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Rappel, Joseph J. / A centennial history of the Manitowoc County school districts and its public school system, 1848-1948
([1948])

History of Two Rivers City School System,   pp. 225-233 PDF (3.9 MB)


Page 225


HISTORY OF TWO RIVERS CITY SCHOOL SYSTEM
                              By History Committee
    On September 28, 1844, three school districts were formed to include
the entire
area of Manitowoc county. School district No. 1 was to be known as the Two
Rivers
school district composed of the original Two Rivers township and conformed
with the
Two Rivers assessment district of that time.
    The first school in the present city of Two Rivers was opened in a private
frame
building that stood between River and 15th street at the present 1414 Sixteenth
Street
site. This first school opened in 1845 and had 18 pupils enrolled. In 1849
the district
erected a school on the site where the former Frank Wolf residence stands
at 2307
Jefferson Street. Evidently that structure was unsatisfactory, for in 1850
a larger
and better schoolhouse was built where the present Ben Nilles home stands
at 1416
Eighteenth street. The building was a one-story structure of two class rooms.
For
the first few years only one of the classrooms was used.
    In 1862, another public school was set up in the upper room of a building
at
the corner of Washington and River streets. A German school was in session
on
the first floor of that building. In 1864, a primary school was organized
in a build-
ing that stood on the site of the present Two Rivers Transfer Co. at 1407
Sixteenth
Street. Later that year, another school was opened in a building at the present
Washington street near River street. Still another schoolroom was located
in the
Berger building on the southwest corner of Jefferson and Sixteenth Street.
The in-
convenience of having schoolrooms in several buildings and at several different
locations was remedied in 1865 when a two-story frame school house with two
rooms
on each floor was erected on the property between the present location of
the H. P.
Hamilton school and Jefferson Street - the present H. P. Hamilton playground.
Tthe
erection of this school centralized public education in Two Rivers school
district No. 1
in one building. It is known that three school buildings were on this property
until
the erection of the present H. P. Hamilton building in 1903. See history
of H. P.
Hamilton school.
    In 1876, a kindergarten was added. Two Rivers has the distinction of
being the
second school system in Wisconsin to establish a kindergarten. The Two Rivers
high
scho9l was organized in 1877 and the first high school report submitted to
the county
superintendent in August 1878. At that time the high school course consisted
of the
9th, 10th, and l1th grades with one teacher employed to teach the high school
classes.
The year's work was divided into 2½ terms totaling 33 weeks. The first
year there
were 31 pupils enrolled in the high school classes. According to the Two
Rivers
"Students Handbook" published in 1945, it was not until 1893 that
a four-year high
school course was offered. More of the high school facts will be related
in the article
dealing with the history of the Washington high school in Two Rivers.
    The steady growth of Two Rivers is revealed in analyzing the city clerk's
reports
made annually to the county superintendent of schools from 1878 to 1906.
Two Rivers
became an incorporated city in 1878, but the schools in the city remained
under the
jurisdcjtion of the county superintendent of schools until 1906 when a city
superin-
tendent was employed. In 1878, there were 792 children of school age (4-20)
with 448
of them enrolled in the public school. By 1890, there were 1061 children
of school age;
but only 498 of them attending the public school. Even at that early date
the paro-
chial schools were affecting the public school attendance for there were
then at least
two parochial schools in operation. By 1903, there were 1,578 children of
school age
and only 553 attending the public schools.
    Private and parochial schools were established early in this community.
A Ger-
man school was conducted as early as 1862. The city clerk's report of 1878
indi-
cates that two parochial or private schools with 75 pupils enrolled were
in operation.
By 1890, there were still only two parochial or private schools in operation,
but by
that time 257 children between 7-13 years of age were in attendance and in
charge of
five teachers. A third parochial school was set up in 1898. By 1905, 617
children of
school age were attending the three parochial schools for the entire school
year. To-
day there are four parochial schools in the city enrolling a large number
of the
school age children.
    The city clerk's reports to the county superintendent from 1878 to 1906
list among
the statistics the valuation of the school property. In 1878, the highest
value of the
one school house and site then being maintained by the district was $10,000.
In 1891
and 1892, when the old Roosevelt school was erected for $6,800, the value
of sites and
225
building rose to 1-16 800 After the new Hamilton School was built in 1903
for about


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