This picture of a rusty gate whose archway says "Davenport Intermediate School" was taken by a friend of mine. She wondered if I knew any history of the gate or the building. I didn't but her query prompted me to do a newspaper search of "Davenport Intermediate Schools". If you know anything further of the history of this gate and arch please let me know. Click photo to enlarge. Photo courtesy of M. Lorio



[Written for the Gazette]

Considering the intelligent community of Davenport - her excellent teachers, and promising children, perhaps no city of the West can boast of better schools than her. Six graded schools, peaceful and progressive at present, are now in operation in different parts of the city. In East Davenport, there is a frame school building with three teachers besides Mr. Noyes, the Principal, and 150 pupils. In West Davenport, a stone building,  two teachers, besides Mr. Demott, the principal, and 131 pupils. In North Davenport, a brick building, four teachers, besides Mr. McLellen, the Principal, and 300 pupils. In District No. 6, a brick building, two teachers with Mr. Codding the Principal, and 80 pupils.

In No. 2 we have a fine stone building, more conspicuous than the others, from its beautiful location on a bluff overlooking the city. This school has five teachers besides Mr. Mitchell, the Principal, and 300 pupils. In the lower part of the city, near the beautiful bend in the river is situated the large brick building of No. 3.

This school, in connection with the City Intermediate school, has seven teachers besides Mr. Weller, the Principal, and 500 pupils. The sum total of pupils is 1460. - What a field of labor for the faithful teacher!

Having paid the last mentioned school a visitation instead of a visit, I have become pretty well acquainted with the method of instruction pursued here, and shall not hesitate to "tell tales out of school" as long as they are good ones.

I was first introduced into the E. room of the Primary Department, under the control of Miss Williams, Principal of the Primary Department; and I must say that the little tyros were anything but prepossessing; but my interest deepened as they sang with all the enthusiasm of children "Wait for the Wagon," and repeated in concert many things indispensible in the education of children. In a low soft tone they chanted the 23d Psalm: "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want" - sang the doxology, and with folded arms walked gently out when dismissed.

I was next introduced into the G. room of the Primary Department under the control of Mrs. Culbertson. Here was the "small fry" sure enough. Children of "six years old and under" all intensely interested with their little slates and the cards hanging around the room. Their chubby faces glowing with animation testified that there was something there besides the dull round of A B C.

I next visited the F. room of the Primary Department under the control of Miss McCarn, and was highly entertained, especially with the singing. Here, as well as in the last mentioned room, the little ones did justice to themselves and their teachers. With voices sweet as the spring birds they sang in concert making gestures to correspond with the words.

In the D. room of the Secondary Department under the control of Miss Lusk, I was particularly interested with the promptness and correctness of the pupils in solving questions in mental Arithmetic as well as in the Rhetorical exercises of the P.M. and was highly entertained in the C. room of the same Department, under the control of Miss Trip; also in the Grammer school taught by Mrs. Gregg where the children were actively engaged in their studies.

I next visited the City Intermediate School consisting of pupils taught by Miss Scofield, and Mr. Weller, Prinicpal of No. 3. This school is especially adapted to the wants of our youth; and the citizens of Davenport and Scott county would do better to send their sons and daughters up here for intellectual training than to lay up for them treasures and lands or gold.

For the rise and progress of the school in No. 3, we are indebted to the active labors of Mr. A.S. Kissell, our County Superintendent; and the order that prevails here, together with the moral and intellectual training pursued, make it a model school; while it may be called a mission school, from the fact that it is confined for the most part, to the Germans, the poorer class of our population.

There are three ways of raising the lower classes to a higher standard of usefulness and excellence, the good, the better, and the best. But this is certainly the best way - to reach the hearts of the parents through their children, and while the parents cannot escape entirely the moulding hand, the children will grow up directly under its influence, and with tender emotion, will look back to the public school as their "Alma Mater."

The public school is the nursery of our college - the stepping stone to honor and virtue - the antagonist of our jails and alms houses, and most emphatically, the "sine qua non" of all our Republican Institutions; while the instruction of the graded school where the pupil advances, step by step, up the "bill of science" is by far the most sensible way of teaching children.

                                                                                  L. HUMPHREY

-- From Davenport Daily Leader; Davenport, Scott, Iowa; March 21, 1859 page 3.

What it Was and What it is Today

The Davenport High school ranks with the first schools of its kind in the state of Iowa, and is known in almost every part of the union as a model institution. It is fitting, therefore, that the reading public, who are active workers in giving young America a perfect education, should know just the exact condition of affairs, and thereby determine its good qualities and what it lacks.

A Bit of History.

The first move toward having a high school established was made by a party of enterprising citizens in the year 1858. It was then known as the Intermediate school, a name which it bore till 1861, and occupied the building on the southeast corner of Sixth and Warren, now district No. 3 After changing quarters frequently and none being satisfactory, the school board purchased the old Methodist church on the corner of Sixth and Main streets and moved the school to that place.

The Davenport high school was now in a flourishing condition. For fourteen years, class after class graduated from this building, the last one being composed of twenty pupils. In 1874 the present building was erected and has since then served the purpose of the institution.

The Courses of Study.

There are two distinct branches of study in the school, viz: The classical and scientific. The classical course embraces the languages of Latin, German, Greek and French, also chemistry, algebra, geometry, botany, English and history. The scientific course includes Latin, German, civil government, and the elective studies, physics, zoology and physiology, etc. The languages are taught by Profs. R.P. Redfield, C.C. Baumann and Mr. C.M. Lillie.

English and history has for many years been successfully taught by Miss J. Cleaves, a teacher of rare ability. Misses G.A. Stayt and Ellen McGuire are also efficient instructors. Algebra, geometry and arithmetic, so beneficial to the progressive students are taught by Prof. Baldwin and Miss Church. The other instructors are as follows:

Civics - W.D. Wells (principal): chemistry and physics. Dr. Radenhausen: botany and zoology, Miss Charlotte Pickett.

Athletics are encouraged in the school and that they are taken up by the students is seen by the recent victories of the football team and the winning of the cup at the Iowa state high school meet.

Other Organizations.

There are two literary societies in the school, the Adelphian and Philomaethean. The students amateur chess club is still increasing its membership list, which shows that the game is a favorite pastime among the pupils.

The current number of the high school paper "The Red and Blue" has just been issued. It is an excellent output, well demonstrating the fact that the high school pupils can do a thing if they wish to. Among its various features is a poem entitled "Autumn" by Arthur D. Ficke. Miss Hulda Westphal contributes "The Song of the Dying Swan," and Harry Hansen begins a series of sailors tales, a good feature of the paper. Business men should help "The Red and Blue" along in its struggle by advertising in its columns.

The high school building is a little overcrowded and does not at all come up to what it should be, comparing it with those of other Iowa cities. The assembly room, has been turned into a study room; the library does not accommodate the large number of books the school possesses and the same things could be said of the laboratory. But it is hoped both by scholars and teachers that, someday, perhaps in the near future the school board will grant their wish and add a fine up-to-date high school building, to the list of Davenport schools.

-- From Davenport Daily Leader; Davenport, Scott, Iowa; November 12, 1899 page 2.