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Alton Schools Newspaper Clippings

Madison County ILGenWeb Coordinator - Beverly Bauser






Source: The Gazetteer of Madison County, by James T. Hair, 1866
“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 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 Geography 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. The term will commence on Thursday the 27th of Oct. Alton. October 26, 1836.


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, 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, 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 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 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. 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: Alton Telegraph, September 1, 1865
Miss Emma Pinckard will commence the Fall term of her select school on the first Monday in September next, at the residence of William G. Pinckard, Esq., on the corner of Third and Alby Streets. Thankful for past favors, she hopes to merit a continued and increased patronage.


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, January 18, 1904
The old German school on Eighth 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 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, August 10, 1904
Many of the older citizens of Alton, in passing the building 224 East Second Street [Broadway], 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, 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, 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.



----------PUBLIC FREE SCHOOLS----------


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.


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, 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, 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 Rev. L. S. 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 nowhere 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, September 11, 1846
Judge Bailhache: Dear Sir, I send you the following synopsis of the Annual Report of the Committee on Schools, which 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.


NEW SCHOOLHOUSE (Original Schoolhouse No. 3 - Garfield School)
Source: Alton Telegraph, May 30, 1851
We understand that the committee on Public Schools have given the contract for the new schoolhouse, to be erected on Seminary Square, to Messrs. J. & D. Longwell. The contractors will proceed with the work without delay, and expect to complete it in about three months. The building will accommodate about 150 scholars. When finished according to the plan, it will present a very handsome appearance, and from its commanding situation, will be a conspicuous ornament to that part of the city. The design, by John Chaney, Esq., of Alton, is highly creditable, and the contractors are not surpassed in their line by any.

This schoolhouse was called No. 3, and was the original Garfield School, constructed on the south end of Seminary Square, on East 5th Street in Alton.


Source: Alton Daily Telegraph, January 8, 1853
The damage caused by the late fire having been repaired, we are authorized to say that the City School No. 2 will be reopened on Monday next, January 10.


Source: Alton Telegraph, January 30, 1852
We are indebted to the Preceptor [Principal], Mr. W. F. Gurnsey, for the following information, relative to the new schoolhouse, together with a statement of the course of studies to be pursued, which being of general interest, will command attention:

“Parents and guardians within the city are respectfully informed that the new schoolhouse will be opened for the reception of pupils on the first Monday of February next. The building is a substantial and elegant structure, and does great credit to both projectors and contractors. It consists of two stories and basement, and is warmed by an improved furnace. The school rooms are commodious, and arranged on the most approved plan, with recitation rooms, halls, &c. when filled to its capacity, the house will accommodate 150 scholars. In short, for elegance and convenience, our city can boast of another ‘college for the many,’ which will compare favorably with similar institutions in more populous towns. Having the honor of being appointed Preceptor, I would assure my friends and the public that no pains will be spared on the part of the teachers, to promote the mental and moral improvement of the youth committed to their instruction.

The juvenile department will occupy the first story, and be under the care and instruction of Mrs. Gurnsey. The government of the school will be mild, but efficient, and the course of instruction thorough. In addition to the common branches, instruction will be given in ancient and modern history, ancient geography, Watts on the mind, natural, moral, and mental philosophy, chemistry, algebra, astronomy, surveying, political economy, and rhetoric, with regular exercises in composition and declamation. The first term will consist of but eight weeks, and tuition will be two-thirds the quarter rates, or 85 cents.

Scholars now attending the city school, and residing more convenient to the new house will be allowed to transfer their tickets for the balance of the term of five weeks.

I expect to be succeeded in the city school by Mr. Newman, who has taught with good success for several years in Upper Alton. The teachers are determined to second, by their individual efforts, the expressed desire of the Mayor and school officers, to make the public schools of Alton worthy of the confidence and patronage of the community. Signed by W. F. Gurnsey.”

