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Brief 5th Ward School History

Audubon Elementary School

AUDUBON ELEMENTARY SCHOOL. Originally known as the Fifth Ward School, the school was renamed Audubon on December 23,1889, after the board of education chose to rename all the buildings after famous Americans. In 1905 petitions were received by the Board to close the school because it was unsafe. Audubon was vacated on February 28, 1906, and the pupils were transferred to the Audubon Annex, Fulton, and Marshall.

1854-Old Fifth Ward School opened, which would later become Audubon School.

1856-Meeting was held in which the Committee of Schools recommended the opening of Primary, Secondary and Grammar Schools in the 3rd and 5th ward school buildings. A limit of 50 pupils per teacher was set in 5th ward school.

1864-A petition to open a school for colored children was presented. A tornado blew the roof off of the 5th ward school building and it cost the district $2,500 to replace.

1868-Primary department of fifth ward school was so crowded that they had to divide it into 2 shifts, one in the a.m. and one in the p.m. Mayor requested that schools be closed for 2 weeks because of the prevalence of smallpox. Request was denied.

1871-Due to overcrowdedness, a one story addition was built at a cost of $565.00.

1873-A petition requesting a school in the fifth ward north of 23rd st. was filed.

1875-Teaching of German in the Ward Schools was introduced as well as the granting of a 15 minute recess during the a.m. and p.m. sessions.

1884-Plans for a school house in the fifth ward were approved. This building was named the Eagle Point School and opened for classes on Feb. 4.

1889-Eagle Point School was named Audubon School.

1890-Petition to the Board to erect flag staffs on the various school buildings and fly the American flag on the days that school was in session.

1893-11,656 children in the district, average daily attendence was 3,542.

1897-Charles G. Kretschmen, Principal of Audubon School died and B.J. Horchem was approved temporary Principal.

1907-Petition filed to change the name of Audubon School to the Charles G. Kretschmen School, was denied.

1912-Audubon Alumni Association formed

1915-Social Center was opened at Audubon School to be held 2 nights a week during the winter months.

1922-The district ruled that married women could not teach.

1943-All of the school openings were delayed for one month because of a polio epidemic.

1949-The opening of school was delayed one week because of an outbreak of poliomyelitis and a shortage of coal due to the mining strike.

1950-Contracts were set for laying the first all weather courts in the Audubon, Bryant and Prescott School playgrounds. They were constructed of asphalt over a crushed rock base.

1953-3rd and 4th graders, with parents’ permission, were released from school one hour a week to attend religious instruction.

1954-Classroom opened at Audubon School for the teaching of mentally handicapped children on a half- day basis.

1956-On December 10th a resolution to change the district’s name from Independent School District of Dubuque to the Dubuque Community School District was passed.

1973-School board accepted a $21,900 bid from Tschiggfrie Excavating Co. of Dubuque to demolish the old Audubon School, 535 Lincoln. Ave, by October 15. Construction completed September 10, 1973.

1977-Audubon Alumni Association met to discuss women’s suffrage, with remarks both opposed to and in favor of votes for women.

2002-Up until the summer of 2002, Audubon School did not have permanent walls in between the classrooms, windows or doors.


~contributed to Dubuque County IAGenWeb by Norbert Steger

~source: Audubon School


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