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History of Madison County Schools


Alton        Bethalto        County Schools       East Alton       Edwardsville      Foster Township        Godfrey       Granite City       Highland         Milton Heights       


Moro            North Alton           Upper Alton        Wanda         Wood River          Monticello Ladies Seminary, Godfrey        Roxana 


Shurtleff College         Graduates of Madison County, Illinois schools          Western Military Academy 





Source: Alton Telegraph, June 29, 1836

Mr. Casey, from the Committee on the Public Lands, made the following report: 


The Committee on the Public Lands, to which was referred the petition of sundry citizens of Madison County, State of Illinois, report:


That the subject, which is presented in the petition, is of importance and great interest to the inhabitants of the township mentioned in said petition. Your committee have given to it that consideration to which it is entitled. It is known to all, that there exists a solemn compact and law between the United States and all the new States which are formed on the public domain, that one section of land, being the sixteenth in each township of six miles square, is appropriated to the inhabitants of said township for the use of schools. The petitioners in the case before the committee state that they are inhabitants of one of these townships, to wit township, three north, range nine west, of the third principal meridian, in the county of Madison and State of Illinois, and that the sixteenth section of land in said township is "good land" on which there are three good farms, and is now worth three thousand dollars. Having considered the statement made by Mr. Reynolds, which is made a part of this report, together with the statement of the petitioners, your committee are fully satisfied that the said sixteenth section was of the first quality of land in the township, and is very valuable. The petition further states, that the said sixteenth section was appropriated under the preemption laws to the use of private citizens, and a section in lieu of it selected in an elm swamp - on which there is perhaps not forty acres of dry land, and therefore of little or no value.


Ac act of Congress, which passed on the 26th April, 1836, authorized and permitted "every person" and their legal representatives, who before the 5th of February, 1813, settled on and improved any tract of land reserved for the use of schools or seminaries of learning, and who, if the same lands had not been reserved would have had the right of preemption, shall be and they are hereby authorized and permitted to enter the same with the register and receiver of public moneys at the land office at Kaskaskia. Under the proceedings of the above recited act of Congress, the said sixteenth section of land was purchased at the land office at Kaskaskia, and appropriated in the use of private citizens. The section and township at the time above mentioned were situated in the Kaskaskia land district. Now, by an act of Congress, the said township is included in the district of lands sold at Edwardsville, in said State.....


Your committee are clearly convinced that the inhabitants of said township had no agency, or gave no consent, to the removal and exchange of the school section of land in said township. The same was effected by the operation of the said act of Congress allowing the preemption to the settlers on the said sixteenth section.....Your committee can arrive at no other conclusion than the inhabitants of said township are entitled to relief, and therefore report the following bill....




Source: Alton Telegraph, January 25, 1837

The amount apportioned to the county of Madison, from the interest of the School, College and Seminary Funds, for the year 1836, is three hundred and forty-six dollars and seventy cents.









Source: Alton Telegraph, March 23, 1836

The first quarter in this institution, under the care of Miss Martha O. Dunn, will commence in the Vestry of the Presbyterian church on Monday the 14th inst.  The prices of tuition will be as follows:

Reading, Spelling, Defining & Writing, per quarter:  $4.00

Geography, Grammar, History, Arithmetic, Drawing on the Black Board:  $5.00

Natural Philosophy, Astronomy, Rhetoric, Composition, &c.:  $6.00

Believing it would contribute to the more rapid advancement of the pupils in the higher branches, no person will be received under six years of age.

P. S.  For the present, Miss Dunn would be willing to take a class of lads from six to eight years of age. 

Alton, March 9th, 1836




Source: Alton Telegraph, March 23, 1836

Messrs. Editors: I feel for one, that the time has arrived when the friends of education in this village are imperiously called upon for decided action. Hitherto, our schools have been conducted and sustained upon the sole responsibility of the teacher; pupils of all ages, and both sexes, have been associated together under the instruction of one individual. Now every experienced teacher is fully aware of the perplexity and difficulties, attendant upon the indiscriminate mingling of small children who are either in the alphabet, or are scarcely advanced beyond the rudiments of language, with pupils in the higher branches of education. The fact is, almost any child in the rudiments, demands nearly as much of a teacher's time as some entire classes in the higher departments. To obviate in some measure these difficulties, and hasten the improvement of her more advanced pupils, the teacher of the Alton Female Seminary has deemed it expedient to take no pupils under six years, and no lad over eight, except to accommodate those of her patrons who wish to send all their children to the same school, and whose ages may come within one year of the time specified. Her ultimate design is to make her school entirely a Female Institution of an elevated character. To do this will require much time and system and expense. And Messrs. Editors, do we not need such an Institution in Alton? Must the interest of education be subservient to every other? I trust not. I do believe there is a spirit in this community which will not suffer a devoted female teacher, to abandon her post for want of patronage. Of the qualifications of Miss Dunn to meet the wants and expectations of this community, I have no personal knowledge. but if four years attentive study in our best female seminaries, and two years successful experience as an Instructor of young ladies as her recommendations abundantly testify, may be taken as interpreters, then the Alton Female Seminary will not have been misnamed. One word in regard to the price of tuition and I have done. some consider it very high. But I ask how much will a faithful teacher lay up, _____ ____  25 pupils, 4, 5 or even 6 dollars per quarter? She must pay $15 per quarter for a schoolroom - $35, at least, for her board, and then furnish her own room with desks, blackboards, globes, and other necessary apparatus besides.   A Friend of Education.




Source: Alton Telegraph, November 16, 1836

What so valuable in your children as education!  Mr. & Mrs. Monson, having recently arrived in this village, and made arrangements for continuing the school in the room under the Baptist Church, recently under the direction of Miss Brown, they beg leave to assure those who entrust children to their care, that no exertion shall be wanting on their part to sustain the high character the school has acquired under its late instructress. The terms of the school will continue the same (i.e.) $3 for Spelling, Reading, Writing and Georgraphy for children, and $4 per term of 12 weeks for the additional studies of Geography, Arithmetic, Grammar, History, Astronomy and Philosophy. Mr. Monson, having for some time past been engaged in teaching Vocal Music, and being anxious to do all in his power to interest and benefit his pupils, will devote as much time as can be employed without interfering with the more solid branches of education to the instruction of his scholars in the elementary principles of Musical Science, and will meet them for this purpose, especially on Saturday afternoon of each week.

N. B. The term will commence on Thursday the 27th of Oct.  Alton. October 26, 1836.



Source: Alton Telegraph, February 1, 1837
A meeting of the citizens of Alton is requested at the Episcopal Church on Friday evening next, at half past 6 o'clock, to devise measures and means for erecting a schoolhouse &c. Every citizen is invited to attend. Many Citizens.



Source: Alton Telegraph, July 12, 1837

It will be observed by a notice which may be found in our advertising columns, that a select school for young ladies will be opened in the neighboring village of Middletown, on Monday next, by Miss Sophia Loomis. We have been informed that this lady's qualifications as a teacher are very respectable; and the opening of her school will doubtless prove a great accommodation to those residing in the vicinity.




Source: Alton Telegraph, February 28, 1838

On motion of Mr. King, the committee on elementary schools were instructed to select available sites for four school houses, having reference in their selection to the population and the convenience of the citizens; and also to inquire into the cost of such sites, and the probably expense of erecting houses thereon; and that they report to the Mayor as speedily as possible.




Source: Alton Telegraph, May 9, 1838

Miss Mary P. Rand will open a school for the instruction of young ladies on Monday, the 14th inst., in the stone building near the corner of Market and Second Streets, where instruction will be given in the elementary and higher branches of English education, comprising orthography, reading, writing, geography, grammar, arithmetic, history, natural, intellectual and moral philosophy, botany, astronomy, rhetoric, chemistry, and algebra; also in the French and Latin languages.  Terms of tuition, per quarter:

Spelling, reading and writing: $3.00

Arithmetic, Geography and Grammar: $3.50

History, Natural Intellectual and Moral Philosophy: $4.50

Botany, Astronomy, Chemistry and Algebra: $6.60

French and Latin: $6.60




Source: Alton Telegraph, May 7, 1842

The citizens of School District No. 2, in the city of Alton, are requested to meet at the school house in said district (the building formerly occupied as a place of worship by the members of the Methodist Episcopal Church), on Monday evening next, at 7 o'clock, for the purpose of taking into consideration the expediency of establishing a second school for the accommodation of the lower part of said district. A general attendance is solicited. Signed by John Bailhache, Junius Hall, and William Brudon, Trustees.




Source: Alton Telegraph, May 21, 1842

AT a large and respectable meeting of the citizens of Hunterstown, on Wednesday evening the 18th inst., held in Major Hunter's brick tavern, to take into consideration the expediency of establishing an additional school in the east end of School District No. 2, Mr. William Brudon was called to the chair, and John Booth appointed Secretary. The object of the meeting being briefly stated by the chairman, the committee, appointed at a previous meeting, Messrs. Miller, Tomlinson, and Booth presented a report which was read and received with universal satisfaction. On motion, it was voted that the school be established in the frame building known as Manning's House, above Hunter's spring. On motion, Messrs. Miller, Tomlinson, and Booth were requested and authorized by the meeting to engage a female teacher, rent a house, and put the school in operation. On motion, it was ordered that the parents and guardians of children sent to the Second District school in Hunterstown, should furnish their own desks and seats. Ordered, that the proceedings of this meeting be published in the Alton Telegraph. Signed by William Brudon, Chairman, and John Booth, Secretary.




Source: Alton Telegraph, May 21, 1842

Notice - The free school in District No. 1 will commence on Monday next at 9 o'clock, in the old courtroom (Riley's building). The citizens of said district are requested to meet at the same place, in the evening, at 8 o'clock, for the purpose of choosing trustees for the school.




Source: Alton Telegraph, September 24, 1842

Mr. and Mrs. D. A. Richardson will open a school for both sexes in the house lately occupied by, and near the present residence of, Dr. B. F. Edwards, in Middle Alton, commencing on Wednesday next. Tuition and incidental expenses per quarter of twelve weeks:


Orthography and Reading                             $3.50

Writing and Arithmetic                                 $4.00

Geography, History and  Grammar                $4.50

Higher English studies                                 $5.00

Latin and Greek Languages                          $5.50

French                                                        $6.00


Grateful for the liberal patronage heretofore enjoyed, the subscriber flatters himself that the changes he is about  making in his school will prove entirely satisfactory, and secure an increase of public confidence and patronage hereafter. Scholars from abroad can be accommodated with board.


All bills must be paid half quarterly in advance.  Signed, D. A. Richardson




Source: Alton Telegraph, March 22, 1845

We are rejoiced at learning that the Common Council, at its last sitting, concluded a contract for the erection of a neat and commodious brick schoolhouse, upon the lot purchased by the city for that purpose. It is to be thirty feet square, and arranged on the inside upon the most approved plan. This is the dawn of a new era in the history of this city, and we trust the exertions of the Common Council in this respect will be sustained and followed up by the citizens in general, until the means of education are brought within the reach of every child in our vicinity. Until this is accomplished, neither the citizens nor their public servants will have discharged their whole duty.




Source: Alton Telegraph, March 22, 1845

We take great pleasure in commending Mr. Williams, who has opened a permanent school in the old stone Methodist Church in this city [Alton], to the support and patronage of the public. Mr. Williams has purchased property, and become permanently settled among us. His qualifications as a teacher are of the highest character, and we feel it to be the duty of the people of Alton to patronize and sustain him. His terms are very moderate, and having a large family to support, we hope his claims will be favorably considered by our citizens.




Source: Alton Telegraph, September 6, 1845

The Common School, as lately organized by the city of Alton, commenced its session at the new schoolhouse on Tuesday of this week, under the direction of Mr. Williams, an experienced and successful teacher. Those persons who are unable to pay the price of tuition for their children will recollect that upon application to those Aldermen of their Ward, whose names were published in a late number of the Telegraph, provision has been made by which they can avail themselves of this school. There were thirty-six scholars present on the first day. By contract, Mr. Williams is required to teach one hundred.




Source: Alton Telegraph, November 29, 1845

The second term of the Public School in Alton will commence on Monday next, December 1st, under the direction of Mr. Williams. Those who wish to send scholars will recollect that it is necessary, in order to comply with the provisions of the ordinance establishing this school, to pay $1.25 into the city treasury in advance, for which the Treasurer will give a receipt; which receipt, when presented to the teacher, entitles the bearer to become a member of the school for three months. About 50 scholars were in attendance during the last term. General satisfaction appears to have been given by Mr. Williams to both parents and pupils. Provision has been made for the accommodation of 100 scholars, and it is very desirable that the full number should avail themselves of the benefits of the school.  Signed by M. G. Atwood, Chairman School Committee.


Source: Alton Telegraph, December 6, 1845

The second term of the Common School under the charge of Mr. Williams, commenced at the brick schoolhouse on the first Monday of this month. Instruction has been provided for one hundred scholars, although during the first quarter but eighty were in attendance. Will parents suffer their children to go uneducated, when the means have been provided by the public authorities of this city for their instruction? We entreat them to think of this, and not to keep their children from school. By giving them an education, you put in their hands the means of acquiring wealth, respectability, usefulness, and standing in society. It shields them to a great extent from vice, and prompts them to emulate the wise and the good. In providing this public school, the city authorities have discharged their duty, and if the children in our midst grow up in ignorance, idleness, and vice, the fearful responsibility will rest upon their parents and guardians, and no where else. Those who are unable to pay the low price of tuition, one dollar and twenty-five cents a quarter, can procure the necessary certificate of admission for their children by calling on the school committee, in either of the wards of the city. Once more, we entreat those who have children to send them to school without further hesitation.




Source: Alton Telegraph, December 20, 1845

The "Franklin Association of Common School Teachers will meet, according to adjournment, in Lower Alton on Thursday, 25th inst., at half past 6 o'clock p.m., and will continue its sessions until Saturday morning. Important questions will be discussed and addresses may be expected from teachers and other friends of education in the Presbyterian Church on Friday at 10 o'clock; and in the Wesley Chapel on Friday night. The public in general, and parents in particular, are invited to attend. Teachers from a distance will, on their arrival, please call upon the undersigned at his residence in Middle Alton, unless otherwise provided for. By order of the Executive Committee, L. S. Williams, President.




Source: Alton Telegraph, September 11, 1846

Judge Bailhache: Dear Sir, I send you the following synopsis of the Annual Report of the Committee on Schools, which is is to be presumed will interest many of your readers.


The first year of the Alton City School, under the care of Rev. L. S. Williams, closed on the 1st of September inst. The average number of pupils, according to the schedule kept by Mr. Williams, has been 100 - there being 88 names entered during the first quarter; 104 the second; 127 the third; and 81 the fourth. Many of these attended but a few days in each quarter, and the attendance generally has been very irregular.


The block upon which the schoolhouse stands was purchased several years since, at the cost of one hundred dollars. The house, which is built of brick, thirty feet square, with twelve feet walls, cost $590.35. The Common Council have authorized the School Committee to clear up the school lot and place it in a condition to be ornamented with trees, by surrounding it with a substantial fence.


Mr. Williams has been engaged for another year, and the school was re-commenced on the 7th inst. Receipts may be obtained of the city Treasurer or of the Clerk of the city, by paying $1.25 to either, for one quarter's tuition. All who feel unable to pay this sum are earnestly requested to make application to someone of the Aldermen, who will give an order on the Treasurer for a receipt, in every case where the applicant is believed to be unable.


The school, it is believed, has been well conducted, and those scholars who have attended punctually during the year have made very commendable progress in learning. Provision is made for one hundred scholars constantly, and upon the terms, as above stated, there can be no good reason why the school should not be full.  Signed by M. G. Atwood, Chairman School Committee.




Source: Alton Telegraph, December 4, 1846

I perceive, in late numbers of the Telegraph, a notice concerning the "City School," signed by the Chairman of School Committee, at the close of which that gentleman has very properly called the attention of parents and guardians interested in the prosperity of our school, to the importance of punctual and regular attendance on the part of the pupil.  Will you permit one who has had much experience and abundant opportunities for observation to make a few remarks on this subject, for it is truly of the utmost importance.


Few persons are aware how common it is for children to be late to school, and how often they are absent; and fewer still, it is to be feared, to fully consider how injurious is the practice. It is doubtless sometimes unavoidable, and when so, of course excusable. Except, however, in cases of sickness, an excuse should hardly be even sought for. But let us look at the subject.


Late attendance disturbs the order and regularity of the school, to some extent, by interrupting others in their study and recitations; besides greatly adding to the burden and annoyances of the teacher.  Again, the tardy pupil loses all the general and more public instruction commonly given at the commencement of the school, in which he has an equal interest with his schoolmates. Moreover, he often loses a part, or the whole, of a recitation; a loss which hours of extra exertion by himself can seldom retrieve.


In a well-regulated school, every scholar is taxed to the full amount of his time and ability, and if it be large, the recitation of classes must necessarily begin soon after it opens, and continue in quick succession until the close. Time lost by tardy scholars must therefore expose them to the mortification of having imperfect lessons or entire failure, both of which tend greatly to retard and to discourage them. Nor is this all. Such children as are frequently behind the time will be likely to form habits of idleness and negligence in the discharge of the duties of life, which it will be difficult, if not impossible, ever to overcome. Promptness, punctuality and order in everything are among the most important lessons in the education of our children.


But as great as the evil of late attendance surely is, that of keeping them out of school for frivolous pretenses is greater still. It is injurious to the child by compelling him to drudge along in the rear of his class, greatly to his disadvantage, and discouragement. In a large school, it is absolutely necessary to classify the pupils, and there must be great regularity and promptness as to the time and manner of reciting, so that a defective or backward scholar cannot be indulged to the serious injury of other in his class.  And if he be put back into a lower class, it is apt to dishearten him, and who knows but the same thing may again happen? Parents should consider that a single lesson lost is, in most cases, like the loss of a round or two in a ladder, up which a heavy burden is to be carried, or the loss of a key to a door which must be unbolted.


Again, a child almost invariably loses his interest in his studies by being kept out even a day or two. It always requires some days and often weeks of constant attendance to become so interest, as to advance with pleasure and profit. How then is it possible for the child, who is often kept out of school, to love his book or receive benefit from the school? Is it not, moreover, both time and money thrown away. Surely it is, in some cases, but little better. And the child is thus robbed of the very best inheritance it is possible for the parent to bequeath him; robbed I say, and by the parent too, who indulges him in some childish notion to stay out of school "just this once" - "only for one day" or "merely for half a day." The parent, in his over fondness, and to get rid of importunity, consents - remarking perhaps that "a little relaxation will do him no harm - the loss of a day is trilling." And next week probably the same thing is repeated. With such a child, and such a parent, it is very easy to multiply reasons for keeping him at home, not very seldom - especially if it is an arranged that he need pay only for the time sent, or can make it up next term.


Once more, the evil I complain of is calculated to lead the child to suppose that his parent estimates an education as secondary in importance, and how certainly will he feel and act accordingly, and at the close of the term, the blame of this backwardness is laid at the teacher's door. Besides, this negligence of parents fosters in the child a disposition to play truant - deceiving both parents and teacher, and exposing himself to utter ruin in the end.   Signed by L.




Source: Alton Weekly Courier, June 26, 1856

The Sisters of Charity having opened a school in this city [Alton], will receive with pleasure girls from five years of age and upwards. Great attention will be paid to every branch of a thorough English education. Terms from $4 to $6, according to the branches pursued. N. B. Arrangements have been made to accommodate those who are unable to send their children at these prices. For further information inquire at the school between 9 and 12 a. m., to 1 and 5 p.m.  Feb. 19.  Sister R. G. Everett, Principal.




Source: The Gazetteer of Madison County, by James T. Hair, 1866 (book in Public Domain)
.....In the morning, after an early breakfast, in company with Dr. Brown, I made an exploration through the town [Alton]. There were, on the spot, between forty and fifty families, living in log cabins, shanties, covered wagons, and camps. Probably not less than twenty families were destitute of houses; but were getting out materials and getting up shelters with industry and enterprise. I found a school of some twenty-five or thirty boys and girls, taught by some backwoods fellow, but the chance for a boarding school was small indeed. There was the old settlement about the forks of Wood river and Rattan's prairie that might furnish a few scholars.....



Source: Alton Weekly Courier, December 6, 1855
It is with no little pleasure that we are able this morning to announce the opening at an early day, the 10th inst., of a High School in this city, with a classical department, by talented and experienced teachers, who are expected to arrive here some time during next week. The advertisement of the school, which will be found in another column, shows that all the branches of an English education will be taught which are taught in the best female seminaries in the country, and so far as the ability of the teachers is concerned, they come with the highest and most satisfactory recommendations. Thousands of dollars have annually been sent out of the city to pay for female education, which might just as well have been spent at home, where the pupils could also have been constantly under the parental eye. We are now to have the school which has been so long desired, and it is to be started under such favorable auspices as will leave no excuse for sending abroad. This school will not, in any sense, be denominational, and it is to be hoped that our citizens will extend to it their confidence and a support which will make it permanent.



Source: Alton Weekly Courier, November 26, 1857
There are but few cities in the West where the opportunity for obtaining the rudiments of an education are better than in Alton. We have five public, free schools, supplied with efficient and competent teachers, located in different eligible portions of the city so as to be accessible to all, where the children and youth of our city may partake of the first draught from the fountain of knowledge at a comparatively small cost. The importance of these primary institutions is apparent to all, and our citizens do not require any urging from us, or from any other source, to make them see to it that our City Free Schools are properly and vigorously managed. But in Alton, we need something more. There are hundreds of children - youth of both sexes - in our city who desire a better education than they can get at these common schools, but whose parents have not the means to send them to an academy or to college. By so educating these young people, community will be benefitted almost as much as themselves, and the public is interested in providing all the necessary facilities with that object in view. In a city as large and as populous as Alton, there should be at least one free High School, where all the Academic branches of education are taught at the public expense. Such an institution would do an immense amount of good, besides yielding indirectly to the city a very liberal pecuniary interest on the investment. We are glad to see that our City Council is moving in this important matter, and that the work of establishing a High School of the kind and in the manner we describe, is being initiated. At the meeting of the Council on the 2nd inst., the committee on Schools was authorized to inquire into the subject of establishing a School of a higher grade than those now in operation; and, also to report to the Council as to its practicability in view of the financial ability of the city to establish the same, and if found expedient, ascertain if a room could be procured suitable for its temporary occupancy until the necessary buildings can be erected by the city. At the regular meeting of the Council, held on Monday last, M. G. Atwood, Esq., the able and efficient Chairman of the Committee submitted the following: ....."Your committee would, therefore, recommend that as soon as practicable, a school of a higher grade than those now in operation be established by the common council into which the scholars attending the city schools may enter as soon as qualified, under rules and regulations to be established by the council......If, in the opinion of the finance committee, the means of the city will warrant it, your committee would recommend that for the present, in lieu of levying the tax as is provided for the support of school, that the deficiency, over and above the taxation fees and State bond, be borrowed from the surplus portion of the License money, to be refunded by tax, if ever wanted for the support of paupers. Your committee would further report that the basement rooms of the first Congregational Church can probably be procured for the temporary use of the proposed school at a reasonable rent. These rooms will accommodate a large number of scholars, and are already fitted up for such a purpose. M. G. Atwood, Chairman, Alton, Nov. 16, 1857." This is an able report and reflects much credit upon our esteemed fellow citizen, Mr. Atwood, than whom the cause of education never had a warmer friend......


Source: Alton Weekly Courier, May 13, 1858
Alton, May 6, 1858, To the Editor of the Alton Courier: As you were not in attendance at the celebration of the Colored School, taught by Mr. John Robinson and lately adopted as a City School by the City Council, I propose giving you a short statement upon the subject. It appears that it was not only intended to be a May-Day celebration for the children, but also a day of general festivity among the colored citizens. Many parents were present early in the morning at the School House. Between the hours of 11 and 12 A.M., the procession was formed. Teacher and scholars in front; parents, and others in attendance, in the rear. The whole then proceeded to a beautiful grove between town and Upper Alton, on the bank of Shield's Branch, where the usual ceremony of crowning the queen of the day, accompanied by addresses and recitations from the scholars, was gone through with. After the ceremonies closed, the children betook themselves to the woods, glad to be relieved for a time from the confinement of a School Room, and permitted to roam at liberty over the green fields. At a proper time all were invited to partake of a most excellent dinner provided by the ladies. After an interval of about half an hour, Mr. Hardin was called to preside over the meeting, and Mr. C. C. Richardson was introduced by Mr. H. D. King as the speaker of the day. After some preliminary remarks, Mr. R. proceeded to address the meeting upon the subject of education, and its importance to all who would wish to become good citizens and useful in the world. Mr. R. spoke of the advancement in knowledge which many of the scholars present had already made, &c. His address was listened to with attention and received with applause. The children then united in a song selected for the occasion. Mr. H. Ellsworth was then called upon, and addressed the audience in a short and pointed speech. The school again united in a song, after which a short address was made to the scholars by Mr. R. J. Robinson. After a recess of half an hour and another song, Mr. H. D. King made a brief but excellent address to parents and scholars. Mr. Robinson, the teacher, was then called upon, and made a very appropriate address to the audience, alluding more particularly to the rapid advance in knowledge of the colored children, to whom it was his pleasure to give instruction. The following resolutions were then passed: Resolved, That we return our heartfelt thanks to the Mayor and members of the City Council for their unanimous decision in making ours a City School. Resolved, That we shall ever feel grateful to our teacher, Mr. John Robinson, for his kind and untiring efforts for the welfare of our children. Resolved, That we highly appreciate the good behavior of the children present.


Source: Alton Weekly Courier, June 17, 1858

Annual Examinations - For the continuation of our reports upon the city school, in company with the Board of Visitors and Examiners, we yesterday called upon Mr. Burt Newman, Principal; Miss Kate Lee, Assistant. This Number Two school is kept in a one-story brick edifice, and from its location, is usually denominated the "Central School." It is the oldest school in the city, the building being the first one erected by the City Council for City Free School purposes. The building bears evidence of its early structure, being but one story high and being deficient in many of the convenient appliances now recognized as essentials in every structure of the kind. It looks old and sere, and in appearance as well as in comfort, compares unfavorably with all the other school houses in the city we have yet visited. Although it answers the purpose, and does very well for a "make-shift," it is not one that we feel at all proud of, and we hope the scheme now on foot for replacing it with a larger, handsomer, and more convenient structure will be urged forward with all convenient dispatch. The location is a beautiful, pleasant and healthy one, and should be occupied by a building more in accordance with the size and wealth of our city, and the wants of those parents and children who are interested. Its central position makes it one of the most important schools in the city, as it always has been one of the best, and we hope that our City Council will speedily take action in this important matter.....Our visit in conjunction with the Board of Visitors and Examiners was yesterday afternoon made to the Number One school, Mr. N. M. Mann, Principal; Mrs. M. I. Lee, Teacher of Primary Department; Mrs. H. J. Crane, Assistant. This school is in the Second Ward, and is held in a large two-story brick building, which was erected for the purpose by the city about ten years since. It was the second building put up by the city for free school purposes, the house occupied by School No. 2, which was built about the year 1845, having been the first. It is a much better building than its pioneer predecessor, being larger, more lightsome and airy, more conveniently arranged and better adapted for school purposes in every respect. But for the fact that it is not sufficiently ventilated, very little fault could be found to it. We feel disposed, however, to find serious fault in the condition of the grounds with which it is surrounded. The city, we believe, owns the entire block on which the building stands, and if it was properly improved it would be as pretty and pleasant a place as could be desired. But instead of being properly improved and beautified, there are no improvements on it at all. The area is not enclosed, and there is not a tree nor a shrub on the entire square. A school house plat destitute of shade trees and ornamental shrubbery looks, to our eye, as barren and as naked as a garden without flowers. Immediately back of the school house, too, we observed a large sunken place or depression in the ground, which, in a rainy or wet time, becomes a dead water pool, and a receptacle for all the wash from the adjacent slopes. This should be filled up, or drained - which last could be easily done, as the location is high; the block should be enclosed in a neat and substantial fence, and covered with shade trees and shrubbery; and then School No. 1 would present attractions which would make it a pleasant retreat, as well as a temple of science, to the pupils who have to spend a large portion of their bright and beauty-loving youthful days there. We hope out city fathers will take these matters into serious consideration, for they are important.....




Source: Alton Telegraph, February 7, 1862

Last week was a period of visitation to the Alton Public Schools, as was announced by us some days since. The School Board have devoted their time to the work faithfully, visiting each school in the order as published. Many of our citizens also attended daily, and the examinations and proceedings at each of the schools were interesting occasions.


On Monday afternoon, the Board visited No. 1, State street. Here they found the three departments in successful operation. The "little wee ones" in the basement, with Miss Carpenter teaching, the average number of thirty being in attendance. The little ones went through the motions, recitations and songs, &c., like old folks. In the second department were some forty pupils, Miss Hazzard, teacher, and all seemed happy and prospering. The third department, Mr. Waterman, had forty-two scholars in attendance, and their performances in singing and recitations were excellent. The measles have greatly affected the attendance of School No. 1 during the past six months, otherwise it has flourished finely. The building and grounds have been kept in good order - it is decidedly a model school.


No. 2, Mr. Crowell, teacher, was visited on Tuesday afternoon. This school was found in a truly flourishing condition - every seat filled and more wanted. Mr. C. is too well and favorably known to need more particular mention. The exercises here were of the regular and thorough stamp - not gotten up for special occasion. The ____ [unreadable - minor??] department, Miss Webb, teacher, was also full as could well be, and the children appearing and doing excellently. This school has an average attendance of --- in both departments.


No. 3, Mr. Kingsbury was visited on Wednesday afternoon. This school was found to be quite full - more than the average attendance in seasons past. Mr. K. has taught but two quarters, having taught in St. Louis for several years past in one of the public schools, we are informed. His mode of teaching, and the appearance and prompt performance of his scholars were observed by the School Board and visitors present. The lower department, Misses Hall and Clement, teachers, was found to be a real beehive of a place - the little ones in good order and bright and happy - singing and reciting. Number in attendance at No. 3, an average of ----.


No. 4, Misses Chickering and Pleace, was visited on Thursday. This school, in numbers and progress, was voted by the Board to be much in advance of last year. With such continued increase, a larger house and a gentleman teacher will soon be required. The children appeared very creditably - in this and all the schools some very bright specimens were observable. Whole number of average attendance at No. 4 ----.


No. 5, in Hunterstown, was visited by the Board and friends on Friday morning - Mr. Van Cleve, teacher. This is a large and fine school, one of the best in the city. We observed that this school room was very neat and cleanly in appearance - the same might be said of all the schools, the rainy weather and ____ of the week considered. There were some sixty-five in attendance, the reading and geography exercises, &c., of this school, were good, and the children seemed to take especial delight in their school and books and teacher. There has been as many as ninety pupils in this school, but the times and sickness have effected it - there were enough present, however, to fill the building about as it should be.


The colored school was visited by the Board on Wednesday forenoon - and found to be in a prosperous condition, some thirty children in attendance. This school will be kept another quarter, thus making it a six month's term.


The Advanced School [High School] visitation occurred Friday afternoon. The School Board, the several teachers of the other schools, and a large audience of our citizens generally were present. We cannot speak as fully as we would desire of the proceedings, for want of space. The singing, declamations, blackboard demonstrations, and class recitations were indeed flattering to the scholars and to the pride of our people in possessing such a school - exercises worthy of any college exhibition. Mr. Adams and Mrs. B. Newman, the teachers, were much at home in conducting the exercises, and their efforts need no higher commendation than emanated therefrom. We have never seen the High School appear to such good advantage, and we are sure that if some of our citizens who oppose this school (from motives of economy, we presume) were present, their views would have experienced a change.


So far, in this scholastic year, the Board of Education have labored to retrench expenses, in every possible direction, by reduction of salaries, rents, etc. They have put in operation a system of reform in sweeping and building fires - the children of such school now do it, in turn, saving between one and two hundred dollars per year to the city. The whole average attendance in the public schools at this time, is ----, figures very flattering and consoling, the times considered, and also the fact, in many of the great States, adjacent public schools, and indeed, schools of all kinds, have been suspended on account of the unholy Southern rebellion [Civil War]. We cannot close this account without reverting to the Union patriotism of the school children of Alton. In every school visited last week, the burthon of each song and speech was, "the Union." If there be a band of true American patriots in the land, such are these children. Would that their parents in this and every community would emulate their example.


