In 1850 Edwin Stedman, John Hendershott, J. B. Hough and Andrew Martin with their families came to settle in the vicinity (Clermont). When Mr. Stedman and his wife arrived they felt that a school must be started, and accordingly the blacksmith shop was vacated and converted into a school room with Mrs. Stedman as teacher. She received $12 for her services which lasted 12 weeks of the year.
In 1854 a Brick School building was erected on the sight of the present Junior High school and the Independent School District of Clermont was formed in 1860. About 1867 this building was replaced by a much better and larger building and was the first graded school in the county.
In 1914 the Larrabees built a public school and made it the family's gift to the people of Clermont and community. Ground for this beautiful school building was broken in May, 1912, by William Larrabee III, nine-year-old son of William Larrabee, jr., and was completed and ready for occupancy in January, 1914. For 15 years Mr. and Mrs. Larrabee had made school buildings their special study in this country and in all European countries except Russia.
So accurately planned and constructed is the building that it may be truthfully likened to a solid block of cement, stone, brick, marble, and steel. The structure is 85 feet and 8 inches long and 63 feet and 8 inches wide. The only wood used in its construction is the stage floor making it an absolute fireproof building. From the first floor a stairway of steel and marble leads to the second floor, and one end of which is a spacious auditorium, including a curtain with a scene from the yard at Montauk, including the governor's grandchildren playing on the lawn.
The material for the structure came from several states-marble from Vermont, chips for the hall floor from Italy, the dolomite from the Williams quarry and the red brick from the C. Miller and Sons brick yard.
In 1924 because of the growing enrollment of students, a new high school building was built on the site of the brick building built in 1854. After the consolidation with Elgin and Wadena this building is being used for a Junior High for the three towns.
Mr. M. H. Moore served as superintendent of the Clermont district from 1944 until the consolidation and continued in that capacity in the Valley High District until his retirement in 1973. Richard Burmeister succeeded Mr. Moore in 1973 and is still serving as superintendent in the district. [16 Jul 1976]