Harper, Iowa Centennial
                         NOT TOO BIG. . . BUT NOT TOO LITTLE


St. Elizabeth's Parochial School has the distinction of being the first Catholic school built in Keokuk County. The original school was built beside the Catholic Church in the small town of Baden in 1870 by Fr. Gerhard Luerhrsmann. Mr. Joseph Furhrmann was engaged as the first teacher and the school had an attendance of about 30 pupils. Religion, reading, writing, arithmetic, and spelling were taught. By 1872 the school was enlarged to twice its size by connecting a building that was moved in, to the old school building.

The same year three sisters were secured from the order of Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, LaCrosse, Wisconsin. When Father Luehrmann was transferred and no other priest appointed, the sisters returned to the motherhouse, therefore closing the school.

The school was reopened in 1874 by Fr. Fraunehoefer. He secured 3 sisters from the order of St. Francis of the Holy Family of Dubuque to teach the school. The school was closed again in 1876 when Father Fraunehoefer was transferred.

When Fr. Peter Kern became pastor in 1876, he again opened the school. The St. Elizabeth church was transferred from Baden to Harper in 1881, and the school was moved also. The parish moved the frame school building and added a "lean-to" for the use of the sisters. Father Kern conducted the classes, assisted by Miss Lena Salm. John Barth offered his service when no other teacher was available. Father Kern applied to the Franciscan Sisters of LaCrosse, Wis. for teachers and was sent 3. Through the years, since then, the sisters from this order have taught the St. Elizabeth school.

In 1900 Fr. Henry Grothe called upon the generosity of the people of the parish and erected a two story brick school building. The new building contained four spacious classrooms. First to fifth grade occupied the two rooms on the first floor and the sixth, seventh, and eighth occupied the third room on the upper floor. The other room in later years housed the high school.

Fr. Bernard Luedtke, successor to Father Grothe, took up the matter of opening a high school. Sept. 4, 1917, St. Elizabeth's High School was formally opened by adding ninth grade. In the fall of 1919 the tenth grade was added, 1920, the eleventh grade and 1922 the twelfth grade was added. This was to fulfill a requisite for accreditation and negotiations was opened with the State Board of Education, Des Moines, Iowa.

In the spring of 1923 the state inspector visited the school. Upon recommendations of the county superintendent, Mr. McVickers, and the state superintendent, Mr. H. Gemmil, the school was accredited January 11, 1924. St. Elizabeth's prided itself in being the only parish of its size to possess a fully accredited high school. The first graduates from the accredited school were Eloise Newhouse and Teresa O'Brien.

In 1926 due to crowded conditions a separate building was considered for the high school and a hall for social activities.

The land for the project was donated by Mr. and Mrs. Michael Adam: The corner stone was laid in early 1927 for the new Marquette Hall. The cost of the new brick building was $27,000. The hall has a gymnasium, a dining room and a kitchen. Above the dining room there are three classrooms used for the high school. Fr. Schaefers was pastor at that time and he became a full time teacher in the high school.

Today the Marquette Hall is used for the "Hot Lunch" program and gym is used for physical education classes.

During Rev. Martin Diamond's stay here the playground was enlarged by the purchase of 2 more acres. He also purchased additional playground equipment and large flood lights for the ball field.

Bishop Ralph Hayes dedicated the new $45, 000 building for St. Elizabeth's high school Monday, April 27, 1957. The fifty-two students enrolled in high school attended classes in this new building for the first time the next day.

Conner Brothers of Sigourney, Iowa was the general contractor and architect for the building. The building is a one story brick structure. It has concrete block walls with pine and mohogany trim and individual gas heaters in each room.

This building is located on the south east corner of the parish property. It contains three spacious classrooms a large library and offices for the teachers.

The fall of 1959 the school had 35 children enroll from the towns of North English, Armah and Millersburg. These children were bused to Harper. There was 69 students enrolled in the high school that year and 135 in the elementary school.

1966 was the last year for the high school at St. Elizabeth's. The high school students the next year attended the school in their own district. The high school building was then used by the elementary grades.