The third quarter of all the schools commences today (Feb. 3d) under charge of the same excellent teachers. We congratulate our citizens upon the fact that in times like the present, the Board of Education have been able to keep the schools open. Parents can now appreciate the importance of having the privilege of educating their children without incurring the expense of sending them away from home. Our schools will, we think, compare favorably with those of any other city. In addition to the interest in their studies, manifested by the scholars generally, the tone of loyalty that was evinced in the compositions and declamations was very gratifying to every Union loving person who listened to the exercises. There is truly an affinity between education and patriotism. We believe that, if public schools were as universally established in the Southern States as they are in the other parts of the Union, this great rebellion would never have assumed its present gigantic proportions. While in the Slave States one in twelve cannot read or write; in New England there is only one in four hundred in that deplorable condition. In the South, the schools are private institutions, designed only to benefit the rich - poor white children seldom obtain a seat within them. The cry there has been, "Down with free schools!" If the masses South had been favored with even the rudiments of an education, the leaders could never have driven them into this rebellion against the best Government on earth; and one, too, that has only done them good continually. Designing traitors are now using them in trying to destroy the Union. Without the physical force of the uneducated masses, the rebellion would never have been embodied in an army. Ignorance is the blind Sampson that the traitors are inciting to pull down the pillars of this Government.


The blanks which occur in the above, we expected to have filled by a member of the Board of Education, but have been unable to see him today. We shall give the figures at a future time.




Source: Centennial History of Madison County, Illinois, 1812-1912

Alton's public spirited men came to the front and secured a bond issue for the erection of a commodious public school building. This building, now known as the Lincoln School, but at that time as "No. 2," was erected on Alton street, between Tenth and Eleventh, and was ready for occupancy in the fall of 1866. This building was a three story, twelve-room edifice, costing about $40,000.00, and at that time was considered one of the finest public school buildings in that state.




Source: Alton Telegraph, May 4, 1866

...In the center of the city a magnificent school house, capable of holding six hundred pupils, is in course of erection. The building is 75 by 771/2 feet, three stories, containing 12 school rooms, and occupying an entire block. This educational institution when complete will cost  $30,000. Many other improvements are taking place, but for want of space your correspondent has to omit mention of them.




Source: Alton Telegraph, February 8, 1867

The splendid new school house in District No. 2 has at length received the finishing touches of the workmen and is now ready for occupancy. The building would be an ornament to any city, and the imposing nature of its external appearance is only equaled by the convenience and elegance of its internal arrangements. We do not believe that there is a school house in the country upon which the same amount of money has been expended, that is superior to this in the completeness of its arrangements for the health, comfort, and rapid advancement of its pupils. Under the stimulus of such pleasant and convenient surroundings, and under the guidance of the present able corps of teachers, the mental progress of the pupils attending at the new school house ought to be both rapid and steady. The schools were opened Monday, February 4th, and it will be seen by reference to the notice of the Secretary of the Board of Instruction, in another column, what classes of scholars are expected to attend at the new building.




Source: Alton Daily Telegraph, September 5, 1868

All the city schools will be opened on Monday next, 7th inst.  The Board have rented the old German Methodist church on Third street, nearly in the rear of the Sisters' Hospital, for the accommodation of pupils of that locality in District No. 5.  Parents and guardians are requested to procure tickets on Friday or Saturday of this week.  By order of the Board, Isaac Scarritt, Secretary.



Source: Alton Daily Telegraph, May 12, 1879
A new institute of learning is to be opened September next in Upper Alton, by Professor Edward Wyman of St. Louis, to be called the Wyman Institute. It is to be a family boarding school for boys, and will aim to be of a very high order of excellence. The property purchased by Mr. Wyman for this purpose is the large and elegant Bostwick or Kendall mansion, with ten acres of the adjoining "Rural Park." The place is proverbial for its great beauty, and no finer site for such an institution could be selected. The establishment will be strictly first class in all its material and professional appointments; the only thing to be regretted being the limit - understood to be 30 - necessarily put to the number of those who can at any one time enjoy its advantages. The high reputation of Mr. Wyman as an educator, and the great confidence felt in his professional ability and management, are ample guarantees of the success of his enterprise, which is the better assured from the fact that it will supply a want long felt in this vicinity - a good home and a good school combined under one management.



Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, April 19, 1890

Plans for the new school building that is to be built in the Garfield school district were submitted by Lucas Pfeiffenberger and by Mr. Louis Seubert, who represented Mr. Theo. C. Link, the St. Louis architect who planned and is supervising the erection of the new Seminary building at Godfrey.




Source: Alton Daily Telegraph, July 15, 1890

The main business of the meeting was that the board ordered the building committee to proceed at once on the erection of the new Garfield school building on a location north of the present site, according to the plans of Architect Pfeiffenberger, the same having been adopted at a previous meeting.




Source: Alton Daily Telegraph, September 1, 1890

Through the courtesy of Architect Pfeiffenberger, we were shown the plans of the new Garfield School building, to be erected this fall on Seminary Square. The building is to be located on the northeast corner of the Square, fronting on Sixth street, and a large force of men are at work making the necessary excavations. The stone work will be commenced in a few days. The building is to be 62 by 69 feet, two stories, and a basement, also a tower 76 feet high. The basement is to be built of rustic-faced stone, and is expected to be the finest piece of stonework in the city. The building above the basement is to be built of hydraulic pressed brick. The cornices are to be galvanized iron, and the roof to be of black slate, except the tower, which is to be of red slate. Cut shingles are to ornament the gables. The basement is to contain two large play rooms for the convenience of the pupils in stormy weather, and rooms for the heating apparatus, coal and other necessaries. The first floor contains a wide hall in the center, and on each side is a school room, 26x38 feet. There is also two cloak rooms, 9x13 feet each, a janitor's room 8x8 feet. The second floor has two school rooms, 29x38 feet, which can be thrown together by means of sliding doors. There are two cloak rooms, 9x13 feet, a teacher's room, 8x8 feet, and a storage room, 8x8 feet. These four rooms contain 286 desks, and there is room so that the seating capacity can be made sufficient for over 300 pupils. The building is to be heated by hot water. Inside blinds for all the windows. Broad and easy stairways connect the two stories and basement. The building, when completed, will be very useful and ornamental to the city, as well as almost an absolute necessity. Care will be taken to have the best of material and workmanship go into it, and there is no doubt but that it will be the finest public school building in Madison county. Mr. Charles F. Degenhardt has the contract for the building, and will push it on to completion as rapidly as possible. It is estimated to cost about $10,000.




Source: Alton Daily Telegraph, September 8, 1890

Nearly forty years ago [1850] the Garfield school building was erected. It cost, probably, $2,000 or $2,500. It has stood well the test of time. The plan of the school house was, and is, a room for study and recitations combined. In other words, pupils are expected to study while other pupils are reciting their lessons. That it is a difficult matter to thoroughly commit a lesson in a room where recitations are going forward at the same time, every man and woman who has been in our public schools will admit. That a teacher can give her undivided attention to recitations and be interrupted frequently by pupils who are supposed to be studying, not many people will be disposed to believe. That it was well enough to use the old building until we are able to build a new one, nearly every one will agree to. But, when we are able, and are about to put $10,000 or $12,000 in a new building, that we should perpetuate "the school building of our daddie," will simply meet with derision on all hands. What we want is the best plan of building possible. If the old, old plan of combined study and recitation rooms (which has prevailed in Alton for fifty years) is that plan, then the Board of Education should go ahead with the proposed building. If it is not the best plan, then stop work and get some other. Don't perpetuate old methods, because theya re old, or because of a want of information, which every director should have. Many of the little towns around us are much ahead of us on inside arrangements of school buildings, and they do not spend any more for their structures than we do. If the Board of Education go forward with the plan they have adopted, they simply entail upon the youth of Alton an obsolete form of education, and richly entitle the town to the toga of old fogyism.



Second Garfield School building, Sixth & Langdon, Alton, IL



Source: Alton Daily Telegraph, August 27, 1891

The ceremonies of presentation, acceptance and raising over the Garfield school house the flag furnished by the Jr. O. U. A. M. [Order of United American Mechanics] for that purpose, took place yesterday afternoon in accordance with the program heretofore published. The attendance was very large, not less than three thousand to four thousand people showing their interest in and sympathy with the movement by their presence. Long before the hour appointed for the procession to form at the hall, the little folks, all in their clean bibs and tuckers, began to congregate at the hall. Only about half the members of the order were able to be present, but they were enthusiastic and entered heartily into the spirit of the occasion. The procession was in command of Mr. H. H. Lessner as Chief Marshal, and headed by the Standard Band. After the band came the Mayor and Council, Board of Education, school girls, color bearers (twelve boys), school boys and members of Bunker Hill Council, Jr. O. U. A. M., in the order named. There were over 500 children in line, and the procession covered a space of several blocks. Arriving at the school house, an air was played by the band and the exercises opened with prayer by the Rev. H. F. Koeneke, after which the audience sang "America." This was followed by the presentation speech by the Rev. W. C. Logan, an able and eloquent exposition of the principles of patriotism, which constitute the foundation of the order, and defense of the public schools of the United States against the attacks of its enemies. Following Mr. Logan's speech, a quartet composed of Messrs. A. L. Daniels and R. A. Haight and Misses Minnie Boals and Emma Harris, sang "The American Ensign." Hon. J. H. Yager, in an eloquent and patriotic speech, accepted the flag on the part of the board, and pledged the board to keep it flung to the breezes as long as it should bear the semblance of a flag. At the conclusion of Mr. Yager's speech, the audience sang "Columbia." This was followed by the raising of the flag by little Miss Carrie Lessner, while the band played "The Star Spangled Banner," and the audience sent up cheer after cheer. This auspicious inauguration in this city of the laudable practice of floating the stars and stripes over the public schools will, we are certain, be speedily followed by their erection over the other buildings. Let them be speedily raised, and let the lessons of patriotism find a place inside the school room daily. There are within the borders of this country elements industriously at work for the overthrow of certain of our institutions and principles of government, and with the immense immigration to this country, the time may not be far distant when the good work of patriotic Americans may be of prime importance.




Source: Alton Telegraph, September 2, 1897

The two new public schools have now been named and considering the fact that they are intended for colored children, and in them are to be fostered the intellectual powers of the African race, the names are very appropriate. One of the schools, the one at Tenth and Market streets, is called Douglass school, in memory of Frederick L. Douglass, who is said to be the most intellectual colored man of his generation.  The other school, at Silver and Union streets, is called Lovejoy school in memory of the first martyr of the cause of human freedom. The names are very appropriate and no doubt will give satisfaction.


Miss Agnes Toohey has been appointed principal of Irving school, to succeed Miss Hattie McCarty. To fill the vacancies caused by Miss Toohey's promotions and Miss Bell's resignation, Misses Mamie Bissinger and Olive Gillham have been appointed. The teachers for the new colored schools are:  Principal of Douglass school, Miss Fanny Barbour; teacher, Georgia Foxx.  Principal of Lovejoy school, Miss Florence Barbour; the other teacher to be appointed later on. The fourth room of the new Washington School will be opened for the first time at the beginning of the school year.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, January 4, 1899

As stated in last evening's Telegraph, the investigating committee of the Board of Education has found the sanitary condition of the new Washington School to be all that can be desired, and that the complaints lodged against the building were ill-founded. It was charged that contagious diseases were almost epidemic there, and that the surroundings of the school were such as breed malaria and other contagious diseases. The Board of Education has been informed that not a single case of diphtheria exists in the vicinity, and is convinced the new school is as healthful as any school in Alton.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, May 10, 1899

The Board of Education at its last meeting passed a resolution that a new school be built in the east end of the Seventh ward, to relieve the congested condition of the schools in the fifth district. In Humboldt school the condition has become such that the Board of Education finds it necessary to take some action that will provide for the school children. An annex to Humboldt school has been rented by the board for the past two years, but the increase has been so great that new quarters must be provided. The Board of Education asked the council last night for permission to build a new school house in the east end to cost not more than $5,000, and to purchase a site to cost not more than $1,500. The matter was referred to the School committee to report at the next council meeting. Immediate action will be taken as the matter is most urgent.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, Saturday, June 8, 1899

The annual commencement exercises of the Upper Alton high school was held last night in the Baptist church. The class of six young ladies was the first graduated since the high school course was lengthened two years ago, making it a four year course. At 8 o'clock the seats and aisles of the church were crowded and people still forced their way in at the door. Miss Ludelle Cox played the opening march, and the procession, entering the back of the church, marched down the aisle to the platform. Prof. Lowery and the Board of Education were at the head, the school teachers came next, and the graduates, followed by the pupils of the high school and room No. 9, concluded the line. The young ladies of the graduating class were seated on the platform under their class motto, "Labor omnia vincit" [hard work conquers all], which was handsomely lettered in green and silver on the wall. Rev. J. A. Large offered the invocation, and the following orations were delivered: "Life's Garden of Flowers," Susie Aileen Lowe; "The World in Miniature," Maud Ethel Osborne; "Public Education," Emily Lucile Wempen; "Expansion," Anna Cameron; "Don't Give Up the Ship," Nellie Adylle Machin; "Home," Jennie Amelia McReynolds. Miss Lowe, the salutatorian, in her oration compared people to flowers. There are thistles as well as roses in life's garden. No matter how beautiful a flower is it has its imperfection. Men, even the noblest, never reach perfection. Flowers blossom and die to bloom the next season; men live and die with the hope of another blossoming time, the resurrection. Miss McReynolds, the valedictorian, took for her theme the influence of home on the individual and the race. She showed that the home was the chief safeguard of the nation. The humble homes of Grant and Lincoln were shown to be sources of inspiration. Longfellow was also cited as an example. She spoke of his works as but a reflection of the poet's home life. Miss Gindling and Mr. Gindling played an instrumental duet, Mr. Haagen sang a solo, the W. M. A. Mandolin club played two selections and Miss Butler and Prof. Richardson sang "The Sweetest Dream." The program closed with the presentation of diplomas and an address by Rev. James Osborne.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, Friday, June 16, 1899

A class of twenty pupils graduating from the Alton High School today. The class with Edith Viola Beall, Lollie Elenora Boman, Myrtle Gertrude Burkey, Viola Francaise Erbeck, George Ellis Itch, George Garfield Kuhn, Georgia Mae McAdams, William Frederick Ohen, Eva Kerr Pepler, Fulton James Smith, Harry Gordon Boals, Marie Dimmock Burgess, Alma Wilmarth Ely, Alice Reid Hewitt, Nola Elise Joesting, Blanche Alice Long, Augustus Theodore Norton, Nellie Lorette O'Neil, Mary Fariadell Pitts, and Grace Kirkwood Watson.The commencement exercises opened at 10 o'clock. At the hour the curtain was rolled up and on the stage the graduating class was seated, with teachers of the public schools, city officers and some of the members of the high school. The stage was handsomely decorated with flowers, banks of ferns and palms. The decorations were by the Junior Class of the high school. The commencement was a marked improvement over any that have been held. The pupils who took part were elected by the class to the parts they filled. The opening number of the program was a piano duet by Miss Alice Reid Hewitt and Miss Viola Beall. Rev. M. N. Powers offered the invocation followed by a chorus, "See the Chariot at Hand." Miss Marie Dimmock Burgess was the selected salutatorian. Her essay was on the subject of the "Relation of Failure to Success." The essay was prefaced by the salutatory and welcome to the friends of the school, the mayor and members of the city council. The idea was that failure is a great teacher to man and developer of character. To youth there seems to be no such thing as failure; that failure is a myth and easily avoided. To the youth grown a man, failure is a dread reality. Every trace of graceful nature is lost by the frequent visits of the storm of failure leaving nothing but bare rocks. Hope spurs man on against failure. Failure is not ruin but hope and ambition overcomes it. It strengthens a man to fail. It shows where weakness lies and teaches careful prudence and restrains selfishness. The great Napoleon knew not failure; it was a stranger to him, but his un-checked success wrought his ruin. Success tempered by failure brings a realization of who is a man's friend. A man who has never failed can never realize fully what pleasure there is in life. The essay was thoughtful, giving evidence of thorough study; and was presented in excellent language. Miss Mary F. Pitts subject was "Character." She said character is what we really are. It is our spiritual body. Manners are not true character but simply a means to clothe the character. They are the true index of the character and betray the inner workings of the spirit. Character should be laid with honesty as the corner stone. Every hour of labor brings with it reward by effect on character. Character is built up for eternity. It is influenced for good or evil by our companions and depends much on associations. Character is the advocate on the Judgment day, and the true measure of the soul. The subject of Mr. Augustus T. Norton's oration was "Metal and Mettle." The young man said: The nineteenth century is the age of arms. The greatest factor in bringing about this age is iron. Iron is the real agent and may be called the king of metals. It contributes to the construction of all nineteenth century improvements. It is the ally of civilization. But iron is not useful in itself but must be developed by skill. Men with iron in them have been the greatest leaders and have accomplished all by pure determination. The warrior, the thinker, the statesman and citizen have wreated from nature their secrets and adapted them to the use of the people. All men must have the iron of will and determination and stern morality are needed everywhere. The young man sees, it seems, that "truth is ever on the scaffold, wrong forever on the throne," but right is eternally right and must be on the throne in the end. A chorus sang "Away to the Forest" sweetly. Miss Georgia McAdams read the class prophecy. The prophecy was done up in rhyme. Miss Nola Elise Joesting read an essay on "The World and Its Iron." The thought was that while the conditions of a man may lower him, still he may raise himself by grasping opportunities. Every man is architect of his own fortune, and life is what we make it. Surroundings are responsible for the condition of most people. The poor have temptations that are brought about by their circumstances, and if a man is bound by fetters of ill deeds, the world has furnished the iron for fetters. Many of the greatest men have risen from obscure condition by exercise of will and strong character. The spirit of self help is the norm of all growth and by seizing small opportunities the determined man may overcome opposing conditions. Lincoln's high place in society was the result of his forging the iron the world brought. The essay showed deep thought and was well written. The High School Quartet - Ralph Davis, Jamie Logan, Charles Rich and Roy Maxfield - sang "Breezes of the Night." Miss Alice Reid Hewitt read the class poem, "The River of School Time." The poem was an original one by Miss Hewitt. Miss Myrtle G. Burkey's essay was "The Earth Hath He Given to the Children of Men." The goodness of the great Creator in giving the earth to His children for a home was the theme of the essay. The provisions given for man's happiness and the development of his mind and body are the very best and man has been endowed with the power to choose his food and know all his needs. All the natural advantages that man may need are provided for his happiness, and everything is a part of the perfect whole designed to make man grow more in likeness to his Creator. The treasures of the earth are placed in position for man to reach them, by upheavals, but man must have knowledge to know how to use them. Knowledge he must have, and he should lose no time in obtaining it, for time is very short and there is much in the storehouse for man to use. Miss Lollie Boman recited a selection, "The Whistling Regiment." Miss Boman recited the piece perfectly and received enthusiastic applause. A quartet - Grace K. Watson, Lucy Stowell, R. A. Haight and B. C. Richardson - sang "The Trout," which was followed by the farewell to the Juniors by Miss Eva K. Pepler. The farewell was marked by a pretty feature. It was the presentation of a gold headed cane from the Seniors to the Juniors. The cane was bound with gold bands on one of which was engraved the class motto, "Purity within makes victory without." The cane was received by Barry Flagg for the Junior class and acknowledged with neat little speech of acceptance. The cane is to descend from Senior class to Junior class and to be used by the President of the class in presiding at class meetings. The Valedictory and Class History was by Fulton James Smith. The address was a masterly one and the farewell to the teachers, the schoolmates, the Board of Education and the members of the City Council and the Mayor was well done. Then came the class history from the time the class entered the High school to the time of the graduation. He told of some of the funny incidents of school life. "Gaily Over the Ocean" was sung by a chorus, after which President Fluke, of the Board of Education, presented the diplomas. The closing number on the program was a chorus "Winds Gently Whisper." The commencement was attended by an audience that comfortably filled Temple theater. The change of the time, from evening to morning, proved to be very satisfactory and precluded such uncontrollable crowds as have attended other commencements.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, January 17, 1899

The four grades of the High School resumed their studies this morning in Lincoln School. The new parts for the heating system, necessitated by the accident to the boiler, have not yet arrived, but it was determined not to delay the High School work longer, and stoves were placed in the rooms to furnish heat.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, December 6, 1899

The new school building in the Seventh Ward is to be known as the Lowell School, in honor of James Russell Lowell, the American statesman-poet. The name was agreed upon by the Board of Education at its meeting last evening. Mr. J. K. Lang proposed the name and his suggestion was backed by Dr. Fisher and Mr. Charles Levis. Mr. H. G. Giberson favored the name Jefferson, and Mr. S. H. Gregory has all along advocated naming the school for Jefferson Davis. Mr. Giberson and Mr. Gregory acquiesced in the choice of the majority, and the new school is to bear the name of Lowell. The school board has practically decided to go one better than the Telegraph's suggestion to name the new school for William Eliot Smith. The school board will name the proposed new high school building for Mr. Smith, which was deemed a higher and more desirable honor than to give as a namesake the smaller and less important school in the Seventh Ward. The decision of the school board to name the new high school for Mr. Smith will meet with general approval.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, January 8, 1900

Heat will be turned on at the Lowell school Wednesday, the heating apparatus being almost completed. Contractor Schuelle says it will not be advisable to open the school to pupils before February 1, as the building must be thoroughly dried out.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, January 13, 1900

Per Ordinance No. 436 - Whereas a new school building, known as "Lowell School," has just been built in the School district of Alton, Illinois, towit, near Joesting avenue and Washington street in the city of Alton and state of Illinois, and: Whereas, the Board of Education of the City of Alton is without an appropriation to pay the entire amount due for the construction of said "Lowell School," now therefore, be it ordained by the city council of Alton that the Board of Education of the city of Alton, in the State of Illinois, is hereby granted full power, permission and authority to issue bonds to the amount of eight thousand (8,000) dollars for the purpose of paying off such indebtedness on said Lowell School....  Anthony W. Young, Mayor




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, January 20, 1900

The colored children of Alton, who were remaining out of school on account of the assignment of them to Douglass and Lovejoy schools, are returning and the attendance increases almost daily. Superintendent Haight is authority for the statement that there are now enrolled over seventy colored children, which he estimates to be fully one-half of the number in the city below the high school age. Douglass school has the largest attendance, and the number is increasing more rapidly than in the other schools.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, January 26, 1900

Lowell school will be opened Monday, February 5. The opening of the school has been delayed one month beyond the time originally set because of delay in the completion of the heating system, which prevented the completion of the interior. Principal Edwin Terry will have charge of the school, and the teachers will be selected from the list of substitutes.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, February 23, 1900

The new Lowell school building on Joesting avenue was accepted today by the Board of Education. The acceptance of the school from the contractors has been postponed one month on account of a delay in the completion of some minor details. The building completed represents an outlay of $8,542, and it is said the city has received more for the money than in any other instance of school building. The building was planned by L. Pfeiffenberger and the contractor was Henry Schuelle. The contract was to have been completed November 1, but unavoidable delays have prevented the acceptance until yesterday. The school was built to relieve the crowded condition of Humboldt school and to provide East End children with better accommodations. School sessions will begin Monday with two teachers and Principal Terry. The teachers will probably be Miss Amelia Kuhn and Miss Bertha Hartman, the latter being transferred from Irving and will be succeeded by Miss Grace Sloss.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, February 26, 1900

The new East End public school - Lowell - opened this morning with 103 pupils present. Principal Terry has charge of the first room, Miss Hartman No. 2, and Miss Kuhn No. 3. Most of the pupils are from Humboldt school, but a number reside in Yager Park, the new addition to the city. There will be only five grades at present in Lowell school. The opening is auspicious. Another room will be open when necessary.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 8, 1900

The Board of Education decided last evening to build three new school houses to accommodate the pupils who will present themselves for admission at the beginning of the school year in September. As told in the Telegraph, it was decided that some provision must be made to give room for the overflow of children in the schools, the outlook now being that the enrollment will be greater next year than ever before. Temporary buildings will be erected at Lincoln, Garfield, and Irving schools, which will provide room for 60 pupils each, and they will be used for the primary departments of the schools. Each building will cost about $700, and will be so constructed that they may be moved from place to place, while being substantially made. Temporary buildings have been found very satisfactory in St. Louis, and relieve the crowded condition of any school where they are needed. At a meeting of the board to be held later, three new teachers will be appointed for the new schools. At the meeting last evening, the school board reappointed all the old janitors.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 20, 1900

Miss Margaret Morgan has been engaged as teacher of the primary department of Wellesley School at Tenth and Henry streets, this city. Miss Morgan is a graduate of Oberlin College, Ohio, and has had two years' in Wellesley College and two years' experience teaching in the public schools. She has been most successful in teaching in the public schools, and her employers were anxious for her to return another year. Miss Morgan will also give attention to some of the higher branches in the Wellesley School, her time not being fully taken up in the primary department.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, September 10, 1900

All the schools were filled to overflowing today. Owing to the fact that the temporary buildings at Garfield, Lincoln and Irving schools are not completed, a number of children had to be turned away for the present. Lincoln school has 486, of which 150 are high school pupils. Irving school has 224, all former pupils, 35 new ones being turned away for lack of room. Garfield school has 207, Washington 137, Lowell 119, Douglas 34, Lovejoy 25.  If Humboldt school has as many pupils as one year ago, 350, the enrollment of all the schools will be over 1600, 100 more than last year on the first day. Irving school has the most new pupils, 35, showing that the west end of Alton is keeping pace with the growth of the balance of the city.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, October 5, 1901

At the close of the first month in the new school year there were 1,977 children in attendance at the public schools in this city, 200 more than last year. The total attendance will reach almost 2,400 during the year. At Lincoln school there are only two rooms that have the usual compliment of pupils. Something like forty children are considered all that any teacher can properly instruct. Two rooms in Lincoln building have 43 each; one 47, one 48, the others respectively 57, 60, and 64. The high school, in the same building, has a seating capacity for 118 pupils; there are in attendance 170. This crowded condition renders the education of the children a difficult task. Bad as it is in the Lincoln building, it is worse in other buildings. At Humboldt, no room has fewer present than 45, while the others range up as high as 80. Irving school on State street, is the most congested of all. There the rooms contain 40, 62, 66, and two 71 each. Garfield school averages 51, with 72 in the primary grade. Washington school averages 51 pupils to each teacher, with four teachers. Lowell school, which was opened less than two years ago with one teacher, now has its four rooms open, averaging 41 pupils to each teacher.  This rapid growth clearly indicates that Alton school facilities are in great need of enlargement speedily. The Council has submitted to the decision of the people a proposition to appropriate $50,000 for the erection of a new high school building, large enough to accommodate the high school pupils for the next 25 years, even if the ratio of increase is as great as at present. This new building will also include the pupils in the grammar grade now in Lincoln school, leaving that building to be used for the pupils in lower grades. This arrangement would release at least two-thirds of Lincoln school space for the use of children in the intermediate and lower grades from other districts. This arrangement is one that has been contemplated for several years, and will commend itself to the judgment of all. The crowded condition of all the schools not only makes it a difficult task to give the pupils proper attention, but it endangers the health of the children. In order to maintain bodily health and vigor of mind, the children must not be huddled too closely in rooms; they must not be over crowded, especially in winter when doors and windows are all closed to a free circulation of air. Children must have plenty of light, and pure air not contaminated by having been breathed in by other pupils. In a room of the usual size, where more than 40 pupils are seated, the air soon becomes foul. In rooms where there are from 60 to 80, the condition is fatal to health and a breeder of foul diseases. It is therefore incumbent that more school room be secured at the earliest possible moment. On Tuesday, October 15, the voters of Alton will be called on to decide whether they are willing to authorize the Board of Education to issue $50,000 for the erection of a new high and grammar grade school. The Telegraph has stated the conditions now existing, fairly and conservatively. It believes that the erection of the building is imperatively needed. Without it, the children cannot receive the advantages they should have and deserve. Without this enlargement of our school premises, the little folks' health is endangered - something that every parent and every love of humanity is vitally interested in. We do not want the coming generation of men and women to be stunted in physique and intellect. Both should be expanded. Beauty of mind and of body must go together. And they cannot and will not go hand in hand without the proper surroundings which cannot be obtained in crowded school rooms, where neither mind nor body can have proper material for their growth and maturity. The Telegraph, therefore, has not hesitation in advising its readers to cast their votes for the proposition to issue school bonds for the erection of the new school. These bonds can be sold bearing 4 percent interest. It is the intention of the Board of Education to pay off $2,500 worth of the bonds every year, paying the whole in twenty years. This will add but slightly to the tax for schools and is the best possible plan.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, October 12, 1901

In view of the fact that the public schools of Alton are at the present time in a very crowded condition, one room enrolling 80 pupils, four room enrolling 70 or more each, four rooms enrolling 60 or more each, and the majority of the rooms enrolling over 50 pupils each; also, in view of the fact that our present high school facilities are inadequate in every respect to the successful accomplishment of the work which ought to be done in a first-class modern high school, and believing that the erection of a new and commodious high school building would both furnish adequate advantages for the education of the high school pupils, along modern lines of instruction, and at the same time relieve the congested condition of the grade schools by a transfer of 7th and 8th grade pupils to Lincoln school; therefore, we the undersigned principals and teachers of the Alton Public Schools do earnestly urge the voters of Alton to go to the polls Tuesday, October 15, and vote for the school bond issue, that ample facilities hereafter may be furnished the public school teachers of Alton for carrying on their school work, both with credit to themselves and with justice to their pupils.  (Signed:)


R. A. Haight, Superintendent


Lincoln School: (High School) - J. E. Turner, Principal; B. C. Richardson, Carrie Rich,

                                              Bertha  W. Ferguson, J. H. Dickey, A. M. Hilliard

                        (Grade School) - Sara E. Hudson, Lizzie Millen, Alice McCarthy, Sara Dixon,

                                              Annie Beem, Julia Dow, Leila Trumbull

Humboldt School: H. T. McCrea, Principal; E. Mae Quigley, Maude Powell, Caroline Bissinger, Mary Bissinger, Olive Gillham, M. Maude Harris, Mary E. Hastings, Jessie M. Harris



Irving School: Agnes A. Toohey, Principal; Harriet McCarthy, Grace M. Sloss, Sara Wilkinson, L. Belle, Helen M. Cannell

Garfield School: Emma M. Harris, Principal; Lucinda D. McLain, Bertha G. Howard, Nellie M. Alt, Mary S. Rich, Anne Earl



Washington School: Sophie H. Fischer, Principal; Helen A. Mack, Nettie S. Jacoby, Dora Rosenberger

Lowell School: E. S. Terry, Principal; Lillian A. Cotter, Bertha Hartmann, Amerlia E. Kuhn



Douglass School: Fannie E. Barbour, Principal; Martha J. Foxx

Lovejoy School: F. A. Barbour, Principal; S. L. Robinson




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, October 16, 1901

The Alton High School bond issue proposition carried Tuesday by a majority of 14 votes. The total vote was 1,098, about a one-third vote.....




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, October 17, 1901

The present high school building was named for the first martyred President [Lincoln], and Garfield school for the second. Why not name the new high school for the third martyr President - the beloved McKinley?




