IAGenWeb Project

Adair County Iowa

USGenWeb Project


Summit Township including Adair the town


One of the first considerations of the settlers of Adair was school for their children.  The first efforts toward this goal were made by Mrs. H. P. Starr, who organized classes to be held above the D. W. Moss drug store during the winter if 1873-74.  There were 18 pupils who attended the first school in the new town barely one year in the making.  The records show that population count for the town of Adair in the year of 1873 was 18.
In 1875, Franklin D. Arnold was influential in the promotion of a regular school building, and through his efforts to make known the need, a two story frame building was built in 1874.  Mrs. Starr taught in this school, with 66 pupils in attendance,  In 1874, the town’s population was 84.  The first teachers were hired for a probation period of three months,  The average salary for a male teacher was $33.90 per month, and for a female, $29.50.
The first district director and treasurer was John Chestnut, Sr.  In 1886, J. R. Porter was school secretary and F. Furst was president.  Bonds of $3,000 were voted for an addition to be built on the east side of this building.
On March 26, 1895, this building was destroyed by fire. Classes were transferred to the opera house, rent for the remainder of the year was $11.00.


Old High School destroyed by fire March 25, 1895


The bid accepted for he new school building was $7,098.  In 1896 a new brick building was erected to house the grade and high school of the town and dependent school district.
In the early 1920s, a new addition was in use to the east side of the brick school building.  To house the increasing number of students, this portion of the building was devoted to high school and upper grade activities.
By 1924 teachers were being hired on a nine month basis and they were required to spend 50% of their week ends in the Adair vicinity.  In 1925 a school nurse was employed.  Tuition for a non-resident high school student in 1932 was $11.00 per month, and for grade pupils was $5.00.
The first school bus was purchased in 1941 at a cost of $1,625 and a driver was hired for $40.00 a month.


In 1896, construction was started on a new brick building to house the grade school and high school.


Until 1948 all school activities such as basketball, operettas, plays, etc., were held in he Opera House.  By this time the usefulness of the Opera House had ceased to exist were in the making.  In June, 1948, bonds in the amount of $55,00 were let for the construction of a gymnasium to be built on the schoolground to house these activities.
In 1956 a new era was dawning in the educational system of the town and township.  The usefulness of the rural schools had run its course, and what had been known as the Adair Independent School District became known as the Adair Community School in 1957.  The rural schools were closed and the students from the rural schools were bused to the Adair Community School in Adair.  In 1958, bonds in the amount of $500,000 were voted to erect a high school building between the towns of Casey and Adair, to be known as Adair-Casey Community School, to serve the junior and high school students of the two communities in their educational pursuits.
In May, 1975, the Board of Directors and Citizens Committee of Adair-Casey laid plans for the construction of a new elementary school building at the site of the present high school between the communities of Adair and Casey on land already owned by the school district.  It would provide adequate facilities for all the present and future educational needs and solve the existing problems.  $765,000 had been determined as the proposed minimum cost required to meet the needs of this new facility.


With an ever increasing growth in population it soon became necessary to build an addition to accommodate high school activities.  In 1948 a gymnasium was erected on the school ground.


In 1961 the high schools of Adair and Casey were consolidated and were housed in a newly constructed building erected between the two towns on Highway 6.


The average assessed valuation per acre in Summit Township, including land and building at this time was $68.29.  Residential property for the town of Adair, including lots, $1,904.19.
By a May 23, 1974 vote of the electors of the Adair-Casey Community School District, the proposed action was approved.  Work was begun on an expanded water and sewer system; contracts were let and work on the building proper began in the summer of 1975, to be fully equipped and ready for occupancy by the fall term of 1976.  As of 1975, the Adair-Casey Community School District accommodates 620 pupils in the entire school system, and employs 36 teachers and three administrators.    Although the school facilities lie outside of Summit Township, and even Adair County, this is where the young people of the two communities are busied in their pursuit of an elementary and high school education at the present time.
Sports soon found their way into the school activities program.  Perhaps the ground rules bear faint resemblance to present times, and the mode of dress may not have been exactly uniform, but the spirit and enthusiasm are no doubt the same.

transcribed by Mary Cochrane, Adair County History, 1976


Adair County

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