Catholic schools in Iowa were being closed in 1969 due to expenses and lack of nuns to teach in the schools. The St. Elizabeth parish in Harper and St. Mary's parish in Keota combined in an eight grade consolidated system. A Home and School Association was also formed at this time. St. Elizabeth has grades first through fourth, St. Mary's has fifth through eighth. The two parishes purchased a bus to transport the children between the two towns. Raymond Linnenkamp, Nadine Osweiler and Claudine Erwin were the drivers for the Keota-Harper school bus. In 1974 the State of Iowa voted for parochial schools, the right to ride the public school buses. Today the children ride the Keota Community buses to school.

Mr. Allen Kinzler is principal of the Keota-Harper School. The teachers at St. Elizabeth's are Sister Nicolett, Sister Carol, Sister Lucine and Mrs. Lyle Walton. There are sixty-five students enrolled at St. Elizabeth's and fifty-two at St. Mary's.

Back Row: Bill Besser, Buck Bohr, Vince Baker, Ernest Ruplinger, Lawrence Herman, Ed Altenhofen, Leo Rettler, Wm. Ott, Sister Teresa.
Second Row: James Striegel, Tresa Sondag, Lena Linnenkamp, Cleopha Peiffer, Cryil Striegel, Clemens Striegel, Leonard Slattery.
Third Row: Loretta Clarahan, Agnes Jaeger, Rose Gilbert, Clara Aller, Laura Weimer, Madelene Striegel, Maud Gilbert, Cecelia Flander.
Bottom Row: Louis Weimer, Ralph Striegel, Coletta Sondag, Margaret Bermel, Rosa Adam, Julia Slattery, Thresa Woltering, Margaret Rettler, Rosanna Hammen.

Back Row: Lorreta Dumont, Victor Holzworth, Howard Striegel, Gwendolyn Pauly, (Twin), Erma Sondag.
Second Row: Alemeta Griener, Mary Clarahan, Irene Ruplinger, Ralph Peiffer, Elizabeth Adam, Catherine Bermel, Clarence Sievert, Ray Adam, John Holzworth.
Third Row: Cloyd Grimes, Etheldred Sondag, Bernard Adam, Vivian Besser, Leona Weber, Willis Reed, Floyd Merz, Leanard Dumont, Charles Striegel.
Bottom Row: Virgil Linnenkamp, Francis Vittitoe, Genevieve Pauly, (Twin), Bernard Haupert.

Back Row Left to Right: Row 1: Cloyce Crooks, Cletus Striegel, Wilber Sondag, Melvin Besser, Norbert Peiffer, Forest Striegel, Gerald Slattery, Ralph Hammen, John Baumert, Arthur Paetzold, Virginia (Gretter) Bombei, Martha (Gretter) Hammes, Miriam (White) Leinen, Lorene Herman.
Row 2: Elmer Sieren, Wilma (Slattery) O'Brian , Arlene (Schulte), Marjorie (Flander), Irma (Schulte) Gent, Dorothy (Gretter) Mikel, Neoma (Besser) Huber, Margaret (Vittetoe) Herman, Brydel (Flander), Katharine (Leinen),
Lillian (White) Pfaff, Gertrude (Paetzold) Vogel, Dorothy (Vogel) Fisher, Eileen Hammen.
Row 3: Omer Herman, Elmer Herman, Charles Vittetoe, Leonard Slattery, John R. Gretter, Myron Striegel, Donald Leinen, John Redlinger, Wm. Baumert Jr., Claude Webb, Bernadine (Herman), Bernadine (Linnenkamp),
Bernadine (Beinhart) Sieren, Loretta (Sondag), Miriam (Redlinger) McArtor.
Row 4: Genevieve (Peiffer) Jaeger, August Salm Jr., Alvin Redlinger, John R. White, Theola (Schulte) Hermann, Virginia (Flander) Feeley, Marie (Vogel) Oliver, Thelma (Schulte) Mahan,
Burnita (Besser) Hammes, Claudine (Gent), Verena (Adam) Snakenberg, Margaret (Redlinger), Striegel,
Mary (Redlinger) Greiner. Kathleen (Flander), Virginia (Hammen) Chamberlain.
Row 5: Lucille (Flander), Betty Lou (Adam) Ledger, Arlene (?), Jeanette (Merz) Hammes, Theola Beinhart, Oda (Adam) Reed, Mary Ann Morrison, Dorothy (Weber), Claudine (Bernhart) Flander, Rita Jean (Weber) Herman, Jeanette (Striegel) Conrad. Mary (Slattery) Seward, Arlene (Flander), Marcella (Herman) Snakenberg, Kathleen (Clarahan) Adam, Darlene (Clarahan) Greiner, Dorothy (Redlinger) Conrad.
Row 6: Eldora Peiffer (?), Betty (Fleming) Stalnaker, James Vittetoe, Harold Hammen, Herbert Hammen, Dean Altenhofen, James Webb, (unknown), Richard Vittetoe, Kenneth Paetzold, Keith Linnenkamp, Keith Beinhart,
Joseph Vogel, Robert Schulte, Donald Clarahan, Howard Herman, Ed. (?) Flander.
Row 7: John Merz Jr., Francis Ruplinger, Jerome Besser, Elmer Adam, Kenny Clarahan, James Hammen, Arthur Leinen, Justin Hammen, Bernard Paetzold, Cletus Linnenkamp, Maurice Flander, Daniel Merz, Wm. Gretter, Charles Hammen, Wayne Smith.