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, October 31, 1901

Thieves have been breaking into the Lowell school building on Joesting avenue, and both Principal Terry and Miss Lillie Cotter are loosers of several personal belongings. The robbers broke open the desk of both the teachers and abstracted what they pleased. Last night the police, it is said, nearly captured the offenders who had entered the cellar, but a sentinel gave the alarm and the cellar searcher fled and escaped in the darkness.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, December 2, 1901

Charles Peters, for 12 or 15 years a member of the United States navy, has presented a commander's pennant to the High School, of which he was a member when a boy in Alton. The pennant is 222 feet long, and 1 1/2 to 2 feet wide at the widest point. The pennant was raised on the gunboat Culgoa at Manila, July 21, 1901, and was lowered at Boston, October 16, 1901. The pennant will be draped in the High School as a souvenir, the gift of one of the bravest of Uncle Sam's gallant tars, who was a member of the school years ago.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, December 11, 1901

The Board of Education asked the [city] council to endorse its selection of a site for the High School building, said site being lot 6, block 20, city proper, also to authorize the board to proceed at once with the construction of a High School building, the cost not to exceed $50,000. Alderman Davis explained that the site is in Seminary Square, and that the title has been fully investigated. On motion of Alderman Wescott, the prayer of the petitioners was granted and the communication sent at once to the ordinance committee.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, March 11, 1902

The Alton Board of Education is favorably considering a suggestion that the new high school building be named McKinley High School in memory of the dead President. So many Alton people have coincided with this suggestion, which was made by the Telegraph the day after the successful carrying of the bond issue question at the special election, that the members of the school board think the people of Alton would agree with them in making the selection of a name for the handsome new edifice of learning. The school board will carefully consider the matter before arriving at a definite conclusion, and the new building will be named later. the architect has provided a place on the front of the building where the name may be carved. The new plans, which arrived Monday and which have been adopted by the board of education, provide for a good education of the physical as well as the mental man and woman. The gymnasium features will be thoroughly equipped, will be a new one in the Alton school and will probably stimulate interest in the school as well as athletics. The gymnasium will be in the basement and will provide good facilities for physical exercise for both boys and girls. It will be a much needed feature in the public schools.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, April 4, 1902

Mr. J. W. Gaddis, the architect for the new high school building, says that he believes the plans he has prepared will be very satisfactory when the bids are received as he thinks that the bids will come within the limits set by the school board. The school board required him to place additional baths in the building for the accommodation of the pupils and other conveniences. The new high school building will be the first Alton school to have baths in it, but it is hoped that in the course of years they may be installed in others as being of inestimable value in a school where the pupils undergo violent exercise when released from their studies.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, May 12, 1902

At the southeast corner of the site for the new high school building, the contractors are having a difficult time in finding solid ground upon which to lay their concrete for the foundations. The Board of Education held a meeting Saturday evening to consider this matter and authorized the contractor to go to any depth necessary in order to find solid earth to bear up the great weight of the building. Today they had gone down 20 feet and were still throwing out old tin cans and other trash, indicating that they had not reached the bottom of the filled earth. The Board of Education will allow the contractors for any extra expense they may incur in digging for solid ground, as the character of the ground was not fully known and it was not suspected that it would be necessary to go down so far. A member of the school board said today that the cornerstone laying would be a big event in the Alton schools, and it will be made a gala day in Alton. Secret societies will be asked to attend the services in a body, and all the school children will be present.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, May 27, 1902

The bonds issued by the Alton Board of Education for the construction of the new McKinley High school building were sold Monday evening by the Board of Education to Rudolph & Klebolte, of Cincinnati and Chicago, for $2,000 premium.....On the invitations issued for the cornerstone laying, the school board has given the first recognition to the name suggested by the Telegraph - McKinley High school building - in honor of the late President of the United States. The name will be accepted by the people as well selected and the naming of the high school will be in line with the system of naming the other schools.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, June 9, 1902

On the occasion of the visit of Grand Master Moulton of Chicago, to lay the cornerstone of the new McKinley High School building Wednesday, the members of the Masonic fraternity will hold a reception in their hall before the ceremonies, which all visiting members of the order will be invited to attend. The Knights Templar will serve as an escort of honor to Grand Master G. M. Moulton, and the members of Piasa Lodge A. F. and A. M.  Mayor Young has proclaimed a public holiday in Alton for the afternoon, and so far as possible all business will be suspended. Many of the representatives of the trades will take a holiday also. An interesting program has been prepared for the occasion, and will be rendered.  Hon. J. M. Pearson of Godfrey will be the principal speaker. All the people in Alton are invited to assemble at Seminary square in the afternoon on Wednesday to attend the cornerstone laying ceremonies at 3 o'clock. Invitations have been issued to all the lodges and organizations of every kind in Alton and in neighboring cities to attend the ceremonies and there will be a large crowd of visitors. The following is the line of the parade:  Police Force on Second and Market streets.  Naval Militia will form on Second street in front of City Hall, right resting on Market street. Elks will form on west side of City Hall, right resting on Second street. Building and Trades Council will form on west side of City Hall, near southwest corner. Jr. O. C. A. M. will form on south side of City Hall, fronting Piasa. Knights of Pythis will form on Front street, right resting on City Hall square. Odd Fellows will form on Front street, resting on Alby street. Schools will form on east side of City Hall.  Masons will form on Second street, resting on Piasa street. Mayor, Council and Board of Education will form on Second street, near State. Grand Lodge will form on State, right resting on Second street. The parade will start at 3 p.m., Wednesday, June 11. The line of march will be from City Hall on Second street to Henry; on Henry street to Sixth; on Sixth street to the new High School building now being erected.  S. F. Conner, Grand Marshal.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, June 11, 1902

Grand Master George M. Moulton of the Illinois Grand Lodge, A. F. & A. M., laid the cornerstone of the new McKinley High School building Wednesday afternoon. The ceremonies attending the laying of the stone were elaborate. The attendance at the exercises was large and included members of many of the secret societies and other organizations in the city. All the children of the public schools were present also, led by their teachers, and formed in line in the parade which was scheduled to leave the City Hall square at 3 o'clock p.m.  Grand Master Moulton instituted an occasional Grand Lodge for the cornerstone laying, and the ceremonies were according to the Masonic ritual. In the box placed within the cornerstone were the following articles:


Program of the Commencement exercises of the Alton High School, June 13, 1902.

Invitation and program of the laying of the cornerstone of the McKinley High School building.

Annual report of the year ending June 30, 1901, and rules and regulations of the Board of Education.

A brief history of the early schools of Alton, and a list of the teachers of the public schools for the year 1893-4.

A picture of the first public school erected in Alton, as it appeared in 1866.

A series of articles on "The old No. 2 school" from 1839 to 1861, by F. M. Johnson.

Picture of and a copy of the dedicatory services of the Lovejoy monument.

Proceeding of the cornerstone laying of the First Presbyterian church of Alton.

Covenant and list of members of the first Unitarian church, with a brief history.

Manual of the Church of the Redeemer of Alton.

Yearbook of the First Baptist church of Alton, January 1, 1902, with a brief history of same.

Souvenir program of the dedication of the Union Baptist church.

History of the First Methodist church of Alton.

Souvenir program of the dedication of the Cumberland Presbyterian church of Alton.

Picture of the Alton Roller Mills at flood time, 1902.

Picture of the E. O. Stanard Mill and elevator.

Brief history and report of the Alton Railway, Gas and Electric Company.

Brief history and report of the Alton National Bank, the Alton Savings bank, and the Citizens National bank.

Short sketch of the Illinois Shoe Company, Alton Naval Militia.

Proceedings of the Alton City Council, May 13, 1902.

Commercial resources and manufacturing facilities of the city of Alton by W. T. Norton, 1874.

By-laws, rules and regulations of Piasa Lodge, No. 27, A. F. and A. M., Alton, Ill., and roster of members of the lodge.

By-laws of the Alton Chapter No. 8, Royal Arch Masons, Alton, Ill.

Poem in memory of the occasion by Mrs. Julius Raible.

Photographs of Chief of Police Volbracht and Policeman Spaet.

Copy of the Legend of the Piasa Bird.

Manuscripts of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union.

A piece of post from block house on San Juan Hill, brought home from Spanish-American War by Lieut. F. S. Bouls, and presented to the Board of Education by Lieut. E. V. Crossman.

Copies of the Alton Daily Telegraph, Alton Daily Sentinel-Democrat, Alton Evening Republican and Alton Labor Advocate.

Sketch of Hapgood Plow Company and Beall Shovel Company history.

Box furnished by H. A. Hoffmann.

List of officers of the United States, State of Illinois and City of Alton.


The officers of the occasional Grand Lodge selected for the occasion in addition to Grand Master George M. Moulton and Grand Tyler William Orr of Chicago, are as follows:  William Montgomery, Deputy Grand Master; H. P. Chalk, Senior Grand Warden; George B. Smiley, Grand Treasurer; C. W. Huskinson, Grand Secretary; Rev. G. W. Shepherd, Grand Chaplain; John M. Pearson, Grand Orator; S. P. Connor, Grand Marshal; Jacob Meach, Grand Pursuivant; J. B. Thomas, Grand Standard Bearer; F. H. Ferguson, Grand Sword Bearer; T. B. Hamilton, Senior Grand Deacon; George R. Root, Junior Grand Deacon; H. T. Burnap, Senior Grand Steward; H. A. Snell of Litchfield, Junior Grand Steward; J. A. Gaddis, Grand Architect.


The cornerstone was anointed with oil and wine and wheat was poured over it according to Masonic traditions. The program was carried out as planned. Grand Master Moulton officiated at the cornerstone laying, assisted by the grand officers.  The parade was a noteworthy one in many ways, but the most attractive things about it were the hundreds of lovely, lively, enthusiastic and cheering school children. They marched four abreast behind their teachers and the children's column extended from Henry street to the City Hall. The Masons followed the children and they were preceded by the police, the White Hussar band and the Naval Militia.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, June 12, 1902

Rev. G. W. Shepherd, in his address at the cornerstone laying yesterday of the William McKinley High School, gave statistics which are of interest to all. They are as follows:


"The first school building erected in this city was old No. 2, where Lincoln school now stands. Lincoln school was ready for occupancy in the fall of 1866, immediately after the close of the Civil War. This building cost the city about $40,000. This building was built for the coming generations, having twelve rooms, all of which were not used for some time. At that time there were but five buildings in the city.  Old No. 1 had two rooms and a basement.  No. 3 had two rooms.  No. 4 had but one room.  These accommodations were ample for 650 or 700 children then in the public schools.


In 1879, No. 5, or Humboldt school, was built at a cost of $10,000. It had eight rooms, and at that time only five were occupied.  In March, 1883, the Irving school, formerly known as No. 1, a four room building, was erected at a cost of $12,000 in 1891.  Garfield school, old No. 3, was built at a cost of $18,000. Washington school was erected at a cost of $20,000. This building was of four rooms.  The next buildings were the Douglas and Lovejoy schools, costing $10,000.  In March 1900 the present Lowell school was completed at a cost of $10,000 (four rooms).  At first only three of the rooms were occupied, now the building is packed.


In 1866 we had about 700 children in our public schools, now we have not less than 2500, an increase of more than 75 percent. Let us take for an example a decade:  September 1891 the enrollment was 1273; in 1901 the enrollment was 1976. Take the second month of school in 1891, the enrollment was 1283; in 1901 it was 2005. While the city's population in the last decade has increased 38, possibly 40 percent, the public schools have increased more than 50 percent. Now after an expenditure of more than $140,000 for public school buildings, I congratulate you upon the magnificent project which you have before you of erecting a high school building that will be an honor to the city in the generations yet to follow."




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, October 4, 1902

The first meeting of the Alton High School orchestra was held this morning. The orchestra will be conducted by Mr. B. C. Richardson and will consist of six pieces: violin, flute, clarinet, cornet, 'cello, and piano. The orchestra will be used to furnish music for the High School on all occasions when music is needed.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, October 4, 1902

The growth of the Alton public schools is as remarkable as the growth of the city. The enrollment of the schools for the first month of the present school year, which closed last Saturday, was 2,099; 123 more than for the same month one year ago.  The school that is most crowded is Irving school on State street, which now has 355 pupils enrolled. This, however, will be relieved when Alton High School building is completed, where beside the High school pupils, the grammar grades will be located. The removal of the High School pupils from Lincoln school will vacate four rooms for the intermediate grades of other schools, and the congested conditions will be greatly relieved. The material for the new high school is all on the ground, and there is now a bright outlook that the building can be occupied by Nov. 1st, which will probably be the case unless some unforeseen delay occurs.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 12, 1902

The new Alton High School building on Seminary square will be opened and will receive pupils Monday, November 17. The dedicatory exercises will be held Thursday, November 20. The heating apparatus will be completed the last of this week, and it is believed the building will have been sufficiently dried out by Monday, the heat having been turned on throughout the building over one week. The Board of Education will have comfortable quarters at the new building, and the secretary, George Emery, will have his office there permanently. Supt. R. A. Haight also will have his office there, and all the High School corps of teachers will be moved to the new building. The present High School quarters will be devoted to the grammar grades, and much additional room at Lincoln school will be provided. Mr. H. T. McCrea of Humboldt school will become principal of Lincoln school, and Mr. J. W. Parks, formerly an instructor in the High School department here, will become principal of Humboldt school next Monday. Plans have been made for the dedicatory exercises at the new school building on Thursday, November 20.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 21, 1902

The dedication of a High School building marks an epoch in the history of the educational and civil life of any community. That the citizens of Alton appreciated this fact was shown by the large and representative audience that gathered in the assembly room of the new High School yesterday afternoon to listen to the dedicatory service. The occasion was one not only of interest, but of great importance to the city of Alton. Mr. J. E. Turner, principal of the High School, presided during the exercises, which opened with the singing of "America" by the audience. Rev. H. K. Sanborne of the Presbyterian church gave the invocation, which was followed by an instrumental trio, Miss Pauline Guy at the piano, Mr. B. C. Richardson on the violin, and Mr. J. H. Dickey on the cello.  Dr. George E. Wilkinson, chairman of the building committee, gave an interesting account of the growth of the high school work in Alton during the last ten years, in curriculum of studies, faculty, teaching facilities and the number of students, made detailed statement of the cost of the building and its special features of interest, and closed by handing the keys of the building to Mr. T. H. Perrin, President of the Board of Education. Mr. Perrin, with an appropriate speech, accepted the building both for the Board of Education and for the city of Alton, the Mayor not being present. The high school orchestra, consisting of two violins, two cornets, piccolo and piano, gave a selection which was heartily encored. The dedicatory address was made by Dr. W. H. Black, President of Missouri Valley College. Dr. Black is also President of the Missouri State Teachers' Association and prominent in the National Association. He took for his subject, "The Mission of the High School." The address was scholarly, inspiring and extremely appropriate for the occasion and audience. He places the mission of the high school second only to the church of Jesus Christ in the formation of character, for better, more enlightened and skilled citizenship in its reference to the State, and for independence and refinement in its relation to the individual. He paid high tribute to the industrial features of education, but made a strong plea for the culture that it is the mission of the high school to supply.  Rev. M. W. Twing of the Baptist church made the dedicatory prayer and the exercises closed with the singing of "Illinois" by the male quartette, Messrs. Haight, Dickey, Turner and Richardson. Warmest congratulations are due the citizens of Alton, the Board of the Education and the Building Committee on the completion and dedication of the beautiful and commodious high school building. It is a credit to our growing and prosperous city. A detailed statement of the cost of the building, together with a description, has heretofore been published in the Telegraph.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, March 11, 1903

Miss Julia Dow, who has been a teacher in the Alton public schools longer probably than any other teacher, has announced her intention of severing her connection with the schools and will retire after school closing time next June. In the 38 years since Miss Dow began teaching the Alton children the fundamental principles of their education, she has proved to be among the most successful of all teachers. She was engaged year after year to fill the same place, and during that time, it should be said, she was ever the same even-tempered instructor she was when she began her work. Added to a kindly disposition was another characteristic - faithfulness to the trust reposed in her - and not a man nor a woman who ever passed under her instruction but looks back upon childhood days in Miss Dow's room as the happiest and most memorable of school life. There will be general regret among those who have been under her instructions that she must leave the schools, as Miss Dow has inspired many a child with zeal for learning, and it will be hard to find someone to teach the Alton children as well as she has done. There will be nothing but regret that she will cease teaching, but many a substantial citizen of Alton will temper the regret with the consciousness that she has well earned the rest. She will go to California to spend a year.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, January 18, 1904

The old German school on Eight street belonging to the Evangelical church will soon pass out of existence. It has been planned to move the school building from its present site, which will be used as part of the site for the new church building. The old school building will not be dismantled at present, but it will be moved to an adjoining lot, the owner having given consent for its temporary use for that purpose, and church services will be conducted in the school building by the German Evangelical congregation after the work of tearing down the old church building is started. When the new church building is erected and occupied by the congregation, the old school building where many a school master taught the rudiments of a German education with a liberal use of the rod to encourage application to study, and where many an Alton boy obtained most of his knowledge of the German language, will be torn down, and then will the little old German school be only a memory. Regular sessions of the school have not been held for several years, owing to lack of interest among the children born of German parents. They attended the public schools and the German school suffered. The building has been standing forty years, and that it is to be torn down former pupils of the school, now middle-aged men and women, will tell stories of incidents.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, March 11, 1904

The Conservatory Sewing School is in such a thriving condition and so popular with the little girls, that in order to give them proper attention the teachers had to divide the class as they did last year. Children whose surnames begin with the first part of the alphabet through to M, are to come next Saturday, and those of the last part of the alphabet to attend the following Saturday. The number enrolled has reached almost 200. It was at first considered advisable to have the older and more advanced girls come every Saturday, and upon careful thought it was concluded to keep the class divided in this simple method. There is need for teachers in the work.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, March 23, 1904

The old German school house adjoining the German Evangelical church has been sold to George Kolb for $225. Mr. Kolb will move the building to some of his lots and convert it into a dwelling. The congregation of the church will worship in the school house after it is moved, until their new church is finished. In this old building the children of German parents received their instruction in German grammar for more than forty years. Incidentally, many of them suffered chastisement of no laughable character when their lessons were not up to the standard set by the masters. Mr. Kolb will begin moving the building at once.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, May 6, 1904





Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, June 10, 1904

Course of Study First Year:

First Semester - English, Algebra, Latin, Physiology, Drawing

Second Semester - English, Algebra, Latin, Civics, Drawing


Course of Study Second Year:

First Semester - Enlgish, Algebra, Latin, Physical Geography, Grecian History

Second Semester - English, Geometry, Latin, Botany, Roman History


Course of Study Third Year:

First Semester - English, Physics, Geometry, Latin, Zoology, German, French History

Second Semester - English, Physics, Geometry, Latin, Chemistry, German, English History


Course of Study Fourth Year:

First Semester - English, Chemistry, Political Economy, Latin, German, General History, Commercial Arithmetic, Commercial Law, Bookkeeping

Second Semester - English, Astronomy, General History, Latin, German, American History, Commercial Arithmetic, Commercial Law, Bookkeeping


Rhetoricals required of all pupils throughout the four years. Daily instruction in music with privilege of joining the High School chorus.


Tuition - All pupils who are not bona fide residents of the school district of Alton are required to pay tuition at the rate of $12.50 per half year. Considering the advantages offered, this tuition rate is very moderate. It is a significant fact that the enrollment for this year includes tuition pupils from Upper Alton, North Alton, Elsah, Kane, Beltrees, Godfrey, Dow, Melville, Jerseyville, Carrollton and West Alton, Mo.


Professor Nathaniel Butler, who inspected the High School in November as the representative of the University of Chicago, said, "I like the dead-level earnestness which characterizes the Alton High School." Dr. Bechtel, who made a visit of inspection in February, said, "In all my work I have not inspected a High School where the spirit of work pervades the entire student body more than in the Alton High School."  Professor Hollister of the University of Illinois visited the Alton High School in April, and at the close of the day's inspection said, "There is not in Illinois a High School better prepared to do efficient work than the Alton High School."


Instructors:  J. E. Turner, S. C. Richardson, Carrie Rich, Bertha W. Ferguson, J. B. Dickey, Emma Ruppert, R. L. Bird.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 10, 1904

Many of the older citizens of Alton, in passing the building 224 East Second street, which is being repaired and improved by its owner, Louis Flach, the grocer, stop to look at the structure and to recall the days of 50 or more years ago when they assembled there either to worship, to study, or to eat, as the building in its time served as a church, a school, and boarding house. Few of the average passersby know that the structure is really a log cabin, a story and a half in height, as weather boards and the art of the modern painter hide that fact. But it is a log cabin erected some 80 years ago, it is said, and for very many years there was no other building near it. Travelers on the Springfield, Alton and St. Louis "old state road" stopped there for meals, and at that time the "hotel" was reached by a long flight of steps that ran up the bank from Second street. One time in 1831 or 1832 it bore the pretentious name of the "Alton Seminary," and was conducted by Mr. H. Davis, the pioneer teacher of this section, who died in 1834. The late Judge J. M. Krum of St. Louis was a teacher in the school, as was also a Mr. Bosworth, A. R. Cobbin, and Miss Relief V. Everett.  Many Altonians now past the half century mark in age attended school there, and at times paid as "much as $10 per quarter for tuition."  In 1852 ex-Chief of Police Volbracht says he was attending school there, and that year was known to all parents and pupils as "the castor bean epidemic year." "During the noon hour one day," says Mr. Volbracht, "we children, boys and girls, found a quantity of castor beans stored in the basement of the old log cabin (the basement being excavated a short time before and walled up) and we all ate heartily of them. A few hours afterwards we became deathly sick and remained sick all day and night, and it was several days before all the ill-effects of our castor bean banquet disappeared. It was known as an epidemic because the entire school was affected."  The building was used as a Methodist meeting house for some years also - most early day school houses were so used on Sundays, and many a pioneer or some member of his family professed religion after attending meeting there. For many years recently the basement has been used as a polling place for the residents of the old fourth ward - the new third - and taken altogether its history during the 80 years of its existence is a varied and interesting one.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, October 10, 1904





Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, October 13, 1904

To help increase the rapidly growing gymnasium fund for the Alton high school, which must be raised by the efforts of the teachers and the pupils themselves, a series of lectures will be given next Monday and Tuesday afternoons and evening in the Alton high school, four lectures in all. The lecture course will be by Col. C. H. French of Cleveland, Ohio, and his subject will be the "Eruption of Mt. Pelee." The lecture will be richly illustrated with stereopticon views and are said to be both interesting and instructive. The afternoon lectures will be especially for school children, and the evening lectures for the grownups.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, October 17, 1904

Dr. T. P. Yerkes today advised the closing of the Gillham school in Yager park [Alton] on account of the prevalence of diptheria there. Eleven cases of the disease, which originated in the school, are being treated by Dr. Yerkes, and to prevent further spread it was considered advisable to suspend school there.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, June 7, 1905

A very pretty little volume is "The Tatler," issued as an annual by the Junior class of the Alton High school. This is the first number. It is the intention to issue a number about the close of each school year. The object of the publication is to give "a true picture of the high school life." "This issue contains events of interest from May 1, 1904 to May 1, 1905."  The board of Managers is composed of:  "Alida Bowler, editor in chief; Lucia Bowman, Lucille Ewers, assistant editors; William Koehne, art editor; Clyde Porter, business manager." The annual contains pictures of the principal and teachers of the school, the building and its interior arrangements, groups of pupils, and of the athletic members. A number of articles written by former and present pupils find places in The Tatler. The course of study is given and much information that will be interesting to all friends of the school, as well as pupils, past and present. The art department reflects credit on the editor of that department. The entire issue is one that not only the editors and assistants may well be proud of, but all the patrons of the school. One could have wished that more care had been exercised in compiling the article about the high school.  There are a number of errors that should not have appeared in regard to the date of the organization of the school, its teachers, and their names, some of which are inaccurately given, as well as the number of buildings in existence at the time the school was established.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, July 6, 1905

The board of education decided last evening to equip all the public schools with telephones for convenience in sending communications from one building to another, for fire alarms and any other urgent calls that be necessary. The Kinloch Company made a proposition to the school board, which was accepted.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, July 14, 1905

Miss Margaret D. Slifer, head of the Alton School of Oratory and a talented elocutionist, will be the central figure in a unique event at Spalding auditorium the evening of August 1. Today she announced her engagement to William F. Lancaster of Gillespie, and the wedding date was announced for August 1. Another event of August 1 is the annual commencement exercises which will be held in the evening at Spalding auditorium. Miss Slifer, attired in her wedding gown, will present the diplomas to her four pupils who have completed their course of study under her. After the presentation of diplomas she will go to her room across the hall, the Alton School of Oratory's home, and there will be married at 10 p.m. to William F. Lancaster of Gillespie. The marriage is the culmination of a friendship dating back three generations. The grandfathers of the couple were neighbors and friends at Bunker Hill; the parents of the couple fell heir to the farms and friendship, and now, in the third generation, there will be a marriage. The groom is a son of Joseph Lancaster and the bride is a daughter of William Slifer. The wedding was to have taken place later, but on account of the convenience of two friends of the bride, the date intended will be anticipated....




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, September 11, 1905

Supt. Robert L. Lowry of Upper Alton, Superintendent of Madison County schools, hopes to see the school grounds improved the coming year, and will in his communication and addresses call special attention to their condition.  In his report to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, just completed, he sets forth that there are fifteen schools whose grounds have not a single tree or shrub, and forty five are without sufficient shade for the children. Another campaign is to be directed toward reading. Only two thirds of the schools have libraries, eighty five being so equipped, while forty five have none. Those possessing libraries made a substantial gain of 1,509 volumes during the year, making 13,979 in all.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, October 27, 1905

The renown of Alton High school in the high school football world has spread to such an extent that it seems impossible for the team to get any games, except such as may be played for practice. The unbroken series of victories the team has to its credit this year is very disquieting to other football warriors who might have an ambition to rank as the best Rugby players. The Alton high school team cannot secure a game with any but the Shurtleff second team for Saturday afternoon, so took on a game with that team. Shurtleff too seems to be in a bad fix, through winning too many victories, and is unable to find antagonists. The Alton and Shurtleff teams have not been defeated a single time this year. They have not played each other as that might create rivalry, and the boys desire that a very cordial feeling exist between them and that they have an arrangement for playing practice games with each other. Alton's football enthusiasts have good reason to feel proud this year of the achievements of Alton's warriors on the gridiron.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 6, 1905   

James Squires, son of Frank Squires of Godfrey, died Monday morning shortly after 9 o'clock at the home of C. F. Sparks on Prospect street, from the effects of injuries he sustained in a football game October 21, between Alton High School and East St. Louis High school, at Sportsman's Park. Death was due to blood poisoning which began with an injury to the left knee of the player, and progressed until it caused a poisoned condition of the entire glandular system of the boy. The boy was 18 years of age last July 8. He was a student at the High School, and one of the best players in the team. He was a strong, active player and was ever in the forefront of the battle when his team was at play. The sad ending of the game of two weeks ago last Saturday was entirely unexpected, and Squires was the last one to be looked for to suffer such an injury. He played throughout the entire game and never once complained of being hurt. He was a strong, robust young man and seemed able to endure injuries incident to football playing without complaint. He finished the game with East St. Louis, which was said to have been an unnecessarily rough one of the part of the East St. Louis players, and went home that night apparently in good condition. He came to Alton Monday to attend school, and that day he complained of being slightly lame, and he supposed he had injured his knee in the football game, but was not certain. He remained in school on Tuesday, but went home that night and did not come back. The pains extended over his body and seemed to be worst wherever the large glands were located. Last Tuesday he was brought to the home of C. F. Sparks in Alton for treatment, as it was thought it would be better to have him in Alton convenient to physicians who were attending him. He was then in a delirious condition, and except at brief intervals he did not regain his normal condition of mind. St. Louis surgeons were finally called upon and an examination was made which resulted in the malady being pronounced not typhoid malaria but blood poisoning in the glands, due to an abscess which formed under the knee cap of the injured leg. An operation was performed and the abscess was relieved, but the poison had made fatal progress and he showed but little improvement in condition. He continued unconscious except at brief intervals. His condition became much worse Sunday night, and he died at 9:12 o'clock Monday morning. He was attended the last few days by his brother, Dr. John Squires of Dubuque, Iowa. The body was sent to Godfrey this noon, where the funeral services will be held. The funeral will be held Wednesday afternoon at 2 o'clock from the family home in Godfrey to the Congregational church. Burial will be in Godfrey. It is probable the entire High school will be dismissed Wednesday afternoon to attend the funeral, and that some of the members of the football team will serve as pallbearers. A quartet of members of the High school faculty will sing at the funeral. The young man was in the graduating class of the High school, and at least the third and fourth year classes will be dismissed on account of the funeral. The death of James Squires will end the football team of the Alton High school. In the same game in which Squires suffered his fatal injury, Edward Enos was badly hurt, and has not been in the game. Supt. Haight said today that last Monday the question of canceling the schedule of games was submitted to the players, and the boys voted as a unit to continue the schedule. The faculty believed that it would be best to end the schedule for the reason forthwith. However, one cancellation after another was received, and the boys were without a game to play. Supt. Haight said that undoubtedly the death of Squires would result in the closing of the football season, as the faculty would refuse to lend any aid or support to the game hereafter. Supt. Haight said that the reason for the school giving support to the game was that the boys were playing as a High school team several years ago, and the faculty felt it was necessary that if the boys were determined to play, they should do so under the direction of persons who could protect the interests of the school, and maintain a good game. The football team continued to grow stronger each year until this year, when it made the best record. The team was not scored against, and Squires contributed much toward its success. He was known as a star player and could always be relied upon to uphold his part of the play. He was a bright, intelligent boy, and exceedingly popular among his associates. In his home he was the pride of his parents, being the youngest son, and their hopes of a bright future for him seemed to be well justified. His death has cast a gloom over the High school, and also in Godfrey, where he was known and much admired. There is general regret throughout Alton over the tragedy of the football game, and on no one could the arrow of death have fallen leaving more regret than it has done in taking the life of James Squires.



Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 7, 1905

There were expressions of sincere and deep regret in the Alton High school today over the death of James Squires, the first victim of the Rugy game in the Alton High school. The seat of their deceased classmate was draped in mourning and it was covered with white flowers by the pupils as an expression of the grief of the classmates over the death of Squires. Supt. Haight said that the mourning drapery would probably remain for some time in the seat as a mark of remembrance. The feeling of horror which has been cast upon the whole school, including teachers and pupils, is universal. The regret that the tragedy should have occurred is voiced by all, both pupils in the school and those out of it. The blow is a heavy one, and today it almost rendered study useless in the High school building. Supt. Haight said that it was definitely decided that the entire school would be dismissed tomorrow afternoon on account of the funeral, which will be held at 2 o'clock from the Godfrey Congregational church. Rev. J. A. Scarritt of Alton will conduct the services. Supt. Haight received a telephone message this morning from Principal Manners of the East St. Louis High school, in which he expressed the sincerest regret over the unfortunate ending of the football game. He said that the horror of it had overwhelmed the East St. Louis High school in such a manner as to be beyond expression. The members of the football team from East St. Louis, together with their physical instructor, will attend the funeral of Squires at Godfrey tomorrow afternoon as an expression of their regret and their willingness to do what they can to show their sorrow over the tragedy. The pallbearers for young Squires will be selected from the number of the members of the Alton High School football team. Musical selections will be sung by a quartette consisting of Supt. Haight, Messrs, B. C. Richardson, R. L. Bird, and A. E. Barradell. There will be a large attendance of Alton people at the funeral. Supt. Haight has informed the East St. Louis High school principal that the Alton players do not make any specific charges of undue roughness, but that the charge is a general unnecessary roughness in the game. The principal objection of the Alton boys was to the tackling, which was responsible for the boys being injured.



Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 8, 1905

The funeral of James Squires was held at 2 o'clock this afternoon from the residence of the father, Frank Squires in Godfrey, to the Godfrey Congregational church. The attendance at the funeral included many hundreds of schoolmates, friends and relatives of the young man. The funeral was probably the largest ever held in Godfrey. The church was not large enough to accommodate the assemblage. There was a large delegation of boys and girls and the faculty of the Alton High school at the funeral. The pupils of the High school esteemed highly their young classmate, and they expressed their grief by contributing beautiful floral emblem. Among those who attended the funeral were the members of the East St. Louis High school football team, the team which opposed Alton High in the game that caused Squire's death. The services at the church were conducted by Rev. J. A. Scarritt of Alton. A quartet consisting of Supt. R. A. Haight, Messrs. R. L. Bird, B. C. Richardson, A. E. Barradell, sang three musical selections in the church. The songs by the quartet were "Asleep in Jesus," "Sleep Thy Last Sleep," and "Go to Thy Rest in Peace." The pallbearers were selected from the Alton High school football team, and were Trueman Stelle, Olin Ellison, Gershom Gillham, Ned Sparks, William Koehne and Percy Lewis. The floral offerings sent for the funeral were rich and numerous. Several carriage loads were sent out by friends early in the day, and there was not room on the family lot to place all of them. The members of the senior class gave a floral "Gates Ajar," and the members of the football team lined the grave with evergreen and gave a floral blanket. A party of fully 150 persons went from Alton at noon to attend the funeral, and many others drove out in carriages and other vehicles. Burial was in the Godfrey cemetery, just a short distance from the Squires residence in Godfrey.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, December 9, 1905

Principal John Uzzell of Humboldt school was much surprised a few days ago by an unexpected outcome of administering corporal punishment to correct a pupil. He was astonished to see the seat of a boy's trousers burst into flame, between two strokes of a wooden paddle which he uses for corrective purposes and applies to a part of the anatomy which nature has provided seemingly for the purpose. Nature nor Mr. Uzzell had contemplated, however, that the culprit who was being punished would have his pockets filled with parlor matches, nor that the wooden paddle would descend upon the exact spot where the matches must receive the shock as the boy lay over the principal's knee. In an instant after the blow was struck, there was a series of reports like a gasoline boat trying to start up on a trip. A cloud of smoke shot up, and the boy's trousers caught afire. Happily, it is said, the fire was extinguished before the trousers were reduced to a condition that might make it necessary for the boy to go home in a barrel.



Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, February 20, 1906
Fr. O'Reilly was able to announce some good news to the friends of St. Patrick's today. The marble statue of George Washington, which will adorn the niche over the school entrance, arrived today after a two weeks journey from New York. The formal unveiling will take place Thursday morning at 11 o'clock, and the children of all the Alton schools are invited to participate in the program. A musical program will be rendered and patriotic songs will be sung by the assembly. Fr. O'Reilly is preparing a good program and expects to have a big time on the occasion of the unveiling.

