School: Greenwood H.S. – A Short History (1893 – 1960)


Surnames: Andrews, Peterson, Soule, Miller, Varney, Thompson, Dodge, Hartson, Gullord, Bishop, Baird, Armstrong, Steiger, Duel

----Source: Greenwood Gleaner (Greenwood, Clark Co., Wis.) 10 Nov 1960

In the past sixty-seven years over 1,700 people have graduated from Greenwood High School. In 1897 one person received a diploma; in 1960 a graduating class of sixty-three, the largest in the school's history, became alumni of the school that is proud of the many that have taken respected and responsible place in society.

In 1881 a building designed for a grad school was erected on the present school site. The total cost of the first school was $7,000. The school board was made up of Elias Peterson, director; W.F. Armstrong, secretary; and Steve Andrews, treasurer. One teacher was employed and the total cost of operating the school was $650. Part of this original school is being used as the Gleaner building.

As the population grew, more teachers were added, improvements made, and finally an addition was put on the building. In 1893 a high school department was organized un the principalship of Frank Soule. Previous to this time the school had an upper department which, according to old records, offered such courses as U.S. history, physical geography, grammar, bookkeeping and algebra. High school courses listed for the 1893-94 school year were English literature, physiology, arithmetic, grammar, algebra and physical geography. Later the course of study included was expanded to include physics, geometry, botany, rhetoric reading, general history, spelling and political economy. Lynn Miller completed the high school course in 1897 and Eva Miller, Mabel Varney and Margie Thompson in 1898. B.O. Dodge was the principal at this time.

The old high school building, which was occupied by high school and grades until this fall, and which is now used exclusively for grade school purposes, was started in 1913 and opened to the public on March 16, 1914. Teacher and pupils moved in the following week. O.J. Thompson was the first principal in this building. The school board consisted of H.H. Hartson, director; P.W. Gullord, clerk; and G..W. Bishop, treasurer. The "new high school" cost $25,600. In addition to the usual recitation, assembly, cloak and office rooms, the school boasted a complete gymnasium, which was in the basement area now occupied by the home economics department. The high school enrollment at this time was 75. In 1920 the high school staff consisted of five teachers and a principal.

A magnificent wooden flagpole – for some time the tallest in the state – on the northeast corner of the school grounds. The pole was a gift of Lynn Miller, one of the first high school students. The pole, which was originally 150 feet long, was shipped from the state of Washington. If was necessary to remove the pole in 1955, after it had been resent and repaired many time, and was no longer safe.

Increasing high school enrollments and the addition of more courses made it necessary to find additional classrooms by remodeling and reducing the size of original classrooms. The first high school addition, which consisted of the present gymnasium and agriculture shop and library, was stated December 5, 1938 and completed August 18, 1939. The total cost of this project, which was built with government assistance, was $56,484. Members of the school board were H.R. Baird, direction; D.A. Armstrong, clerk, and William Steiger, treasurer. O.P. Duel was the principal.

Since that time, the building underwent a number of changes in an attempt to adjust to ever increasing enrollments and changing needs. The old study hall was partitioned off to provide additional classrooms in 1951, as was the old gymnasium earlier.

As the high school enrollment continued to grow and the education opportunities offered to young people were expanded, it became increasingly evident that additional and more modern facilities would be required. As Greenwood High School served an area of approximately 150 square miles and about 75 percent of its students were living outside the former Greenwood district, it was necessary to enlist the help of the area served to form a district with a tax base sufficiently large to provide the type of facilities the young people of the area should have. The Greenwood Board of Education held many meetings over a period of several years with area school boards, twon officials and people of the area districts to talk over the problems the high school and tow study the formation of a single, large integrated district.



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