were added in 1966 and each year until 1972 and again in 1973 until 1976. Another new wing was added in 1967.
The spring of 1973, new tennis courts, new football bleachers, and other improvements were added to the athletic field. In the 1972-1973 school year, Seventy-First received full accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. A new vocational building and a new greenhouse were officially opened for the 1974-1975 school year. Construction of the newest wing was begun in the fall of 1988 for use in the 1989-1990 school year.
Student enrollment continued to soar until it reached 2,544 in 1976-1977 school year making Seventy-First the most populated secondary school in North Carolina. Douglas Byrd High School was opened in 1972 to alleviate the growth at Seventy-First, as was Westover High School in 1977. Since 1977, enrollment has been stable.
Another major change for the system occurred in the summer of 1985 when the Cumberland County and the Fayetteville City school systems merged to form the Cumberland County School System, making this the fourth largest system in the state. To date, Seventy-First High School is one of the seventeen high schools in the Cumberland County school system.
The community is a composite of suburban housing areas, mobile home parks, apartments, and farm land. Seventy-First High School exists for the benefit of the youth of its community and is dedicated to that purpose.
The principals of the school since its opening has been:
Published by Betty Houghtaling on February 21, 2017