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, February 22, 1906
The unveiling of the fine marble statue of George Washington at St. Patrick's school this morning was a big event in the school. The statue was purchased by the school children to be set up in a niche over the entrance to the school. It stands 6 feet 4 inches in height and weighs 2,080 pounds. It is made of Cararra marble and is said to be the only statue of Washington ever carved from that kind of marble....George Powell and Dora Bennes were the students chosen to life the veil from the statue....Mayor Beall was introduced and he gave an address. Instead of glorifying the Father of His Country, he took the children on a trip from Washington, D. C. to Mt. Vernon, where the remains of the Immortal Washington rest. In word pictures he presented the scenes along the Potomac to the tomb, and made the trip a most interesting one. He told of incidents, how all foreign vessels fired salutes in passing, and how all steamers on the river tolled their bells in honor of the sleeping patriot. At the conclusion of his address, he asked the children what it was that Lafayette, the friend of America, gave to Washington while the latter was President. But none of the children knew. Finally Father O'Reilly responded by saying the "Key of the Bastille." "Yes!" said the Mayor, "and here it is, which I give to the school," handing it to the Rector. The original of the key given to Washington is among the souvenirs at Mount Vernon, from which Mr. Beall a year ago had a number made and has presented them to friends.



Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, May 18, 1906

The discovery of an old program for the graduating exercises of the class of 1873 of the Alton High school has made it possible to enroll the entire class of that year in the list of alumni. All other records of that year were lost until yesterday, when Alderman George T. Davis, who was a member of the class, discovered the commencement exercises program, and turned it over to the secretary of the Alumni Association, L. J. Hartmann. The program recalled a strike of the members of the graduating class of the year 1873. There were fourteen members of the class, Hattie Hardy, George T. Davis, Clara Lapp, Charles Newton, Nellie Hanson, Mary Rutherford, Ida Hardy, George Challacombe, Lillie Matthews, Sara E. Hudson, Kate Laird, Lizzie Morgan, Lizzie Sawyer, W. T. Breckenridge, Josie Hazzard.  Charles Newton, deceased, who was a member of the class, was colored, and was the first colored person ever graduate from the High School. Because of racial prejudice, there was a strike of part of the members of the class, and four of them refused to take part in the graduating program or appear on the platform. Their names did not appear on the program, but afterward they received their diplomas. The High School alumni association is desirous of getting the names of any members of earlier classes than 1873, if they can be had.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, September 14, 1906

Mrs. Margaret Slifer Lancaster will begin her work in elocution Monday, September 17. Those desiring to enter will please call on or before that date. School is located opposite Alton High School at 612 Mechanic street.  Telephone, 878 Kinloch.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, September 15, 1906

Perhaps for the first time in its history, the Alton High School has a student on its rolls who is married. David Harry Prince, formerly of Springfield and also from Jacksonville, who eloped to Alton and married a girl here several months ago, whom he had met while attending the Bunker Hill Military Academy, has settled down in Alton to make his home, and with his young wife has gone to housekeeping. He has entered the Alton High School and was able to make the third year class. He has been doing very good work and seems determined to finish up his course of studies in this school so he can get out in the world and begin doing for himself and his bride. Mrs. Prince was Miss Dorothy Govereau of Bunker Hill. The young husband, who has been enjoying the unique position of student and husband in the Alton High School, is a bright, intelligent young man. When he was married here he claimed he was of age, but when he matriculated in the High School he confession that he was only 18, but such variations from truth are frequent in the securing of marriage licenses, and while the marriage license clerks know that such is the case, they are unable generally to substantiate their belief in most cases, and must rely on the affidavits made. After the marriage the young couple went to Chautauqua, where they spent their honeymoon at Hotel Chautauqua, but attracted so much attention because of their youthfulness they left to go elsewhere to be free from too much observation.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, September 25, 1906

The attendance at the Lovejoy and Douglas schools in Alton is steadily increasing. About 120 colored children are now attending those schools, and it is expected that the highest enrollment of last year will be exceeded this year.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 14, 1907

A deferred meeting of the board of education was held last evening, at which a quorum was secured after failure to do so a week before. The north side school building was officially named McKinley, for the dead President. The board of education was considering "hot water" at their meeting, because of the failure of the hot water hfeating system to give satisfaction in the high school and Garfield school, where the rooms are very cold.....




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, January 30, 1908

The "Piasa Quill" will be the name of the new paper to be launched in Alton about February 12th by the Alton High school pupils. The paper will be edited by the pupils in the high school, and will contain items of interest principally to school people. It will be about 24 pages and will be printed in magazine form. The editor in chief is Wilmot Black, who will be assisted by the following editorial corps:  Miss Mamie Coleman, literary editor; Dick Sparks, local editor; Kendall Hopkins, sporting editor; Miss Caroline Wempen, alumni editor; Harry Johnston, business manager.  Almost all business houses in the city will be in the list of advertising patrons. The promoters of the publication have been very successful in securing the assistance of business men and other friends of the school, and it is intended that the paper shall be an unqualified success, and a live hustling representative of what is being done in the Alton schools.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, May 19, 1908

Henry Lorch, janitor at Alton High school, did some wild shooting a few nights ago while trying to scare some trespassers away from the school property. Complaint had been made that the school buildings were being trespassed upon at night time, and the janitor was instructed to keep them away. On Saturday night he detected a number of trespassers on the school property, and he unlimbered his artillery and began shooting. Lorch had not calculated the possible effect of the bullets or what target they might find. Considerable alarm was experienced at the home of B. L. Bell, across from the school house, when one bullet went through a second story window and just missed striking Mr. Bell's daughter, and another bullet lodged in the window sill. A bullet lodged in a board on the fence. One boy, who was a trespasser, just missed being hit. Today the chief of police went to the school building and instructed the janitor to be a little more accurate in his shooting. The board of education made a personal investigation of the affair last night and referred it to the committee on janitors. Mr. Lorch is one of the best school janitors in the city and has taken deep interest in doing his work well. It was probably over zealousness in trying to protect school property that caused the shooting.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, June 13, 1908

Dr. R. Gibson has presented to the Alton High school the collection of birds and animals which were gathered by Dr. Humbert, the father of Mrs. Gibson. The collection was on exhibition for many years in the office on Market street, which was occupied for many years by Dr. Humbert, and later by his son-in-law, Dr. Gibson. Since the negotiations for the sale of the property to the hotel syndicate have been carried to such a stage that it seems certain the property will be taken, the office building occupied by Dr. Gibson will move the collection, cases and all to the high school building. Supt. Haight said that it has not bee decided in what part of the building the collection will be set. It is believed it may be a valuable addition to the attractions of the high school building.


[NOTE:  The office building spoken of in the article above was at the corner of Market and Third Streets, and was built in 1832 by L. J. Clawson of Upper Alton. The State Bank of Illinois leased this building after its construction.  Later, Dr. Gibson moved his office there, as early as 1881.  The building was torn down in 1908, and the Illini Hotel (later named the Stratford Hotel) was build on this site.]




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, March 31, 1909

Lowell school on Washington street has had an uninviting premises to look at. The ground was not improved with either grass or shrubbery. Principal Lowry suggested to the boys that it would be well for them to spade the ground and prepare for grass seed. The suggestion was acted upon at once by the boys, and soon was in a preparatory state for the seed it is to receive. In a few weeks Lowell school premises will present a very different appearance - one that will be a pleasure to look at. The boys are entitled to credit for their good work.



Source: Proceedings of the Illinois State Bar Association, Thirty-Third Annual Meeting, Peoria, June 24 and 25, 1909, edited by John F. Voigt
In 1898, Scott Bibb, a colored man, filed in the Supreme Court his petition for a mandamus to compel the city authorities of the City of Alton to admit his two children, Minnie Bibb, then seven years old, and Ambrose Bibb, then eight years old, to a public school in that city. Issues of fact having been made by the pleadings the Supreme Court, following its previous practice in such cases, which practice had prevailed for about eighty years, sent the issues to the Circuit Court of Madison County for trial by jury. A trial being there had it resulted in a verdict against the petitioner, which verdict, being certified to the Supreme Court, was set aside. Six subsequent trials by jury were had in the Circuit Court in two of which the juries disagreed and in the other four of which verdicts were rendered in favor of the respondents. Each verdict in favor of the respondents prior to the last one was set aside by the Supreme Court and an order made sending the issues back to the Circuit Court for another trial. When the last verdict came before the Court in 1908, ten years had elapsed since the commencement of the suit and Scott Bibb's daughter Minnie had reached the age of seventeen years, and his son, Ambrose, had reached the age of eighteen years. The Court then, for the first time, discovered that there was no constitutional right of trial by jury in a mandamus case originally brought in the Supreme Court, and, finding that the last verdict rendered by the jury was plainly and palpably against the evidence in the case, the Court set it aside, found that all the material facts alleged in the petition were true and that the relator was entitled to the writ of mandamus prayed for, and ordered the issuance of the writ, in and by which the city authorities of Alton were commanded to admit the then grown-up children of the relator to the public school in question. Two of the judges of the Supreme Court dissented from the judgment on the ground that the parties had a constitutional right of trial by jury in a mandamus case brought originally in the Supreme Court.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, July 6, 1911

Principal William Wilbite of the Lincoln school in Upper Alton was sustained by the board of education last evening, and in addition to his holding his job for another year, he had the privilege of suggesting the name that was adopted for Lincoln school in Upper Alton. There is already a Lincoln school downtown [Alton], and it became desirable to make a change. Wilhite had suggested that the school be named the Dunbar school for Paul Lawrence Dunbar, the noted, deceased negro literary man and poet, whose poems are probably the best ever written by any negro. The board adopted the name unanimously. This was after the board of education had voted almost unanimously to table all charges against Wilhite. The principal, who admitted he advocated sunbaths, or airing of the body to keep the physical health good, denied that he had committed any of the grave offenses which were alleged against him. He claimed that offense was taken to his teaching of morals and manners in the Upper Alton school. The members of the board, after considering an affidavit of great length filed by Wilhite in reply to affidavits filed by his accusers, concluded that the accusations against Wilhite were trivial. President Schoeffler admonished Wilhite to be very diplomatic and discreet, and to avoid appearance of offense. Wilhite had been very effective in raising the scholarship standard of his school, and one of his pupils had broken into the oratory class at the county examinations and one had been seventh in scholarship in the county in an examination. Wilhite will therefore teach another year.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, September 20, 1911

The bubbling fountains to be installed in the Alton public schools arrived this morning and will be set in place at once. Western Military Academy has installed a bubbling fountain on the athletic field. So far, none has been put in use in the buildings, the cadets using individual cups.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, October 18, 1911

Supt. R. A. Haight has recently been collecting some historical data about the Alton school buildings, and in connection with Lincoln school desired to ascertain the exact date of building and cost of the school. According to records preserved in the office of Pfeiffenberger & Son, the school was erected in 1866, the architects and builders being Armstrong & Pfeiffenberger. The actual cost of the school building, minus a heating plant, was $25,536, and it was considered a very expensive school building in its day. The building was originally heated by stoves, but later a hot air furnace was installed, and after many years of inefficient service by the furnace, a hot water heating plant was installed in 1896 at heavy expense. It is one of the original boilers which has been in the building since that time which has broken down and will be replaced with a new one. Another boiler was replaced a year ago when it gave out.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, June 12, 1912

When school takes up next September, the summons to school will be wafted forth from the belfry of Alton High School instead of from the belfry of Lincoln school building. Chairman Allen Challacombe of the Buildings committee of the Board of Education said today that it is not planned to silence the bell that for 44 years has summoned the children of Alton to their studies. While it has been determined to remove the twin cupolas from the stop of Lincoln school to relieve the roof of so much weight, the bell will be moved to [the] high school building. The plan being developed by Architect James Maupin contemplates the removal of the cupolas and to put on top of the building, to relieve the appearance somewhat, a deck with a heavy rail about it. The Telegraph has received some protests against the removal of the Lincoln school bell.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, October 18, 1912

The Turner school being conducted under the auspices of the Alton Turnverein, with George Linsig as teacher, is prospering greatly. The class of boy pupils has increased steadily from the start, and the girls' class is following suit. Last night the class numbered twenty-three pupils and the applications of eight other girls were turned in.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, January 16, 1913

The members of the Patrons Society of the Humboldt School yesterday afternoon presented the school with a $68 Victrola, and today the students heard their first concert from the records that were presented with the machine. The ladies had a little money in their treasury left over from the entertainments they gave in the basement of the school the past few summers. When the phonographs were purchased for the schools by the funds raised by the plays given by Miss Jones, the Humboldt ladies decided to have one of their own and it was played for the first time today, to the delight of the students. The Humboldt school mothers have been particularly active in creating conditions that make school life agreeable to their children in that school and seem to have been very successful.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, February 6, 1913

The building committee of the Board of Education has been empowered to sell for $25 the old brick building that was for many years the Elm street schoolhouse in the North Side. It has been abandoned since McKinley school was finished and North Alton came into the city of Alton. Lurton Stites made an offer to buy the building, tear it down and clear up the ground. The school board said that the $25 must be paid in advance, before any start was made to dismantle the building. For a long time the Board of Education has been desirous of disposing of the old school building. It has been useless and in its abandoned state it has been a nuisance to the neighborhood. some time ago W. W. Lowe offered to make a very advantageous trade, giving some lots adjoining McKinley school property, which would complete the block of McKinley school ground, and taking some cash and the old building in exchange. The city council dallied so long in giving its consent to the trade that Mr. Lowe lost his opportunity to turn the property over and decided he would not make the trade after the delay. Since then the property has been on the hands of the Board of Education, and has cost money for paving and sewer.



G. A. R. [GRAND ARMY REPUBLIC] MESSAGE IN SCHOOL ROOMS TO AWAKE INTEREST - Speakers Will Talk to Students in Every School Room

Source: Alton Telegraph, April 17, 1913

The message of the coming of the comrades of the G. A. R. to Alton, May 20-21-22, and duty citizens owe to the men in blue who went to war fifty years ago, will be told to the children in the schools of Alton Friday morning when twenty-five men will go to the school rooms and in ten minute speeches will tell the students of the coming of the G. A. R. encampment, and why they should do all in their power to aid in decorating the homes of the city and creating an air of patriotism here. The speakers who have been appointed by the chairman of speaker's committee, William P. Boynton, are as follows: J. V. E. Marsh and H. G. Giberson at the Irving school; William Gschwend Jr., and B. J. O'Neil at the St. Mary's school; Alton High School, L. D. Yager; Lowell School, William P. Boynton; J. T. King and William Wilson, Upper Alton School; J. F. McGinnis, Cathedral School; Father Kehoe, St. Patrick's School; Prof. George Osborn and Roe Watson, McKinely School; J. A. Giberson and E. G. Meriwether, Garfield School; Reverends G. L. Clark and D. R. Martin, Washington School; REv. E. L. Gibson and Mayor J. C. Faulstich, Lincoln School; Reverend S. D. McKenny, Humboldt School; C. B. Knight, Lovejoy School; Rev. C. W. Thompson, Douglas School; Godfrey School, Prin. William Lynn; East Alton School, Principal Molloy; Wood River School, Principal Jesse Campbell; Upper Alton Dunbar School, Rev. Mr. Jones.  These speakers will all appear at the various schools to which they are assigned at 9 o'clock, Friday morning, when they will be given ten minutes to address the students. The speaking in the schools will be the first gun in the campaign to create a patriotic sentiment in Alton and induce persons to become interested in caring for the soldiers when they come to our city in May. All of the fraternal societies in the city will also be addressed within the next two weeks.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, March 3, 1913

Miss Emily Hoefert received notice that she has been appointed musical supervisor in the two schools of district 99, Milton Heights and Gilham schools. She had previously held the position of musical supervisor for both Bethany and Godfrey schools, and she has also been serving in the Glen Carbon school.




Source: Alton Telegraph, October 23, 1913

For the third time in the past three weeks, a high-priced Victrola was delivered to an Alton school. This time Washington School, corner of Curdie and Minor avenues, was the lucky one. Alton is not only ahead in the quality of teachers and pupils, but is up to the date in adopting the new and approved method of musical instruction. Years ago school music was founded on the old singing school plan with sight reading as the only goal and precious years were spent in attempting to grasp the technique and grammar of music.  Now-a-days, all of this can be acquired grandally by the children hearing good music and having it explained to them. Miss Harriet McCarthy, Principal of the Washington School and M. Lillian Baner, Supervisor of Music in that school, made the selection of the Victrola and it was delivered before school opened Tuesday morning.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, September 19, 1914

As an evidence of the strictness and severity with which the truant officer, Green Parker, is enforcing the truancy law, Dr. R. G. Schaller, a prominent physician, was arrested on a warrant Parker swore out, charging that he permitted his children to remain out of school. Heretofore, those arrested were not of such prominence as Dr. Schaller, and the arrest of the Doctor caused some surprise. It was as great a surprise to Dr. Schaller as to anyone else, as he said he did not know that his sons, Joe and Ben, had been staying away from school for two days. The father was not prosecuted when he established clearly in the police court this morning that he did not know of it, and that he had not been informed. He said that what he wanted to know was why his attention was not called to the delinquencies of the children before such extreme measures were resorted to as to cause his arrest. He declared that he, a doctor, would not be guilty of allowing his children to grow up in ignorance, nor would he countenance any failure on their part to attend school. He announced that he had made himself plainly understood on this point at home, and he informed the court that, if necessary, he would voluntarily, as a good father and good citizen, take his children to school every day if they made any further efforts at playing truant. It was a case of the birds and the bees wooing the little boys through the school windows out into the great wide open, and the boys yielded to the spell that the beautiful sunshine gave in the trees and on the grass. They will resist the charms hereafter, or they will have their father to reckon with. Dr. Schaller is an advocate of regular and punctual attendance at school, regardless of birds, bees, and sunshine.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, December 18, 1914

The damage done a few days ago by fire to the roof of the Dunbar public school was repaired today, according to Supervisor of School Buildings G. F. Roenike. He says it was a mistake about the pupils being dismissed after the fire. Classes were interrupted only for a short time on the day of the fire. Nothing was damaged but the roof, and like the Arkansas Traveler, a roof wasn't needed particularly since as it wasn't raining or snowing.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 16, 1915

The Telegraph learned today that there was a possibility of Alton High School being without a football coach this fall. According to the information obtained, all of the male teachers at the Alton High School have agreed that they will not take charge of the football team, and unless some of the lady teachers should come to the front and volunteer to coach the team, it is more than likely that the football team of the Alton High School will be without a coach. The trouble started as the result of the failure of the Board of Education to pay a coach for the school, or do anything towards the support of the football team. Athletics has long been considered as one of the branches of study in the Alton High School, but the Board of Education has only at odd times contributed anything towards the support of the teams. As a general thing, one of the male teachers in the school has taken it upon himself to coach the team. He has been doing this work for ten weeks in the year, from 3:30 in the afternoon until 6 o'clock, and all day on Saturday without pay. As a general thing, when there was a deficit in the fund it was the coach of the team who made up the funds.....It seems more than likely that the teachers will take the same stand on other athletics in the high school, especially basketball and track. If this is the case, the Board of Education will have to decide whether athletics are to be fathered by the board or whether it will be withdrawn from the list of advantages offered at the Alton High School.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, September 4, 1915

After many years of effort on the part of the Board of Education, the deed for the property belonging to the Illinois Glass Co., which adjoins the Lowell School, was transferred today....This strip of ground will make the school property at the Lowell school rectangular in shape, and will give the pupils more room for playgrounds. The house which stood on the lot has been the cause of considerable trouble. It was frequently rented to foreigners, and at a number of times the school children were exposed to contagious diseases through the occupants of this house. The members of the Board of Education have decided that they will ask for bids on the house. After the house has been removed from the lot, it will be turned into a playground for the school children. The purchase price of the lot and the house was $1,400.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, February 2, 1917

With no water today [due to sub-zero temperatures], Alton had two fires and in both instances no one was injured and the damage was small.....The three hundred children in the Lowell school escaped without a scratch in the fire there at 1:30 o'clock this afternoon. A defective flue caused the fire alarm to be turned in. At the same time the fire gong was sounded in the school. The three hundred little children marched to safety, few of them knowing there was a fire in the building. Hose company number three arrives shortly afterwards and easily extinguished the fire with a babcock. The damage was comparatively light. The children were allowed to go home for the remainder of the afternoon.



ALTON HIGH SCHOOL MAY 1917 GRADUATES             56 Students Receive Diplomas at the Alton High Auditorium

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, May 3, 1917


Verna Olive Andrews

John Francis Bailey

George Simon Bennes

John Lewis Blair

Robert Elsmere Burns

Lucy Frances Calame

Grace Connerly

George Squire Crawford

Edith Florence Culp

Cyrus Chisley Daniel

Faye Vivian DAvis

Mary Elizabeth Dawson

Carrie Wilhelmina Dependahl

Dorothy Ewan

Elinor Bertha Flagg

Charles Phinney Forbes

Gladys Emma Gates

Wilfred Miller Gates

Oliver Clinton Gent

Nina Jean Goudie

Alice Cary Halton

Erwin Fred Hebner

Mabel Violet Henthorne

Gerhard Taphorn Hoffman

Dorothy Frances Horton

Harriet Adelaide Hyndman

Jessie Walling Jameson

Alva Marguerite Joesting

Helen Windsor Kauffman

Robert George Kelsey

Mary Lazelle Kessinger

Alma Cordelia Koch

Elmer Cornelius Koch

William Frank August Kruse

Jessie Irene Lowder

Harry Arthur Luer

Morris Mayford

Wilhelmina Oliver Megowen

Wilbert Vanson Metzger

Helen Corniele Miller

Helen Mildred Mitchell

Margaret Mercedes O'Donnell

Calla Renshaw Meyers

Earl Willard Osborn

Georgia Winifield Patterson

Henry Harding Pace

Kathryn Therest Ruddy

Margaret Dorothy Ruebel

Arthur William Schmoeller

Oscar August

Edmond Schoeffler

Anna Burns Schwab

Cecil Norman Stahl

Richard Ross Sherwood

Willard William Waters

Horace Cannell Weston









Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, September 1, 1917

Miss Bertha Ferguson was appointed assistant principal of the Alton High School at a special meeting of the teachers' committee last evening. The board had given the teachers' committee authority to fill any vacancies that might occur before the opening of the school year. The resignation of C. A. Metz was accepted and Miss Ferguson was appointed to succeed him. Charles Rowe, of Chicago, a graduate of the University of Illinois, was appointed to take charge of the work in mathematics, formerly taught at the Alton High School by C. A. Metz. Miss Ferguson will continue her regular teaching, besides attending to the duties as assistant principal. Miss Ferguson has been connected with the Alton High School for the past twenty years. She is one of the best education women in the City of Alton, and a woman of high intellectual attainment. She is also highly esteemed by all who have been instructed by her. She has merited the appointment by the work done at the Alton High School during the time she has been there. While it has been the custom to appoint a man as assistant principal of the school, Miss Ferguson has the ability to handle the work with no trouble. Much of the success of the Alton High School debating teams in the past few years has been through her efforts. She will take up the new duties of her office with the opening of school. Mr. Rowe came to Alton to represent the Lincoln Chautauqua. While here, the vacancy occurred in the teaching corps of the school, and he applied and was accepted for the position. Mr. Rowe has excellent recommendations, makes a good impression, and the teachers' committee members feel that they were very fortunate in being able to fill the vacant position so quickly and so well.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, January 7, 1918                  

Miss Carrie Rich, for many years a highly efficient teacher in Alton High School, died Friday night at Washington, Ill., at the home of her brother, and was buried there Monday. Word of her death was sent to Rev. C. C. Smith, pastor of the Congregational Church at Alton, by a nephew of Miss Rich, who wrote in behalf of his aunt, Miss Mary Rich. The letter said that Miss Rich was taken down the day after Christmas with what appeared to be a cold, but which developed into pneumonia. The death of Miss Rich will be the cause of profound regret in Alton. She was one of the best known women in Alton. Until her retirement from teaching, Miss Rich had held a post in Alton High School for close to thirty years. She was the possessor of a life certificate from the state and was one of the few in Madison County to hold such a certificate. She began teaching in Alton High School when the High School was in Rooms 1 and 2 at Lincoln School. She taught there for a number of years, then when the new High School was built, she went over there and continued her work. Miss Rich began teaching in the Alton schools in 1836 [sic - should be 1886], and she retired two years ago, making almost thirty years of service to the cause of education in the one school. She was known as a very efficient teacher, and her giving up of school work in Alton was regretted by the other members of the faculty and by the Board of Education. She was drawing a pension as a teacher under the Illinois law. Her sister, Miss Mary Rich, had been in poor health for some time. She had given up her work as teacher some time before Miss Carrie Rich decided to discontinue her work. After ceasing to teach, the two sisters moved to Washington, Ill., to be with their brother. In Alton, the two sisters had been inseparable, had lived together, and were deeply interested in each other. Miss Rich was a devoted member of the Congregational Church. She was a woman of high intellectual attainment, was possessed of a gracious disposition, and she had a very large number of friends.



BARBOUR, FLORENCE A./Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, July 8, 1918            Well Known Alton School Principal Dies After Surgery

Miss Florence A. Barbour, principal at Lovejoy school since that school was opened, died in a hospital in East St. Louis Saturday, while undergoing a surgical operation to remove a goiter in her neck which had rendered her incapable of attending to her school duties. Miss Barbour was one of the best known colored women in Alton. She was a highly successful instructor in the public schools. When the school board opened the two colored schools, Lovejoy and Douglas, Miss Florence Barbour was selected as principal of one and her sister as teacher of the other. Her move was at first a very unpopular one with people of her own race, but later they became reconciled to it and they afterward approved heartily the plan that had been adopted. So valuable were the services of Miss Barbour considered, the school board made special provision for her during the time of her long illness, though it was known that she would probably not be able to teach school again. She leaves three sisters, a niece and a large number of friends. The members of the school board will probably have much difficulty in finding anyone who can discharge the duties of the position she held as efficiently and as satisfactorily as she did. The funeral will be held Tuesday morning at 9 o'clock from the family home, 1819 Maple street.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, February 6, 1919

The name of the High School of Alton is now the Theodore Roosevelt High School in honor of the distinguished ex-president, who died recently. A resolution to change the name of the High School was offered at the meeting of the Board of Education last night by Abbott W. Sherwood. It was passed unanimously, without discussion. "Whereas, The clean life of Theodore Roosevelt," the resolution said, "and his high character and moral courage; his staunch fearless patriotism and his 100 percent Americanism; his achievements and his steadfastness for the right as he saw it, should be kept alive in the recollection of this community as an inspiration and as an example, be it resolved in the view of all of these facts, that the name of the City High School shall be called the Theodore Roosevelt High School." The resolution, as presented by Mr. Sherwood and passed by the Board of Education is as follows:

"Whereas, The recent death of Colonel Theodore Roosevelt has taken from our national life not only a former President of the United States, but also one of its greatest leaders, and most compelling personalities and,

Whereas, The clean life of Theodore Roosevelt and his high character and moral courage; his staunch fearless patriotism and his 100 percent Americanism; his achievements and his steadfastness for the right as he saw it, should be kept alive in the recollection of this community as an inspiration and as an example; now, therefore, be it

Resolved, By the Board of Education of the City of Alton, in the State of Illinois, in view of all of these facts, and as a mark of the respect in which his memory is held by the people of this community, that the name of the City High School shall be called THE THEODORE ROOSEVELT HIGH SCHOOL."




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, February 13, 1919

The cafeteria at the Theodore Roosevelt High School will open for business Monday. All equipment has been secured and set up and a cook hired. Painters today were busy putting the finishing touches to the lunch room. The cafeteria is in the room in the high school basement, formerly occupied by the domestic science department, that department being moved to another part of the building. The room is well situated for a lunch room, there being plenty of light and a large closet formerly used for other purposes which has been converted into a pantry. Another room, formerly used for other purposes, has been converted into a kitchen. The cafeteria will be able to accommodate 100 people at once. The food will be served in cafeteria style, and will be eaten on tables in the lunch room and halls of the basement. The cafeteria will open with a "modest menu," according to Supt. Reavis. All portions will be five cents, and a suitable luncheon can be had for from 10 to 25 cents. The room has been repainted, all equipment being white enamel, and is quite presentable in appearance. The cafeterial will be under the direction of Miss Rhea Curdie, supervisor of the domestic science department of the public schools.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, June 17, 1919

Six young women received certificates from the Armstrong School of Music after the recital last evening. The recital was held at the First Methodist church. It was attended by several hundred relatives and friends of the graduates. The graduates were assisted by Mrs. Anna Hagar-Taylor, who gave a reading from "As You Like It." Those who were graduates in piano were Miss Gertrude C. Horn, Miss May H. Hartwig, Miss Viola M. Robinson, Miss Thelma A. Wadlow, Miss Marie Wood and Miss Violet C. Ducommon completed their post graduate courses.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, June 17, 1919

The inspections of Mrs. Daisy Rice, inspector of hygiene in the Alton public schools, a report of which is being prepared by Supt W. C. Reavis, of the Alton schools, show that there are 62 children in the Alton schools who are in need of an open-air school because of anemic conditions and tubercular tendencies. The report also shows that there are 18 school children crippled as a result of infantile paralysis; 19 squint or cross-eyed who will be blind eventually unless fitted with glasses; 15 thyroid cases; three mentally deficient; four cases of epilepsy; two of hair lip; three of cleft palates and 24 children with defective speech. The report shows there were 132 cases of contagious diseases in the public schools during the past year, exclusive of influenza. Ten of these were scarlet fever, three small pox, and five diphtheria. The small number of contagious diseases is accounted for by the fact that there were no serious outbreaks and rigid enforcement of the state laws by the school nurse. The report shows that Mrs. Rice made 10,546 inspections for minor contagion and physical defects. These included influenza, teeth trouble, defective speech, defective vision. The total number of exclusions resulting from these inspections was 690. During the year 1,026 pupils were referred to physicians, 396 to dentists, 157 to the city health officer, 29 were accompanied by the school nurse to doctors' offices, and 25 accompanied by her to St. Joseph's Hospital for operations. The results of the school nurse's work, according to the report being compiled, were: 659 victims received dental treatment; 38 had tonsils and adenoids removed; 25 victims of accidents cared for, and 660 dressings given by the nurse during the year.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 15, 1919

Alton is to have a Community Opera Association which will take charge of one opera each year, to be given by the people of the city. Over six hundred Altonians will take part in the opera to be given this year. At a meeting held Thursday evening plans were made for the formation of a Community Opera Association for Alton, and the first opera to be given will be presented in October when the State Federation of Music Clubs will meet in Alton for a several days session. Plans for the association were made last evening at a meeting held by William C. Gschwend, Mrs. J. A. Giberson and Mrs. R. D. Sparks. The musically inclined people of Alton are greatly interested in the formation of an opera association and have expressed their desire to assist in carrying out plans for same, financially. The first opera will be given in October under the direction of W. D. Chenerz. "Egypta" has been selected for the opera, and will be presented by 600 or more children from the schools throughout the city. The opera will be given on three nights and one matinee.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 30, 1919

Woman is coming into her own in the Alton public school system. This was strongly indicated today when the fact was brought out that men were passing as principals by the publication of the list of teachers for the coming year of the Alton grammar schools. With the exception of S. P. Cole, colored, there are no men principals in the Alton grammar schools. There are but three men principals in the Alton schools. They are B. C. Richardson, principal of the Roosevelt High school; M. M. Kessinger, principal of Lincoln Junior High School; and R. W. Lowry, principal of the Horace Mann Junior High school. The Humboldt principalship, made vacant by the death of George H. Osborn, was filled by transfer of Miss Emma Harris from Garfield school to Humboldt school. Miss Harriet McCarthy of the Washington school becomes principal of the Garfield school also. Miss Agnes Toohey becomes principal of the Irving and McKinley schools. The following assistant principals were appointed. They are to have charge of the building when the principal is not present: Kate Stewart, Irving; Emma Unterbrink, Garfield; Mabel Vogel, Washington; and Edna Radcliffe, McKinley. There was a time in the Alton schools when the only teachers were men, and often they had a hard time preserving order. Women as teachers were thought quite out of the question. Later women were admitted to the ranks of teachers. And finally, the women have increased in number until today they are replacing the men as principals.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, September 10, 1919