Schoolhouse No. 1 (so named because it was in Ward 1 in Alton) was the third public schoolhouse erected in Alton. It was constructed in 1851, and opened in January 1852, with Mr. W. F. Gurnsey as Principal. The building was two stories with a basement, and could hold about 150 students. In 1862, a visit was made to Schoolhouse No. 1, where three departments were in successful operation. The "little wee ones" were in the basement, with Miss Carpenter as teacher. The average number of this department was 30 students. The second department consisted of about 40 students, with Miss Hazzard as teacher. The third department was taught by Mr. Waterman, and had 42 students.

In 1883, a new, three-story brick schoolhouse was erected on the property, and named Irving School. In 1955, Irving School was razed and a new schoolhouse erected, which still stands today.


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, 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 airier, 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 has 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 affected 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.


SCHOOL NO. 2 RAZED (Was first public schoolhouse in Alton)
Source: Alton Telegraph, May 11, 1866
All that is left of School No. 2 is a scattered mass of brick, plaster, and rubbish. The weather-beaten and unpretending old building has been pulled down within a few days past, and its place in our city school system will soon be occupied by the new and stately edifice which is now in the course of construction nearby. The “old original” sentry on the battlements of civilization, which has so long and so faithfully stood at its post, has at last been relieved from duty, and a fresh and better equipped guard mounted in its stead. The age and invaluable services of the departed render it worthy of a eulogy, which we have neither the space nor the ability to bestow. A brief sketch must suffice:

School No. 2 was the first of our public schools, having been erected in 1845, and was originally called NO. 1; but as others were built, the plan was adopted of numbering them to correspond with the Wards in which they were situated, and in this way, No. 1, being in the Second War, became No. 2.

The first teacher was Rev. L. S. Williams, who was a returned missionary. He was a good teacher and a worthy man – of an honest and unsuspicious nature, and very kind-hearted. On one occasion, when he had to correct an unruly urchin, the latter became violent, and appeared to be “spoiling for a fight.” Among other hostile demonstrations, he undertook to put a sudden veto upon the further progress of that school, for a time, at least, by throwing an inkstand full at the head of his teacher. That gentleman gave the belligerent youngster another “taste of the birch,” and then knelt down and prayed over him, long and fervently with tears streaming from his eyes. It was a scene long remembered.

Mr. Williams was assisted during a portion of his administration by a Mr. Baker. When the former retired, he was succeeded by Mr. W. F. Guernsey, who is still in our city, and although somewhat older, still directs with all his wonted vigor and ability, the education and conduct of a host of rattle-pated boys and girls. He taught for several years, but was finally compelled to suspend his duties and return to the East for his health. His place in the school was filled by Mr. James Newman, a very popular and efficient teacher, who is also still a resident of our city, but is now engaged in another business. Since he first retired from the old school, Mr. Newman has taught there once again, and also conducted the High School for some years. Other teachers have been Messrs. Underwood, Carpenter, Lec B. Newman, Pettingill, Shattuck, Crowell, Kerr, and the last incumbent, Mr. Perrin. The school has uniformly been very fortunate in being supplied with excellent teachers.

We regret our inability to furnish the various dates which should be given to render this article complete, and we regret still more our limited knowledge concerning the names and merits of the lady assistant teachers, who have officiated in the Primary Department at different times. Like other good things, they must be reserved for dessert, which will come on in time, if we can collect the other necessary ingredients.

But now, the old schoolhouse has departed. Many who studied within its walls or played in the grounds as happy, careless children, have gone before it, and the hundreds of survivors are scattered from Maine to California, from Minnesota to the Gulf. Some are buried in the soil of the “sunny South,” other are wanderers upon the great deep. Many remain among us, contented to prod as men, where they have played as boys. But among all the living, we feel sure there is not one but will hear with sorrow of the destruction of the old schoolhouse.


