History of Elwood Schools

This comes from the Elwood Centennial booklet, 1972. It was sent to us by Tom Upshaw.

The early settlers, farmers and businessmen of the Elwood area recieved their education in a small school house known as the Sparks school, which stood at the corner a quarter mile east from the south edge of Elwood.

After forty years of use the building was replaced by a new one.  In the spring of 1901 a petition was circulated, an election was held, and the Independent School District of Elwood was formed.

An area of ground lying at the northwest corner of town was bought from August Gabriel for $250.  On this site a two room building was constructed.  The Sparks School was moved over from the country making part of the west room, while the east room and one end of the west room were newly built.

The first school board was composed of W. S. Hill, J. O. Wade, F. W. Leinbaugh, A. J. Wirth, and C. Irwin.  Dr. McKinsey was treasurer, and John Witsell, Secretary.  A. J. Wirth served continuously on the board from 1901 until his death, 39 years later.

A new brick building which is still the front part of the present school was constructed in 1915.  The original wooden two room structure was then moved down the hill to the east where it was used for many years as a community center.

In 1920, the Elwood Independent District was consolidated with 5 rural districts, the proposition carried by a vote of 66 to 16.

The second portion of the present brick building was built in 1922 to accommodate the increased enrollment.

When Fred Bowersox came to Elwood as school superintendent he helped organize the "Community Club".  The entire community participated in the monthy gatherings during the year.

About 1947 the Elwood Consolidated District was enlarged by the addition of the Lane, Waugh, and parts of German Valley Districts along the south border of Brookfield township, plus Grandview in Grant township and also an area in Jackson County.  A smaller area in Bloomfield township was annexed a short time later.

The present gymnasium and auditorium was constructed in 1949, at which time the old gymnasium was converted into locker and dressing rooms with the lunchroom overhead.  Another addition for larger heating plant and band room came in 1952.  A bus garage which was placed east of the gym was later converted into the Industrial Arts Shop.

Lastly the grade rooms were added to the north side of the gymnasium in 1956.

In 1960 the Delmar and Elwood school boards headed by Melvin Ebersole and Edward Tubbs began efforts toward reorganization which culmnated in combining the Delmar and Elwood Consolidated Districts plus Wilson Independent into the present Delwood system in 1962.