Back Left to Right: Robert Gretter, Donald Hammen, Myron Striegel, Bernard Paetzold, Arthur Leinen and
Leonard Slattery.
Front Left to Right: Carl Acheson, Keith Altenhofen, Jerome Besser and August Salm.


Back Row: Left to Right: Fr. J. J. Schoenfelder, Dennis Adam, Harold Hammen, Howard Herman, Omer Conkity, Roland Allen, Mr. Art Schulke.
Front Row: Henry Striegel, Floyd Hammes, LaVon Altenhofen , John Linnenkamp, Keith Linnenkamp.

McLoud School

William McLoud built a school on his land 1/4 mile east of the present location of Harper in the year 1856. The school house cost $653.00 and William McLoud became the first teacher in Lafayette township. He received $15.00 a month for wages and taught 65 pupils.

District No. 9 became part of the Keota Community School System. Some of the last teachers to teach in the Harper School were Eleanor Schmitt, Pauline Acheson, Virginia Bombei, Patricia Lenahan, Rose Conkity (with 15 years) and Ellene Clarahan. Lafayette No. 9 The Independent School District of Harper was purchased from J. P. Yerger, lots 3, 4, and 5 of Block 5 on April 28, 1874. There are records that school was held in 1873, District No. 9 and had a school board, of which, J. F. Richardson was Secretary. It is believed that school was held in the two story building located on lots 1 & 2 Block 11 (where the Robert White home is located today) until the new school could be built. In 1874 Levi Whistler was president, J. F. Richardson, the secretary and Peter Hartman, treasurer of the school board. In 1872, the county superintendent was Thos. J. Hasty; in 1873, John Rogers, and from 1873 to 1877 Henry D. Todd was county superintendent. Some of the early teachers before 1900 were J. E. Brolliar, Miss Morris, Minnie Whistler, W. H. Van Horn, India Todd, Effie Akey, C. O. Ruggles, S. Wheeler.

On March 6, 1896, another lot, lot 6, block 5, was added. This was purchased from Daisy Rhodes, recorded December 4, 1905. The largest number of students recorded taught was 47 in December to March, 1901. C. O. Ruggles was the teacher and John Peiffer was the director.

Lafayette No. 9 is a one room rural school where the teacher taught grades primary through eighth. The school term was divided into three terms, Sept.-Nov, Dec.-March, March-June. The children attended the terms that were convenient for them. Some times there was a different teacher for the terms.

The school never changed over the years except the enrollment dropped. In 1963 there were 22 students. The school was closed in 1966 when redistricting of the school districts took place and District No. 9 became part of the Keota Community School System. Some of the last teachers to teach in the Harper School were Eleanor Schmitt, Pauline Acheson, Virginia Bombei, Patricia Lenahan, Rose Conkity (with 15 years) and Ellene Clarahan.


