On the Porch

Marshall’s rapidly increasing growth in the 1930s and 1940s indicated for some time that additional school building facilities were needed. This along with the low interest rates prevailing at that time prompted the Marshall school board in 1946, under the administration of Paul Wilson to propose a $450,000 bond issue to residents in Marshall. Members of the Board of Education at the time were Dr. J. L. Anderson, James H. Hall, A.J. Hardy, R.E. O’Connell, H.J. Schwandt, and Dr. W.W. Yaeger.

By 1949, the school board concluded that a grade school building was needed and should be the top priority for building a new school. On May 17, 1949, the voters in the Marshall school district approved the use of bond money voted in 1946 for a new grade school.

Under the administration of George Eddie, the plans for the East Side Grade School were formulated and drawn up. The enrollment figures in the next couple of years substantiated their judgement for a new grade school. Marshall’s kindergarten enrollment was 107 in 1950, in 1951 it jumped to 141, and was close to 200 in 1952.

The contracts for the East Side Grade School were let on Jan. 25, 1951, with the building being completed in the summer of 1952. An open house was held on Aug. 22, 1952. The Board of Education at the time was Dr. W.W. Yaeger, Dr. M.J. Carrow, A.J. Hardy, Millard Ehlers, C.J. O’Brien, and E.A. Seifert. The Superintendent of Schools was L.M. Frey. The architects of the building was Pass & Rocky in Mankato and the General Contractor was Gray Construction Company based out of Watertown, SD.

The building cost around $530,000. At the time of when it was built, the building had 12 elementary classrooms and 2 kindergarten rooms. According to the program for the open house, the estimated enrollment for the building in the fall of 1952 was at round 480 students and 14 teachers.

The personnel in 1952 were: Dorothy Burres, Kindergarten; Wilma Orth, Kindergarten; Marion Newell, Grade 1; Lillian Riedesel, Grade 1; Johanna Dolgaard, Grade 2; Johanna Sorenson, Grade 2, Shirley Rink, Grade 3; Margaret Sisterman, Grade 3; Eileen Fox, Grade 4; Frances Taylor, Grade 4; Evelyn Jackson, Grade 5; Hazel Pfister, Grade 5; Irene Nagel, Grade 6, Ivan Underdahl, Grade 6 and Principal; Margaret Eubanks, Librarian; Mary Lee Syverson, Vocal Music; Leo Yorde, Music; Orion Lee, Music; Evelyn Hand, Secretary; Mary Finnegan, Nurse; Gilbert Beers, Custodian; A.J. Peltier, Custodian; and Bernice Feyereisen, Cafeteria.

The photograph featured this week is from the Lyon County Museum’s collection. This photograph of East Side Elementary School was taken not long after the building was completed. East Side Elementary School closed in 2006. Today, the campus is occupied by Grace Life Church and True Light Christian School at 601 E College Drive.

The Lyon County Historical Society (LCHS) is a non-profit, member-supported organization. LCHS operates the Lyon County Museum at 301 W Lyon St in Marshall. The Lyon County Museum is open to visitors. To contact us, visit our website: www.lyoncomuseum.org, call: 507-537-6580, email: director@lyoncomuseum.org, or on our Facebook page.


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