Source: Alton Telegraph, July 6, 1866
This week has been spent by the Board of Education in examining the different public schools of Alton. It has not been our privilege to be present at any of these examinations, except the one which took place June 28 at School No. 1. This school has three departments – the first taught by Mr. Guernsey, the second by Miss Webb, and the third by Miss McNeil. Something over two hundred and twenty-five scholars have been in attendance during the term. So far as we were competent to judge, the scholars sustained themselves finely in their examinations. The compositions were all creditable, and some of them displayed a good degree of literary taste and originality of thought, for children of their age. The declamations and dialogues were well performed, and those who took part in them displayed much self-control, without the slightest appearance of boldness. Most excellent order was maintained throughout the entire exercise, thereby demonstrating that the teachers in charge are well qualified to fill their important, responsible, and trying positions.

One very encouraging feature of this examination was the fact that there was a much large turn out of parents and friends than usual, going to show that the subject of education is taking a deeper hold on the public mind than heretofore.


Source: Alton Telegraph, January 11, 1867
It is not our purpose, at the present time, to give an elaborate description of this magnificent building, but merely to notice some features of it which will be of special interest, reserving a more detailed statement until a future time. The building is situated in Middletown, on the square enclosed between Tenth and Eleventh, George and Alton Streets, with the front upon Alton Street. The square was formerly the site of old No. 2 Schoolhouse, which has, for several years, been one of the landmarks of the city.

The foundation of the new building was laid more than a year ago, and the erection of the walls was commenced last Spring. Since that time, the work has steadily progressed, and the building will now be ready for occupancy in a few days. The dimensions and accommodations of the structure are as follows:

The building is 77x58 feet, with two wings on either side, 8x35 feet, three stories high, the lower one of stone, feet in the clear, surmounted by two stories of brick – the first fourteen, and the second sixteen feet in the clear. The main entrance is constructed of stone work, and is a substantial specimen of masonry. A spacious hall, fifteen feet in width, runs the entire length of each story. The first floor is divided into four rooms, and is designed for the accommodation of the younger pupils. The second and third floors are also divided into four rooms each, and they are so arranged that when necessary, they can be opened into one spacious apartment. The foundation of the building is two hundred feet above the river, and the summit of the roof is sixty-four feet from the ground. It is ornamented with a medallion cornice, and presents a most imposing and substantial appearance.

The situation renders it the most prominent building in the city. It is surmounted by two cupolas, which add much to the appearance of the edifice, and from which a most beautiful view can be obtained of the city and the river. The different school rooms are tastefully and elegantly fitted up with all the improvements which have recently been introduced into school architecture. Everything conducive to health and convenience seems to be provided, and in connection with each apartment, is a shawl and cloak room, conveniently arranged for the use of the girls. The rooms on the first and second floors are fitted up with double, and those on the third floor with single desks.

Of the twelve rooms of the building, eight will be occupied at once, and they are designed to accommodate from fifty to sixty scholars each, though more can be accommodated if necessary.

As the building was erected in school district No. 2, it will be used first for all the pupils belonging to the primary, intermediate, and grammar departments of that district. Second, it is designed to accommodate also all the grammar scholars of districts number three and four. Third, for such other grammar classes as may conveniently be transferred from the other districts in the city. Fourth, for the city High School. The scholars belonging to this department will occupy the third story.

All the different departments will be under the supervision of the Principal of the advanced department, and by means of an arrangement of bells centering in his room, he can communicate directions to any one department or to all simultaneously. Thus, everything connected with the school routine throughout the building can be made to proceed with the regularity and precision of clockwork, which we regard as of great importance to the proper advancement of the pupils. We presume that the public school system of Alton, under the able supervision of the present Superintendent Mr. Raymond and the Board of Education, will now rank with that of any city in the West. This building, which is at last erected, is a desideratum which has so long been needed, that its benefits will be fully appreciated by the rising generation, and also by the parents and guardians, who are so vitally interested in their mental and moral development.

The entire cost of the building is about $35,000, a sum which may seem large, but we are certain that the same sum has never been invested to a better purpose in Alton. The architects and contractors were Messrs. Armstrong & Pfeiffenberger of Alton, and the building is a stately and substantial monument of their skill in their profession.


