James W. Poynter was the son of James Hanibal Poynter, grandson William Harvin Poynter of Hold Co. MO, great grandson of James Poynter and Ruth Alderson of Hart Co. KY, and grandson of William Poynter whose wife at the time of his death was Caty. James William Poynter was born the 20th of June, 1894. He and his wife had two sons, both doctors.
James W. Poynter devoted 38 years of his life to education, and spent half of those years as Superintendent of Hillsboro Elementary School District.
James Poynter was born in Missouri in 1894. He attended school there plus one year at the University of Missouri. After two years in the Newspaper and other work, he attended a state college at Peru, Nebraska for a year.
In 1917, Mr. Poynter married Fay Smith. Two years later, at the end of the war, he became principal at College Springs, Iowa. From there he transferred to Douglas, Nebraska, where he was superintendent of the grade school until 1925. That same year he completed requirements for a Bachelor of Arts degree.
In September of 1925 he went to Plattsmouth, Nebraska as a high school principal. Two years later, he moved to Winner, South Dakota, as a high school superintendent.
Mr. Poynter came to Hillsboro in 1937 and presided over the disctrict during a time of great growth. In his 19 years as superintendent, he saw the system grow from 500 students, 21 teachers and two and one half buildings to nearly 1,600 students, 73 teachers and four buildings.
Mr. Poynter served as superintendent until January 1957. At the time he stepped down due to poor health. He served in an advisory capacity to his successor, Alton Smestad, until July 1, 1958.
James W. Poynter died 29 days later while undergoing heart surgery at Providence Hospital in Portland. Two years later the Hillsboro High School District opened a new junior high school on Grant Street. IT WAS CHRISTENED J.W. POYNTER SCHOOL.