IAGenWeb Project - Clayton co.

Guttenberg High School
"One Hundred Years of Excellence"


'One Hundred Years of Memories'
by Shelia Tomkins

(Excerpts from pages 1-4 of the booklet)

While 1888 marks the year of the first graduating class of Guttenberg High School, the history of education in Guttenberg begins many years earlier. The first German settlers arrived in Guttenberg in 1845, and in the next decade schools were established.

An independent school district was organized and the first permanent schoolhouse was built in 1854 at a cost of $2,000. It was located on Lot 17 of Block 14, Prairie la Porte. The first school for the lower grades was located on Lot 9 of Block 2 in Guttenberg, while the higher grades attended school in what was called the "Academy Building" on Lot 4 of Block 15, Prairie la Porte.

A Dubuque traveller, who visited Guttenberg in 1859, wrote: "There are three public schools in the city, two English and one German."

"The First One Hundred Years, A History of Guttenberg, Iowa" by Walter Jacobs, has the following information:

The school board had acquired title to some land on the river bank, and in 1880 a bond issue of $5,000 was authorized to build a new building. There was much opposition to the erection of a new building, but the election carried by 74 votes. The erection of the building was started at once and a large two story brick building with four large rooms on the first floor and one large and two smaller rooms, together with an office, on the second floor, was built. The town clock, financed by popular subscription was placed in the tower at a cost of $350. When the building was completed the Mayor appointed a committee of two, August Safelder and Adolph Class, to purchase a fire bell to hand in the tower. An exceptionally sweet toned bell, weighing 647 pounds and costing $200, was bought by the town to be used in case of fire. The school was to have the use of it, twice each day in calling school. The bond issue was not sufficient to pay the cost of the building, which amounted to $8,100 and with the cost of the furnishings brought this total to $9,000. Popular consensus of that day was that "the youngest child now living will never live to see this debt paid." The members of the school board at the time of the building were Herman Ihm, president; William Goetz, Henry Eckart, John Luther, James Schroeder and Jacob Falkhainer. John Troester was secretary and August Safelder, treasurer. The first principal to serve in the new building was George H. Smart, who had succeeded his own father as principal in 1871. Other teachers were J.H. Zimmerman, who taught German; Anna Anderson and Mathilda Krakow."

The community continued to grow and by the turn of the century, it was apparent that larger school quarters would soon be needed. Historian Walter Jacobs:

"The school board was able to secure a lease on the land directly north of the school building for a 99 year period, and plans were made for the erection of another building. Plans were drawn by John P. Larkin of Dubuque, and bids were asked for the construction of the building, the cost of which was not to exceed $6,000. Anton Zwack was the successful bidder, and the work was started at once. The building was not completed in time for the opening of school, so the first and second grades were placed in the Turner Hall until the building could be completed. The building was ready for occupancy in early December of 1903, and on December 4, the seats were removed from the Turner Hall and placed in the newly completed building."

Centennial Alumni Committee

Trudy (Tuecke) Glawe, class of 1963, Co-Chairman
Mick Jaquette, class of 1962, Co-Chairman
Loren Duwe, class of 1963, Co-Chairman

Hall of Memories Display

Ruth (Schrunk) Benstine, class of 1933
Joanne (Moser) Finch, class of 1953

Centennial Book Committee

Janice (Kolker) Andregg, class of 1954, Co-Chairman
Diane (Roth) Bockenstedt, class of 1973, Co-Chairman
Sandy (Knudtson) Kolker, class of 1965
Lucy (Smith) Reyerson, class of 1961

Written and Edited by:

Shelia Tompkins, class of 1968
Janice (Dubbels) Frommelt, class of 1938
Kathy (Rome) Krieg, class of 1969

Address Committee

David Wilson, current faculty member

School Superintendents

Smart, Harrison 1868-1871
Smart, George 1872-1884
Miller, Sumner 1888-1889
Laury, James 1900-1901
Adams, Charles J. 1901-1902
Schievelbein, E.A. 1902-1903
Pye, Charles F. 1903-1908
Cherney, John L. 1909-1914
Hunt, Gerald W. 1914-1916
Huffman, H.H. 1917-1918
Banghart, Mr. 1919-1920
Jorgensen, Peter 1921-1923
Cooper, Edwin 1924-1926
Pesch, Herbert L. 1927-1929
Channer, Malcolm 1929-1931
Graeber, Boyd 1931-1938
Weber, Don D. 1938-1939
Ortale, Louis 1940-1942
Thomas, Clifford 1943-1947
Cheever, Marshall 1947-1951
Archambault, Eldon 1952-1955
Ferguson, Court L. 1955-1958
Johnson, Kenneth 1958-1961
Coffman, Daniel 1961-1967
Solomon, John 1968-1977
Pasut, James 1977-


~Source: The Official Souvenir of the Guttenberg High School Centennial: "One Hundred Years of Excellence" 1888-1988.
A Commemorative Booklet Marking the 100th anniversary of Guttenberg High School's First Graduating Class of 1888

~Text was transcribed & photos scanned by Sharyl Ferrall for Clayton co. IAGenWeb


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