Source: Alton Telegraph, February 8, 1867
The splendid new schoolhouse 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 schoolhouse 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 schoolhouse ought to be both rapid and steady. The schools were opened Monday, February 4, and it will be seen by reference to the notice of the Secretary of the Board of Education 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 Telegraph, June 23, 1871
During Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of last week, examinations were in progress in all the departments of the public schools of Alton. In order to obtain a correct opinion of the present condition and efficiency of the school system, we visited every school in the city, either in person or by proxy, and propose here to summarize the impressions formed by these visits.

The school year has been a remarkably successful one in all the departments. The progress made by the pupils has proved that the present graded system, under which they are working, is exactly adapted to all the requirements of common school education. Beginning with the elementary principles, the child is conducted by easy graduations from one department to a higher, until having passed through the primary, secondary, intermediate, and grammar departments, he reaches the high school, where a regular course awaits him, and where is afforded every opportunity offered by the best academies and seminaries, for obtaining a comprehensive knowledge of the higher class of studies. We can easily recall the time when the graded system was unknown in our public schools, and students of almost all ages and diverse attainments were crowded together in one room. Naturally progress was slow, order difficult to maintain, and the attention of the teacher diffused over a wide range of studies. But under the direction of the efficient Board of Education, a new era has dawned, and now children of about the same age, and of equal attainments, are classified together, and the teacher’s time and attention are concentrated on particular branches.

At the beginning of the school year, Professor E. A. Haight, under appointment of the Board, was made Superintendent of the School and Principal of the high school, and has filled the position throughout the year with the greatest acceptance, proving himself possessed of rare qualifications for filling, to the entire satisfaction of the people, a very difficult position. Under his direction, a new impetus has been given to the cause of education, and a new vigor and enthusiasm infused into all departments. At the opening of the year, an efficient corps of teachers was secured who were placed in charge of the several departments, and have been, during the year, almost without exception successful in the discharge of their duties. The following is a list of teachers and departments, though it varies slightly from the original appointments at the opening of the year:

High School:
Principal, Professor E. A. Haight; Miss Hurwood, First Assistant; Miss Allen, Second Assistant.

District No. 1:
Intermediate Department, Mr. R. A. Haight; Secondary, Miss Maxey; Primary, Miss Filley.

District No. 2:
Grammar, Miss Hall, Miss Newell; Intermediate, Miss Mercer, Miss McNeil, Miss Pierce; Secondary, Miss Norton, Miss Louden; Primary, Miss Hollingsworth, Miss Blaisdell.

District No. 3:
Secondary, Miss Laura Clement; Primary, Miss Julia Clement.

District No. 5:
Intermediate, Miss Stelle.

District No. 6:
Primary, Miss Hardy.

Colored School:
Mr. John Robinson.

During the year, regular and thorough examinations in all departments have been conducted by the Superintendent, and those pupils passing them successfully have been awarded certificates and advanced to higher grades.

At the opening of the school year, in response to popular demand for instruction in the German language, the Board of Education secured the services of Mr. F. A. Porter, an experienced instructor, to teach the language in the different schools. A large number of pupils at once entered upon the study, and the department has been carried on successfully throughout the year.

Professor Haight is a born singer himself, and believes that every child can be, and should be taught to sing – not merely to sing by ear, but to read music by note. Under his administration, the cultivation of this delightful and useful accomplishment has progressed satisfactorily in all the schools. He has devoted much time to it, both in and out of school hours, and has communicated his own enthusiasm on the subject to the children. At several of the schools we visited, the singing was really excellent.

Colored School:
Mr. John Robinson is teacher of this school, and at the hour of our visit, he had almost completed the examination of classes, but from what we saw, we were convinced that the colored school had not fallen behind others in proficiency. Several classes were examined in mental arithmetic, geography, grammar, etc., and were accurate in answers – the questions being asked at random from lessons previously studied. The school, although not graded, is making good progress. The school room is hardly fit for use, and the Board of Education should provide comfortable apartments.

We were more convinced than ever that the public school system of Alton is one to be proud of, and that our citizens owe a debt of gratitude to our efficient Board of Education, of the magnitude of whose labors they have a very imperfect conception. In the maintenance of the public schools lies the salvation of the country.


