School: Greenwood, Wis. High School (History - 1960)


Contact: History Buffs


Surnames: Peterson, Armstrong, Andrews, Soule, Miller, Varney, Thompson, Dodge, Thompson, Hartson, Gullord, Bishop, Baird, Steiger, Duel, Reineking, Stewart, Wuethrich, Dusso, Hemersbach, Neuenfeldt, Govek, Lamovec, LeVee, Braun, Christie, Meinhardt, Hribar, Fonstad, Wadleigh


----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI.) November 17, 1960


Postcard Photos: [1] [2] [3] [4]


Greenwood, Wisconsin High School (History - 1960)


In the past 67 years over 1,700 people have graduated from Greenwood High School.  In 1897 one person received a diploma; in 1960 a graduating class of 63, the largest in the school’s history, became the alumni of a school that is proud of the many that have taken respected and responsible places in society.


In 1881 a building designed for a grade school was erected on the present school site. The total cost of this 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 still 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.  The 1893 high school department was organized under the principal-ship 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 graduated 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 almost 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 which is 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.


The photo below was taken by Carl Shoemaker of Greenwood, Aug. 30, 1913 while the construction of the New High School for Greenwood, Wisconsin was in progress. The cupola of the old school house can be seen behind the new building. 


A magnificent wooden flagpole - for some time, the tallest in the state - stood in 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.  It was necessary to remove the pole in 1955 after it had been reset and repaired many times, 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 started December 5, 1938, and completed August 19, 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, director, 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 educational 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, town officials and people of the area districts to talk over the problems of the high school and to study the formation of a single, large integrated district.


The Greenwood Community School district was created by order of the Clark County School Committee on April 1, 1957.  At this time the Eaton Center, Benjamin, Blackberry, Braun Settlement, Christopherson, Decker, Hemlock, Rocky Run and Greenwood districts were dissolved to form the new district. Soon after the West Eaton and Willard districts petitioned to be included in the new district and an order effecting this annexation was issued by the Greenwood Board of Education on June 19, 1957. 


The present district is made up of 11 school districts and part of another in the Greenwood area.  At one time this area contained 16 one-room rural and state graded schools, some of which had joined with other districts earlier.  In addition to the schools mentioned above, many still remember other schools in the area including the Prosperity, Janesville Settlement, North Willard, Kippenhan, North Mound, and Maple Ridge schools.  Greenwood board members at the time the new district was formed were Norman Reineking, director, Robert Stewart, clerk, and Allen Wuethrich, treasurer.


The electors of the new district held their first annual meeting in July 1937 and elected Lorris Dusso, director, Alfons Hemersbach, clerk, Albert Neuenfeldt, Treasurer, Frank Govek and Henry Lamovec, to serve on the board.  The board was instructed to make a survey of the high school needs and report at a special meeting later. At a special meeting held in January 1958, the survey was presented to the people who instructed the board to go ahead on plans for new high school facilities.  The architect, Raymond N. LeVee, Appleton, was hired and preliminary plans for the present high school addition were prepared and presented at the 1958 annual school meting. The plans were approved by the electors at this meeting and then approved a $445,000 bond issue to provide the necessary funds in a referendum held September 9, 1958.  Final plans were completed and bids opened on the new addition on May 22, 1958, and actual construction started early in June.  The high school students moved into the new addition when the 1960-61 school term opened on August 29, this year.  The present Board of Education consists of Allen Wuethrich, director, Clayton Braun, clerk, Arthur Christie, treasurer, Clarence Meinhardt and Joseph Hribar.  School administrators are Clifton Fonstad, superintendent and former supervising principal for the past 10 years, and V. J. Wadleigh, high school principal.



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