The first public school in Portland was established in 1851. Classes were held at the school-house at SW 1st and Oak, a building that had been used by an earlier private school. In 1858, a year before Oregon gained statehood, the first new school house was built at 6th and Morrison (where Pioneer Courthouse Square is located today).
On April 14, 1869 the board of directors established Portland High School, only the second public secondary school west of the Mississippi River (The Oregonian, 22-September-2005). A portion of the North school building (at NW 11th and Davis) was set aside for the school, with the first classes beginning on April 26, 1869. Called the Portland High School at the time, it was renamed Lincoln High School in the 1880s.
- A history of Portland’s secondary school system with emphasis on the superintendents and the curriculum by Edward L. Polich
- Portland Public Schools, 1845-71 by Charles N. Reynolds