Source: Alton Telegraph, September 10, 1874
A large bell weighing 400 pounds has been placed in position on the high school building. It is large enough to be heard all over the city, and will doubtless have a good influence in promoting punctuality among the pupils. [In 1874, the high school was held in the top floor of Lincoln School on Alton Street.]


Source: Alton Telegraph, January 9, 1879
Friday afternoon, Mayor Pfeiffenberger and some of the gentlemen belonging to the Board of Education, including Messrs. L. Haagen, George K. Hopkins, George Quigley, Dr. E. Guelich, and a Telegraph representative went to schoolhouse No. 5, in order to see that everything was in proper order for the opening of school next Monday, especial reference being had to the working of the new Ruttan furnace, with which the east half of the house is to be heated. Owing to some misconception, fire had not been started in the furnace when the gentlemen arrived there, but this was quickly remedied by some good fire builders, and the results were shown in a rapid warming of the rooms reached by the heat. There are registers in each room by which the heat is regulated perfectly, also by a system of ventilators near the floor at the sides of the rooms all danger from foul air is done away with, being conveyed under the floors to a reservoir under the main hall, from whence it is dissipated by a large pipe in the open air.

Each room is furnished with abundant blackboard surface on the walls. Every teacher has a platform and nice desk, with a recess in the wall behind to be used as a bookcase. The rooms will be supplied with clocks from Mr. J. W. Cary’s store.

Three large windows in each room furnish abundance of light. In the upper story, by means of sliding panel doors, the four rooms can be thrown into two, thus giving large halls for exhibition and other purposes. The stairways are short and broad, and every available foot of space is utilized to the best advantage. The cloak rooms are large, convenient of access, and well lighted.

It was at first intended to use only the eastern half of the building, which is heated by the furnace and supplied with the latest style of seats and desks from the establishment of the Andrews Co., Chicago, but it was found necessary to fit up one of the rooms in the western part of the house. This has been done with furniture already on hand, and the room is splendidly heated by a stove on the ground floor, enclosed in a drum of galvanized iron with pipes so arranged that the smoke is carried off while the heat passes through the register to the school room. This furnace is called, from the names of the inventors, the ”Pfeiffen-gue-ber-lich-ger.”

Every detail in and about the place has been attended to. The lot is nicely graded, a brick walk in front, a cesspool in the rear, all necessary out-buildings supplied, while in the basement are two large playrooms, to be paved with brick for the use of the children in cold or rainy weather. Water is supplied in the basement from the Water Works, and in the playrooms the faucets are self-closing, in order to prevent waste. In the south half of the basement is the department of the Janitor, Mr. Isaac Price, where is stored a supply of coal and kindling, and where the furnace is supplied with air from the outside by means of a window, which can be swung open when necessary, the air being conveyed by a subterranean brick passage to the furnace, then after being rarified by heat, to the upper rooms. The halls through the center of the building, in both stories, are finely finished and plastered in imitation of wainscoting, thus doing away almost entirely with danger from fire.

Taken altogether, we think this school building can well be called a model of its class. Great praise is due the architect, Mr. Pfeiffenberger, the builders, Messrs. Ferguson and Inveen, who put up the house, Mr. Raymond, who did the inside carpenter work, Mr. Hermann, the plasterer, and to Mr. Obermiller, the painter. Their combined efforts resulted in great success.


