Franklin Academy Pictures
Below are photos and a short history of the Franklin Academy
These pictures were first donated to the Holdrege Museum by
Chas. T. Ross in December 2000. I was allowed to scan the pictures
before they were given to the Franklin Museum in June 2001. A
BIG Thank You to Mr. Ross for these wonderful pictures.
If you have more Franklin Academy pictures you would like posted,
please email me, Patti Simpson,
Franklin County Coordinator for the NEGenWeb Project.
This is a bigger and clearer view of one above.
The following article was taken from the August 2, 2005 Franklin County Chronicle's "Taking A Look Back."
50 Years Ago
August 4, 1955
Franklin County Sentinel:
Franklin: This Friday will be alumni day for the Franklin Academy. There has been no Franklin Academy for 33 years.
But the loyal alumni – probably no existing Nebraska school has as loyal an alumni roster – will meet as usual in
the basement of the Congregational Church at Franklin for a picnic dinner. Alumni Day for Franklin is always the
first Friday in August. This is the seventy-fourth year since the Academy was founded as a college preparatory
school. As long as there are alumni living, the alumni day will be carried on. This was no theological seminary.
But the alumni all aver that it was the religious atmosphere and training they received at the Franklin Academy
that is the secret of the strong tie to the school long since gone.
Fern Betts, the secretary, sends out the alumni cards – 324 in 1954. Last year about 75 attended and another
50 sent letters. This year the alumni will be asked to vote on the proposal to send the Franklin Academy records
to the State Historical Society in Lincoln.
There were no high schools in the Republican Valley in the 1880’s. Parents and ministers felt something should
be done about educating their children beyond the eighth grade. The Franklin Academy Association was organized
under the auspices of the Reublican Valley Association of Congregational Churches in February 1881.
Out on the prairie Franklin was then a small town of sevn houses. But it had no saloons. It was chosen for the
site of the academy. Only when the need was over, when high schools were plentiful, did the school close its
doors. It had a successful record for 40 years.
The first building was erected before 1881 was over. Dormitories and a music hall were built later.
The acedmy ranked higher than a mere high school with an excellent music department. The teachers were above
By 1902 the academy had enrolled 1,350 students from 225 towns and 17 states.
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