In 1906 James R. Barret donated the old Adams mansion, which had been built in 1860 on the southwest corner of Adams and Washington Streets. The city schools were in need of a larger high school to replace the one built in 1888 on the northwest corner of Adams and Washington and had no money following the construction of Audubon School.
During the next four years the old home was remodeled until Barret Manual Training High School opened in 1910. The school was not long making its mark in sports as the basketball team won the very first State Tournament at Danville in 1916. The girls followed with a championship of their own in 1923. (Football was another matter as the Purple & Gold were drubbed 117-0 by the Red Devils on Thanksgiving Day in 1917.) In 1927 the school finally got a nickname as Sam Levi’s entry of Purple Flash was chosen in a Henderson Gleaner contest.
B.M.T.H.S. closed its doors in 1955 as the student body moved to the new Henderson City High School. The building was torn down in 1959 and replaced with a new building to house Barret Junior High School. This building now is offices for the Henderson Housing Authority.