Buena Vista County, IA
USGenWeb Project

Newell School History

The earliest records of the schools of Newell are missing, consequently all data to its organization is gleaned from memory from the oldest residents of the town. The first school was organized sometime in the year 1870, and the building was situated about one-half mile from what is now the present site of the town. In 1871 the school was held in the town proper, and this building was either moved into town or a new one was built in the southwest portion of the town. This building was occupied for about seven years, when the school was moved into a new two-story, two-room brick building, which had been erected for a courthouse.

Newell was not then the county seat, but the question of establishing a permanent county seat was still being agitated, and the people of Newell erected a building to be used as a courthouse with the hope of inducing the county seat to be established there. The contest resulted unfavorably to Newell, so the building was turned over to be used as a school. The old wooden building was sold and used as a residence for thirty years, having been torn down in 1908. The school continued to occupy the brick building for over twelve years, during which time a small frame building was erected, to accommodate the increasing number of scholars.

In 1889 a brick building of four rooms was erected, forming the nucleus of the present structure. When the school began its occupancy of the new building, the other buildings were sold and converted into dwelling houses. An addition of two rooms was erected in 1898, making the present structure of six rooms. The several removals of the school bespeak of a steady growth which the school has always had.

The enrollment at the present time averages two hundred, of which forty-six are in the high school. The school contains a good library, put in 1899 partly by donation, but chiefly by subscription.

C. K. Dukes took the superintendency of the school in January, 1894, remaining for six years, until his death in 1900. J. E. Cundy was superintendent of the school for two and one-half years, resigning to take up the duties of his present position of county superintendent of schools. H. C. Moeller is the present superintendent, and Miss Helen Wilson his assistant. The grade teachers are Beth Newton, Luella Pogue, Ethel Thorpe, Minnie Tutt and Maggie Kanally. The present board of directors are S. A. Beason, A. J. Davie, E. P. Krause, C. J. Robinson, G. W. Chaney, F. G. Redfield, secretary. (From 1909 history book)