Capitan School opened in 1889 with Emma Field being the first teacher.
Mrs. Letha Duncan (Delores Melville’s mother-in-law), Albert Nelson
and A. C. Brown were the trustees. The first semester enrollment was
names of families that homesteaded in the Capitan Grande area included
Henderson, Kuhner, Alford, Head, Swycaffer, Mossholder, Blattner, and
Hensley, among others. Some of the families had children to send to the
new school. A single track road had been built by Jonathan Perkins and
Arthur Head up Chocolate Canyon to the upper elevation of Flinn Springs,
and the children walked or rode horses to reach school. It was a steep
incline and whether on foot or horseback, it must have been an arduous
trek even in fair weather.
among its first students was Verna Carson, a granddaughter of the
original Flinn family who settled Flinn Springs. She was born in the
Flinn ranch house in 1882, about three weeks after Joe Head was born
down on the Chocolate ranch, and both went to school at El Capitan.
Verna went on to earn a teaching credential at the San Diego Normal
School, then taught for many years in Fresno, eventually becoming the
principal of her school. At the end of her career she came back to
southern California and spent her retirement years in Alpine.