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Armstrong School Information
Emmet County, Iowa

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1894 Armstrong School

The first school to be built in the Armstrong area was south of town in Section 36. It was built in 1868 by Dan W. Perry near the site of the old Hackerson school. This first school, which cost $700, was built of logs, the trees of which grew nearby.

After the town was incorporated, the question of a school house for the town became before the voters. School was held first above the building now occupied by the Corner Hardware and upstairs above Mrs. Phebe Armitage's milliner shop. This is the old Long shoe repair building.

Again it was moved to a building in the vicinity of the former Armstrong Oil company.

In 1896, the first class was graduated from Armstrong after they had completed the tenth grade. Commencement exercises were held in the Presbyterian Church for the six graduates: Mabel E. Cratty, Fred S. Robinson, Ethel Burt, Myrtle Gallion, Winfield S. Streator, and Margaret Thompson.

The first 12-year graduation class was held in 1911.

This school served the area well until the enrollment outgrew it. A new school of brick construction was dedicated on June 8, 1916. It still stands today and serves the elementary classes.

As the school districts changed, school enrollment continued to increase, it was apparent in 1949 that more room was needed. Two country schools were purchased and moved in behind the brick school house. One was used for band instruction and the other for vocal music.

For several years a new school addition was the topic of conversation. It took three bond issue votes before the district voters gave their approval for the needed improvement.

May 12, 1957, was another historic date for the Armstrong schools. The new, approximately $400,000 addition, which featured an all-purpose room, a large auditorium-gymnasium, shop and classrooms was dedicated. At the same time, W. A. "Prof" Ortmeyer was honored and presented with a bronze plaque for his more than 35 years of service as superintendent. He remained elementary supervisor until 1966.

In 1961 Armstrong gained membership in the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. This accreditation was in important step toward better education.

Still another need for more elbow room arose in 1966. A $75,000 addition was built at the rear of the former addition and early in 1967 the move was made into the new and remodeled classrooms, a new shop, and industrial arts area.

Today, the Armstrong School in one of the finest and best equipped plants in the area--a credit to the town and school district.

The Armstrong School Administration in 1968 is: Donald R. Silvey, superintendent; Percy F. Tornow, high school principal; T. Virgil Nally, junior high school principal; Robert Vellinga, elementary school principal.

Contributed by: James Richmond. Source: probably the Armstrong Journal, Armstrong, Emmet County, Iowa, about 1968.


1896 Graduates
Armstrong High School

Principal, J. Percival Huggett
Burt, Ethel
Cratty, Mabel E.
Gallion, Myrtle
Robinson, Fred S.
Streator, Winfield
Thompson, Margaret

Contributed by: James Richmond


Graduates, Armstrong High School, 1900

Armstrong Class 1900

Top center: Bessie VanDeburgh; left center: Jenny ?; right center: Mabel Lynde; lower middle: Alta Cratty

Contributed by: Jeri Waters, granddaughter of Mable Lynde.


Graduates, Armstrong High School, 1920

Armstrong High School 1920

Graduates L to R include: Adella Rovn, Lloyd Helgason, Myrtle Gammelgaard, Toy Haworth, Cassie Guest, Wayne Richmond, Esther Rovn, Merlin Johnson, Winifred Merritt, Lyndon Cheever, Martha Vigdal and John Kingston.

Contributed by: Jim Richmond


Graduates, Armstrong High School, 1925

1925 Armstrong High School

Graduates: Rose Danielson, Violet Hoffman, John DeBates, Rex McGuire, Allen Erickson, Donald Myer, Charles Harris, Wilbert Richmond, Mable Harrison, Elizabeth Rolling, Marian Heinrich, Armella Sturm, Marietta Helgason, Pearl Whitsell

Many thanks to Jon Barber, Class of 1953, for identifying the graduates in the above picture. Photo contributed by Jim Richmond


Graduates, Armstrong High School, 1952

Askeland, Merlyn Miller, Carla
Burgeson, Evelyn Mitchell, Geraldine
Gaarde, Arnold Mitchell, Robert
Guerdet, Ann Plath, Loraine
Hansen, Donna Quam, Ruth
Heathman, Janet Questad, Kathleen
Hypes, George Redhead, Bonita
Larsen, Elna Rovn, Dorothy
Leiding, Kenneth Schumacher, Diane
Madsen, Jean Smith, David
McKean, Mary Jean Vigdal, Sylvia

Many thanks to Mildred Bryan for help in transcribing this information. Information obtained from documents held at the Emmet County Historical Society Museum Complex, Estherville, Iowa.


Graduates, Armstrong High School, 1955

Anderson, Elgene Mae Lindell, Roger Melvin
Champney, Richard William Peterson, Gayle Dean
Cheever, Joann Faye Peterson, Ronald William
Eisenbacher, Joseph Michael Place, Roger Gilbert
Fretty, Lavonne Ruth Redhead, Barbara Rae
Gaarde, Cheryl Kay Richmond, Barbara Ann
Jones, Arlo Joel Richmond, John William
Kinnander, Don Merlin Rovn, Kathryn Marie
Krough, Donald Dean Sabin, Arden N.
Krumm, William Richard Schreiber, Arleen Ann
Larsen, Clifford LeRoy White, David Earl
Leach, Robert Kay

Many thanks to Mildred Bryan for help in transcribing this information. Information obtained from documents held at the Emmet County Historical Society Museum Complex, Estherville, Iowa.


Armstrong School in 1957

Contributed by: James Richmond.