"Where the Tradition Began" is more than just a catchy motto at MHS. It is a function of MHS' place in the history of Mesquite, Texas. In March of 1901, the citizens of Mesquite voted to create the Mesquite Independent School District. The first school was established at the current site of MHS in 1902 with an enrollment of approximately 200 students. A new high school was built on the property in June of 1923. MHS was officially recognized as an accredited high school in June of 1924 by the Texas State Department of Education, thus allowing its students to attend Texas colleges and universities without having to take remedial coursework. Additional expansions occurred during 1938 and 1939 as a part of the Works Progress Administration created by President Roosevelt. A historical marker can be found at the street side of L. building and an WPA placard can be found on the outside of the art room to mark these significant events in MHS' history.
MHS students became known as "Skeeters" in 1944. This was a simplification of the traditional "Mesquiters" which had been the previous mascot name for the school. 1954 marked a significant change at MHS when the district relocated all its other existing grade levels to other sites within the city and the campus was solely dedicated to high school education. Integration of the school began in 1964 when area African-American students were allowed to enroll at MHS for the first time. During 1966, a six phase renovation project plan was began. The final phase of construction was completed in 1999.
Throughout this time there has been one existing standard with the community of Mesquite, Texas and that is the excellence that is Mesquite High School. MHS is a school of first: first high school graduates, first high school band, first accredited school, and first to win a state championship. This dedication to excellence is a byproduct of MHS' motto "Where the Tradition Began."