Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Early History of Fulton Schools

Fulton Journal, November 28, 1905:

From the time John Baker settled in Fulton in 1836, little effort was made to secure educational advantages until 1840, when James McCoy, then a young lawyer, who located here a year previous, opened a select school. From that time until 1847 independent schools were taught at different intervals.
In 1847, School District No. 1, now 111, was organized and through the efforts of James McCoy the first school house was built. The building was a one story structure, about thirty feet square and located on Base street, the present site of the city hall. When completed, it was considered the finest school house in Whiteside county. When the Galena and Chicago Union railroad, now the Northwestern, was built into Fulton in 1855, the population increased and the stone building was no longer adequate to accommodate the large enrollment of pupils. Finally on April 27, 1857, the school board voted to sell the old school building and to purchase the site where the high school building (Park school) now stands. A special election was held July 11, 1857, when it was voted to bond the district for not less than $8,000 to build a new school house. Forty-two votes were cast, and only one was against the project.
The bids awarded were A Fellows & Company for painting, $130; H. Fuller, carpenter work, $3, 240; William Price, masonry, $4,850. The total cost of building when completed was $14,643.45. The present high school building was not completed until the spring of 1858. The first superintendent was G.G. Alvord, who taught from 1857 to 1858, a term of six months at a salary of $350 for the term.
The superintendents who have served to the present time are: G.G. Alvord, S.M. Dickey, W.E. Bradley, Mrs. M.T. Scott, Ivan T. Ruth, George G. Manning, J. Thorp, J.R. Parker, George C. Loomis, R.V. DeGroff, J.E. Bittinger, A. Ebersole, W.A. Pratt, M.A. Kline, J.D. Rishell, and Lewis Eigel is the present superintendent.