Written by T. D.
Source: Alton Telegraph, March 1, 1883
I propose to cover the time period of about 1839 to 1845. There was not, in the year first mentioned, a single schoolhouse in Alton that I remember. The schools were all private, and located here, there, and everywhere, according to the convenience of the teacher. Many, if not the most of them, were in the basement of the old Presbyterian Church, where the Episcopal Church now stands, or in the basement of the old Methodist Church, on the site now occupied by the Unitarian parsonage. It was in the former place, I believe, that I attended the school of Miss Rand. Of that educational experience, I can recall little or nothing. Afterwards, Rev. Mr. Cooley taught there, but I do not remember much of him, except that he was a good man, rather cadaverous in personal appearance, who seemed to do the best he could in a feeble way. Before him, however, I had the benefit of the instruction of Mr. E. K. Stone, now of Quincy, Illinois, brother of J. S. Stone of Boston. He held forth in a frame building, owned, I think, by the late John Morrison, situated on the east side of Alby Street, just beyond the present residence of Mr. Thomas Pierce. Small trees and underbrush were thick in that neighborhood then, and to go over to where the railroad now runs was quite an adventure. Mr. Stone was an excellent teacher, but did not remain long in Alton. From him I passed to Miss Clarissa Whipple, afterwards Mrs. John Dye. Her school was in the attic of the house now occupied by Mrs. Covell on State Street, and the door which admitted us may still be seen, halfway up, on the northern side. Miss Whipple performed her duties well, and those who knew her do not need to be told that she was in every respect a Christian lady, and there can be no higher praise. Years have not effaced the impression her character and conduct made upon me, when my mind was “wax to receive and marble to retain.”

Sometime later, I had the ill luck to fall into the hands of a Mr. Buchanan, who came to Alton through the influence of the once well-known Greathouse family. He pitched his scholastic tent in the basement of the old Methodist Church aforesaid, and a rich and racy tent it was. He was a gaunt, raw-boned Kentuckian, over six feet in height, and always sat with his hot on – a silk “plug,” like its owner, considerably the worse for wear. My idea is that he was no more fit for teaching than for the Lord High Chancellorship of England, but all deficiencies were shielded from criticism then by his remarkable ability and fondness for corporal punishment. The instrument he employed was a hickory switch as long as himself, about an inch in diameter at the butt, and tapering neatly to a point. I, being a little fellow, did not get much of this sharp medicine, but some of the bigger boys were dosed “early and often,” and with great severity. I recollect one in particular: Addison D. Madeira, now a prominent Presbyterian clergyman in Kansas City. What his offense was I have forgotten, but I fancy he has not forgotten the tremendous flogging he got – and bore without flinching or whimpering. Madeira left the school at once, and not very long after, Buchanan sought “fresh fields and pastures new,” taking his hat and switch with him, for the edification of some other juvenile community.

If I am not mistaken, my next teacher was David Ainsworth Richardson – a man whose memory I love as much as I don’t that of his predecessor. He was a native of Maine, and I think a graduate of Waterville or Bowdoin College, a Baptist in religious faith, and faithfully practicing, as far as human frailties would permit, what he professed. He had a high temper, occasionally taxed beyond endurance, but he was rarely unjust, and never intentionally so, and won and kept the respect and affection of all his scholars. I can see him now, though the grass has been growing over him for nearly forty years – tall and muscular, with no superfluous flesh, dark complexion and hair, nose large and straight, fine teeth, firm lips, naturally stern, but often relaxing into a pleasant smile, and light gray or blue eyes, stern or smiling too, as the occasion demanded. Though he finally died of consumption, he had a powerful voice, which made idle urchins tremble, for it was not unfrequently accompanied, or quickly followed, by the application of a switch (hazel) or ruler. I have felt both, especially the latter, and probably would have been improved by more of the same sort. His system of education was the old-fashioned “common school” kind – a kind which, whatever its deficiencies, at least “rooted and grounded in the fundamentals” every pupil capable of learning anything. I think the most I know today of reading, spelling, writing, arithmetic, geography, and American history I learned under his tuition, and little as that is, I have seen graduates of colleges and seminaries who knew considerably less. As for grammar, which held a prominent place in the list of studies, I wrestled with it long and well, but was always thrown, and now, after more than twenty-five years journalistic work, could not give a single rule or “parse” the simplest sentence to win all the dollars of a Vanderbilt. No fault of my teacher, however. He worked faithfully with me and the rest in this and all other branches, receiving therefore $3.50 or $4.00 per quarter – a hire not worthy of the laborer or the labor.

