History of the Reinbeck School

Consolidation Carries In Reinbeck Vicinity

Election Held Tuesday For Consolidated School Carries

Vote Was 249 For And 73 Against

This Will Be One of the Largest Consolidated School Districts in State

Black Hawk township, including Reinbeck, and a portion of Grant township held an election Tuesday to vote on the question of consolidation and the question carried overwhelmingly in favor of the proposition.

The votes as recorded are as follows:
Reinbeck and Independent district, for, 166; against, 21.
Rural district for, 83; against, 52.
Total for, 249; total against, 73.

The district covered embraces about forty-five sections and it is claimed that it is the largest consolidated district in the state.

A few years ago when consolidation was agitated in this same territory or practically the same, it met with a great deal of opposition and some of the rural districts hurriedly voted for brick or permanent school houses in order to forestall any attempt at consolidation. Since then the consolidated schools have come into greater favor in that locality as the vote of Tuesday plainly indicates.

The result of Tuesday's vote will necessitate the building of a new school building at Reinbeck as the present facilities are hardly adequate to accommodate the city schools alone. The new building will be erected in the same school yard and just east of the present high school building.

--The Grundy Republican (Grundy Center, Iowa), 22 January 1920, pg 1

Reinbeck Has Largest School In Grundy County

Reinbeck's first school sessions were held in various buildings and homes about the town, until 1882 it was decided that the town should have a school house. A. Methfessel donated a block of property to be used for school purposes and a square, two-story frame building was built to house the town's students.

So well was the old building built that, with the addition of a two-story wing made necessary by the increase in school population, that building continued in service until 1908.

One thing, however, helped to care for the growing school needs of the town. In 1893 John W. Akers, a "captain" by title if not by commission of the government, came to Reinbeck and started a "college". The college was little more than an academy such as are common in Iowa in those days and attempted to teach little beyond what are now high school subjects.

The project was financed by the business men and leading citizens of the town and a good building was built in the west part of town. The academy flourished scholastically for several years but was not so successful financially and its backers finally gave the building and grounds to the town and abandoned the enterprise.

This building housed the high school grades for a number of years and the two school buildings were distinguished by "West" and "South" school. The frame buildings became sadly dilapidated and in 1908 the town voted to build a new brick building. Bound by the restriction in Mr. Methfessel's gift, this new building was built on the south school grounds and the other grounds were sold and the building wrecked.

In 1919 the question of a consolidated rural district was agitated in this territory and carried in the necessary election. The one school building was inadequate to the needs of the enlarged building and a new $225,000 high school building was erected, while the old building was turned over to the grades and Junior high school.

The Reinbeck school at present is one of the largest school districts in Iowa in point of size. Containing forty-eight sections as well as the town, it is exceeded in size only by the Tipton consolidated school. The district embraces all of Black Hawk township, which has no rural school in operation, and parts of Washington and Grant township, in Grundy county, and Lincoln township, Black Hawk county, and Grant township, Tama county.

The school has this year an enrollment of 500 pupils, the smallest in the last several years, due to the smallest entering class in that period. 204 pupils are in the high school which attracts tuition pupils from nearby places. Special busses, not operated by the school district, bring pupils from Morrison, Lincoln and Voorhies, while more than 200 country pupils are transported in the nine busses operated by the school.

The school has a unique record in that it has had but two superintendents in the last twenty-six years. Since 1905 only Thos. E. Johnson and the present superintendent, W. S. Miller, have been at the head of the school. Mr. Johnson served thirteen years and is now superintendents of schools in Humboldt county. Mr. Miller is serving his thirteenth year now. He is a graduate of the local school, which is also unusual in school circles.

Following are the teaching staff this year:
High School
W. S. Miller, Reinbeck, superintendent.
Vesta L. Perkins, Hastings, Nebr., principal.
Minerva Cooper, LaPorte City, English and science.
Anna M. Petersen, Kimballton, normal training.
Daisy Strachan, Rutland, asst. commercial and science.
Ross O. Armstrong, history and boys' physical training.
Ben S. Coxon, Reinbeck, manual training and agriculture.
Ralph Stephens, Reinbeck, commer-
Myrtle Bourland, Mariemont, Ohio, domestic science.
Florence Ward, Mt. Pleasant, Latin and French.
Almira Turner, Corning, mathematics and girls phycial education.

Junior High
Mrs. Bessie M. Jenkins, Reinbeck, principal.
Gerturde Erbe, McGregor.
Frances Johnson, Chillicothe.
Agnes Gardiner, Reinbeck.

Addie Uustad, Traer.
Gertrude Strohecker, Waterloo.
Ingrid Bornholt, Clinton.
Irene Wylie, Reinbeck.
Anna Hepperle, Reinbeck.
Augusta Wilmes, Reinbeck.

Myrtle McKee, Stuart, public music and drawing.
Frank Benda, Reinbeck, band and orchestra.

--The Grundy Register (Grundy Center, Iowa), 13 November 1931

New School Building At Reinbeck $534,746

Contracts were let the past week for the new elementary school and shop buildings at Reinbeck. Total cost of construction of the two buildings has been set at $534,746. The general contract was won by the John G. Miller Construction Co. of Waterloo with a bid of $403,226. The plumbing and heating work will be done by Young Heating of Waterloo, who bid $98,980. Pfiffner Electric of Dewar was the low bidder on the electrical with a bid of $32,540.

--The Grundy Register (Grundy Center, Iowa), 29 June 1961, pg 4