Three of Alton's educational institutions, Western Military Academy, Monticello Seminary and Shurtleff College, are ready to begin the first after-the-war term. At the three schools successful years are anticipated for the first school year after the great war. At Western Military Academy the capacity has long since been reached, and at Shurtleff College, where the ranks of the men were sadly depleted by the war, one of the greatest years in the history of the school is looked for. At Western, the capacity of the school was reached August 1. On that day the last place was taken and since that time 30 applications for admission to the academy have been received and the applicants placed on a waiting list. The attendance at the school will be about 300, those attending being largely from Illinois and Missouri. There will be students, however, from virtually every state in the Union, and from Canada, Mexico and Brazil. Only minor changes have been made in the faculty at Western. Col. George D. Eaton will continue as superintendent, Major Ralph Jackson as principal, and Major R. E. Wilkinson as assistant principal. Col. Eaton, commenting on the outlook for Western this morning, said he anticipated "one of the busiest years" in the school's history. Monticello Seminary at Godfrey will reopen on September 18. The schools capacity, 175 students, will be in attendance. Some time ago the last place was taken and since then applications have continued to come in. The school has a waiting list of about 50 young ladies. Many improvements have been at the school during the vacation period. The kitchen and dining room have been enlarged, the capacity of the latter being increased a fifth. A refrigerating plant has also been installed. The upper floor of the old Maxfield home will be used as a dormitory for the students and will accommodate six young ladies. No changes of importance have been made in the faculty of the seminary. Miss Harriett Congdon is principal of Monticello. At Shurtleff College, where reservations are not made by prospective students, it was impossible to give an accurate estimate of the number of students who will attend. It was said, however, that the college will probably have the greatest enrollment of recent years, with the exception of the time the S. A. T. unit members attended. President Potter of the college today said that the former Cole-Clark place, purchased this summer, will be ready for occupancy when school reopens. In the building will be the dormitories for the Freshmen and Sophomore women of the college, and a dining hall. Miss Flora I. Crouch, new dean of women at the school, will make her home there. The Junior and Senior class women will live in Leverett Cottage on Leverett avenue. Miss Lenora Worcester, a member of the faculty, will live at Leverett cottage. The house on the old Bulkley estate, on Edwards street, which is the property of the  college, is being repaired. Many of them will be occupied by members of the college faculty, President Potter said this morning. Work on the gymnasium being erected on the college campus has been delayed because of difficulty in securing materials, the president said this morning, but it is believed that the building will be completed before winter.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, January 2, 1920

Changes in public school buildings ordered by the state fire marshal during the inspection of minor repairs which will be finished up within the next few days. John Pfeiffenberger, of L. Pfeiffenberger Sons, school architects, this morning said that all the repairs recently ordered by the school board will be completed soon. All work will probably be done before the schools reopen Monday after the Christmas vacation. Mr. Pfeiffenberger said that a new furnace had been installed at Wheatley (colored) School, and radiators are now being installed. The heating plant probably will be ready for use when that school reopens Monday. The architects are working on the plans for the new school to be erected at Gillham Heights. Indications are that the complete plans for the building will be submitted to the school board next month. It is planned to let the contract for the building next spring.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, January 21, 1920

Average salary of Alton Elementary School Teachers for current year, $830. Average salary for Alton High School Teachers for current year, $1280. No figures are available as a basis of comparison with lawyers, doctors, dentists and others whose professional training corresponds to that of the teacher, but there is no doubt that their income will greatly exceed that of skilled labor.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, February 5, 1920

Wonders will never cease. The latest for the book is that there is a chance for Washington Garden to become a school yard and the dancing pavilion there to become a school. The building which at one time housed the most popular saloon in Alton, particularly on Sunday, may become a classroom under the stern direction of a prim little school marm. when the present school building at Gillham Heights is wrecked and a new building erected, temporary quarters for the students will be necessary. At the meeting of the school board last night, Washington Garden was suggested. The dance hall there could be converted into two or more classrooms and the building which formerly housed the saloon could be utilized. Other places are under consideration for temporary quarters, but the plans of the board in providing a place for the students while the new building is being erected have not yet assumed definite shape. But the Washington Garden schoolyard and the dancing pavilion and saloon building as school rooms - great things come to pass even in this modern age.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, April 19, 1920

A battle to lower the cost of clothing will be waged by students of the Theodore Roosevelt High School, beginning tomorrow. Today the movement was gotten under way, and it was said that tomorrow the students would attend school in old clothes. Students said that at least 250 students would take part in the "battle." Because overalls are expensive, with prospects of further increases in price, the students declare, the movement is not an "overall club idea," though it was prompted by the now famous Tampa idea. The students will wear old clothes. Those who possess overalls probably will wear them, but the students who join the movement will not be asked to wear overalls. The object of the movement at the school, students declare, is to have students wear old clothes. They are of the opinion that it is not necessary for the students to wear expensive new clothing. White shirts and collars, they claim, will be few. Shirts of darker hue and suits of some use will be worn. Girl students will probably join the boys in the fight on the cost of clothing. For them it probably will be calico dresses and other garments noted for plainness. It was planned to secure a number of pledges today from students who will take part and to begin the "battle" against the rising price of clothing tomorrow. If the movement is launched at the high school, it will be the first great attempt here to fight the cost of clothing [note:  the price of a pair of overalls was $3.50].  In other cities workmen and office forces of many companies have adopted overalls as the style of dress, and in some cities the Mayor and city officials are functioning officially while clad in plain denim [note: overalls and denim were a new "fad"].  There has been a great deal of talk in Alton about the launching of the movement, but as stated in the Telegraph, Saturday, everyone has been waiting for a leader. Many people were heard to say that they would get in line if "someone started it." There were also heard objections to the overall idea because of a possible increase in the price of overalls. "If everyone wears overall," it was said, "the price will soon become prohibitive. The only hope then is that the price of clothing will have dropped, which seems unlikely unless it takes a long time for the price of overalls to advance, an occurrence which is not to be expected." Complaints against the overall movement were also heard based on the fact that a general use of that kind of clothing will probably result in an increase of price which will make the cost prohibitive to the man who must wear them in his work. A meeting of the boys of the Theodore Roosevelt High School has been called for this afternoon to complete plans for the old clothes campaign. It is planned to enroll every student in the school in the movement. Used clothing will be worn, and many of the students will wear overalls in an effort to bring down the cost of clothing. The Laclede Steel Company employees announced this morning that their men organized an Overall Club last week, and Saturday appeared at work in overalls. They claim to be "pioneers" as Overall Club members in Alton. The storekeeper of the company went to Alton Saturday morning attired in overalls.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 10, 1920

The M. H. Boals house at Sixth and Langdon streets was purchased at public sale this afternoon by the Board of Education. The house and adjacent lots were sold under order of the Probate Court. The price was $11,000. There was one other building. The school board will use the building for the classes of the commercial department of the Roosevelt High School. The building will be remodeled on the inside. The sale of furniture was held this morning. Many antique pieces were sold at low prices. The sale attracted a large crowd. The property was part of the estate of the late M. H. Boals. The building will be used to house the commercial department of the high school. The ground on which the property stands is 170 by 120 feet. The building, when remodeled for school purposes, will contain four classrooms of approximate measurements of 30 by 16 feet. The sizes of the rooms, say school officials, are very satisfactory for commercial classes. The typewriting department will be installed in one of the rooms downstairs. The room will hold more desks and typewriters than the present typewriting room. The other room on the first floor of the building will be for the bookkeeping classes. In one of the rooms on the second floor will be housed the classes in stenography. There is no stenography room in the high school, classes being held in various rooms when they are vacant. The other upstairs room will be used for commercial English, commercial geography, and with the stenography room, for commercial arithmetic classes. The Boals house will accomodate 150 regular commercial students and other students, enrolled in other courses, who elect commercial studies. This will mean that there will be available at the high school two rooms formerly used for commercial studies and two used part time by the commercial department. Commercial students, whose classes will be held in the Boals building, will assemble, as now, in the main building and will retain lockers there. The Boals homestead has facilities for city heat and it will be necessary to install a hot water boiler and connect it with radiators already in the building. Partitions between some rooms will have to be removed. The school board, by purchasing the property, has secured a site and building for what it would cost to erect additional rooms to the present high school building. There are two lots in addition to the one on which the building stands. With agricultural classes being held in the Garfield school, and commercial classes in the Boals house, 30 classes will be held outside the regular high school building, and will go a long way toward relieving congestion. There were registered in the high school last year, 625 students. More than 700 are expected this fall. The capacity of the old building is 400, indicating the pressing need for additional facilities. The purchase of the building means the adoption of the unit plan of construction and enlargement for the high school, by the school board. A new high school building would cost more than a half million dollars and the extent to which the local schools may be bonded is $375,000, so the unit plan is the only one left for school officials.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, December 30, 1920

Simmons School, formerly Washington Annex, is to be sold by the school board. It is a frame structure, 40 x 80, erected as a temporary building to relieve crowding in other schools. It has twice been maned on wheels and moved about as a portable structure, and the moving got its joints so loose that when a good wind would blow it would make the building lean in the wind to such an extent that the doors and windows would not shut readily until the wind would turn and blow it another way. The school board members plan to dispose of it to someone in need of a house, who will fix it up. The building can be converted into a four room home easy enough, and at moderate cost. The loose joints can be tightened up after a windstorm that will blow the building into an upright position. It stands on a lot 100 x 150 on Gross Street. Many inquiries have been received about the building and as soon as the word is given to sell it, there will be buyers in sight. The pupils who have attended this school will be received into the two new rooms at Lovejoy school next Monday morning.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, January 6, 1921

The name of Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross, was selected by the special naming committee appointed by the local School Board, as the name of the new school which has been known as Gillham school up to the present time. The school naming committee was delegated to decide whether or not a new name should be given the school, which is being erected in Yager Park, and as a result of their findings submitted the following report at the regular meeting of the Board of Directors, Wednesday evening.  "While the naming of a school did not at first appeal to your committee as a matter of very great importance - it soon developed that there was a strongly divided public opinion, part of which favored transferring to the new building the name of the old Gillham school, and part favored the selection of a new name - several of which were suggested. Therefore, it was decided to hold an open hearing to which all interested were invited to come. This meeting was held on Tuesday evening, January 4th, 1921, and in addition to the special committee and several members of this Board - there were present representatives of the faculty of the new school, residents of the district served by the school, a committee of five gentlemen from the Seventh Ward, and a representative of the Women's clubs. All were given opportunity to express their views. It appears that there is a feeling in the Seventh Ward that the new building should be named Gillham school; the name borne by the building which is being removed. The old school was put up by the Board of Education of the village of Upper Alton, and was named for the late S. B. Gillham who served for many years as president of the Board, who had been very active in his civic duties to the community and in its social life and who belonged to a very prominent family. There seemed to be a feeling that to give the new school any other name would in some way cast reflection on the memory of Mr. Gillham; and reference was made to an old agreement made at the time of the annexation of Upper Alton, that the names of streets and public places should not be changed. On the other hand, no actual change in name is contemplated, the members of the Board, representing the district to be served by the school, spoke very strongly in favor of giving the new school a new name. Members of the faculty of the school took a similar position and it was stated that out of a total of 90 families served by the school, 77 favor a new name for the new building. Furthermore, in the judgment of the committee, it has been the very wise policy of the Board of Education of the city of Alton, to give to the school building names of nationally prominent persons from which names some inspiration might be derived. To do otherwise would certainly involve disputes concerning the names of local people, no matter how deserving of public recognition and honor, who would necessarily have divided following and opinions as to relative merits and accomplishments. Therefore, the committee unanimously agree that the new school building should be given a new name. The buildings now occupied are to be removed for use in connection with the Horace Mann School, and can then be known as the Gillham Annex, thus retaining the name in that section of the city where it is best known. The new name for the Main Street school will also avoid confusion with the District 99 school at Gillham Heights. Of the new names suggested for the new school, there seemed to be a strong opinion that the school should be given the name of a woman. The committee agree that this is particularly proper - not only because there is now no Alton school bearing the name of a woman, but also because the building was begun in the year which saw the Constitutional Amendment providing for equal enfranchisement of women. The name of Francis Willard was carefully considered and not adopted because the committee is unanimously agreed that the name most suitable is that of the founder and first president of the American Red Cross, an organization non-partisan, non-political, non-sectarian, of whose great and humanitarian work in peace as well as in war, no explanation is necessary. It is therefore the recommendation of the special committee that the new school building, being erected in Yager Park on Main street, be called for that 'angel of the battle fields' - the Clara Barton School."




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, January 11, 1921

According to present plans, J. W. Schoeffler, president of the Alton School Board, will lay the cornerstone at the new Clara Barton school on Thursday afternoon at 2 o'clock, weather permitting. This announcement was made today by Superintendent W. C. Reavis of the Alton public schools, after the decision of the board at a meeting last week when it was decided to hold a public ceremony marking the start of the building proper. The new cornerstone is of the hollow center type, and will contain a document box in which the names of the students, superintendent of schools, various committees, and board of education will be placed before the stone is set in place. Mayor William Sauvage will preside at the afternoon ceremonies in connection with the new school building. Attorney W. P. Boynton, representing the Alton Chamber of Commerce, has also been named as one of the speakers, while Mrs. George R. Hewitt will represent the American Red Cross and the women of Alton. The school architect announced several days ago that the pouring of concrete in the wall forms would be completed to such an extent that the corner stone could be laid within the next week and accordingly Mr. Reavis went about the preparation of a program which will commemorate the occasion.....




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, January 14, 1921

In a storm of flying snowflakes, President John W. Schoeffler of the Board of Education placed the corner stone of the new Clara Barton School in its bed of mortar where it is expected to rest for at least a century. The corner stone is a plain square block of Bedford limestone, weighing several hundred pounds, its only inscription being the date, 1920. It contains a number of documents placed in a lead receptacle, which Architect John Pfeiffenberger declares is proof against moth and age. Following the invocation by Rev. F. D. Butler and the placing, the audience repaired to the kindergarten in the old school, where the program was completed. The short talks which were to have been made in connection with the depositing of the documents in the corner stone, but which were omitted on account of the inclement weather, were then given by Earl Thomas, a pupil of the fifth grade; Miss Helen Mack, principal of the school; Superintendent W. C. Reavis, R. G. Huskinson, J. A. Miller, H. H. Hewitt, A. W. Sherwood, and John Pfeiffenberger. Mayor William M. Sauvage made the principal address. He spoke of the importance of public improvements and congratulated the Clara Barton School district on being able to secure two modern improvements this year - a modern fire-proof school, and the Main street sewer. He also spoke of his interest in public education and said that nothing gave him greater pride than the progress that was being made in the schools by the Board of Education. Mrs. George H. Hewitt, representing the women of Alton and the American Red Cross, gave a sketch of Clara Barton, pointing out various significant events in her life and calling the attention of the pupils of the school to the ideals of self-sacrifice and service which were so beautifully portrayed in the life of the woman for whom their school was named. President Schoeffler told the patrons that they were now realizing the full benefits of being part of a good city, and that they should show their appreciation of what was being done for them by taking a more active interest in and by giving their support to every movement designed to make Alton a better city. He congratulated the pupils on the opportunities they would have in the new school building and urged them to study carefully the life of the noted woman for whom their school was named.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, February 1, 1921

Roosevelt High School, already overcrowded last semester, shows an increase of 160 today over the enrollment in the preceding semester. Principal B. C. Richardson said today that the building was very crowded, but that accommodations have been provided by emergency measures. Four recitation rooms have been provided in the old Boals homestead, and another room has been fitted up for the auto mechanics department and additional room is thus provided. The enrollment for the last semester was 622. It is 728 for the present semester, due largely to the big class transferred to Roosevelt High School last week. It is necessary to cause two pupils to occupy one seat at time in the assembly room, and all but the first two classes use outside study rooms. The first examination of the students who have been taking religious courses in churches of their own choice under competent teachers was held yesterday. There were 142 boys and girls who took the examination. Thirty-three of these were boys and 109 were girls. They represented the First, Twelfth Street, Elm Street and Upper Alton Presbyterian, First and Grace Methodists, First and Cherry Street Baptist, Sixth Street and Godfrey Congregational, St. Paul's Episcopal, Evangelical and Unitarian churches. The examination was conducted by Principal Richardson, assisted by a corps of teachers. Those who pass the examination will receive one quarter credit for each semester, or a half credit for the year's work.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 26, 1921

Clara Barton school - the newest addition to Alton's public school system - is almost ready for occupancy. All construction work has been completed, and workmen are now putting in the finishing touches, painting, cleaning, making plumbing connections, and doing similar work. Clara Barton school is located on Main street, and replaces the old Gillham school. It was erected under the unit plan of construction. The unit plan of construction has been adopted in school building as one means of solving the financial problem of boards of education. The main building is erected in such a way that additions may be made as funds permit. Additions do not ruin the appearance of the building, but rather enhance it, and the main building is so built that rooms may be added without marring the convenience or utility of the building. Clara Barton school has eight rooms and can accommodate 300 children. The building has been so designed, that units may be added at both ends. Each of these additions, when erected, will have four rooms, so that the building with its units added as needed, will have 16 rooms and a capacity of 600 students. The building is rectangular ____ shape, with front entrances at each end of the building. The main entrances faces Main street. The building is fire-proof. Provisions have been made for every convenience of pupil and teacher. Measures have been taken as a protection against the "ruthlessness" of boys. In the halls are walls of enameled brick, said to be able to withstand the attack of any boy, and from which a pencil mark may easily be erased. All light switches within reach of the children are turned by a key, so that the pupils cannot "play" with the lights. A reporter for the Telegraph made an inspection over the building this morning in company with John Pfeiffenberger, of Pfeiffenberger's Sons, architects. The basement was first visited. In the basement are two gymnasiums, one for boys and one for girls, sufficient in size to hold physical training classes. In the basement are the boiler room and ventilating apparatus, in addition to lavatories and toilets. The ventilating system insures a change of air five times each hour. The apparatus provides for tempering of air twice, and washing by water, though washing of the air will not be undertaken immediately. The heating apparatus includes the vacuum pump system. Under this plan a building may be heated almost instantly. The pump removes all air from pipes as heat is entering. The pump is regulated on a basis of atmospheric conditions, including weight and resistance, dependent on the elevation above sea level. In the basement are fire doors in every room. These doors are of fireproof metal, and in case of fire, close automatically when the catch holding it open is burned. Under this system a fire may be kept in one room. On the first floor of the building are the principal's office, class rooms and a double classroom with folding doors which may be used either as two classrooms or an assembly or entertainment purposes. Each classroom has a cloakroom, lighted and ventilated. The classroom is ventilated through the cloakroom, the fresh air coming into the classroom from the fan in the basement and leaving through the out-going conductors. This system is designed to prevent the presence of odors from damp clothing in the classroom and to provide ventilation for the cloakroom. On the second floor are classrooms. Each floor has provision for toilet facilities for faculty and pupils. Stairways are at each end of the building, and are so arranged that a teacher may supervise play in the gymnasium at that end of the building, watch the stairway and the door leading to the playground. This sort of construction is part of the modern system of supervision. Safety measures include rounded window sills, upon which objects may not be placed, and therefore the danger of objects falling upon children on the playgrounds is removed. The vortex of wall and floor in the building is covered, eliminating corners, making sweeping easier, and designed as a sanitary measure. Clara Barton school will be ready for use when school reopens on Tuesday, Sept. 6, if the Yager Park sewer job is completed and connections are made with the school.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 11, 1921

The formal dedication of the Milton Heights new school house took place last evening. It was attended by a large number of school officers, parents, pupils and friends of the school. The handsome new school house, recently completed, was beautifully decorated for the occasion with potted plants, presented by the contracting firm which erected the building, the Modern System Construction Co., and the architect, James M. Maupin. The school is one of the best appointed in this vicinity and is a fine addition to the school facilities of the west side of the county where there has been a campaign of school facilities because of the rapid increase in population, which had not been accommodated hitherto. During the events a good _________ [unreadable]  Curtis, superintendent of schools of Alton, Frank Wheeler, president of the Milton Heights school board, and C. C. Ellison. The program for the evening was opened with a song by the pupils of the seventh and eighth grades. Minor Goodsell sang, and Miss Esther Carter gave a violin selection. The Pentecostal quartet consisting of Oscar Nichols, Frank and Joseph Goodsell of Alton, and Fred Smith of Wood River, also sang. The new school building is large enough to accommodate any increases that may be made in years to come in the population of the school district. It is designed according to the most approved methods of school designing _________ [unreadable] .




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, May 4, 1922

Married women teachers were excluded when the newly-organized Elementary Board of Education voted last night to send contracts for the next school year to members of the teaching force. The action of the board affects four women teachers - two white and two colored. Action of the question of employing married women teachers followed a request of Superintendent Curtis regarding a provision of the board's rules, adopted before the superintendent came here, which provided that married women be not employed except in emergencies. He asked the board's interpretation on the provision so as to guide his actions in the matter. Than came suggestions for dropping of married women which action, Lafe Young said, would not be fair, since the teachers were hired when needed. Mr. Young said he would vote "no" on such a matter. J. A. Miller then amended the motion of H. H. Hewitt, chairman of the Instruction Committee who submitted the list of teachers, to read that contracts be sent to all save those women teachers who were married. It was explained that the board was "not cutting them off," but was merely "not sending them contracts," it being pointed out that the permanent board to be elected under the organization plan may do as it wishes. It was also stated that married women who came to the board's rescue when the teacher shortage was acute had not lost by the action. Then the motion was put and passed without a dissenting vote. The board early in the evening had heard read a petition from George Means, colored, in which it was asked to give colored young women who are unmarried, teaching positions. On a former occasion the board received a communication from colored persons protesting against the hiring of married women as teachers. The board has, for some time, made it a policy to hire only unmarried women as teachers, it having been understood that married women already on the list being retained.....




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 11, 1922

Reopening of schools in September will see a new course installed at Alton High School. It will be a class in public speaking. In charge of the class will be Miss Esch, a new member of the high school faculty, who is a daughter of Congressman Esch, one of the authors of the now-famous Esch-Cummins railroad bill. Miss Esch, it is said, is an accomplished public speaker. The course, it is expected, will include the usual rudimentary and elementary principles of elocution and public speaking. This will be the second time such a course has been offered at the high school, several years ago a class having been held, but lasting only a short time. Since that time, B. C. Richardson, principal, has given private instruction to members of oratorical and debating teams, and members of the faculty who have acted as debate coaches have given debaters private instruction.....




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, October 21, 1922

Americanization classes will reopen at Lowell School on Tuesday, October 24, Miss Olive Gillham, one of the teachers, announced today. Plans for the school this year provide for sessions on Tuesday and Thursday night of each week. Instruction will be given in elementary English - writing and speaking - and civics. The teachers will be Miss Olive Gillham and Miss Helen Joesting. The school will be operated with no expense to the Board of Education, except for use of the building and lights, Miss Gillham said. The board voted last winter to discontinue the Americanism school, together with the night high school, as part of the retrenchment program to cut down expenses. A plan has been devised, however, under which the school will be conducted with cost to the board save that mentioned in the foregoing. The Committee on Instruction of the Board of Education, at a meeting this week, granted use of the building for the Americanization school. This will be the fourth year for the school. In former years it has been successful and has aided many foreigners in securing their citizenship papers. Last year the total enrollment in the school was 50, with an average attendance of 20, considered an usually good showing for such a school. Six nationalities were represented. A growing demand for the school led to the plan for reopening. An enrollment as great or greater than last year is anticipated.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 16, 1922

Completion of the slate roof on the Lincoln School building this week will complete work of remodeling which will make the building, Alton's oldest school structure, one which will be "modern" and conform in every way with state laws on school construction. A new stairway, removing alleged fire hazards in the building, and improvement on the old staircase, was the first improvement on the building, and the completion of the new roof will make the oldest of Alton's school buildings one of the best, Russell Tilt, commissioner of supplies and buildings for the Board of Education, said today. Lincoln School was erected in the late 1860s, and several months ago there was considerable agitation regarding the safety of the structure. It was found, however, that the walls of the building were strong and capable of much more duty. Then the new stairway was erected, removing the greatest fire hazard. The new roof makes the building less of a hazardous building. Improvements on the building will result in a decrease in the cost of insurance, it is expected. Commissioner Tilt will confer with the insurance agent regarding a re-adjustment of rates.



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Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, July 17, 1913

Many a resident in the vicinity of Bethalto is humming the note of "School Days" as he contemplates the old school desks that are being sold off by the school directors of Bethalto because they have been carved up with jack knives until the desks are useless. The directors decided to put in an equipment of new school desks in the district school. The old ones had served forty-five years since the school house was built. Boys now grown to manhood had sat in those desks away back in their boyhood days. Grandfathers names were scored on the desks beside the initials of their grandsons. Designs that were the embryonic expressions of artistic longings of the school children were carved on the desks away back, and they were carved on the desks in recent years too...Sentiment was still alive in the bosoms of some of the former pupils of the schools, and as they looked on the marks they had made so many years ago, there was a recalling of school days incidents. Engraved deep in the desks were designs such as two hearts intertwined, with initials in them, in some cases foreshadowing happy nuptial events, in others nuptial tragedies. There were revolvers which were carved by boys who wanted to go West to fight Indians, or who regretted that their age prevented them having participated in the battles of the Civil War, which were still recent history when the boys who are now men went to school. There were unskillful carvings of faces of boys and girls, and there were mathematical designs without number. Principally, however, the boys carved initials, and from the looks of the 200 desks taken from the four rooms, every boy who attended the school must have registered his initials. Fully half of the desks were bought by old time students in the school. All of the single seats went, in some cases women being the purchasers. It was the awakening of much sentimental contemplation in the minds of many a former pupil in the Bethalto school.


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Source: Alton Weekly Courier, October 14, 1858

Another meeting was held in the Coal Branch Schoolhouse near this city, on Tuesday last. There were near one hundred voters present, which was a very large attendance for that vicinity. Speeches were made by John Trible, Esq., and H. G. McPike, Esq. The efforts of both these gentlemen are highly spoken of, and were well received. Much earnest enthusiasm was manifested. The voters of that vicinity will cast an almost unanimous ballot for the "People's Ticket," on the 2d of November.


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Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, December 17, 1904

East Alton's fine new school building will be ready for occupancy immediately following the Christmas holidays. The furnace for the building arrived Friday and will be installed at once, and the work of cleaning up the debris around and in the building is going on now.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, January 26, 1905

If length of time consumed in putting up the new school house at East Alton augurs anything well for the durability of the building, the building now being completed there should last until Gabriel blows his trump. The school has been under course of construction for many months and is now being completed. East Alton people say it will be opened the first week in February to receive pupils who have been attending school hitherto in the village hall. The cost of the building was more than the school board figured upon, and it was necessary to make a bond issue. A proposition to issue bond was twice voted upon, being defeated the first time. Then the school board resigned, a new board was elected, and the bond issue proposition was carried. Since then the school has been in course of completion. It is a fine building and will be a credit to East Alton. The school was the cause of much trouble, however, and some of the events of the time of its building will be long remembered in East Alton.


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Offsite link:  History of Edwardsville Schools



Source: Alton Telegraph, March 28, 1840

At a meeting of the citizens of Edwardsville, held in the Baptist Church on Wednesday evening, March 25th, 1840, pursuant to notice, for the purpose of adopting such measures would lend to establish more permanent and sustain a good school in this town. On motion, M. Gillespie, Esq., was called to the chair, and H. K. Eaton was appointed Secretary. The objects of the meeting were then explained by Rev. S. H. Thompson, who, in a very eloquent address of some length, called the attention of the citizens to the very important subject of building up and sustained the Academy in this place. Rev. S. Allard, the teacher, then addressed the assembly on the subject of his school, and laid before the meeting a plan of operation, which he wished to pursue in establishing on a permanent basis an institution of learning in the town of Edwardsville. Mr. Allard gave notice that he had made arrangements to associate with him in the business teaching, a young man who has recently graduated at one of the universities of our state, who could come well prepared, he believed to give efficient aid, and render to the patrons of the school entire satisfaction, and that if prompt and suitable encouragement was given, no pains or expense should be spared to make their school one of the best in the country.




Source: Alton Telegraph, September 5, 1840

The fall term of this institution will commence on Monday, the 31st inst.  In addition to the facilities afforded heretofore in the different departments of learning, the services of an experienced teacher in music has been procured, and we are confident that young ladies, wishing to avail themselves of that accomplishment, will find every advantage here enjoyed elsewhere. The principal has made arrangements to accommodate 6 or 8 boarders in his family, and will ___ his efforts to procure boarding in pleasant families for more, should they apply. The academic year will consist of 15 weeks, for which the following charges will be made: $13 for reading, writing, arithmetic and geography; $15 for grammar, history, and natural philosophy; and $10.75 for the higher branches of English and the languages. An extra charge of $9 per quarter will be made for lessons in music. The French language will be taught without extra charges, should any wish to take lessons. No deduction will be made for absence during the term, excepting in cases of protracted illness, and no student ____ he received for less than a term, unless previous arrangements be made with the principal. Board and washing will be afforded at $2 per week, one half of which will be required in advance. A bedstead, straw mattress, sheets and pillow cases will be furnished boarders, the remainder of the bedding they will furnish themselves.  H. K. Eaton, Secretary of Board of Trustees.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, February 14, 1916

When her school teacher, Miss Winifred Ward, was quarantined on account of smallpox at the residence of former county treasurer, F. A. Eisole in Edwardsville, Miss Mildred Owens, aged 15, left her own home and went to take care of her teacher. Miss Owens had the smallpox a year ago, and felt she was an immune. The Eisele family were away from home when Miss Ward was taken ill, so they did not return to their house. The patient was therefore alone until Miss Owens went in to take care of her.


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Bockstruck School, Foster Township, Madison County, IL


Bockstruck School was located on Bockstruck Lane, just west of Seminary Road in Foster Township. The school was originally constructed in 1874 at a cost of $480, and housed students in first through eighth grades for 77 years. There were usually between 20 and 30 students in the one-room schoolhouse, which was no more than 800 square feet. One teacher taught all eight grades. With only one teacher, the older students would serve as a helper to tutor younger students.

There was no running water in the schoolhouse, and one student would be chosen each day to walk the quarter mile to a nearby farm to bring water back in a bucket. Each student had their own drinking cup that was kept in a cubbyhole on the wall. In 1932 a well was dug on the property to furnish water for the students.

The school was named after the Bockstruck family that owned the land around the school for more than 100 years. The Bockstruck name was also spelled Buckstruck, and on a 1906 map it was spelled Buckstrap.

In 1951 the Bockstruck School closed when the Alton School District chose to consolidate. Most of the younger students relocated to Fosterburg School, while the older ones were transferred to East Junior High. The building was sold and no longer exists.





Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, March 25, 1918

Two of the public schools in the vicinity of Godfrey have been closed because of an outbreak of smallpox - the Bockstruck and the Ingersoll schools. At the Ingersoll school three cases were reported. No cases were reported at the Bockstruck school, but some of the pupils were exposed. A pie social which was to have been given in the Union school March 27 has been indefinitely postponed because of the presence of smallpox in the neighborhood.







Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, March 30, 1904

The following is a list of pupils who successfully passed the central examination held on March 11, and are therefore entitled to take the "final" examination:

Olivia Colver, teacher;  Blanche Cartwright




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, October 27, 1916

Miss Nora Daniel, the teacher of the Culp school east of Alton, assisted by the pupils of the school, will give a box social at the school house on the evening of November 3, and the friends of the folks out there are cordially invited to drive out from Alton and attend the affair. There will be an interesting program, plenty of fun and lots of fine refreshments. The proceeds will be used for the benefit of the school library.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, June 22, 1922

Culp's school near Fosterburg, which burned Tuesday evening, may not be rebuilt from information gained. The nearest school to the one that burned is the Woods school, about three miles away. Then enrollment of the school was 14, but the attendance dropped to 8 students toward the last of the year. The people in the district in which the school burned have not yet made up their minds to build. The building that burned was built in 1870. The pupils will be transported to the Woods school, or it may be consolidated with the Bethalto school district. The Bethalto district has been taking in more school territory.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, June 26, 1922

An inquest will be held tomorrow afternoon at the grounds of the old Culp school to discuss the subject of the cause of the recent destruction of the school house by fire. Last week the building caught fire late at night and was burned before anything could be done to save it. The Telegraph has been informed that Dr. C. E. Trovillion, managing officer of the Alton State Hospital, has been invited to attend and has promised to be there. The belief is held by some that patients from the state hospital were responsible for the fire. They say they had been hanging around the building a great deal, and that there is good reason for supposing that they set fire to the place. There was no one else in the neighborhood of the school and no one would have any reason for setting fire to the building. Indications are there will be another drive made to bring about a change in system of handling the hospital patients. The neighbors are still favorable to the abolishing of the non-restraint method of handling insane people in the hospital and out of the meeting ground tomorrow afternoon may come some important developments. The incident at the W. B. Sinclair place last week has added to the strength of the convictions of the people in the neighborhood that something ought to be done to reduce the nuisance of hospital patients wandering at large.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, July 21, 1922

The directors of the Culp school district have another claim against the state of Illinois for incendiarism on the part of nomadic patients at the state hospital. Last night an outbuilding on the grounds where the burned school house had stood was destroyed by fire. Patients of the state hospital were seen around the place and leaving there at the time the fire broke out, so it is regarded as a proper charge to make that hospital patients who are at large started the fire. One of the members of the committee in charge of the interests of the Culp school said today that a claim of $2,500 had been filed with the state Court of Claims. Attorney General Brundage had written to the committee saying that the State of Illinois, being a sovereign state, cannot be sued. Any claim against the state must be filed with the Court of Claims, investigated by that body, and if favorably viewed, is recommended to the Legislature's good graces for an appropriation to pay the claim. There is no recourse if the claim is disallowed by the court of claims or later by the Legislature. The school directors will insist on the responsibility of the state of Illinois for the destruction of the school house, inasmuch as it is believed certain that wandering insane people from the state hospital did the job. They regard it as conclusive in the light of the destruction of the outbuilding last night immediately after insane hospital patients were seen around and leaving the place. Too many matches in the possession of these patients is the cause of the fires, the neighbors say, and when it is stated that the neighbors are exceedingly nervous, it is putting it mildly.








