Lamoni Schools

Fayette Township, Decatur County, Iowa

Lamoni School's Photos and Images

Lamoni Yearbooks News Articles

Around the year of 1883 the East Side High School was built and the first term of school was held there in the fall of the same year. Advanced students were assigned to the upper rooms of the school under the instruction of A. A. Roy.

During the first few years very little high school work was pursued, but a beginning was made and the foundation laid for more advanced work in the future.

A few years later Mr. W. L. Andrews took charge of the school and was followed by Mr. D. F. Lambert a year later. Mr. Lambert had the honor of graduating the first class which consisted of five girls and one boy. After they had finished grammar work they centered their efforts mainly on Rhetoric, History, Advanced Arithmetic, and a few weeks in some of the sciences.

J. A. Gunsolley was elected principal in the spring of 1889, a position that he held for over five years. He graduated the second class in the spring of 1890, five girls and three boys.

By 1890 Algebra had been added to the curriculum which included Rhetoric, History, Advanced Arithmetic and some Science studies which included Natural Science.

By the 1890's with an increase in enrollment, it became necessary to provide more room for the pupils.

For five years there were no graduating classes, nevertheless, the schools were improving; classes were more evenly graded and with the additional room which had been added to the north, better work was accomplished, and the demand for more advanced high school studies was met.

D. F. Lambert was elected as superintendent in 1894. The third graduating class of 1895 consisted of eight girls and five boys. This was the first class at Lamoni High School to study Latin, having read part of Caesar.

Since 1895 there have been graduating classes every year with one exception.

In 1897, George N. Briggs of the State University was elected superintendent, and with the aid of one, and later, two assistants, it became possible to make marked improvement in the curriculum. Cicero, Geometry, Civics, Economics were added to the curriculum along with extended studies in English and Literature.

High School spirit increased, and the standing colors, Scarlet and Black was adopted.

Mr. Briggs remained superintendent of the schools for four years. During the last year, provision was made for a four-year high school course.

Mr. Griffiths of Columbia University in Missouri was elected superintendent in 1901. There was no graduating class this year because of the change in the course of study. Mr. Griffith remained at Lamoni High School for one year.

H. S. Buffum was elected superintendent in 1902, followed by Edmund L. Kelley, Jr. in 1904. R. F. Hannum became superintendent from 1907 until 1909. These three men were all from the State University of Iowa, and each one rendered valuable services to our schools. One important feature was the organization of the Alumni Association. German and Latin were made electives; debating teams were organized; and contests in English, Oratory and Athletics were encouraged.

During these seven years the attendance more than doubled itself, being forty-two in 1903, and ninety-four in 1909.

O. H. Hollen was elected superintendent in 1909, followed by J. W. Fisher from the State University of Iowa in 1912, and in 1913 by E. W. Neveln from the State Teachers College at Cedar Falls, Iowa. Mr. Neveln was re-elected superintendent for the year beginning September, 1914.

The last three named superintendents also gave excellent service to our schools, although they were greatly hindered by the poor and very crowded conditions of the school building. During the last twelve years the attendance has almost tripled itself, as the present [1914] enrollment is one hundred and twenty-four. In 1914, enrollment was at 124 which created crowded conditions within the school building.

A new school building was erected and provided enough space for the introduction of Manual Training, Agriculture, Drawing and Home Economics into the curriculum.

We look at the past with much pleasure; at the present with great satisfaction, that it is possible we have gained so much, and are looking forward with great expectations of what will be done. May our High School continue to improve, not only by growing bigger but better.

~ OSCAR ANDERSON, President of the Board

SOURCE: Lamoni "Phoenix" Yearbook. Pp. 5-7. 1914.
West Side School was built in 1894. Central School, established in 1896, was located in the area now known as Central Park, and directly across from the G. N. Briggs home. Around the turn of the century, the old Central School was the seat of learning for many of Lamoni's children. Central Park was also the site of the original city hall. ~ Photographs courtesy of Bob Bixby, Sept. 2015
Lamoni has three centers, elementary school, middle school and high school. The elementary school was one of the first schools in the State of Iowa to develop a natural approach to reading and writing instruction.

A new high school was completed in December, 2007.
Original page created by Sharon Becker, 2013, updated 2015, 2017; updated and reformatted by Conni McDaniel Hall, Oct 2019.
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