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Outagamie County (Wis.) State Centennial Committee / Land of the fox, saga of Outagamie County

Mann, John P.
"Readin', 'ritin' and 'rithmetic",   pp. 186-207 PDF (9.3 MB)

Page 197

teach a second classroom. Instruction was
in English and German. Pastors under
wlhose ministry the school has progressed
are the Rev. Max Hein, Theodore Marth
and W. H. Gammelin.
  Two    years after founding of Zion
School a new building was erected on the
congregational property at the corner of
North Oneida Street and East Winnebago
Street. This building, dedicated on No-
vernber 30, 1895, was in 1894 moved to
Commercial Street where it was consider-
ably enlarged to accommodate an in-
creasing attendance. In 1929 this building
was razed and a new and modern school
structure erected. The present school build-
ing contains four classrooms and a combi-
nation auditorium and gymnasium. The
school is composed of the first eight
grades which are taught by four teachers.
Enrollment averages 110 students.
  The growth of Catholic education can
hardly be separated from the growth of
Catholicism, and the story of Catholicism
in Outagamie County begins with the
Rev. T. J. Van den Broek, 0. P. Father
Van den Broek had been a Dominican
priest 24 years in his native Holland
when he began his missionary work in
the Green Bay area in 1834. From Green
Bay he attended missions as far as 300
miles away. In December, 1835, a year
and a half after his arrival in Green Bay,
three Redemptorist Fathers took over
the mission work in Green Bay, so Father
Van den Broek went to Little Chute. It
was then that the Catholic religion and
Catholic education began to take root in
Outagamie County.
  A wigwam, 15 feet high and six feet
wide, which served for many months as a
combination church, school and parsonage
was the first building of the parish which
now is St. John's. This first school was
attended by the Indians and by some of
the French settlers. It was financed by
Father Van den Broek himself from his
personal inheritance. The teachers were
Father Van den Broek and Joseph Bougler.
Father Van den Broek writes: 'The In-
dians came to school to me every day, to
learn to read and write, as well as the
different trades.'' Primitive as this educa-
tion must have been, it was nonetheless
a great work for a man who had to
preach in four languages, visit the sick
and attend missions many miles away.
  The first school building of St. John
Parish, Little Chute, was built in 1844.
Unfortunately, this building had to be
closed sometime later because of lack of
funds. It was not until 40 years later
(1890) that another parish school was
opened. The records show that during a
part of the interim, Sisters of St. Agnes
of Fond du Lac were employed to teach
in the district school. The School Sisters
of Notre Dame took over the teaching in
the new parish school in 1890 but they
withdrew in 1895. The Dominican Sisters
from Racine accepted the administration
of St. John School after the Notre Dame
Sisters left and are still in charge at the
present time.
  A high school department was added
to St. John's when the present building
was constructed in 1928. The average
annual enrollment of the school since it
reopened in 1890 was 512 students. The
present enrollment of St. John's grade
and high school is about 1,000 pupils.
  Father Louis Dael, the first resident
Catholic pastor of St. Mary Parish, ar-
rived at St. Mary's in 1860, and two years
later built the first parochial school in
the city of Appleton which was also one
of the first in Wisconsin. The missionary
sisters from Barton (now known as the
Sisters of St. Agnes from Fond du Lac)
were the first teachers in the school but
they did not remain long. The sisters were
succeeded by a Mr. Johnston (Jansen).
The school was discontinued after a short
time because of lack of funds.
  The Catholic residents of that period,
almost all of them immigrants of a very
few years, became involved in a serious
nationalistic controversy. As a result, the

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