SCHOOLS OF CEDAR RAPIDS


©2003 Sandra Newman Sanchez





As early as 1842, a rural school house had been built about one and one half miles out First Avenue from the river.
However the first Cedar Rapids school house was erected at the northwest corner of Second Ave, and Fifth Street by a company consisting of N.B. Brown, George Greene, Alexander Ely, and others who later sold it to the district.
The first teacher was propably Susan Abbe, daughter of "Squire" Abbe, pioneer from nearby Mount Vernon. She had previously taught school in the John Vardy home.
A three story brick building was erected in 1855 on the corner of 4th. Avenue and 5th. Street.
The course of study consisted of Spelling, exhibitions, a debating society, and reading in the "Old English Reader".
The first class was graduated from the High School in 1873. The class consisted of: two boys, John E. Leonard and Gordon Murray; four girls, Mary McClenahan, Eva Stiles, Julia Saregemt, and Hariet Boyce.

In the 1870's and later, children climbed over board stiles into Madison and other school grounds. Cows had the right of way on the streets.
In the 1877 City Directory the following Elementary Schools are listed:
Washington
Adams
Jefferson
Madison
Monroe
Time Check School
James Street School
Gainor