Buena Vista County, IA
USGenWeb Project

Sioux Rapids School History

The first schoolhouse ever erected on the present site of Sioux Rapids was built in 1856 on the northeast corner of section 12, 92-37. This schoolhouse was later moved to a place about half a mile south, and was used here as a school until the county was divided into townships in 1869. A schoolhouse was erected in 1870 on block 11, and this building was used as a sub-district school until March, 1878, when on the 11th of that month the Independent district was organized. The district was formerly composed of a part of Lee township, but the independent district included with this also a part of Barnes township. The forming of the district in this way was vigorously opposed by those living across the river, who favored a district including the town only. There were several residents across the river who would add materially to the strength of the school, if the district could be made to extend over their territory. The towns-people saw this, so they wrote up their proceedings, sent them to the legislature, and had them legalized, and published as a law before the residents across the river were scarcely aware of what had occurred. Thus the district composes a part of Lee and a part of Barnes township.

In September 1878 an addition of one room was built onto the schoolhouse. A. S. Newcomb was the first teacher employed under the independent district, having taught since its organization in March. When the additional room was built in the fall, Mrs. Newcomb was employed as the teacher for that room. The first school board was constituted as follows: S. S. Warner, H. Jacobson, and James M. Hoskins.

With the advent of the C. & N. W. railroad in 1882, and the consequent increase in population, a larger building was required for school purposes, so a building of four rooms was erected in 1883, costing sixty-five hundred dollars. This constitutes the front part of the present structure. While this was being built, the Methodist church was rented for the use of that part of the school which could not be accommodated at the schoolhouse. The new building served the needs of the school until 1898. In the summer of that year an addition was erected, together with the installation of a new steam heating plant. This constitutes the present building, standing as it does on the top of a hill, near the edge of the town, from which can be obtained an excellent view of the town, the river beyond, and the surrounding country.

The following are the present teachers in the school: superintendent, W. J. Hunt; principal, Abbie Laughlin; first assistant principal, Ivah McCredie; second assistant, Clara L. Farmer; grade teachers : Lida Burkholder, Florence Jeffrey, Mable Elder, Frances Evans, Minnie Steen, and Iowa Wray. The total enrollment at the present time is two hundred and eighty.

The board of directors is composed of the following men: E. M. Duroe, P. A. Saxerud, N. A. Lundvall, F. K. Northey, Geo. S. Cate.