The First Public School of Abbotsford, Wis.
THE FIRST ABBOTSFORD PUBLIC SCHOOL
The beginning of the public school system in Abbotsford goes back to 1873 when the Wisconsin Central Railroad Company extended its line into what is now Abbotsford, and a few settlers formed a community. School was first held in a small room on the main street in the year 1879 or 1880. Rapid growth of the community made it essential that enlarged and more permanent facilities for conducting school be provided.
In 1885, a two-story frame building was erected on the site of the new addition to the present Elementary School. Apparently, the school at this time was not a "graded school", and children were promoted or retained by a system of "readers". The annual report of 1889 by the Clark County Superintendent of Schools, R.J. Sawyer, states that "Abbotsford was preparing to form a graded school".
In 1889, a two-room addition gave the village a four-room school which was considered to be adequate for many years. This was not the case, however, and more room was soon needed. Rental of a room in the Kalb Building, which was situated on the site now occupied by the Hutt Electric Company, solved the problem temporarily. The primary grades were housed in this room until 1900, when a small building was erected just to the northwest of the larger structure.
Enlargement, Close-up of Students; From Jim Jantsch's Photo Album of Dorchester, Wisconsin
In 1901, the Wisconsin Central Railroad Company moved its division points here from Chippewa Falls and Stevens Point, which caused a virtual doubling of the population. Overcrowded conditions of school facilities made it necessary to have a split-shift in school attendance in the primary grades, half of the students attending in the morning and the other half in the afternoon.
(Abbotsford Centennial Book, "100 Years" 1973; pg. 24)
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