Mr. Richardson’s first school was in a tumble-down frame house on the side of the hill, back of the old residence of the late Lewis Kellenberger. All the “conveniences” were decidedly inconvenient. I do not believe there is as wretched a schoolhouse today in Illinois as that was, yet we were as happy there, and perhaps learned as much as the more fortunate boys and girls of the present time. The benches were hard, the desks rough, the wind blew in and out through floor and roof, and the roads to this temple of knowledge were of the “Jordan” variety, and “hard to travel,” but we were young, and what good times we had! Let me try to recall the names of some of my fellow students, the girls first, of course: Maria and Jane Jones, nieces of the late J. B. Hundley. Both were pretty, Maria the belle of the school, and as amiable as she was lovely. Both married, unfortunately, and moved to California, where they died long ago. Ellen and Lucretia Edwards, daughters of the late Hon. Cyrus Edwards, both bright and attractive, and Lucretia the most popular girl in the school. Who “knew her but to love her,” who “named her but to praise?” Ellen became Mrs. Dr. Metcalfe; Lucretia, Mrs. Parker H. French – and both are gone. Julia Edwards, daughter of the late Dr. Benjamin F. Edwards, afterwards Mrs. Lewis B. Parsons, unquestionably the finest intellect there, and one that would have ranked high anywhere. We all looked up to her as a model of industry and learning, and were content to imitate what we could not hope to equal. And she, too, is gone. Fannie and Carrie Atwood, now Mrs. E. D. Topping and Mrs. R. S. Cavender. They were pictures of health and beauty, admired and beloved by all, and live in my memory dressed in the garments of eternal youth. Susan Emerson, now Mrs. B. F. Barry, was one of us then, I think, she certainly was afterwards. A hard student, invariably well behaved and good tempered, with many friends and no enemies. Mary (“Pidgie”) and Martha Edwards, sisters of Julia, and great favorites with teacher and pupils. Martha was than not more than seven or eight years old, and to me she has never grown any older, though married and settled long since, as is her sister. All these, and others I must pass over for lack of space, are transfigured in the soft, sweet light of vanished days. The living and the dead rise before me as I write, beckoning me backward to a past that seems like a dream, and yet that seems more real than the present.

Of the boys, George S. Kellenberger and George M. Atwood, lifelong friends and not long divided by death. Their manhood fulfilled the promise of their youth, and Alton lost much when they died. George S. March, son of the late Colonel E. C. March, a jolly fellow who has experienced both extremes of fortune, and is now, I believe, living in Chicago or Milwaukee. Edward P. Wade, Eben Marsh, Samuel Pitts, Henry W. Hart, and John A. Ryrie, speak for themselves. Presley and Cyrus Edwards, sons of Dr. Edwards, alive and prosperous, but I do not know where. Presley was our only classical scholar, and his campaign through Caesar’s “Commentaries” was, according to my recollection, more severe than any undertaken by the great Roman. He certainly earned his Latin by the “sweat of his brown.” I wonder if he retains any of the dearly purchased article. Cyrus was twin brother of Martha, and like her, is to me only about seven or eight years old, though he is liable to be a grandfather by this time.

Mr. Richardson’s second and last school was in a house now torn down, once occupied by Dr. Benjamin F. Edwards, on the left-hand side of the street, not far from the residence of the late Moses G. Atwood. I never pass the spot without looking at the old trees which mark it, and the weed-grown hole that was once the cellar. The schoolroom was the front and back parlors on the east side, thrown together by folding doors. The girls had the southern part, and the boys the north. Mr. Richardson, who had married meanwhile, brought his wife there, and a child was born to them. The little stranger was an object of great interest to us, but I have quite forgotten the sex. Mrs. Richardson was a handsome and accomplished woman, and taught French to those who desired to learn that language. I have understood that she married again, and is, or was, living somewhere in Maine. Mr. Richardson visited Alton after he had given up teaching. He was then in declining health, too weak to walk to Middletown, and our last interview was on the hill near where Dr. Hope now lives. I was chasing quails in the brush nearby, and he saw and called me to him. He bent down from his horse, spoke a few kind words, and then we shook hands and parted forever. A good teacher and a good man was he, and as long as I remember anything, I shall not forget one to whom I owe so much. May the clods of the valley rest gently upon his dust. Signed, T. D., St. Louis, February 14, 1883.