Source: Alton Daily Telegraph, August 1, 1878

John Culp and William McCauley will call one at Fosterburg schoolhouse.




Source: Alton Daily Telegraph, June 16, 1881

The school exhibition at the Fosterburg school house next Friday evening, June 17th, promises to be a splendid entertainment. Mr. J. S. Deck, the teacher, never tires in trying to make things pleasant and agreeable, hence a good time may be expected. The Bethalto Cornet band will furnish the music.




Source: Alton Telegraph, June 23, 1881

The exhibition given by the Fosterburg public school on the evening of the 17th inst., was a grand success, and the most enjoyable event that has occurred here during the present year. The exercises were held in O. P. Foster's grove, which proved fortunate, as the audience brought together on the occasion would have filled to overflowing the three churches of the village. The Principal, Prof. J. S. Deck, had spared neither labor nor expense in order to bring it to the high point of excellence which it reached, and was rewarded by the appreciation of the audience, and the fine manner in which the pupils acquitted themselves in their several parts. The following was the programme:


Music by the Bethalto Cornet Band.  Address of Welcome - J. S. Deck.  Dialogue - Inquirers, Emma Luft and Emma Rinker.  Dialogue - The World, Mollie Rinker and Maggie McCarthy.  Song - "O, The Merry, Merry Spring," double quartette.  Dialogue - Who Did Best? father and four sons.  Dialogue - Good Recommendation, by Harry Deck and Harry Thompson.  Recitation - What I'd Like to Be by nine little girls.  Music by the band.  Declamation - Don't Give Up by Eddie Griebel.  Dialogue - Our Old Folks by Jessie Deck, Hie Heines, Joe Heines and Eddie Griebel.  Dialogue - Obedience, by Esther Hoffer and Bertha Luft.  Recitation - Choice of Trades by eleven boys.  Hammer Song by Double quartette.  Dialogue - True Courage by Milton Lobbig and James McCarthy.  Dialogue - The Good Boy and the Truant, by John Dingerson and Louis Recker.  Dialogue - The Foolish Habit by Bertha Baker and Mollie Sherfy.  Dialogue - Happiness, a Result of Labor, by Minnie Lobbig, Lettie Thompson and Mary Dingerson.  Dialogue - School Promotes Happiness by Bertha Luft, Laura Williams and Clara Thompson.  Music by the band. Dialogue - The Way to John Smith's, by Eddie McCarthy and Sammy Peters.  Dialogue - Country Aunt's Visit by Nellie Thompson, Mecca Thompson, Lillie Dillon and Emma Haag.  Song - "Follow Me," by quartette and chorus.  Dialogue in three scenes - Unfortunate Mr. Brown, by Thomas Dillon, Sadie Titchenal, Annie Recker, Emma Recker, Nellie Hoffer, Linda Nehaus and Esther Hoffer.  Music by the band.  Dialogue in two scenes - Postal Card, by Ella Jinkinson, Sadie Titchenal, Mary Dingerson and John Wortman.  Farmers' Song by double quartette. Dialogue - Canvassing Agent, by Nellie Thompson, Thomas Dillon, Mecca Thompson, Aaron Freark, and Eddie McCarthy. Music by the band.  Song - "Frongs in the Pond," by double quartette. Dialogue - Handy Andy, by Louis Ost and Jacob Freark. Song - "Merrily on We Bound," by double quartette. Closing remarks by J. S. Deck.  Music by the band.


The programme as given above was gone through without a single break or failure on the part of anyone, and although continuing until a late hour, the attention of the large audience was kept until the last. The Bethalto Cornet Band, by the music it furnished for the occasion, added luster to its already fair fame. The B. C. B., although an infant in age, in appearance is a fine looking youth, and is fast becoming a giant in musical circles. The young ladies and gentlemen who sang in the double quartette deserve special mention for their fine renderings of the various selections.  This entertainment closes Mr. Deck's work as teacher in the Fosterburg school, he being so situated that he could not accept the school for another term, and he leaves us knowing that the heartfelt gratitude of the patrons of the school goes with him for the high standard to which he has brought our school and for the great influence for good, which he has exerted over his pupils and in the community during the three years that he has been with us.




Source: Alton Daily Telegraph, May 21, 1884

Mr. Benjamin Waggoner and Miss Jessie Waggoner have been appointed teachers of the Fosterburg school for the coming winter.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, March 30, 1904

The following is a list of pupils who successfully passed the central examination held on March 11, and are therefore entitled to take the "final" examination:

Mecca Thompson, teacher;  Mamie Neuhaus, Esther Neuhaus, Laura Dingerson, Iva Thompson, Adina Hauck




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, May 27, 1909

The old Fosterburg school house has been dismantled to make room for a handsome modern building. The new building will be 26x50. The work will be done by day labor, and much of it will be done gratis, as most of the patrons are glad to be able to help secure a safe comfortable schoolroom for their children.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, July 8, 1909

The concrete foundation for the new Fosterburg school has been completed and work on the building will be started at once.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, February 10, 1910

The Fosterburg school, and its teacher, Miss Anna Hollard, are enjoying the use of a fine new bookcase, teacher's desk, and new dictionary, all purchased from the profits of their box social and entertainment. Fosterburg is very proud of its good school and excellent teacher, and wants to have the schoolroom kept in an attractive condition.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, May 20, 1910

The Fosterburg school spent last Thursday in marching and feasting to celebrate the closing of a very successful school year by Miss Anna Hollard. Fosterburg is proud of its school and its record and showed its appreciation of the fact by the good dinner which was furnished for the pupils. The pupils met at the school house in the morning and were uniformed. They then marched to Memorial Hall for dinner, headed by the teacher and drummers Harrison and Ost. In the afternoon they marched around town. All enjoyed themselves very much and hope to have a good school again next winter.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, December 17, 1914

Van Titchenal and Charles Brueggemann will give a shooting match on the Fosterburg school yard on the afternoon of Christmas Day. Ducks and geese as prizes. Everybody invited.




Sources: Alton Evening Telegraph, March 24, 1948; May 26, 1948; December 17, 1948; January 14, 1949; October 9, 2004; February 20, 2007

Alton provided educational facilities for the 52 school children that were in Fosterburg school, which was demolished by a tornado, March 19, 1948. Nothing remained of either of the two school houses in Fosterburg. Mrs. Ethel Hess and Mrs. Edith Ray were the two teachers, and they were to teach their students in the Alton school rooms. Space was made at the Humboldt school.  In may 1948, a merger was proposed to consolidate all schools in the school district, including the Helens School (14 students), Ingersoll-Sherfy School (40 students), Fosterburg School (52 students), Werts School (36 students), and Woods School (30 students).  The new school was constructed, and an open house took place early in January of 1949. The building was two rooms, 70 x 24 feet, with all brick walls. Until the school was completely finished, students were allowed to attend class beginning in September of 1948 in the single room "quonset hut."  Mrs. Ethel Hess and Mrs. Lois Brecht taught in the quonset hut, conducting their "rooms" as two separate units. The new building was erected on the same site as the old one, which was destroyed by the tornado. In October 1954 a new four-room addition was added on to the school.   The school was razed some time after February 2007.

[These article are still in copyright by the Alton Evening Telegraph and could not be transcribed as written by the newspaper.]







Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, March 30, 1904

The following is a list of pupils who successfully passed the central examination held on March 11, and are therefore entitled to take the "final" examination:

Tesora Fraley, teacher:  Sadie Gvillo







Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, December 17, 1914

The box social that was to have been held at the Ingersoll school last Saturday evening was postponed until Saturday evening, December 19.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, March 25, 1918

Two of the public schools in the vicinity of Godfrey have been closed because of an outbreak of smallpox - the Bockstruck and the Ingersoll schools. At the Ingersoll school three cases were reported. No cases were reported at the Bockstruck school, but some of the pupils were exposed. A pie social which was to have been given in the Union school March 27 has been indefinitely postponed because of the presence of smallpox in the neighborhood.







Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, March 30, 1904

The following is a list of pupils who successfully passed the central examination held on March 11, and are therefore entitled to take the "final" examination:

Lilie Schneider, teacher:  Willie Ballinger, Nellie Walters, Amy Bartlow, Willie Kennedy, Edith VonBergen, Harry Ballinger







Werts School, Foster Township, Madison County, IL


The Werts School was constructed in 1878, a mile and a half south of Fosterburg, on the east side of Fosterburg Road near Hodge Lane. It was a one-room schoolhouse, with children in grades one through eight. A new furnace was installed in 1912, and was advertised as the most up-to-date school in the county. The schoolhouse served as a polling place for elections, and a meeting place for the local 4-H Club. It was also the scene of many box socials.

It was reported by The Telegraph in 1957, that in the early days of the school a young woman teacher, in her first year, took a position at the Werts School. She was confronted with a couple of over-grown boys who had a certain prestige to maintain among the other pupils. Both out-weighed the teacher, and announced to the students that they'd have no problem with spanking the teacher, if she attempted to spank them. This news got back to the teacher, who called on adult males of the neighborhood for assistance, only to get a reply, "A teacher who can't keep order ain't qualified to teach." Alone and outwitted, the teacher left in mid-year.

Some of the teachers of the Werts School were: Virginia Hickerson, Alice Joesting, Miss Golike, Lila Lahey, Edith Crim, James Baker, Miss Rink, Florence Dugger, and Bessie Fletcher.

The schoolhouse was sold by the Alton School District in 1957, following the consolidation of the district. The building was demolished many years ago.







Woods Station School, Foster Township, Madison County, IL


The Woods Station School, or Woods School as it was also called, was constructed about 1840. The oldest inhabitants of the area attended school there, and in 1940 no one seemed to know just how old the school was. Ed Ferguson, who attended the school in 1866, said the building was not new then. The location of the school, from what I found in my research, was at Wood School Lane, near Vonnahman Road in Foster Township.

The Woods School was one of the oldest schools in the county. It was a 1-room building, kept warm by a pot-belly stove. Students in grades 1-8 attended, and included both black and white children from nearby farms. Some of the teachers at Woods School were: Helen M. Baker, E. B. Young, Albert Haag, Luelle Stouffe, and Anna Halliday.

In the summer of 1940 a new building was erected. It was not completed when the new school year began, so students used the old building until the new was completed in mid-September. The old bell that had hung a century on the old school was moved over to the new schoolhouse, a few hundred feet away. John Comley of Upper Alton purchased the old building for $31, and was required to dismantled and remove the old building. On October 6, 1940, the new schoolhouse was dedicated. Speakers were the Rev. Jones, pastor of the Church of God, Mrs. Joseph Titchenal, Joseph Drexelius, Ben Budde, L. P. Wetzel, and Mr. Bardeau. Music was furnished by the Buckshot Band, with singing by Fred Grissom, Robert Walker, and Richard Nash. Ice cream and cake was served by the contractor, R. A. Beaverdell.

In 1957 the Alton School District was consolidated, and the Woods School was closed and sold for a final time.


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The first school at Monticello Prairie, now Godfrey, was taught in the barn of Nathan Scarritt, a Methodist minister who lived at Scarritt's prairie on the old Brighton road (at Humbert Road and Bethany Lane).  Nathan Scarritt's daughter, Laura, taught the 16 pupils. In those days, teachers, if they could read and write and cipher (do arithmetic), formed schools, furnishing books at the rate of $1 to $2.50 a month for each scholar.


Between 1829 and 1831, a school was established at the residence of George Debaun. It was near the South Branch School at Langeman Road, off of Hwy 67 in Godfrey. The teachers were Abigail Scarritt and Elizabeth Peters.


In 1832, a school was started in Bethany Methodist Church, which was located at Bethany Lane and Humbert Road, just north of the Bethany Cemetery, and not far from the Mason residence. Nathan Scarritt's brick house was across the road. For some years, it was the only school in the district. A West Point cadet by the name of Johnson taught at the school until 1839. Elijah Frost arrived in 1840 to teach, and remained three years. Pupils came from Clifton and Jersey County, and boarded in the neighborhood so they could attend classes. In 1874 a new schoolhouse was constructed on land donated by Charles Mason, which was next door to the Bethany Methodist Church. It was named Mason School. The building was torn down in 1917, and a new building erected.


Godfrey Township was organized in 1842 for school purposes. Captain Benjamin Godfrey, with Enoch Long, laid out the boundaries of the town. The plat was recorded, and the town was named Monticello. Eventually, because of the existence of another Monticello in Illinois, the name was changed to Godfrey.


A 3-room schoolhouse was then constructed on the hillside beside the present Godfrey Cemetery. David Hyde served as principal, and his wife the teacher. Later, when James Squire was principal and Fanny Burgess his assistant, the basement room of the school was used for black students, with J. M. Anderson in charge. At this time, men teachers received $40-$60 a month, and women teachers received about $10 less. During the Civil War, the school was the meeting place of a group of Northern sympathizers, who called themselves the Union Leaguers. A group of Southern sympathizers who had their headquarters near Piasa Creek threatened violence. The Union Leaguers were well prepared, but the Piasa Creek boys failed to make the attack.


The property adjoining the Godfrey Cemetery continued to be the schoolhouse until 1910. In the Fall and Spring, the students liked to sit outdoors between the school yard and the cemetery and eat lunch. And often, while students sat in class studying, they would hear the sound of falling earth as grave diggers dug a fresh grave. At recess, students would down to the well to pump water for a drink. The older boys and girls would frighten the younger ones by telling them the water ran into the well from the cemetery, and over the dead bodies. Just south of the school was Mr. Kay's Candy Store, and youngsters bought penny candy there after school.


In the year 1911, Mary Wilkinson and Freddy and Edna Hagerman were on their way to school. Edna's shoe became untied. She cried, "Freddy, tie my shoe and make a wish." The little boy bent down, and with an eager voice said, "I wish that the school would burn down!" Hardly had he said this, when a group of children came running toward the, crying, "The school's on fire!" They looked up and saw the smoke, and little Freddy was terrified that he may have been the cause.


A two-room temporary school was quickly erected in its place. After discussion, the school board decided a larger school was needed for the Godfrey children. After discussion with Edward Wade, an Alton banker and trustee of Monticello College, the college agreed to see a corner of its property to Godfrey for $1500.  The dwelling that was on the land was sold to Harry Sidway and moved to the Brighton road. Frank Forhees, an Alton contractor, constructed the new brick schoolhouse, which was completed in 1912. It was a solid, four-room building, but lacked modern plumbing. The cornerstone was laid with great ceremony. The children contributed pennies, essays, and other treasures to put in the stone for posterity. A few of the students there that day were Mary Winkins, Neva and Hazel Sattgast, Edna, Freddy, and Johnny Hagerman, and Dutch Weber. Mr. Schwenke was the first principal of the new school. Upon graduation from eighth grade in those days, students would go to Edwardsville and participate in graduation exercises on the stage of the Wildey Theater. Children from all over the county graduated together. Honor students sat on the stage. Later, the graduation exercises were held in the county courthouse.


In 1915, a two year high school department was added. Bertha Fiegenbaum was the first high school teacher. In 1929, John Zimmerman was the principal. The PTA was organized, with Mrs. E. E. Williams as its first president. A new addition was built onto the school in 1937. It included the first and second grade room, with a corresponding room above, and an auditorium enlargement. Modern plumbing was installed. While Charles Lienert was principal from 1938 to 1945, a daily lunch period was started. The two year high school department was discontinued in 1945.  This school still stands at the southwest corner of Godfrey Road and Mulberry Street. It was the Godfrey Elementary School, but is now the Alton School District Early Childhood Center.







Source: Alton Telegraph, September 4, 1913

The Delmar School, which is almost completed in the Godfrey school district, will not be ready Monday, the contractor, John Wright, having some minor details to complete which will make it necessary to defer the opening of the new school until after September 20. William Waters, one of the school directors, said that he believes the building will certainly be ready for opening on the 22nd instant. The Godfrey School will be opened Monday morning, and will have its first year of High School which will conform to the course taught in the Alton first year in High School. c. W. Schwenke will be principal of the high school. He comes from Granite City.



GODFREY SCHOOL   (some of these articles may belong to a differently named school, such as Bethany School)



Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, September 22, 1911

The Godfrey school, which burned down yesterday, was well protected by insurance. The directors held a meeting last night and made out an affidavit of amount of the loss before Justice Melling. A representative of the insurance company was there, and the insurance will be secured as soon as possible.




Source: Alton Telegraph, September 19, 1912

The corner stone of the new Godfrey school house was laid yesterday, exercises being held at 3 o'clock. The trowel was wielded by the county superintendent of schools, John Uzzell. Accompanying the laying of the stone was a good program. The new school house is to take the place of the old one that was destroyed by fire after being in use 75 years. The new building will provide a meeting place for the people of Godfrey whenever it becomes desirable to hold a public gathering, and this will fill a real, old fashioned long felt want in that community as there has been no place but the church where public meetings could be held.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, September 26, 1912

The directors of the Godfrey school district had a number of articles placed in the cornerstone last Wednesday as follows: Copies of the two Alton newspapers, a list of the principal officers of the nation and state, the county officers, the school directors, the roll of students attending the Godfrey school, and the school history, specimens of the United States coins from $1 down, a Madison county centennial badge, a copy of the ballot at which the bond issue was voted. Rev. J. A. Scarritt made an address, and H. H. Sattgast, president of the board of directors, talked also. Rev. J. F. Bacon offered the invocation.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, January 21, 1913

The new school building of Godfrey district, which replaces the old building that was destroyed by fire, is almost completed. Contractor F. A. Voorhees said today it is practically done. some minor changes must be made, but it is thought the building will be accepted conditionally and the directors expect to begin using the building at the opening of the month of February. The building is a very fine one and a credit to the Godfrey school district. The directors, with the architect and the contractor, will inspect the building in a few days and it will be conditionally accepted. The weather is not suitable for the completion of some of the rock that remains to be done.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, March 3, 1913

The new Godfrey school house was formally dedicated Saturday evening, and the exercises were attended by a crowd that filled the auditorium upstairs to its capacity. A good program was given by the children, under the supervision of the principal, William Lynn, and his assistant, Miss Maud Lyons. The directors of the school, H. H. Sattgast, William L. Waters, and W. E. Frazer, were present also, and they received many compliments from those who were seeing the building for the first time....The change from the old fire trap that had served so many years, to the handsome, commodious structure that has been provided, is in keeping with the spirit of improvement that has struck Godfrey township, as manifested by the hard roads projects that are being promoted there....




Source: Alton Telegraph, March 6, 1913

The trustees of the schools of Godfrey township have decided to sell at public auction the tract of one-half an acre, which for over 75 years was used as a site for the Godfrey school house. After fire destroyed the aged school house in Godfrey, the directors of the school district made arrangements whereby Harry Kellenberger erected a temporary building for school purposes, and this was used a little over a year until the new building could be completed. Mr. Kellenberger leased the school grounds. As the land adjoins the Godfrey cemetery, it is possible the Godfrey cemetery association may take over the school tract. However, a public sale must be held under the state law, in disposing of school property. Mr. Kellenberger owns the frame building on the site, and he may attempt to purchase some of the ground. The sale will be held Friday afternoon from 1 to 3 o'clock on the premises.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, March 8, 1913

The old school ground was sold yesterday afternoon at public auction by the school treasurer, Frank Roberts. The lot was bid in by H. H. Kellenberger at $275.00.  The coal shed brought $14, and was sold to Albert Kies. The sale brought better prices than was generally expected. Mr. Kellenberger owns the frame building on the ground which was leased as a temporary school building until the new school house was ready for occupancy. It was thought the cemetery association would bid in the lot, as it adjoins their ground and would make a desirable entrance on the east side. There were several parties interested in bidding on the lot, beginning at $100, the figures soon reached the amount for which it was sold. The ground sold was the playgrounds for the Godfrey school children for 75 years or more. Rev. J. A. Scarritt remembers when he was a boy that the place was a school, and he believes that the building was the oldest school house in this part of the county. The school house was burned down a year ago last October, and since then a temporary building, referred to as having been erected by Kellenberger and leased by him to the school district, was used.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, January 23, 1914

H. G. Kellenberger is tearing down and removing the foundations of the old school building at Godfrey and soon there will be nothing left to mark where the old school house stood before the fire destroyed the building several years ago. While tearing down a brick wall in the foundations, one of the workmen discovered a jar of dry shelled corn, tightly sealed. It was five feet from the top of the wall and must have been there since the building was erected more than three quarters of a century ago. There was no writing in the jar to explain when the corn was stored away, nor by whom it was put there or for what purpose. The only conclusion is that someone engaged in erecting the foundations of the old school house wished to transmit to posterity a sample of the corn that was used in the days when the school house was built. The corn was perfectly preserved, neither discolored nor shrunken, and there is no doubt that the germ is still in good condition and that the corn will grow if it's planted next spring.







Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, June 11, 1914

Prof. George Schwenke, principal of the Godfrey High School, took the members of the Freshmen class to Cahokia today for a trip. The party went over early this morning by trolley.




MASON SCHOOL    (Mason School was located near the Northeast corner of Bethany Lane and Humber Road, in Godfrey, IL)




Source: Alton Telegraph, October 8, 1874

The school house, previously spoken of by your correspondent, is fast approaching completion, and in honor of the labors attending the projection thereof, it is wisely proposed to name it the "Mason" school house.




Source: Alton Telegraph, January 23, 1879

The following is a report of the Mason School for the month of December. Only those who were 94 and above in scholarship are given:


Mary Crawford

Willie Reser Lathey Waggoner Annie Crawford Robert Young

Charles Bartlett

Eva Ferguson

Albert Fullagat

Eliza Young


Those who were 100 in department were:

Jessie Crawford

Jessie Waggoner

Annie Crawford

Lizzie Masterson

Eva Ferguson

Mary Donavan

Henry Pilcher

Tommie Macher






Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, September 22, 1911

Dr. W. H. C. Smith, president of the board of directors of Bethany school in Godfrey township, has received a fine, life-size portrait of Governor Charles S. Deneen, from the Governor, in keepng a promise Governor Deneen made to the directors long ago. The future governor of the state formerly taught school at Bethany. He was there when he began the study of law, and he always held a warm place in his heart for the school, and the people who lived around in the neighborhood and patronized the school. Governor Deneen has likewise held a warm place for the whole of Madison county and Alton, and has always shown the utmost consideration for anything pertaining to the county. Long ago the directors asked Governor Deneen for a picture of himself, and he promised it. Dr. Smith received it today. The portrait is a large one, almost life size, and shows about a three quarters front view of the face of the Governor. It will be framed and hung in the upper room where Deneen taught. After teacher school at Godfrey, Deneen studied law in Alton and made his beginning in a legal way in this city. It is natural therefore, that Governor Deneen should be interested in Alton and also in Bethany school. The school is on the Brighton road in Godfrey township.







Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, December 1, 1904

The South Branch School [Godfrey] of which Miss Mida Clark is teacher, gave a box sociable one evening last week at which something over $21 were realized for library purposes. The Godfrey school will give something similar on Friday evening, Dec. 2, and for a similar purpose.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, April 17, 1916

The voters of the South Branch School, district of Godfrey township, voted on Saturday to issue bonds for $1,500 for the erection of a new school building for the district. The vote was 32 to 14, and the women played a very important part in the election. Some of the persons favored the new building worked hard during the day to make certain that they would carry the election. The old building, which is to be replaced, is about seventy-five years of age. There is hardly a person in the South Branch district who can remember the time when the school house was not in existence, and most of the people living in the district have received at least a part of their education in the little old school building. There was some strong opposition to the erection of a new school building on the grounds that the old one could be repaired. Those in favor of the new building claimed that it was so old that it would be impossible to have it repaired.




SUMMERFIELD SCHOOL   (Summerfield School was located on W. Delmar, or Rt. 3, near Staten Drive in Godfrey Township.)


Summerfield School, Godfrey Township, Illinois



Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, April 20, 1901

The annual sale, entertainment and banquet of the Summerfield school was held Friday night at the home of Mr. and Mrs. William Deacon, on the Grafton road. A great many people went out from Alton on hay wagons, and a large number were present from other points of the compass. Miss Carrie McCarthy, the bright and energetic teacher of the school, had arranged a pretty program of amusements and did much to add to the enjoyment of the evening. Many fancy and useful articles were disposed of, creating a nice fund for the school library, and a splendid supper was served. A musical program was rendered, and among those favoring the guests with solos were Prof. E. A. Lanterman of Godfrey and Mrs. William Smith of Melville.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, May 8, 1906

G. F. Long of this city gives in a letter to the Telegraph some interesting facts concerning the old Summerfield school building on the Grafton road, which has fallen into very bad condition and a proposition for rebuilding which was defeated by the voters in the school district last Saturday by a majority of one. One interesting point is that the school has been in use sixty years, and this fact alone would seem to warrant the assumption of the friends of progress in that school district that a new building should be erected. The school building originally cost only $97, and it has lasted sixty years. One of the first teachers in the school was Lucy Larcom, one of the best known of American writers, who was a graduate of Monticello Seminary and taught the Summerfield school for a very modest stipend. The letter is given as follows:

"In your issue of May 7, I notice an account of a meeting held at Summerfield school house last Saturday for the purpose of voting for a new school building with modern conveniences, which is greatly needed and would prove a credit to the district. Intelligent people in locating their homes, above everything else, desire the best possible school advantages. By the report given it seems there are of that opinion, two less than a majority left in the district. Of the original families who sought to make the school equal to the best, but three representatives reside there now - Mrs. A. T. Hawley, Jonathan L. Pierce, and Lathy Long, Major George W. Long, always prominent and a leader in educational affairs, instead of his brother Dr. B. F. Long, was the honor of the school lot, and it was he who furnished the finances for the erection of the first school house (the front half of the present building), taking the individual notes of five or six of the old settlers who assumed the cost entirely. Those notes were all paid, a matter of record, not by taxation. When Major Long located his farm on Grafton road early in the forties [1840s] or perhaps sooner, he named it Summerfield, and at that time school district No. 3 extended from Upper Alton to Piasa creek, a distance of about six miles. The first school was taught in an old log house located on a farm which is now the home of Mr. E. Hollard. Summerfield farm was about the center of the district, and the best friend the district ever had grasped the situation at once and decided to equalize distances for the pupils. There were no public school taxes then. He gave the land with only one condition - that the others would erect the building. Trustees were chosen and the school was named Summerfield, about 1846. John Paitison of Godfrey was the builder, and the grand old school house was erected for about $97. Miss Lucy Larcom was one of the first teachers, at $12 or $16 a month. The old building has been in constant use longer than any other in the country, and been patronized by more pupils perhaps than any other room in the country, and after it has done so much (fairly and honorably worn out) in all respects, still loved and cherished fondly by its children, we must say plainly, as plain as can be, that under such circumstances objectors who refuse to erect a modern building for the benefit of the children, their own included, place themselves in the role of enemies of public education, public enterprise and public improvement. If they would have schools mean anything to their children, let them manifest it liberally and with credit to themselves.  Respected, Frank Long."




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, January 14, 1908

City Engineer Thomas Long says that he helped carry shingles for the roof of Summerfield school when it was being erected in 1846, and that the school house is just about 62 years of age instead of 79, as was jokingly remarked in the Telegraph. The age of the school was misstated only seventeen years, in point of fact, while the joke was being made. Mr. Long says that his father, George W. Long, gave the site, and that the original deed was lost without being recorded. He says that his brothers united in giving a second deed to the school trustees, but this too was lost without being recorded....Mr. Long says ... received his early education from Lucy Larcom, the poetess, at Summerfield school, and that he remembers her distinctly.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, January 20, 1912

Written by G. Frank Long

I have no certain information of the earliest settlers of that part of township 6, 10, now named Godfrey, laying along the Grafton Road and the vicinity of Clifton, now known as Clifton Terrace. The year 1830 is probably early enough, for within the next few years, and before Alton ever elected a Mayor, a settlement had grown up between Summerfield Hill and Piasa Creek, comprising more families than any in that township possibly, excepting Scarritts Prairie. Little clearings in the great barrens that then existed marked the homes of men and civilization, from Summerfield Hill, the prospect, as far as the eye could reach in every direction, was a magnificent forest, a vast wilderness. The residents of this settlement variously represented emigration from Maine to Tennessee.


The Decades of Summerfield School

1830-40 - Pioneer settlement

1840-50 - Founding of Summerfield School; founder, first feacher

1850-60 - District's zenith; accessions; prosperity

1860-70 - Patriotism; contributes to the war

1870-80 - Changes

1880-90 - Disappearance of familiar faces

1890-1900 - A succession of lady teachers

1900-1910 - Deteriorates and revives


Thomas Dunford and James Strong located near the Jerseyville and Alton Road during the decade of 1830-40, and around the latter North Alton grew up.  Moses B. Walker lived on a clearing on the south side of Grafton Road, opposite Melville Church, and on the south end of his tract, on the site of the late Hollard residence, was the first Temple of Knowledge of that region - a log house with two small windows and door on front side - no floor, ample fireplace, meat blocks for desks, and smaller ones for seats. Itinerants who felt that they could supply the demand were employed for instructors, the subscription list passed around the settlement and school lasted as long as the funds, at so much per pupil - the teacher "boarded around." There were no school funds at that time for distribution, and this lasted until a modern school house was built.


Summerfield school was founded before the township was divided into school districts.  Major Long  ..... [unreadable] 1836, but it was not until the early part of the next decade that he built his residence and moved there with his family, and I believe I am right in saying his wife named their farm "Summerfield." The Major interested himself at once in school matters, and found the foregoing situation. The question was soon discussed, and a meeting of residents held at which it was decided to build a suitable schoolroom in a more central location. There were no school moneys to depend on then, and the debt must be assumed by private subscription. Major Long donated the site and advanced the money, $120, to pay the builder, John Pattison, for erecting a house about 16 feet square. Material, oak, was obtained from a neighboring sawmill, except shingles and lath, which were handmade. On motion of Hon. Charles Howard, the school was named "Summerfield School," in honor of the donor. The debt was then divided and assumed by G. W. Long, D. A. Spaulding, Harry Spaulding, and M. E. Walker. The first directors chosen were G. W. Long, President; H. Spaulding, Secretary; and M. B. Walker. The first teacher employed was a young lady student at Monticello Seminary, Miss Virginia Corbett, class of 1847. She was succeeded by another of the class of 1849, Miss Lucy Larcom, in after years the poet of Beverly, Massachusetts. She taught three terms I think, but did not graduate from Monticello. The school house must have been finished in 1845, for Miss Corbett taught two terms and Miss Larcom in 1847-1848 and spring of 1849. By this time, there were beginning to be school funds in the county treasurer's hands from sale and rent of school lands, and to make them available, the township was divided into three districts, 1, 2 and 3. Summerfield was 3, and consisted of two tiers of sections, or south 1-3 of the township. For the foregoing facts, we are indebted to Major Long, Dr. Long, E. P. Frost, the first township treasurer, and Mrs. D. A. Spaulding.


The first record known was September 27, 1847, when a bill was presented and allowed for Treasurer's:

 Books $1.75;  Furniture for school house $8.00;  District Library $2.25; with a total of $12.00.


The schedule amounted to $24.80, and the total indebtedness was $284.00, on which Maj. Long advanced $102.64; D. A. Spaulding $76.43; Harry Spaulding $57.72; and M. B. Walker $9.50.  On the second Saturday of October 1847, a balance of $19.20 was paid Miss Corbett, and Miss Larcom received $8.00.  The plasterer's bill of $8.00 was also paid. The school was a success and free.  March 10th, 1849, is the date of the last payment to Miss Larcom. She was followed by G. W. Foster, a man. This was the pioneer school, presented to the district by that Coterie of pioneer gentlemen and its two distinguished pioneer teachers.


