Cerro Gordo County Iowa
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Globe-Gazette, Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Centennial Edition ~ "The Mason City Story: Pioneer Years"
Monday, June 01, 1953, Section 7, Pages 2 & 8


Among the first log cabins in Mason City was one designated as a school. It was there that Mrs. Lizzie Thompson started teaching in 1856, only three years after the first log cabin was built and two years after the first families arrived.

It wasn't long after this, however, before the wish of the community for better school facilities expressed itself. On Dec. 25, 1857, the school district acquired a lot at the corner of First and Georgia S. E. and erected a two-story stone school building, 30 by 44 feet, on the present site [1953] of the First Methodist Church. The building cost $3,000. The pioneers were willing to spend money for the education of their children. By 1859 when Mason City's population was 250, the school had 40 pupils.

This building became the center of cultural life. Early church organizations held their meetings there. It was to serve as the community school until the erection of the Central School Building in 1872. The second floor served as the "city hall."


 NOTE: Elizabeth "Lizzie" (Boyton) Thompson was born at Sullivan, New Hampshire, October 6, 1836, and died June 12, 1884, Mason City. Her husband, Adelbert Mason Thompson, was born June 4, 1834, Gilsum, New Hampshire, and died December 7, 1899, Mason City. They were interred at Elmwood-St. Joseph Cemetery.

Photographs courtesy of The Globe-Gazette

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, December of 2014



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