SCHOOLS

Photo above: High School (first), from a 1909 post card.

From Ann M. Nelson's compilation:

SIXTH STREET SCHOOL (MAP #47)

Circa 1871-72 Brainerd’s first school, at the west end of Front Street, is of hewn logs. Planks laid upon boxes are the seats. The teacher is said to be Charles Lancaster, a graduate of St. Cloud Normal School. Later the building is used as an icehouse. The first effort to have a semipublic school is “by Bean, Prescott, and White, who purchase of John Hess for $50 a building of hewn logs near the railroad bridge” and employ Miss Hall as teacher. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 30)

For several months in 1872 Miss [Julia] Fitzgerald conducts a private school with an enrollment of 22 boys and 23 girls and an average attendance of 30. The studies are: alphabet, reading, penmanship, spelling, arithmetic, grammar, geography and history. ...Later in the year the Brainerd School District is organized. The board authorizes that positions be offered to Miss Ladd and Miss Fitzgerald, who teaches private school, to teach from 01 January to 01 April 1873, at a salary of $55 per month. (Note: Miss Julia Fitzgerald [Mrs. C. G. Early of St. Paul] is a home comer in 1922.) (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 30)

The Brainerd School District is organized and six elected members of the School Board meet for the first time on 30 December 1872. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 14)

At a meeting held on 08 April 1873, the school district votes to erect a public school building that year at a cost of $2,500. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 31)

The Sixth Street School is built in 1873 on the northeast corner of South Sixth and Oak Streets. (Oldtimers II: Stories of Our Pioneers in the Cass and Crow Wing Lake Region, Volume II, Carl A. Zapffe, Echo Publishing and Printing, Incorporated, Pequot Lakes, Minnesota: 1988; p. 129)

The Sixth Street School opens for a three-month's term in January 1874, with Miss Simons and Miss Ladd as teachers. With its additions, built later, it cares for 250 pupils. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 31)

In June of 1878 the School Board decides to add a 26’ x 36’, two-story addition on the north side of the Sixth Street School. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 15)

On 24 January 1885 the Sixth Street School is ordered closed and its students move to the new high school located farther east on Oak Street. The Sixth Street School continues in use until 1896. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 47-48)

“On the last day of January, 1885, the teachers and pupils of the Sixth Street School formed in procession headed by the city band and school board, marched over with band playing and flags flying, and took possession of the new high school building just completed. Principal J. A. Wilson...and others made speeches. That day was an epoch in the progress of education in Brainerd. Everybody was proud of the fine new building. It was the most complete and finest furnished school building in Northern Minnesota.” (J. A. Wilson) (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 31)

WASHINGTON HIGH SCHOOL (First) (MAP #51)

The School Board authorizes a vote on a bond issue of $40,000 for a new high school on 04 February 1884, the proposal carries by a vote of 106 to 3. A lot on the south side of Oak Street between Eighth and Ninth Streets is purchased for $5,200 and the bid to build the building at $27,000 by F. B. King and Company of Minneapolis is accepted. The building is built from Brainerd-made Schwartz cream brick. On 12 January 1885 the board accepts the new building. In February of 1929, the school burns down. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 38, 47, 135, 139)

NOTE:

30 March 1928. The Washington High School building was completely destroyed by fire last night. The yellow gray walls that housed Brainerd students for the past 43 years was all that remained. Estimate of the damage placed it close to $150,000. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 31 March 2008)

“On the last day of January, 1885, the teachers and pupils of the Sixth Street School formed in procession headed by the city band and school board, marched over with band playing and flags flying, and took possession of the new high school building just completed. Principal J. A. Wilson...and others made speeches. That day was an epoch in the progress of education in Brainerd. Everybody was proud of the fine new building. It was the most complete and finest furnished school building in Northern Minnesota.” (J. A. Wilson) (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 31)

A large new addition is completed in 1903. (Brainerd's Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 32)

WASHINGTON HIGH SCHOOL (Second) (MAP #51)

In 1930 the new Washington High School, replacing the burned structure at a cost of nearly $600,000, is ready for occupancy. Circa 1933 it houses grades 10 through twelve. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 49, 141)