Monday, January 17, 2011

In 1886 the citizens of the first ward clamored for a new school house of their own. With the replacement of the old Third Ward School the first wards was the oldest in the city. The school board was unable to oblige as the out lay of money needed for the new south side school had emptied the coffers. Finally in 1887 the school board went forward on a new First Ward School. Again William Waters won the contract to draw up the plans. E. E. Stevens was awarded the contract to build the school.
Architect Waters conceived a beautiful Romanesque style building of red brick and lime stone trim with a tall central tower. A newspaper article printed in 1888 proclaimed the school "The finest of them all." The article further mentions the other grand new buildings of Oshkosh; City Hall, Trinity Episcopal Church and the soon to be constructed Post office and Federal Courthouse. The structure was ornate with many large windows for well lighted class rooms. The building was enclosed in 1888, the doors and windows were boarded over and the school was allowed to settle. The next year the finish work was done and the school was ready for classes in the fall of 1889.


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