Merrick County's 100th Year: 1858-1958


Education In Central City

There remains yet an additional word to be said about the development of Central City's educational system. The first school, as already stated, was held in the little brick building, still standing across the street north of the court house. The teacher was Gertrude Conrad, afterwards Mrs. C. W. Adams.

In 1876, School District 4 (Central City and vicinity) acquired the lots now occupied by the Methodist Church and parsonage. There the first school building was erected, a two room structure which served the needs of the town until the present school site was decided upon.

In the winter of 1877 or 78, 1 spent a week with my half brother who was living in Central City with Diton Reynolds and attending school. I went to school with him everyday and formed many acquaintances. B. W. Baker taught the upper room and Miss Fora Porter the lower. Will Vieregg was accounted the best scholar in the school and Grace Traver the outstanding athlete. I remember that she could outdo all of the boys in athletic contests.

In the early eighties a contract was let to Rupert Vieno to build a new high school of brick on the present school site. Mr. Vieno's bid proved far too low and he was not able to complete the building which served in its unfinished state for several years. This building was long since dismantled to make room for a newer and better structure. A ward school in the north part of town takes care of the little folk in that sector. A splendid auditorium is the latest addition to Central City's educational facilities. This auditorium, flanked on either side by a splendid classroom building completes a setup of which Central City and Merrick County can well be proud.

Superintendent Cox has gone to great pains to procure names of teachers, especially superintendents and their tenure of service. To this list I have added many names from memory. The list is too long to permit of publication. Besides some would certainly be left out. Here are a few with outstanding terms of service. Miss Rachel Young, 40 years; Mrs. Nellie Fry, 18 years; Prof. M. L. Crandal, 22 years; Miss Berniece Anderson, 16 years; Mrs. Dorothy Mills, 14 years. Many others served long terms but I cannot give the years.

Any one who is really interested in the history of Central City schools should examine the Yearbook for 1935 which celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the first graduating class of 1886, composed of Pearl McEndree, Metta Porter and Gertrude Roth McHenry. This is a wonderful volume which came to my hand too late to embellish a rather drab recital. In it is a record of every class for 50 years. Copies of this book should be cherished by those who have it. Mr. and Mrs. Ted McEndree brought it to my attention.


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Site Updated: 03 December 2015