The result was wonderful in the next decade, 1850, when a remarkable supplementary force located in the district, which was as fine a lot of farmers and fruit growers as could be found in the United States, and gained for the Grafton Road a reputation as the fruit land of Illinois. These were prominent in Horticulture:  Dr. E. S. Hull, authority on peaches, pears and cherries; Dr. B. F. Long, James McMahon, Henry Spaulding, B. F. Curtis, Sol. B. Johnson, David E. Brown, specialists and authority on apples; Beal Howard, gardener; E. L. Kingsbury and Richard Holmes, small fruits; Charles Pierce, Lewis Spear, Dr. English, William Jerome, N. Challacombe, business men; Charles Merriman and A. T. Hawley, the two largest farmers, all men of families.


The Green family was a large one, Banyan, Pullen, Levi, William Walker, John and Louis Stiritz, Seagraves, Handsaker, Jacob Paul, the Halls, Runzl, Pinkerton, Noble, Wendt, Morgan, Alcott, Hinderhan, Overath and others were patrons of the school. The Schnelders, Calames, Kettlewell, Greatheart, Hawkins, Neal, White, Jackson, Maloney, Giles, Crain, Moore, Youngblood, Spiess, Yarham, Rev. Strong, Joseph Strong, Fred Inglis, Nixon, Bierbaum, Matthey and Althoff were patrons for a time, but most of them moved from the district.


The summer of 1849 the rear end of the school house was torn off and the room extended some 18 or 20 feet. This structure is in use at this date, and the only effort at ornamental work in its construction was the broad door with its paneled sides. The belfry and bell, the flagstaff and door shelter have been made in late years.


1850. At this time the big boys and girls were at home until of age, and attended school in winter. There was the summer teacher, lady, about 4 months, when the small children all attended, and the winter teacher, man, for the large pupils from November 1st to March 1st. The district was large and during this decade the attendance the largest in the school's history, the daily attendance in winter often averaging more than 60 for a month.


About this time, Dr. Long became a director; good desks were substituted for the old outfit, large outline maps, the very best published (Colton's) were introduced, globe and up-to-date equipment. The teachers for that decade were Miss Emeline Young (afterward Mrs. Johnson, Cherry Vale, California, and correspondent of the Telegraph), succeeded by Mr. Olds, Miss Sarah L. Colby, Miss Bates, Miss Carrie Colby, Miss Flora Copley, James Walker, now Judge, Mrs. Andrews (an aunt of F. C. Pickard), Mr. Phelps, exceptionally poor and could not read his own writing, B. T. Webster, afterward lawyer and senator, Miss Lucy Foot, Mr. Brewster, Z. Hobbs (only one month and died of typhoid fever), A. L. Daniels (one month temporary), John A. Pettingill (afterward principal of No. 1, Alton).


The Decade of the War - 1860

Patriotism.  The record for the school was 40 privates and non-commissioned officers, three Captains, one Lieutenant, one orderly Sergeant. The teachers, Cook, Clark, B. O. Strong, Kate Miller, Ellen Miller, Miss Ayers, G. F. Long.


1869 - The district was divided about this time, and the colored children admitted.


During the foregoing years, teachers were not so abundant as now. It often took months of correspondence to suit the directors, who took the examination of a candidate into their own hands. There was the time when the county school commissioner was appointed, who later developed into a county superintendent of schools, both of very little use to the public and expensive to the county.


The school, for some reason, cannot be compared with what it was. Those of whom we have written are a past number. There has been no modern improvement, no advancement. Taxes for a new building have been repeatedly voted down. There are well-to-do farmers who oppose taxation for education, and consider a $20 teacher an extravagance if their pockets are touched. The school never cost them anything, and they don't mean it shall.


We cannot name all the teachers since 1870. Mrs. Brittain, Miss Carolyn McCarthy, Miss Batterton, Mr. Lowell, the Misses Peters, Willis Neal, George Churchill and John Ulrich accomplished splendid work there.


About 1856, the eastern part of the district, including Coal Branch and Buck Inn and its vicinity, was set off to form a Union District with Alton township, and a school house erected on the north side of Elm Street in Godfrey township. It was later moved across the street into the old Methodist church. About 1869, the western end of the district was set off to make the Clifton Hill district.


At other times, territory was set off to district No. 1 by complaint, and to White Oak district on the northwest, until the Summerfield district is probably the smallest in Madison county, but we are informed that the schedule shows yearly an enrollment of more than 40 pupils.


With hard road improvement has come an awakening, a realization of needs and a modern school house is forging to the front, so the old school house may be displaced by a modern one by the time it reaches its 75th year of consecutive usefulness.  Summerfield always distinguished itself in public examinations and exhibitions. The girls were good writers, and the young men good speakers, so when interspersed with dialogues and singing, the programs important gala day in the community was the school's 4th of July celebration in 1858. Things were done on a large scale that day. The farmers' wives brought great clothes baskets and washtubs filled with roast chicken and every conceivable good thing that could be made or found for the dinner, and they came by wagon-loads. Long tables were stretched across the entire grove. Several orators were present, and William Tucker read the Declaration of Independence. By invitation, the Upper Alton schools, headed by the Upper Alton band and some, if not all, of the Alton schools were present. They met at Buck Inn and formed a procession and were met by the local school on DeWolf's hill. Everybody celebrated. George Copley had his bull dog cannon in evidence. The young men put up swings in the grove, and the kiddies drank barrels of lemonade. We have never attended any other celebration its equal. The old school house has been a great public convenience - one funeral, protracted meetings, Sunday schools, singing schools, spelling schools, church services, political meetings and lodge room, until it is a wonder that even the great square door, stone step, remains in evidence.


The Rocky Fork tragedy is a part of its history, as all three of the participants (colored) had been pupils of the school.  [In 1883, William Felix Henry murdered Henry Depugh and his cousin, Henry Ross. Henry was hanged for the murder.]


To Summerfield school, "Gloria in Excelsis."


At various times I taught Summerfield school for seven years, and know what the memory of those pioneer directors merit. Moses Pierce, a member of General Sherman's Regiment (13th Regt.) was killed at Vicksburg. Humphrey Pierce graduated at Harvard Law School, and is an eminent jurist of Wisconsin. William Spear, school teacher, soldier, postmaster.  Harvey Spear, pastor M. E. Church in Coffeyville, Kansas. Stephen L. Spear, teacher, law secretary of State's office, John Spear, teacher, superintendent Indian school, California, are worth mentioning as they were boys in this school. In fact, the pupils of this district school have, as it were, been broadcasted into every part of the United States, its territories and colonies with good results. The old school house which has had a continuous school from year to year, appears a suitable comrade to the Telegraph on its anniversary.



Source: Alton Telegraph, September 5, 1912
The celebration of the Summerfield school district people over the erecting of their new school building will be held Saturday afternoon and evening. Alton people are invited to attend the picnic which will be held under the oaks on the school grounds, and hay racks will be provided to meet the street cars at North Alton at 2 and 3 o'clock in the afternoon and at 8 and 9 at night. There will be plenty of refreshments, the purpose of the ladies promoting the picnic being to aid thereby in furnishing the seats for the school house. Contractor Shelby Mather is completing the building and will have it in shape so that there may be dancing in the building.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, April 12, 1913

The directors of the Summerfield School District yesterday afternoon called an election for next Saturday afternoon at the schoolhouse for the purpose of electing a director, vice John Hall, whose term expires. It is said the people will re-elect Mr. Hall and try to persuade him to serve them again. It was decided also to sell the famous of Summerfield School building next Saturday afternoon to the highest bidder, the purchaser to remove it as soon as possible. The building, although about 70 years old, is in good condition, it having been built of native timber in a most substantial manner.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, April 25, 1913

The noted Summerfield School that was erected in 1846 has been sold by the directors of the district to Jacob Bachmann, a Grafton road farmer, the amount of the purchase money being $36.50. He will tear it down or remove it as it stands within thirty days. If he tears it down, it is claimed, he can make money by selling sills and other parts in small lots as souvenirs. Former City Engineer T. M. Long says he helped saw the lumber for this school house on his father's farm in 1846, and he is satisfied that many of the former pupils of Summerfield and some of the former teachers would like to obtain a piece of sill to keep as a souvenir of the good old days and times spent there. It was this old building of which G. Frank Long wrote in the diamond jubilee number of the Alton Telegraph. Mr. G. F. Long has a knowledge of the building that is intimate through long years of acquaintance with it and with the people who promoted it, and who supported it. As has been mentioned before, it was in this school building that patriotism was inculcated and from its pupils that many soldiers went forth in time of their country's need. Summerfield has turned out many men who have become worthy servants of their country, and the regret among the old pupils over the passing of the building fills them with sadness. It was not that the building should not be superseded by a better one, but that the structure around which clustered so many affectionate remembrances will be seen no more. Lucy Larcom was a one time teacher in the school, before she became famous as a writer of poetry [see].






Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, June 7, 1913

The famous old Summerfield schoolhouse on the Grafton road, a short distance from Alton, has reverted to the Summerfield school district, and the directors are again hunting for a buyer. It was sold several weeks ago to a nearby farmer for $34, and he was to move it off the ground within a specified time. He failed to do this, however, and failed to pay the purchase price also. E. H. Riehl said this afternoon that if the building is not sold soon, it will be wrecked and the material piled up or sold. He says the lumber is all oak and in a state of splendid preservation. The ancient school house has been attracting considerable attention of late because of the efforts of the directors to get rid of it. Even when it was in disuse, and a new building had superseded it as the seat of learning for the Summerfield district, no one seems to value it high enough to move it. The building could be put to good use by any person who owned it, and it would last many years to come, as it was honestly built by men who built the structure to last a century or more, and it is only about three quarters of a century old.



Source: Alton Telegraph, September 4, 1913
The Summerfield School Building has been torn down. William Brinkman, who paid $25 for the building, did not move the building entire - but tore it to pieces and then hauled the material to his home, where he is putting an addition to his house and also intends erecting some outbuildings. There was no walnut in the building, oak having been used by the early Summerfield builders. The building was erected on land donated by the father of the former city engineer, T. M. Long, and the lumber was whipsawed from oak growing on the school site. The donor of the ground also paid a large share of the cost of the building. Some pieces of the old lumber were saved for T. M. Long and it is his intention to make a cabinet out of the pieces. Some of the leading residents of the school district were inclined to scoff at the sentiment that prompted pleadings for the preservation of the old building. They wanted to see the structure go and it was destroyed.



Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, September 27, 1913

The historic, old Summerfield School building has been moved from the site it occupied so honorably and well since the pioneer days of school houses in Illinois, and the directors are at peace, finally. It was sold by the trustees of Godfrey township at the request of the school directors of the district at a public auction a few weeks ago, the purchaser to remove it. The directors wanted it out of the way because it "didn't look purty," alongside of the new school house, and because it took up yard room. An attempt was made by C. F. Long and others to have the building preserved and honored, but the attempt failed. There is no sentiment about the folks in that district, at least as regards the preservation of old school houses, because of the good they may have done, or the famous people they may have once sheltered or sent out into the world, and the movement to preserve never got life enough about it to preserve a shingle even. The building was not moved as it stood. It was torn to pieces by Jerome Copley and removed that way. Its component parts will continue to serve a useful purpose stopping up holes in corn cribs or in helping to erect farm structures of some kind. The materials were of oak and walnut planks, and oak timbers, and for the most part were in an excellent state of preservation. Summerfield district has many residents who disliked to see the old building go, but they were not numerous enough to prevent the destruction.




Source: Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, Vol. VII, April 1914 to January 1915
When Major George W. Long (son of Moses Long, one of General Washington's soldiers in the Revolution) located on Section 33 (along what was called the Grafton Road in future Godfrey) in 1839, he named his farm Summerfield. At this time there were a few settlers in the extreme western part maintaining a school (when it was convenient) in a log cabin without a floor, and with blocks sawed from trees for desks and seats. Anyone deemed capable of teaching reading and arithmetic could put in his spare time as teacher, and a collection would be taken up in the neighborhood to pay for his service. Major Long gave a square acre for the building of a school, and it retained the name of his farm, Summerfield.

The original school building constructed was 18x22 feet, and was completed in 1844 or 1845. Timbers were used from the site. The building was erected by Mr. John Pattison of Godfrey, aided by a carpenter named Jackson, said to be a first cousin of General Andrew Jackson. The first teacher was Mr. Foster, who was well educated but deemed to be "out of place." The next teacher, Miss Virginia Corbett of Jerseyville and Monticello Seminary, taught two years. Miss Lucy Larcom, the poet of Beverly, Massachusetts, came next, and she was very popular. Her last term was in 1849. The population was expanding, and an addition was made extending the room about twenty-two feet. The belfry and flag staff were adopted years later.

The grand old school district sent fifty young men to the Civil and Spanish wars, and was used as a temporary church in the community. It served as a community center, where Lyman Trumbull, William R. Morrison, Hon. Joseph Gillespie, and Judge Hal Baker were speakers.

The Summerfield school house was in constant service from September 1, 1845 (or 1844) until May 12, 1912, when its door was closed. The first patrons were early settlers and squatters. In September 1913 (contrary to what former pupils wanted), the school was sold, and it was torn to pieces by Jerome Copley and removed that way. Its component parts would go on to serve a useful purpose stopping up holes in corn cribs or in helping to erect farm structures of some kind. The school directors wanted it out of the way because it "didn't look purty," alongside of the new school house, and because it took up yard room. An attempt was made by C. F. Long and others to have the building preserved and honored, but the attempt failed.






Union School, Godfrey, Illinois





Union School, originally in Foster Township but is now Godfrey Township, was located at the corner of Humbert Road and Union School Road, on the west side of Humbert. I don't have a lot of information on the school, but it was in use before 1912.  Union was a one-room school house, and in 1947 an addition was constructed, along with the addition of a furnace. This schoolhouse served rural students until June 1, 1972, when it was closed. The J. B. Johnson Vocational Center was constructed on the property, which opened in 1976. Alton High School now occupies the site of the former Union School.









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Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, April 10, 1914

The old McKinley High School in Granite City was closed Thursday at noon with a demonstration by the 200 students who gave three cheers for the old structure, and then marched to Twentieth and D streets, where the new high school to be known as the Granite High, was occupied. The new structure is one of the handsomest buildings in the city and well up to its growing needs.


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Source: Alton Daily Telegraph, July 2, 1853

This institution will be opened on the 1st Mondays of April and October, and continue one term; each term divided into quarters of eleven weeks each. The scholars are classed according to their advancement in the Primary, Preparatory, and Classical Departments. The Primary embraces those studying Orthography, Reading, Penmanship, Mental Arithmetic, and Primary Geography. The Preparatory embraces those studying the seven branches enumerated in the Common School law, Vocal Music, Watis' on the Mind, and Primary Physiology. The Classical embraces those branches usually taught in High Schools and Colleges, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, French and German. Lessons will also be given, if desired, in Drawing, Painting, and instrumental Music, by competent and experienced teachers, for which a reasonable extra charge will be made. The School House is a brick building, 51 x 35 feet, two stories high, and is situated on a lot 300 feet square, which is neatly fenced and beautified with 180 choice shade trees. Parents desiring to have their sons and daughters thoroughly prepared for College, and at the same time learn the French and German languages, will do well to visit Highland before making other arrangements. It is useless to speak of the advantage of studying a language, where that language is the common medium of communication. Boarders, to the number of 20, can be accommodated at the Principal's house at $1.50 per week. Tuition from $2.50 to $4 per quarter for each scholar. There will be an impartial and thorough examination of all the classes at the end of each term.  Board of Instructors:  J. M. Gates, Principal; A. O. Gates, Assistant; Mrs. L. A. Gates and Miss S. A. Hadley, Teachers in the Primary Department; Julius Hammer, Teacher of German, Ancient Languages and Instrumental Music; Xavier Sidler, Teacher of German; Dr. George Bernays, Teacher of Chemistry and Botany; Mrs. Meney, Teacher of French and Fancy Needle work; J. H. Wachsmut, Teacher of Painting and Drawing.


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Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, October 2, 1912

The new Milton Heights schoolhouse was opened today with twenty pupils. The attendance is not as large as was expected in the fine, new $10,000 school house just completed for District 99. The school has four rooms, and two teachers are employed. Only four grades are represented in the school, there being no seventh or eighth grade pupils there. The new building is large enough for many years to come. Not all the children in District 99 attend this school, as there is another school house known as the Gillham school. However, the attendance is not such as would appear to justify the expenses to which the district was put in the erection of $10,000 school houses, and unless there is a rapid increase in the children there, the building will not be needed.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 23, 1912

The dedication of the new school building in district 99, known as the Milton Heights school house, occurred last evening. The new building was filled to its capacity, as far as the lower floor is concerned, by people who wanted to see the new house and to hear the dedication program. The building was lighted by coal oil lamps. There are no seats in the two upstairs rooms, but they were lighted in order that the visitors might see the rooms. Chairs had been placed in the downstair rooms, but even with the school seats and the chairs, the audience was not half seated, and it was so crowded that it was impossible to get about in the two rooms. Moore's orchestra played a half hour before the program started, and they played several times on the program. County Supt. Uzzell was present and made the dedication address. A good program was given by the school children under the direction of Principal Crabtree.


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Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, December 17, 1908

Earl Newell, principal of the Moro public school, was the victim of a joke which was played upon him by his pupils a few days ago, who locked him in the school house cellar until after school began. Mr. Newell went into the basement to fire up the furnace, and while he was downstairs, the older boys, among whom were Robert True, Leo Alberts, James Klein, George Klein and George D. Looman, turned the lock on the door. Mr. Newell started to come up and was unable to open the door. Some of the smaller boys wanted to help him out, but they were prevented from doing so by the older boys. In the meantime, the boys pinned a slip of paper on the teacher's desk notifying all the pupils that the teacher would not be at school that day, and when the pupils came late they returned home believing that the teacher was ill. Some of the older boys stayed near to see the fun. Two or three repented and wanted to open the door, but they were afraid as they thought the teacher might start on the first one he could reach after the door was opened, and visit dire punishment. So they left him there and finally he managed to break the door open. The lady teacher in the primary grade next door did not hear the superintendent, and was unaware of what was going on. When the Principal got out he found that all the children had gone, so he had nothing else to do but to go home himself for that day. He complained to the directors, Fred Zoelzer, Bud Woods and Arthur Smith, and at a special meeting that night the directors decided to take the teacher a load of switches which they did the next day. The sight of a wagon load of hickories at the school next morning caused quite a sensation among the children. The teacher took the hint and started whipping. He is whipping yet, having divided up his task to two or three per day, since he is physically unable to whip the whole school at once. The directors have been asked to take action against the pupils, but thus far have done nothing more than to bring the whips.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, May 3, 1920

They rang the Moro school bell for the last time. Built in 1880, the Moro school has turned out young men and women with regularity each school year, and Saturday it's passing was the signal for one of the finest home-coming meets ever held in Madison county. The home-coming meeting was on the school grounds, and as early as seven o'clock yesterday morning, people began arriving for the event. They came from far and near, and all went into the old school building and sat again in the seats where they had gotten their first learning - some of them over thirty-five years ago. Sometime ago a community meeting was called in Moro, and the matter of the homecoming was taken up, it having been agreed to tear down the old school and build in it's stead a fine $15,000 modern school building. At this community meeting at which one of the prime movers was Lee S. Dorsey, a committee was appointed to work up the homecoming. On this committee were Lee Ellis as chairman; George Kabel as secretary; and John Aljets as treasurer. H. E. Dorsey headed the publicity committee, R. E. Wilson the reception committee, Mrs. Elsie Becker the program committee, W. M. Wilkening the grounds committee, Mrs. J. S. Thrailkill the entertainment committee, and Henry DeWerff was placed in charge of machines of which there were over a hundred at the meet. To these committeeman and their helpers, and to the women of Moro and vicinity who spread the bountiful lunch, is due the credit for the great success of the homecoming. The lunch, spread on long tables in the school yard at noon, was a wonder. It was free to all who were there, and there was everything including chicken, cake, pie and ice cream in abundance. The gathering included whole families, with babies in buggies, in clothes baskets, and in arms, and all in all the dinner scene presented a picture of a most happy gathering. After the lunch, in the shade of the trees in the school yard, the program was started, with the roll call. By this time old school mates had greeted each other and were calling each other by the nick names they were called by thirty-five years ago. When the chairman of the roll call, Harvey Dorsey, started calling the roll by nicknames, the persons right name would be called from the audience by those who remembered who it was. Sometimes it would take some time before someone went back thirty-five years or more in his mind would call out who "High Pockets" or "Snookums" or "Deacon" were, and in some instances, the party so called would step forward and tell how he got the nickname. Harvey Dorsey, who called the roll, made this the very best number in the home meet. He injected lots of fun into it, though it was the longest number the audience should have stood on hour more of it. Following are the names that were on the roll call, which is not all of the names there are, but was all the members of the committee could rake up at this time:


"Shriner" Harry Cooper

"Honas" John Eppmeier

"Eppy" Walter Eppmeier

"Woody" Earl Woods

"Vit" Virgil Dewerff

"Gizzard" Del Lorrance

"Jimmy Kuck"  James Lawrence

"Brigham Young" Charles Young

"Brownie" Harry Russel

"Cotton Top"  James Childers

"Bumble" Lee Forman

"Jack Spence" H. M. Elis

"Putt" Pruitt McDonald

"Pony Moore"  Herbert Hudson

"Shamrock" Ralph Green

"Jesse James" John Morgan

"Wib" Wilbur Elliott

"Butch" Fred Boetiger

"Scrub" Harold Dorsey

"Mickey" Sam Morehead

"Frenchy" William Boettger

"Yatz" George Henrichs

"Stake" Russel Elliott

"High Pockets"  Lee Sutton

"Sardines"Jesse Lorance

"Buck" Ralph Stahl

"Nick" Norman ?

"?" Epham Green

"Jid" George Elliott

"Pap" Harvey Dorsey

"Levi" Herman Helmkamp

"Snookums" Paul Helmkamp

"Butler" Joseph Lorance

"Bivy" Reid Bivens

"Kibby" Smith Riley

"Preacher" Will Bivens

"Deacon" Warren Smith

"Curley" Herbert ?uman

"Bobby Burns" Robert Henderson

"Hine" Henry Unterbrink

"Bill Hooley" Dr. William Forman

"Cooney" John Cooper

"Buffalo Bill" 

William Russel

"Rosie" Charles Young

"Budenwhacker" Arthur Smith

"Sorky Bill" Edward Berry

"Bob" Leslie Yager

"Gummy" Reid Montgomery

"Roxey" Charles McDonald

"Shackle" Al T. Bivens

"Denny" A. D. Riley

"Reason Dick" Tony Young

"Scumm" Sam McDonald

"Stiffy" Lee S. Dorsey

"Smalley" George Kabel

"Aleck" F. E. Ellis

"Timothy" Harry Hendricks

"Kohle" W. H. Wilkening

"Yank" Ad. Albers

"Dutch" Otto Boettger

"Buster" Earl Elliott

"Dicky Dewire" Henry Dewerff

"Van" W. A. Green

"Pinkin" Lester Robinson

"Jerry" Clarence Bivens

"Dutch" Otto Wilkening

"Bug" Wiley Sapp

"Stub" Alfred Riley

"Pete" Eugene Dorsey

"Fatty" Walter Gueldner

"Check" Prof. R. F. Cressey

"Doc" William Schaefer

"Dic" Morris Dorsey

"Feddy" Fred Unterbrink

"Whiskers" George Schaeffer

"Eck" Henry Eeiner

"Mosey" Walter Russel

"Skeeter" William Henderson

"Button" William Riley






In a great many instances when these nicknames were called, the owner would come up front, mount the bench and make a short talk. Al Bivens of Alton, when they called for "Shackle," knew his number and responded telling his old classmates that Moro had turned out her share of great men and women, and that he was proud of Moro.


One of the pretties and most touching parts of the program to most of the homecomers was when the old teachers of their boyhood and girlhood greeted them from the platform. First they called on Miss Dora Rosenberger, now a teacher in the Washington School in Alton, but formerly a teacher in the Moro School. Miss Rosenberger told her old pupils what good boys and girls they were, and did not remind them of any of the times when "readin and writin and 'rithmetic was taught by the rule of a hick'ry stick," but recalled the happy days in the Moro School when she used to ride to school on top of a milk can, for she said that some farmer would always give her a ride, and in the cold weather she said a big hay wagon would come and get all of the children, teacher and all, and haul them home snuggled away in the warm hay. Another old teacher and dearly beloved still as is Miss Rosenberger, is "Miss Richmond," as she is still known and is still called by all of her old pupils. She is Dr. Isabell Garida Richmond, now a practicing physician in Chicago. Miss Richmond when she rose to talk to her pupils "wore the same sweet smile that always made school pleasant," stated one of her old pupils Saturday. She told them that she would not have missed the Moro homecoming for anything, and that the happiest days of her life are those when she was teaching in the Moro School. She told them they were all still boys and girls to her, and that she would never forget them, that she could not forget them. Postmaster Newell of Edwardsville was another one of the old teachers who spoke, and he told of tricks and episodes of the days when he was trying to mould the young minds in the Moro School.


After this interesting part of the program, a picture of the entire attendance was taken in the schoolyard, and students of thirty-five years and longer went into the school house to find their old seats. Mrs. Henry Calame of Alton sat in the seat that she occupied in the school thirty-nine years ago. It was the third seat from the front, on the left side of the building as you enter the left hand room. The seat was rather a tight fit now, but was just right for Mrs. Calame when she was the girl that filled it 39 years ago.


The Moro band, one of the proudest assets of Moro, was on the job all day and furnished the music from time to time. Arthur Newhaus, the genial salesman of the Alton Automobile Company, is the leader of the band, and he has had the boys practicing for several weeks to get them in trim for the big day. The band is composed of boys who work on the farms in the vicinity, and they dropped the plough and the farm duties all day Saturday to play with the band. The audience gave them the glad hand, and they deserved it.


Some of the stunts that were given on the program could not have possibly been more amusing. During the afternoon, Miss Bell Richmond, a teacher in the school over thirty years ago, gathered all of her class who were present in the old schoolroom and had them take their seats. There were some gray haired men and women in the seats, yes, and some men with no hair on their heads at all. Many of them were grandmothers and grandfathers, and when they were seated just as they sat in their seats thirty, yes, and some of almost forty years ago, Miss Richmond told them how glad she was to see them - useful men and women in their home and other vicinities. It was one of the pleasing stunts of the day for the old teacher and the old pupils alike.


Another stunt that was good was the singing of a song that was composed by one of the pupils many years ago, and that had been sung in the school. Mrs. George Kabel climbed on a bench and sung the song and a shorus of the old students fell in on the chorus. Mrs. Harvey Dorsey and Will Green also sung a duet. Prof. D. E. Stoeckel and Mrs. Elsie Boettger, the two present teachers of the school, led the school children in several songs.


Today the work started on the tearing down of the old school, and before long a new three-room structure that will include a two-year high school course will stand in its place. The building of the new $15,000 school will stand as a monument to the enterprise and the cultivated progressive spirit of the Moro residents.


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Source: Alton Telegraph, March 31, 1871

The new two story brick schoolhouse at Greenwood (Buck Inn) is one of the neatest and most convenient school buildings in this part of the State. It contains two large and well ventilated school rooms, provided with all the modern improvements. The exterior of the building is extremely tasteful and prepossessing. It is a credit to the liberality of the district as well as to the skill of the architect, Mr. Ralph Dixon. The School Directors of the District are Messrs. John Rutledge, James Mitchell and B. Scheiss.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, October 24, 1901

North Alton News - The pupils of Prof. Lanterman's school prepared a pleasant surprise for that popular gentleman, Wednesday during the noon hour. They treated him to a fruit and candy shower. They first induced him to go uptown on some pretext, and during his absence they fairly loaded his desk with baskets of fruit and nuts and packages of choice candy. Mr. Lanterman was completely surprised and wholly overcome by his emotions when he returned, because when little ones display affection, it is done with a heartsome, genuine, unaffected abandon that clearly evidences sincerity. It was a pleasant episode in the teacher's life, and one he thoroughly appreciated.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 20, 1901

Following immediately upon the heels of its order for compulsory vaccination of school children, the North Alton Board of Education called another meeting last night and again reviewed the situation. President G. L. Glassbrenner was present last night, and after full investigation it was decided best to close the schools for a couple of weeks, or until the epidemic abates. This was done this morning and the scholars notified to remain at their homes until further notice. Several new cases have made their appearance in the last two days and there is no question that the disease is spreading. Stricter quarantine measures are necessary to prevent a further spread, and officials stated today that those measures would be adopted at once and strictly enforced.






McKinley School, Elm Street, Alton, Illinois



Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 14, 1907

A deferred meeting of the board of education was held last evening, at which a quorum was secured after failure to do so a week before. The north side school building was officially named McKinley, for the dead President [President William McKinley was assassinated in 1901].




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, December 4, 1907

Contractor Wardein today placed in the new north side school building a fine stone tablet upon which is chiseled the name "McKinley," the official name given the north side school.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, March 2, 1911

The McKinley annex school in the North Side is in the throes of a discussion over the question, "Who is to fire the stove in the school house? It is a big cannon stove in the school room. The janitor gets $15 a month. He would be willing to throw coal in the stove whenever necessary, but there is no place he can stay around the school unless he stands outside the building or sits in the school room, neither of which is desirable. He fills up the coal box every morning, after starting the fire. The teacher says she has to throw the coal in the stove during the day, as the big boys refuse to do it, saying the janitor is paid for it. The janitor says he will do it if the school board will provide a place for him to stay between firing. The janitor would like to be allowed $1 a month to pay a big boy in the school to do the work. The board did not allow any extra pay, and came to the conclusion the boys would have to fire the stove if they wanted to keep warm.



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Source:  Wikipedia


Roxana School was located on Edwardsville Road in Roxana, between Walnut and Tydeman, facing the Standard Oil Refinery fence. After its demolition, the land was sold to a trucking company, and it has been used for that purpose since at least 1970.


Edison School was located at the southwest corner of Tydeman and Central Avenue in Roxana, directly across the street from the First Baptist Church of Roxana. After Edison's demolition in the late 1960s, Roxana Public Library was built on the site in 1970.


Burbank added an addition in 1966. However, as enrollment began to decline with the passage of the post-war baby boom, schools began closing. Burbank, the oldest of the four, closed in 1983 and was sold to a local chiropractor. The building was given to the city and razed in 2009.




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Source: Alton Weekly Courier, July 29, 1853

We learn that a fine Literary Institution for the education of young females is about being established in Upper Alton. Mr. John Bostwick has leased his splendid mansion for a term of years to a gentleman by the name of Kimball, an old and experienced teacher in the West, to be used as Young Ladies Seminary. The building will accommodate from 80 to 100 pupils, a portion of which will board in the building, the remainder at private houses in the town. The Seminary is expected to be opened by next September. We learn, also, that an omnibus will be kept by the conductor of the Seminary, to carry the scholars to and fro in Upper Alton and Middletown, thus rendering it pleasant and regular for young ladies residing at a distance, at all seasons. We have heard it stated that over 100 applicants for pupils were refused at Monticello, the past year, after receiving all that possibly be accommodated. Certainly, then, this new Seminary in Upper Alton will be well supported, if established and conducted upon such high basis, as has been represented to us. We wish the enterprise every success.



Source: Alton Daily Telegraph, July 15, 1868

The prospects for the successful inauguration of Rural Park Seminary at Upper Alton are very flattering. It is to be opened at the present beautiful residence of Mr. H. N. Kendall, and the necessary alterations and additions to the building are now in progress and will be completed by the fall. The institution is to be in charge of Rev. S. Adams of Hyde Park Seminary, a teacher of distinction and success.



Source: Alton Daily Telegraph, October 13, 1868

A new sidewalk is now laid from Rural Park Seminary to the Baptist Church.



Source: Alton Daily Telegraph, November 28, 1868

On Thanksgiving evening, a reception took place at Rural Park Seminary, Upper Alton, to which a general invitation was given. That the good people of Upper Alton appreciated the favor thus conferred upon them, was shown by the large attendance of the elite of the place. The whole of the spacious and elegant building was thrown open to guests, and the entire corps of teachers and pupils exerted themselves to the utmost, to make the entertainment an attractive one. That they succeeded admirably the hundreds of beaming faces bore ample testimony. During the evening most delightful music was discoursed in the parlors by the accomplished pupils of the institution. The renderings of the different selections displayed, not only great natural talent on the part of the fair performers, but also the fact that their training had been given by skilled and cultivated instructors. The guests being cordially invited to inspect the arrangements and apartments of the edifice, dispersed on tours of inspection, under the guidance of teachers and scholars; and many were the fairy ____bowers visited and many of the expressions of pleasure elicited from the admiring explorers. To give a minute description of the appointments of the institution is, perhaps, not the province of a newspaper article, we will only say that the pupils find there all the comforts and conveniences of a delightful home, skillfully combined with arrangements for a thorough, systematic and modernized course of instruction. Few, if any, seminaries afford such facilities for obtaining an education, united with such elegant and attractive surroundings, both external and internal. Rural Park Seminary is destined to be a great success. Although it has only been in operation some three months, over eighty pupils are in attendance, and parents and pupils, alike, are highly pleased with the workings of the institution. Rev. S. Adams and his accomplished wife have every reason to be proud of the great popularity attained by the seminary under their direction.



