The History of the Campbellsport School
by Harold Doss
Feb. 21, 1960
The first school taught in New Cassel (lower town) was in 1848 in the house of Mr. Crouch (Crouchville) by Miss Marie Bristol. Later a one-room schoolhouse was built between Gillard’s & Serwe’s property. In 1896 Margaret Fellenz and Ella Calhoun shared teaching duties, followed by Gilbert Hardgrove, Celia Goss, C. McCormick. J. P. Husting was the treasurer of Jr. No. 12 school and James Bannon the clerk. In 1904 the Columbus School was built at approximately $7,000, the land being purchased from C. S. Raymond. Peter Terlinden was Dist. 12 treasurer, James Bannon clerk, Henry Leibel director. Tuition for one month was $1.50.
In 1952 school Dist. No. 12 was dissolved and consolidated with the dissolved Dist. No. 2 to form a new school district No. 13. Thus, the village of Campbellsport now has one graded school district for the entire village instead of the east half being one district and west half being another. Final officers for Dist. 12 were Ed Terlinden, Edward Curs and Gordon Raymond.
The Campbellsport Public School (Dist. 2) first held classes in the house now occupied by Mrs. Marie Burgert, just east of the railroad tracks. This was previous to 1895 when a new schoolhouse on the site of the present high school and grade school building was erected. Board members were Wm. Scheid Sr., L. C. Kohler and Gottlieb Schmidt. Mr. H. A. Wrucke was the first principal of the grade school in this building assisted by Mrs. Lucy Thatcher. They were followed by a Mr. Hy. Bowe, Margaret Fellenz and Olive Wickert.
George Ritter organized the first high school classes and became the first high school principal, with the first graduating class in 1911 being Margaret Paas, Lilyan Knickel Van De Zande and Edna Wrucke Fritz. Classes were discontinued in this building in the spring of 1936 and begun in the new high school and graded school erected back of this building in 1937. In 1938 the old school building was dismantled.
In 1949 several districts consolidated and formed the Campbellsport Union Free High School. Up to that time District No. 2 had been maintaining both the high school and graded school. Instrumental in promoting the consolidation of the high school to better handle the tremendous increase in enrollment were the county school committee of which Dr. C. F. Guenther was a local member; Mr. Leo Lang, principal of the high school and grade school then and now; school board of District 2, namely Harlow Roate, R. J. Hensen, Mrs. Leo Uelmen. Members of the Union Free High School board were Oscar Braun, Leo Twohig, Treas., Daisy Uelmen, clerk; Alex Thelen and R. McDougal.
Further expansion to the 1937 original school building took place in August of 1951, when contracts were let out. It provided for ten new rooms, which included five regular class rooms, a combined library-study room, industrial arts shop, band room, home economics room and an enlarged gymnasium-lunch room. The cost of constructing the new addition was $340,000. Completion and dedication of the structure was on November 21, 1952.
Architects of the addition were Auler, Dreger, Wiley and Wertsh of Oshkosh. The Ben Tennies Construction Co. of West Bend was the general contractor. Heating and ventilating equipment was installed by the Plymouth Plumbing and Heating Company. All electrical work was done by Starkweather Electrical contractors of Fond du Lac.
Members of the Union Free District board of education who guided the building expansion program were Oscar Braun, Town of Eden, president; Leo Twohig, Town of Osceola, treasurer; Mrs. Daisy Uelmen, Campbellsport, clerk for the last 12 years; Rubin McDougal, Town of Auburn, and Alex Thelen, Town of Ashford. Other members of the building committee were Ben Ablard, Henry Guell, Joseph Flitter, Frank Thiel and Laus Whitty, all from the Campbellsport district.
Meantime, more consolidation of school districts in the county demanded a new building program by the grade school board members Mrs. LaVerne Senn, treasurer; Edward Ours, director; Bruce Knickel, clerk; and Principal Leo Lang. Ground breaking took place in the spring of 1956 for three grade school classrooms, a washroom and janitor’s room, at a reported cost of $75,000. This made room for the 1960 enrollment of 225 pupils in the grade school, staffed by seven grade teachers, one high school music instructor, and a county speech correction instruction who visits one day a week.
County school districts which have joined with Campbellsport Joint 13 District are Ashford Districts 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11; Eden Districts 7 and 11; Osceola District 6; Auburn Districts 1, 3, 7, 9 and 12. Auburn School Districts 9 and 1 were the last to enter the Campbellsport District.