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 Telegraph, July 14, 1871
The Common Council, in order to meet the demand for additional educational facilities, have ordered the erection of a new public-school building in the Third Ward. It will be a substantial and convenient edifice, costing some $15,000. Mr. Lucas Pfeiffenberger is the architect. Sealed proposals will be received at his office until July 25, for the erection and completion of the building.


Source: Alton Telegraph, September 30, 1880
A fire was discovered at Schoolhouse No. 3, Mechanics Square [Fifth and Langdon Streets], Saturday, about 10 p.m. The alarm was given, the firemen turned out and the flames were extinguished before much damage was done to the building, although the stairway leading from the first to the second story was burned away, with some injury to the floors. It appeared that the fire had started under the stairway, and is supposedly incendiary, as there was nothing about the place from which it could have originated. [This schoolhouse was later the original Garfield School.]


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 [1851] 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 everyone 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.


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 Evening Telegraph, April 29, 1895
At a meeting of the school board Saturday night, the plans of Mr. U. S. Nixon, for the new Washington School to be erected in Highland Park, were accepted. The new structure will cost about $10,000. It is very much like the Garfield School building, and has a seating capacity of 240. There are four schoolrooms on the main floor. The basement of the building will be fitted up for a playroom, to be used in wet weather. The plans are considered first class in every particular, and the bids for the erection of the building will be called for in the near future.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, April 14, 1896
The new Washington School building was accepted last night by the Board of Education, from Architect Nixon and Contractor Ryan. It is a beautiful building, and does credit to the architect who planned its magnificent proportions, as well as to the contractor who performed the work. No finer building of the size can be found in the State, and Alton can be justly proud of its schools. The building and site will, when ready for the pupils, cost between $18,000 and $20,000, and will accommodate between 200 and 300 pupils. The building will not be opened for the reception of pupils before September, the beginning of the new school year, as there is considerable work yet to be done on the grounds to put them in readiness, such as grading, building sidewalks, etc.


Source: Alton Telegraph, May 7, 1896
The new Washington School in Highland Park will be opened in September, with three rooms. Miss Janet M. Logan was appointed principal, with Misses May Crawford and Dora Rosenberger as assistants. The beautiful school is a credit to Alton. It is a memorial to the wisdom of the late Board of Education, who planned it, as well as to the present Board, who succeeded them.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 11, 1896
The School Board reported that the old Washington School or No. 4 building [on Common Street in Alton] had been vacated, and was at the disposal of the city. The report was accepted and the Public Buildings Committee authorized to rent the building.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, December 26, 1896
The C. P. Mission Sunday School will be opened at the old Washington Schoolhouse [on Common Street] tomorrow afternoon at 3 o’clock by a dedication service.


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, 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, to wit, 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 Yaeger 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, 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 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 martyred President - the beloved McKinley?


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, 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, 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, October 13, 1904
To help increase the rapidly growing gymnasium fund for the McKinley 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 diphtheria 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, 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, January 30, 1908
The "Piasa Quill" will be the name of the new paper to be launched in Alton about February 12 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.

The Piasa Quill newspaper was established in February 1908 by the senior class at the McKinley High School, at 6th and Mechanic Streets in Alton. As time went on, they lost business advertisements, so the class had to pay for the publication. By 1912, they were $160 in debt, and publication ceased. In 1914, the Piasa Quill was replaced by The Searchlight, published by the Sophomore class. It was a typewritten newsletter which was passed around between the students. The staff of The Searchlight was Walter Stafford, editor-in-chief; Joe Dromgoole, art editor; Ed Meriwether, advertising manager; Warren Tipton joke editor; Ralph Landon, fiction editor.


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, 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.


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, 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 accommodate 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.


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