Source: Alton Telegraph, January 27, 1871

Messrs. H. N. Kendall and S. Adams heretofore associated in the business conduct of Rural Park Seminary, Upper Alton, have dissolved partnership. Mr. Adams continues in charge of the Seminary, and it seems that nothing will be left undone to add to its efficiency and usefulness.



Source: Alton Weekly Telegraph, July 21, 1871

H. N. Kendall is having his residence, formerly Rural Park Seminary, refitted for private use.



Source: Alton Weekly Telegraph, June 20, 1873

The last number of the Qui Vive [paper of the Shurtleff College] states that at the meeting of the Board of Trustees of Shurtleff College, held on the 11th inst., "most of the afternoon session was devoted to the discussion of the proposition of Mr. H. N. Kendall to sell his private residence to the College for the special use of the ladies' department, and the conclusion at length was unanimously reached to accept the offer. The building, with ten acres of ground, have accordingly been purchased for $20,000. The purchase money is made up by a donation of $10,000 from Mr. E. Gove of Quincy, and $10,000 owed to the college by Mr. Kendall, including his original subscription of $7,500 to the President's chair." This splendid property formerly known as "Rural Park Seminary," being already fitted up with a large number of dormitories and all the necessary appliances of an educational institution, can be occupied at once. It is surrounded by the most delightful grounds of any institution in the west. This addition to the facilities of the college is justly regarded as most valuable and important.





Source: Alton Telegraph, August 28, 1879

The reputation of Upper Alton as a literary center will be still further advanced by the opening, on September 10th, of Wyman Institute, a home school for boys, under charge of the celebrated educator, Prof. E. Wyman of St. Louis. The Professor, having purchased the Kendall property, formerly Rural Park Seminary, has been engaged since last spring in fitting it up in beautiful style as an educational institution, where boys can enjoy all the comforts of an elegant home, combined with thorough scholastic training. Prof. Wyman has a reputation as a successful educator of boys second to no instructor in the west. He has made it a life work, and has been at the head of several leading institutions, among them the St. Louis City University, which had twenty-three professors and 660 pupils, when he resigned the presidency in order to regain his health, which had become impaired by overwork. The Professor has fitted up the new Institute building in modern style, and in a manner admirably adapted for the purpose. The house contains thirty-five rooms. The parlors and private apartments are models of elegance. It is lighted by gas and provided with hot and cold water. The dormitory is neatly and comfortably furnished. Each pupil has a separate room, carpeted and furnished with spring bed, bureau, washstand, chairs, etc., and with ample closet room. The school room is arranged on scientific principles, furnished with latest styles of desks and all modern educational appliances. A suit of study rooms for evening work opens into the school room. The dining room, kitchen, lavatory, and other domestic apartments are conveniently and pleasantly arranged. The whole building has been remodeled, renovated and improved at heavy expense, both without and within. The premises are thoroughly and scientifically drained. The grounds surrounding are very attractive and are to be made still more so. The opening of this institution in our midst will be an educational event of importance, especially to those having sons to educate for college or business, and who wish to surround them at the same time with the comforts and discipline of a beautiful home.


WYMAN INSTITUTE [later became the Western Military Academy]

Source: Alton Telegraph, May 13, 1886

While every year since its organization has seen improvement added to improvement upon the grounds of this favorite school, the past year has been a marked one in that respect. One familiar with the place, as it was before Dr. Wyman's removal here, will remember it as a property of great natural beauty and rich in possibilities. These possibilities are steadily becoming realized under the tasteful eye of the Principal, whose experience of forty years as a teacher of boys indicates what such pupils need in a family school, and what surroundings are appropriate to correspond with the lavish equipment of the school and gymnasium. A handsome driveway, nine feet in width, has lately been laid out and built through the grounds east of the campus, while new fences, grading, sodding, etc, enhance the beauty of the park.





Source: Alton Telegraph, February 25, 1875

The concert at City Hall Wednesday evening by children of the Upper Alton public schools was a pleasant entertainment and deserved a more liberal patronage than it received. It was under the direction of Mr. G. C. Hulbert. The programme was varied by solos, duets, trios, chorals, etc., and the class of music selected evinced good judgment. A pleasing feature of the evening was the performance of the Upper Alton string band, which volunteered their services for the occasion. We have not time to notice the exercises in detail, but shall merely speak of some leading features. The choruses by the school were excellently sung, proving that the careful training received from Mr. Hulbert was producing good results. The vocal solos by Miss Fannie Hulbert were received with much applause. She possesses a rich and well-cultivated voice. Miss Aggie Mueller's solo, in German, was excellently rendered. She sang surprisingly well for one so young. Her vocal powers are really remarkable. Miss Walter, of this city, played several accompaniments, and also executed a piano solo with the taste and finish of the accomplished musician. A song, by three little girls, and a quintette, "The Wishers," were well rendered. Miss Young also sang a solo part in one of the selections with fine effect. One of the most pleasing instrumental selections was the piano duet by Misses Miller and Gray. One of the chief attractions was a brief musical drama, illustrative of the temperance reform. It was participated in by a large number of the pupils, but the leading parts were sustained by Miss Gray, Dickie Metcalf, and Sanford Hulbert. All did well, but Master Metcalf is entitled to special praise for his admirable personation. The concert was a success on the part of the participants, and the audience all praise it highly.




Source: Alton Telegraph, May 13, 1886

The Upper Alton public school will close on May 28, with exercises by members of the graduating class in College Hall. The selection of teachers, subject to approval by the new board in August, as usual, will be made Friday evening, June 4, and all applications, accompanied by certificates, should be presented before that date. The past year has been successful and exceptionally harmonious; much of the good is doubtless the result of the faithful work of Prof. G. W. Powell, Principal. It is expected that with the grades concentrated in the new building, and with room enough for the pupils, the next year will be even more satisfactory. The compulsory education law should be strictly enforced as soon as the accommodations are adequate.



UPPER ALTON HIGH SCHOOL [located at Edwards & Seminary]

Source: Alton Daily Telegraph, January 20, 1888

The High School Journal, a neat periodical issued by the pupils of the Upper Alton High School, is out for January. It is a very creditable number.




Source: Alton Daily Telegraph, February 4, 1888

The County Institute convened this morning in the Upper Alton High School building with a large attendance of teachers from all parts of the county. County Superintendent Suppiger presided, with Prof. G. W. Powell as Secretary. The exercises opened with singing by the teachers. The first number of the program was February Work of the Manual, introduced by an able paper by Prof. H. G. Lanterman of Fort Russell. A general discussion then followed on Primary Reading. Prof. J. W. Thompson of Nameoki read an interesting paper on Number Work, followed by a discussion, led by Prof. Adelman of St. Jacob, and Prof. Reynolds of Wanda. The hour of noon having arrived, dinner was served in an adjoining apartment by the pupils of the High School. The Institute re-assembled this afternoon at the College Chapel [Shurtleff College], where the program is now being carried out. Among the teachers present were the following:


Jennie Wightman Ella M. Osborn Seth H. Tilden H. S. Bishop Mae E. Quigley
Adrienne VonPfieger R. A. Haight H. L. Picard J. Clark K. Baugert
Alice McCarthy Sallie McCarthy A. A. Suppiger Dora Rosenberger Josie Springer
James Crawford Amanda Isensee Mary Crawford Clara Gillham Mamie Springer
Oril Penney Lucy Smith Kate Evans G. F. Miner Emma M. Harris
Hattie McCarthy May McGowan John Hadley Naomi Lindley Bertha Bridges
Anna Moore Grace Smith Lucia Whitbread H. S. Deem Mary
Uzzell Jennie Uzzell Carrie Uzzell Annie Crawford Lea R. Nafftor
Hettie Todd Nettie Todd Sara E. Hudson May A. O'Haver J. W. Thompson
J. G. Reynolds S. B. Daniel Maude Powell Julia Dow W. L. Tarbet
Carrie Rich Louise Seibold Sophia Eppenberger M. Fannie Ryrie George L. Anderson
G. W. Churchill Jr. W. M. Sweetser C. L. Dietz E. B. Young Susan Richardson
Robert Crawford Jr. A. C. Williams James Squire Lizzie Millen Maggie Smith
L. Anna Hall Henry W. Buvey Edward L. Smith Jac. Gruenig D. M. Bishop
C. F. Schneider Theo Adelmann A. Labbardt R. Von Pfieger Bessie H. White
Jennie R. Hayes Mamie Taggart Sarah E. Brown Cora G. Bradley Ella McReynolds
J. M. Anderson George W. Powell Laura M. Gates Mattie W. Gray K. B. Miller
Agnes Toohey Lucinda McClain May Crawford George D. Eaton  



Source: The New York Times, January 15, 1890
Correspondents who have snuffed the battle from afar, as it were, have sent out more or less blood-curdling accounts of a race war at the little village of Upper Alton, Ill. To ascertain just what the row was all about, The Time's correspondent visited the seat of war and discovered a most peculiar state of affairs. Alton is in Illinois, twenty-five miles from St. Louis, and the place of residence of many prominent St. Louis business men. Upper Alton, the immediate scene of the trouble, is a suburb of Alton proper. In this place the trouble that has now reached a crisis has been brewing for a long time. The Constitution of Illinois specifically provides that no person of school age shall be refused admission to any public school in the State on account of color. It is said that the Constitution of no other State in this Union goes so far, most of them stopping with the guarantee of equal educational facilities to persons of all races. In some places in Illinois mixed schools are, and always have been, maintained under this provision of the Constitution, which was adopted in 1871. This is the case in the town of Alton proper, a fact which has made the resistance in Upper Alton the more conspicuous. In other places the colored people have made fights for their constitutional rights, and have never been met by an adverse decision. In Illinois, petitions for writs of mandamus are included in the brief category of cases which can be opened in the Supreme Court itself, and this circumstance has been construed as favorable to the negroes. To dodge this, the School Board of Upper Alton districted the city so as to include pretty nearly all the negroes in one district. In January, 1888, John Peair, a colored day laborer of Upper Alton, brought the first suit in the Supreme Court to compel the School Board of Upper Alton to admit his two children to the white school, irrespective of grade, qualifications, or the place of their residence, or the subdivisions of the school district arbitrarily fixed by the board. Security for costs was not deposited at the time, however, and for that reason the suit had to stand in the Supreme Court until last Spring, when the money was raised by subscription. A decision altogether favorable to the negroes was ordered, and a writ of mandamus issued directing the Upper Alton School Board to admit Tony and Cora Peair to any school in the district. Nothing was said about any other child than the two on whose behalf the petition was filed. At the time the mandamus was ordered no money was on deposit in the office of the Clerk of the Supreme Court to pay for its issuance, $75 being the lawful fee. This was not forthcoming until December last, when it was paid and the writ, directed to the Sheriff of Madison County, Ill. was issued. Then followed a series of attempts at compromise and temporary settlements, and finally there was a split among the negroes. The colored folks began to wonder why the dearly prized and hard won writ of mandamus, which should admit at least the Peair children, did not come. They said they had raised the money, $75, and given it to Peair to pay for the writ soon after it was ordered from the Supreme Bench, and that he had taken it and paid his taxes with it. This charge made Peair furious. He denounced his followers as ingrates and withdrew his children from the colored school, but his defection did not break the agreement. The colored male Principal and his white lady assistant, Miss Rhoda Bartlett, continued to teach the greater portion of the twenty-five negro children who attended the frame schoolhouse in "Salu Addition," which is the local name of the quarter of Upper Alton, in which almost every family of its entire colored population lives. Then there were more compromises, and the School Board fixed up a system of grading that would, in effect, keep the negroes out of the new High School, in which they most desired admission. This was coupled with concessions that made the white people indignant, and they said, in effect: "No matter what the board does, our children shall not go to school with negroes." The trouble matured last week and was met by the negroes with an assertion that they would stand on their legal rights. Accordingly, on Wednesday, twenty black children demanded admission to the High School. They were admitted but not assigned to classes, and at recess the white children drove them from the grounds like sheep. On Thursday both sides contented themselves with talking, and on Friday the blacks took action. About three hundred negroes, from six to sixty years of age, marched on the school. The column was stopped at the school door by the posse of constables, who placed their refusal to admit them on the grounds that such mixed crowds could not be allowed within the school yard, and by the exercise of great firmness they forced all the intruders outside the enclosure except about twenty-five, who said they were there to attend school. It was while this informal process in ejectment was being carried out that the relations of the opposing factions became strained to the last degree. Some of the colored men made menacing motions as if to draw weapons from their pockets, but none were actually shown. The threats of violence still continuing to come from "Salu Addition," Principal Powell on Saturday night applied to the Town Council of Upper Alton for a guard of special officers to assist in maintaining order about the school enclosure. Six reputable citizens were appointed and were instructed by the Council not to permit any groups of grown persons of any race or either sex to loiter about the approaches to the school yard or in the street in front of it. This order they obeyed to the letter. Colored children were permitted to enter the school yard, but they were met at the door by the principal, who refused to admit them until they had passed examination in the district of their residence. Mr. Kelley, who has been teaching the colored school, has quit in disgust, leaving the negroes without a teacher, and they are more than ever determined to get into the white school. The situation is decidedly critical. Interviews with colored people developed little except declarations that they "was gwine ter git inter de white man's school or know de reason why." The School Board consists of three Republicans and two Democrats. Its President is Mr. George W. Dudley, a prominent business man of St. Louis, and one of its members is the Rev. G. W. Wagner, a minister of the Methodist church. The other three members are wealthy farmers, two of whom, Gillam and Lowe, are Democrats, and one, Major Moore, a Republican and prominent member of the Grand Army of the Republic. Prof. Powell is a man of very quiet and courteous bearing, and seems to possess the friendship of both whites and blacks. He served through the war in the Twenty-Sixth Illinois Volunteers, in the Fifteenth Army Corps with Logan, under Sherman in the West, and is a Republican "from away back." "If the School Board orders me to receive colored children into my school without discrimination, I will either obey or resign my position," he said, in answer to a question, adding: "I have no personal ends to serve in this matter."



Source: Alton Daily Telegraph, August 31, 1894

Upper Alton Schools will open on Monday, September 3d. Last year was a most successful one, and reflects credit upon Superintendent Lowry and his corps of teachers. There are two school buildings, with high school. The corps of teachers numbers ten. The total school receipts amounted to $7,506.68, and total expenditures to $7,174.12, leaving a balance $433.56. The number of persons of school age in Upper Alton district is 767. The number of pupils enrolled during the year was 511. The attendance 327. The above facts are obtained from the annual report of the Treasurer and Superintendent to the Board of Education.




Source: Alton Telegraph, September 2, 1897

Lincoln school, the two-room frame school house in Salu addition, where Upper Alton colored school children are educated, took fire at 3 o'clock a.m. Tuesday. Before any material assistance could be had by the person who discovered the flames, the building was a heap of ashes and charred wood. The origin of the fire is unknown, but there are dark hints that it is incendiary, and some people go so far as to say they know who set fire to the building. The main building was of frame, and had been used for some time as a colored school, but to it an addition of one room was being made and was almost completed. The village School Board set about that morning, early, to engage rooms for school purposes, to be used until a new building can take the place of the old one. The burned building was insured for $500. On account of the unfinished condition of the addition to the central building, the schools will not open until further notice.


Source: New York Times, September 5, 1897
Alton, Illinois, September 4 -- There is much excitement here over two deeds of vandalism perpetrated in the course of the last week. On Wednesday morning Lincoln School in Upper Alton was destroyed by an incendiary, and last night the new Lovejoy school building in this city was greatly mutilated. Both schools were used for the education of colored children, and the outrages are thought to be the work of irresponsible colored people, who resent the separation of their children from those of white people in the public schools. The law-abiding element of the colored population has decided to appeal to the courts, and has secured counsel to contest the legality of the separation system. All the members of the School Board are Republicans, and the fight is being made on party lines.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, September 4, 1900

The public school opened this morning with a large attendance. The building and grounds are in a fine condition, and it would be hard to find a better kept lawn and school building. The lawn is made more beautiful by beds of flowers, and the rooms are very neat, many of them being adorned with beautiful new pictures. The high school bids fair to be very crowded this year. Miss Helen Taggart is principal, and Miss Mattie Gray is in a new room, number 9, while Miss Bessie Gere presides over number 8. The assembly room was filled to overflowing this morning, and several visitors were present. Prof. Lowry talked briefly and pointedly to the pupils, and Prof. D. G. Ray and President S. B. Gillham made short talks. Everything promises a successful years' work.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, October 11, 1901

Some of the high school students are making an effort to organize a literary society, and there is a great deal of interest taken in the movement by the pupils. The Veritas society that was organized last year proved very successful and accomplished some good work.




Source: Alton Telegraph, September 11, 1902

The Gillham School opened this morning with 64 pupils. M. C. Campbell is the teacher.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, May 15, 1905

Contractor A. Lundstrum started work this morning on the addition to the Upper Alton high school. Mr. Lundstrum says that he will push the work with all possible speed, and hopes to have the addition finished in time for the opening of the school in September.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, March 30, 1911

An effort is being made at the high school to organize an Upper Alton High School Alumni Association. Since Upper Alton has been annexed to Alton, the high school here will pass out of existence after this year, and the class that graduates this spring will be the last one. Consequently, there will be no more graduates of the Upper Alton High School, and if an association is formed, it will never be increased by graduates year after year, as most alumni associations are. The Junior class of the high school will give a banquet in the near future at the Illini Hotel to the graduating class of this year, and also to the high school teachers. The Juniors are trying to interest the alumni of the school in forming the association, and they will request them and also the school board to attend the banquet. If a sufficient number of high school graduates attend the banquet, the association may be formed at that time. The Juniors are preparing to make the banquet one of the biggest affairs in the history of the Upper Alton high school, on account of the fact that the career of this igh school will come to a close at commencement time when the schools here will go into the hands of the city board of education.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 19, 1919

Work of erecting the temporary annex for Gillham school on Main street is being pushed, and the little building is beginning to take on the appearance of a school building inasmuch as there will be plenty of day light in the building as many windows are being put in. The annex sits back from the street and is about two hundred feet in the rear of the old building, which stands close to Main street. The old building is set well back where it can be used while construction work on the new school building is going on.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, December 3, 1920

The plant to change the name of Gillham school on South Main street, when the new building is completed, is generally approved as far as is known, although very few of the old time school board members of the old Upper Alton district have not been heard to express their views on the matter. Gillham school was named in honor of the late S. B. Gillham, who served as president of the Upper Alton school board during the many years Upper Alton was in District 99 and included the territory now in the seventh ward with the surrounding territory. The name of Gillham being attached to the Main street school has caused confusion in names for several years. The S. B. Gillham place at the east end of Brown street was platted and called Gillham Heights some years ago, and later on the Milton Heights school was built just across the road from Gillham Heights. This school being named Milton Heights school, has caused confusion in names of the "heights" and of the school districts. Many people called the Milton Heights school Gillham Heights school, and they also called the Gillham school on Main street Gillham Heights school. When the new name is selected it will probably relieve the confusion in names to a certain extent. The little Gillham school at Yager Park was built by the Upper Alton school board and named after its president at a time when the Upper Alton district extended south to the river and when the new territory in the Yager Park vicinity started to grow up.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, January 6, 1921

The name of Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross, was selected by the special naming committee appointed by the local school board, as the name of the new school which has been known as Gillham school up to the present time....While the naming of a school did not at first appeal to your committee as a matter of very great importance - it soon developed that there was a strongly divided public opinion, part of which favored transferring to the new building the name of the old Gillham school, and part favored the selection of a new name - several of which were suggested. Therefore it was decided to hold an open hearing to which all interested were invited to come....."It appears that there is a feeling in the Seventh Ward that the new building should be named Gillham school; the name borne by the building which is being removed. The old school was put up by the Board of Education of the village of Upper Alton, and was named for the late S. B. Gillham who served for many years as president of the Board, who had been very active in his civic duties to the community and in its social life, and who belonged to a very prominent family. There seemed to be a feeling that to give the new school any other name would in some way cast reflection on the memory of Mr. Gillham; and reference was made to an old agreement made at the time of the annexation of Upper Alton, that the names of streets and public places should not be changed. Furthermore in the judgment of the committee, it has been the very wise policy of the Board of Education of the city of Alton, to give to the school building names of nationally prominent persons from which names some inspiration might be derived from. To do otherwise would certainly involve disputes concerning the names of local people, no matter how deserving of public recognition and honor, who would necessarily have divided following and opinions as to relative merits and accomplishments. Therefore, the committee unanimously agree that the new school building should be given a new name. The buildings now occupied are to be removed for use in connection with the Horace Mann school and can then be known as the Gillham Annex, thus retaining the name in that section of the city where it is best known. The new name for the Main street school will also avoid confusion with the District 99 school at Gillham Heights....The name of Francis Willard was carefully considered and not adopted because the committee is unanimously agreed that the name most suitable is that of the founder and first president of the American Red Cross, an organization non-partisan, non-political, non-sectarian, of whose great and humanitarian work in peace as well as in war, no explanation is necessary. It is therefore the recommendation of the special committee that the new school building, being erected in Yager Park on Main street, be called for that "angel of the battle fields" - The Clara Barton School."






Source: Edwardsville Intelligencer, September 9, 1921, page 1, col. 4/Submitted by Marsha Ensminger

One of Finest Rural Schools Given Finishing Touches
Plans are being completed today for the dedication and formal opening of the new Wanda school with exercises to be held Sunday afternoon at 2 o'clock. The building has been finished and will be ready for use next week. Friends and patrons are invited to attend the exercises. County Superintendent of schools Hugh T. McCrea and Thomas Williamson, president of the Edwardsville Board of Education will be speakers. A program, appropriate, to the occasion will be rendered. The day will be concluded with a basket supper, everybody bringing their own provisions. The new Wanda school is the result of a move launched a couple of years ago to secure a modern building to replace one used for half a century. Some of the residents opposed the original plans and litigation followed. Questions over the legality of the election were raised. Since then all of the differences have passed and the community is proud of the new building which will rank with any rural school in Southern Illinois. A real jollification is expected at the dedicatory exercises. Charles Pauly & Son, Granite City architects, prepared the plans. The senior member of the firm designed the original building which was wrecked. A. J. Hoffman, an Edwardsville contractor, erected the building. It cost approximately $15,000. The building is designed for two rooms but with folding doors may be thrown into a large auditorium for plays, entertainments and other gatherings. There is a stage at one end of the building. Children who attend the Wanda school will have all of the conveniences of those in the big city school. The most modern heating apparatus and indoor chemical toilets are used. A greater portion of the basement is given over to a playroom for the children to be used during inclement weather.







Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, February 17, 1909

A big American flag floating from a pole in the Wood River school district designates the place that has been selected for a proposed $15,000 school house there. The question of issuing bonds for the building of the proposed school will be voted upon February 27 at a special election. A similar question for issuing bonds, but for another site, was defeated recently. It is claimed that there will be opposition to the new site too, which is described at lots 19 to 28, block 10, in Riverview at Benbow. The site is not within the corporation of Benbow City, but is just outside. The flagpole and flag were set up to show where the proposed site is so everyone could be informed, and the flag will be kept floating until election day. The trouble over the school site is that there is a project to unite Brushy Grove district No. 104 with Wood River district No. 103, and make a larger and stronger district. The Standard Oil employees say that the Wood River refinery will pay the larger part of the school tax, and that as most of the employees reside outside of Wood River district, their children would have no benefit. They live in Brushy Grove district, just across the line from Wood River district. The same reason contributed to the defeat of the last project for a bond issue. Unless some agreement can be made united the two districts and getting the Standard Oil employees families within the district where the school will be built, it is threatened that the same fate will be meted to the latest bond issue proposition, or at least an effort will be made to defeat it.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, May 17, 1910

The directors of the Wood River school district, for which a fine $30,000 school is now in progress of construction in East Wood River, met last night and elected teachers. H. F. Thurston of Troy was elected principal and high school instructor at a salary of $95 per month, and Mrs. E. Endicott, Miss Ethel Lynch, Mrs. Mabel Sterling, Miss Nellie Arter and Miss Marguerite Buck intermediate and primary teachers.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, June 1, 1910

The Wood River public school was closed yesterday afternoon with programs rendered in each of the rooms. The Standard Oil private school will be closed next Friday. Next year the two will be connected in the new Wood River school, which is now being built.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, September 7, 1910

The Wood River school opens up with a new piano, which has been moved into the Lewis building, but which will be transferred into the new building when it is completed. The enrollment yesterday was 104. Mrs. Endicott's classes are meeting in the East Wood River hall, while the rest of the classes are being taken up in the Lewis building and in the old school building. Miss Florence Berg of Alton, the new drawing teacher, was down yesterday and took charge of her first classes.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, March 22, 1911

Several hundred people attended the dedication of the new $40,000 Wood River school building in Wood River Tuesday night. Many from Alton and surrounding towns were among the guests of the school directors and the corps of teachers at the school, who proved most delightful entertainers. All day yesterday the rooms were open to visitors who called and inspected the magnificent building. In the evening supper was served in the school basement, at which a small admission fee, merely enough to cover the expense, was charged. The most important part of the dedicatory program was the exercises held in the assembly hall beginning at 7:30 o'clock. The exercises were opened by songs by the High School Glee club, after which America was sung by the audience. The Rev. J. A. Scarritt pronounced the invocation, which was followed by orchestral music. The Imperial quartette then sang, and a quartette of four young men from Shurtleff college sang being encored three times on the first number. The Hon. W. C. Carroll, of East St. Louis, then spoke on "Early Days of Wood River School," in which he told that when he attended the school about fifty years ago, there were only thirty families there, all of whose names he still remembered. He then dwelt on the tremendous growth of the same territory which now had such a magnificent school building. This was followed by a physical culture drill by the pupils of the lower rooms. The drill was accompanied with music, and showed great skill on the part of the teachers and pupils who trained the little tots to drill so perfectly. Thomas Williamson of Edwardsville was slated to speak on "History of the Construction of the Present Building," but before he finished his main topic seemed to diverge on the public school system, which he explained excellently to the delight of the audience, and by way of adding interest threw in a few amusing jokes. He roasted Fred Penning, one of the promoters of the Wood River school idea, by referring to him as "the upright and industrious farmer with long whiskers who knew how to steer an auto and had the important task of being custodian of all the school funds in Wood River." The college quartette sang again, and County Superintendent J. U. Uzzell then gave the dedicatory address, speaking of the building of the school and the efficiency of the Wood River school system to take care of the education of the pupils in the district. John Pfeiffenberger, the architect, was called upon for an impromptu speech, not having been put down on the program, and he spoke of the erection of the building. The exercises were closed with the benediction. The members of the board of directors are A. K. Whitelaw, G. F. Waggoner, and F. N. Britt. The instructors are J. C. Campbell, superintendent; Mrs. E. E. Endicott, principal of the High School; Misses Ethel Lynch, Mrs. Mabel Sterling, Nellie Arter and Marguerite Buck, grade teachers. The school building is the finest for a small district in Madison county, and surpasses almost any school in the state for completeness. It will be a monument to the foresight of the school directors, also to the young architect, Mr. Pfeiffenberger, who superintended the construction work, beside drawing the plans.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, July 31, 1911

Fred Penning, treasurer of the Wood River township school trustees, was in Alton today on business, and while here said that he had been informed by a director of school district 102, known as the Hull district, that a claim had been made by an Alton man that he owns the site of the school building, and that he must be paid for 28 years rental. It developed that the school directors have no deed to the property and the claim of the Alton man is probably correct. The trustees of Wood River township schools claim that something ought to be done with the Hull district. In the whole district there are only 11 children, according to the school census, and by that is meant people under the age of 21. There were only four children enrolled in the school last year, one being four years old and the other just 6, and the two others of what is known as school age. The teacher had the easiest job of any teacher in Madison county. The school tax in the district is only 18 cents. Mr. Penning says that inasmuch as the school house is not in the center of the district, and there are not enough children in the district to make it pay to keep open a school, the district lines will probably be reorganized next April. In this district are manufacturing institutions which pay almost all of the school tax, and even then their share is very light. Something must be done, the trustees think. As to the site question, the directors and trustees will take up that matter and ascertain if possible, whether or not there is any long lost mislaid deed to the school house site which could be used to offset the claim of the Alton man that he owns the school property.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, May 4, 1916

Sentiment is going to figure largely in the effort of residents near the Brushy Grove Church and school near Wood River to save the church and school from being torn down and abolished. The old residents who have lived in that vicinity so long and have attended school there themselves, as early as the fifties [1850s], do not wish to see the school house or the church building done away with, and they are going to make an attempt to resist the purpose of landowners to swallow up the land occupied by the church and school and the old road which leads to the church and school. There is also a rumor out that the Lutherans want to acquire the church building to move it to Wood River for a Lutheran Church, after putting some needed repairs on it. The school is over fifty-five years old. S. G. Cooper, Justice of the Peace of East Alton, attended school there in 1859 and 1860. In 1887 additional ground was given by the Hon. D. B. Gillham of Upper Alton for a Baptist Church. The condition imposed on the grant was that religious services should be held once a year. Of late, interest in church work has died out at Brushy Grove, and it may be possible that the will to the land now held by H. H. Stahlhut through purchase from the Gillham heirs may be good. The old road leading to the church and school is not now used, and it is understood that property owners along the old road are seeking to re-acquire the land which was used by the road. In that case all access to the Brushy Grove Church and school will be shut off, and it would be an easy matter for the owner of the land surrounding the church and school to take it up. Whether Mr. Stahlhut wishes this to be done is not known, but at any rate, the legal status of the rights of the property on which the church and school stands is in a bad way, since church services have been discontinued. Henry Rathert, Henry Hendricks, Henry Westerholdt, B. G. Cooper, O. T. Kendall, and others are among those who want to save the school for memory's sake, but they are undecided just what step to make. It is figured out that the best way to save the church and school is to call the old members of the church together and hold a number of Sunday school services each year in order to prevent the legal right to the church ownership of the property from being disputed. The three school trustees are O. T. Kendall, Henry Westerholt, and Ernest Hendricks, and they are said to be at sea as to how the church can be saved if an attempt is made by the owners of the church and school land, and the road owners to take it in. An effort was made about two years ago to have the church repaired and arouse interest in church services. It was painted and a new cupola was put on it, but for some reason the effort to sustain interest in church work at Brushy Grove was a failure.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, May 9, 1917

The Wood River school district, which eight years ago had a small, one room building with a single teacher, now employs a superintendent and principal and fourteen women teachers. The list of school pupils now is about 540, with constant increases in attendance reported every week. The startling growth of this prosperous community can possibly be told as easily by the increase in its school attendance and the enlargement of its school facilities as in any other way. When the board met last night for a selection of teachers, they were obliged to select a superintendent, a principal and fourteen women teachers, and make arrangements for the accommodation of more pupils at the beginning of the term next fall. They decided that the four unfinished rooms in the Washington school, the second school in the district, should be finished off by next fall, as they would probably be needed. Conditions have been very crowded as they were all winter and spring, but the teachers have managed to get along. The board voted to dismiss school on May 29 and at 6:30 on the day of dismissal a large pageant with twenty-four parts will be given on the school lawn between the two school buildings. The teachers selected last night by the board are: G. A. Smith, superintendent; C. E. Russell, principal; and Misses Helen Gibson, Eleanor Good, Lottie Boree, Ethel Lynch, Carrie Jones, Annie Whalen, Marguerite Buck, Mary Titus, Branche Steiner, Pearl Slifer, Emma Wormwood, Tarcie Dauderman, Ruby Roseberry and Pearl Akin.




Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, March 20, 1918

The Gillham Heights school was closed this morning by order of the Board of Health of Wood River township because of an epidemic of smallpox. The number of cases in the school district has been steadily increasing within the past few days until it became apparent that there was a case of smallpox in nearly every second or third house. The school directors of the district held a special meeting last night with the Wood River township Board of Health, of which Gus Haller of Wood River is chairman, and after a hearing of the facts, decided to close the school for a period of ten days. In Milton Heights there is great alarm over the spread of smallpox. One resident said today that it is the general belief that the spread of the disease was caused by a failure of those having the disease in their families to make prompt reports to the health authorities. Supervisor Haller has taken the matter in hand and he issues a notice that all persons in Milton Heights, or in any part of Wood River township, who do not report contagious diseases at once to him are liable to be prosecuted. So far, he has actual reports on fourteen cases, but it is believed there are many more cases of smallpox in the school district which have not been reported to him.


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