Excerps from ALEXLANDRIA SCHOOL HISTORY written in 1977 by VirginiaRuth Griffin Priefert of Belvidere, NE. The original sources were theoffical school record books of the Alexandria schools.
Submitted by Virginia Priefert

On May 18, 1872 a meeting was held at the home of Silas Alexander forthe purpose of electing a school board. Byron F. Young, the ThayerCounty Supertintendent of Public Instruction attended this meeting. Itwas determined that the district boundaries would be a 3 mile square. A3 member school board was to be elected and it was resolved to have athree month summer school. The board would provide a suitable room forthe school.

There were no records kept until the 6th of August, 1872 when J. F.Thomas, the Moderator, called a meeting to order. The secretary, SilasAlexander, recorded (please note his spelling) "It appeared by theRECKERDS that the treasurer elect was not qualified and the office wasdeclared vacant. Hamilton Alexander was appointed to fill the vacancyand his AXCEPTENCE filed. Meeting adjourned Sine die"

Silas Alexander wrote the legal notice of a meeting for the purpose ofdesignating a school house site and to decide to borrow $4000 at 10percent interest and a tax be levied sufficient to pay the interest ofsaid bonds. On September 9, 1872 lot 7 in block 8 was selected anddesignated as a school house site for District #24 Thayer CountyNebraska. This lot is still used for educational purposes in 1997 asthe Tucker Memorial Library stands on the site today.

John Nachtigall (also spelled Nightengale for the more "Americanspelling") married Silas Alexander's sister and he and J. F. Thomas wereput on the building committee for a new school house.

As nearly as can be determined the first term of school was from October3, 1873 to January 2, 1874 with Miss Mary Johnson as teacher. Thenortheast quarter section of section 10 and the whole section of 15 intownship 3 range 1 withdrew from the district and started their ownDistrict #36. 80 years later in 1954, with redistricting being done allover the state, District #36 rejoined Alexandria School District #24.

In 1875 the school house was blown across the street and badly damagedin a severe wind storm. It was then moved to the corner where the St.Mary's Catholic church stands. The treasurer resigned and the fadedpages still reveal:"...TOTLE (his spelling) amount of orders drawn on the districttreasurer was $564.22. After paying all expense of repairs on theschool house and making blackboards there has not been a sufficientamount to meet the judgement in favor of Baily Brothers..." Theteacher's fund was overdrawn and a new levi was suggested. No summerschool was held that year as money was not available.

Dr. James Thomas, who was also the town doctor, taught the next term ofschool from October 1874 to March 1875 with 17 pupils in very irregularattendance. Annie C. Gage held school from April 16, 1877 to July 31877. A fall term of school, starting September 1877 through Decemberwas held by George Bumbgardner. The school was closed for several daysbecause there was not enough fuel to keep the building warm.

Jesse E. Jones was the teacher from April 12 to July 2, 1880 with 48pupils enrolled. Enos Pray Griffin and his wife Ella Phar Griffin, whowere both graduates of the Whittier Quaker College in Salem, Iowa hadmoved northeast of town and Mr. Griffin became the next teacher startingSeptember 20, 1881 for a 6 month session with 61 students in the uppergrades. A second teacher was then added to the school with Mrs. E.I.Parker teaching the lower grades with 46 students.

With this large sttendance, a handsome two story wooden building with abell tower was built on Mercy Street. Two teachers were employed until1889 when a third teacher was added. Two more teachers were added afew years later.

In 1894 the school had nine grades and the first graduating class washeld in the spring with four students. L. H. Thornburgh, editor of THEALEXANDRIA ARGUS became the Professor. That year the CountySuperintendent supplied each school with a classification system booksetting requirements for each grade level. Mr. Thornburg establishedthe classification system and added the 10th grade.

W.A. Yoder was superintendent in 1911 when a two story brick buildingwith basement was built north of the wooden structure at a cost of$12,000. The 11th and 12th grades were added. Manual training wasadded for the boys and Home Economics added for the girls but weredropped in 1928.

The building committee for the new 1911 brick building were Frank. W.Cory, Mark T. Allen and Fred Jacques. Members of the board of educationwere M. T. Allen, F. W. Hubbard, L. H. Thornburgh and Charles Moore.

In 1936 bonds were issued amounting to $5000 for an auditorium to beadded to the existing building. Approximately $5000 was received fromthe government for the WPA project. Robert Sulz, Charles Thornburgh,Mrs. Rebanis Sisler Dill, Ed Wolford, Edson Cane, Ben Allen, Mrs. MaryBright and Marie Cane were members of the building committee and schoolboard. Frank Fritchie and Son were in charge of building theauditorium.

In 1954 a hot lunch program was introduced. For this the wooden oneroom rural schools from Jefferson County School Districts #30 and #77were moved onto the school grounds to be joined together to become thekitchen and dining room for the program. This same year the half dayKindergarten was added. Consolidation with the nearby rural districtsbrought about the purchase of 2 school buses. Member of the schoolboard that year were Leonard Mussman, Erma Bennett. Melvin Dein, FlossieSimmons, Walt Schroeder and Ethel Sinn.

Ater 105 years, the Alexandria Schools closed when they becameconsolidated with the Daykin and Tobias schools forming Meridian SchoolDistrict #303 located near the town of Daykin. The class of 1967 becameAlexandria's last graduating class and the 1911 brick building was torndown. In 1997 the auditorium and the two wooden rural schools thatmade up the lunch room and kitchen are still standing and used forAlexandria communtiy affairs.

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