Left to Right: Back Row: Teacher-Miss Pauline Acheson, Henry Williams and Joanne Grove.
Center Rows: Marilyn Lane, Marilyn Mattison. Billy Cobb, Martha VerWaayen, Junior Lane, Alfred Kleinmeyer, Don Ludwig, and Dennis Oldaker.
Front Row: Richard Ludwig, Tom Peiffer, Dallas Rettler, Carolyn Mattison and Jim Lane.

Teachers for Lafayette No. 9 School

1880-1895 W. L. Van Horn & India Todd

1895-1899 Effie Akey

1899-1901 C. O. Ruggles

1901-1902 Annie Clarahan

1902-1903 Margaret Striegel

1904-1905 Minnie Clarahan

1905-1912 No records

1912-1914 Rose Leinen

1914-1915 Elizabeth FitzGerold

1915-1916 Anna Slattery Katherine Clarahan

1916-1917 Katherine Clarahan

1917-1918 No records

1918-1919 Lola Barhart

1919-1920 Mrs. Anna Slattery (2 Months) Genevieve Klein

1920-1921 Alta O. Teiter

1921-1922 Catherine Dawson

1922-1924 Mr. Ansel Seaba

1924-1929 Marjorie Besser

1929-1933 Ursula Besser

1933-1935 Gertrude Rettler

1935-1937 Lucille Linnenkamp

1937-1941 Virginia Gretter

1941-1942 Eleanor Schmitt

1942-1943 Pauline Acheson

1943-1944 Virginia Bombei

1944-1945 Patricia Lenahan

1945-1946 Mrs. John Dawson, Rose Conkity

1946-1960 Rose Conkity

1960-1966 Ellene Clarahan

Teacher - Virginia Bombei.
Back row left to right: Raymond Gregory, Bob Herr, Bonnie Conrad, Henry Williams.
Second row: Alice Acheson, Freda Williams, Betty Conrad, Marolyn Conrad.
Third row: Judy Peiffer, Doloris Conrad, Marilyn Lane, Nancy Bote.
Fourth row: Jr. Lane, Alfred Kleinmeyer, Don Ludwig, Dennis McDowell.

Teacher Mrs. Rose Conkity.
Left to Right: Back Row: Linda Stark, John Morrow, Bill Nelson, John Redlinger, and Larry Fulton.
Middle Row: Linda Morrow, unknown, Ronald Robison, Tim Hammes, Mike Clarahan, Robert Gann, Albert Lane, Mary Beth Fulton, Marjorie Mattison, Steve Stark, Betty Beckley, Lester Stark and Peggy Clarahan.
Front Row: Tom Reed, David Hammes, Jeff Gann, Douglas Conrad (twin), Donna Snakenberg, Daniel Conrad (twin), Francine Besser, Susan Merz, Barbara Gretter, Bonita Sieren, Peeking (unknown), Doug Adam and
Jackie Schulte.

Left to Right: Mrs. Omer Herman, Mrs. Rollie Good, Mrs. Homer Robison, Mrs. Ed. Newhouse,
Mrs. Alfred Conrad, Mrs. Virgil Smith, Mrs. Paul Nelson, Mrs. Maurice Lane, Mrs. Juan Adam, Mrs. Cletus Striegel, Mrs. Ed. Wehr, Mrs. Alvin Mattison, Mrs. Clarence Fulton, Mrs. Burdette Terry, Mrs. Kelly Bohr, Mrs. Buhr,
Mrs. John Miller, Mrs. Floyd Merz, Mrs. Albert Morrow, Mrs. John Clarahan.

Top Row: Left to Right: Teacher Ellene Clarahan, Craig Robison, Sheryl Shirkey, Randy White, Carol Robison, Myron Hammes, Nancy Hawkins.
Second Row from top: Eugene Crooks, Anna Mae Shirkey, Lynn Nelson, David Gretter.
Third Row from top: Pat Jaeger, Charles Bombei, Donna Stark, Mike Hawkins, Denise Stark, John Lee Miller,
Cindy Sieren.
Last Row: Denny Hawkins, Mike Shirkey, Mike Hawkins (repeat).

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