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)
'RITIN' AND 'RITHMETIC'' 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. CATHOLIC EDUCATION 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 READIN' 197
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