Sunday, May 19, 2013

A Tale of Two School Buildings

St. Vincent (left) & Orleans (right):  Built using same plans...?
School districts were especially numerous in the early history of Minnesota, and were much smaller than the township - often within the 26 square miles there would often be a half dozen or more.

Such was not the case in sparsely-populated Kittson County, however.

Stats for St. Vincent:
  • St. Vincent's first school board was organized on January 7, 1880.
  • The first schools in the county were on or near the St.Vincent village. 
  • One of the first teachers was Eliza Moore, who taught all eight grades in a little one room school on the west end of St. Vincent. 
  • The final St. Vincent school - located conveniently in the center of town - was built in 1903 (Orleans school was built in 1905).
[Click to enlarge & read details]

From my research it appears that schools like these were very common in smaller communities, and many were built across the country in the early 1900s.  Some were two-story, two-room, while others like those above were two-story, four-room.  You could buy standard plans, and have local carpenters, like St. Vincent's Ed Cameron and Al Fitzpatrick, build it for you.