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Webster School

Public School No. 4

511 Western Avenue

 

School No. 4 (became Webster in 1909)

 

1883       FIRST WATERTOWN HIGH SCHOOL   

The 1883 construction of the building, later known as the Webster School, the rooms on (the) upper floor of which were assigned to the high school, and those on the lower floor to grammar grades.

 

06 27       CONTRACT LET. Last week the board of education entered into a contract with C. Schmutzler for the erection of the First Ward School building at the sum of $14,500, this being $100 lower than the bid of J. Trumbull of Whitewater.  The bid of W. Quentmeyer, although lower in price, was not satisfactory to the Board in certain requirements such as binding the board to advance money for material on the ground, etc.  Mr. Schmutzler binds himself to have the building under roof and windows in it by December 1, and fully completed by July 1, next.   WR

 

07 04       GROUND BROKEN

The ground is expected to be broken this week by Mr. Schmutzler for the erection of the new First Ward School and the work proceeded with as rapidly as possible.   WR

 

c.1890

WATERTOWN HIGH SCHOOL / Became Webster School

         S. Fifth St and Western Ave.

Constructed in 1883 as Watertown High School.  Became Webster grade school in early 1910’s.  Demolished in 1957.  Today site of Trinity-St. Luke’s Lutheran School.

 

 

1905

07 26       GROUNDS BEAUTIFIED

The grounds about the First ward school building are being finely terraced, sodded and beautified.  When the work is completed, the grounds will be exceedingly fine—an inviting spot for the pupils.    WR

 

1910

06 24       GRADUATION

Eighth Grade Graduating Exercises

 

c.1911

INTERURBAN TRACKS TURNING OFF OF WESTERN AVE ONTO S. FIFTH

      Trolley headed up S. Fifth to Main Street, then west on Main.

 

02 02       NEW HEATING PLANT

At a meeting of the Board of Education Wednesday evening, the committee on buildings and grounds was instructed to have Downey & Kruse of Milwaukee draw plans and specifications for installing a new heating and ventilating plant in the Webster school building.   WG

 

04 20       SCHOOL HEATING PLANS READY

All interested in the new heating and ventilating to be placed in the Webster School have now an opportunity to examine plans at the city clerk's office and any suggestion in relation thereto may be submitted to the Board of Education within one week from date.

Dated April 19, 1911   /   Dr. C. R. Feld, Clerk Board of Education.   WG

 

1913

          

 

02 06       MOTHERS MEETING AT WEBSTER SCHOOL

What was considered the most profitable of all the mothers' meetings yet held at Webster School was that of Friday night, when in spite of the coldest night of the season, sixty-five mothers met the teachers to discuss home study.  The excellent preparation presented many phases of the subject, and the large number taking part in the informal discussion were a delight to all and proved how beneficial and practical in results these meetings can become.  Each and all carried home food for thought.  The eighth grade girls added to the program by furnishing vocal and instrumental music and serving the refreshments.    WG

 

1914

01 29       PARENTS MEETING AT WEBSTER SCHOOL

About 150 parents attended the parents meeting at Webster School last Tuesday evening, at which luncheon was served by the domestic science pupils of the 8th grades, the luncheon being prepared by them.  Supt. T. J. Berto gave a short talk on the purpose of these meetings, Miss Mabel Smith, public librarian, read a paper on reading for children, Miss Kirchensteiner rendered a vocal solo and several vocal selections were given by the girls of the 8th grades.     WG

 

1915

IDA KOOP, PRINCIPAL, WEBSTER SCHOOL

       Home of, 709 N Second 

 

1917-18

FOURTH GRADE CLASS

        Bernice Krueger teacher

 

1919

-- --           FIRST GRADE

  

Florence Lindemann Justman (1913-2000), 6 ˝ years old.  Teacher was Miss Elsie Krueger

 

1922

SIXTH GRADE CLASS

  

 

1923-24 school year

  

 

1925-26 school year

  

 

1950

  

 

Webster School

634 South Twelfth Street

 

1950

05 25       SITE READIED FOR NEW WEBSTER SCHOOL (634 S. 12th)

   

Another stop in the plans for the new Webster school is being taken at the site of the new building.  The house at S. Twelfth Street, which the board of education purchased from George Bayer and which it sold on bids to R. E. Bedford, is being moved from the lot to make room for the school.

 

09 30       MAAS BROS. LOW BIDDER ON NEW WEBSTER SCHOOL

  

 

The new Webster school, on which work is slated to begin this autumn, will cost a total of $530,857, according to the basic bids filed last night with the board of education's building committee.

 

Bids were opened at a public meeting in the high school library with members of the board of education, members of the city council, the city manager, city attorney, various contractors and interested spectators present.

 

The low bid for the general contract was entered by Maas Bros, Construction Co. of Watertown.  The concern's base bid was $416,352.  Maas Bros. also built the new Lincoln school which was dedicated on Jan. 30, 1949, at a total cost of $365,476.  Thus the Webster school will cost $165,381 more than did the Lincoln school, reflecting the general price rise in materials and construction since the other school was built.

 

Last night’s meeting was opened by A. P. Hinkes, chairman of the building committee, with Edward Berners, architect, representing the firm of Foeller, Schober, Berners, Safford and Jahn, Green Bay, opening and reading the bids.  Tabulation sheets had been distributed to board members before the meeting to keep track of the figures as they were read.

 

Following the reading of the bids the school board went into executive. session.  It took no action on any contracts last night but went into a general discussion and study of the various bids.  Roger R. Holtz, superintendent of schools, said today that the board plans to meet with the city council informally to go over the bids and general plans

 

ln addition to the low bid of the Maas. Bros. Construction there were three other bidders for the general contract.

 

These were three other bidders for the general contract.  These were:

 

Ben Ganther, Oshkosh, $428,352; J. N. Foeller, Green Bay, $434,060; and William E. Brinkmann, Elmhurst, IL, who recently completed the new North Second Street bridge here, $446,818.75.

 

All of the figures quoted are the base bids.  There were several alternate figures in each bid which would affect the final price slightly one way or another, depending upon the type of installation; etc.

 

The Otto Biefeld Co., Watertown, entered the only bid for the plumbing, a base bid of $35,800.

 

W. B. Njiehoff and Son, Watertown submitted the low bid for heating and ventilating, $56,000.  Other bidders for this work were:

 

Otto Biefeld Co., Watertown, $61,719; Roger B. Gung, Oshkosh, $63,742; Watertown Machine Co., Watertown, $74,704.  All of the figures are the base bids.

 

The Starkweather Co., Fond du Lac, entered the low bid for electrical wiring, $13,445, plus $4,879 for fixtures.  The only other bidder for this work was the Bakke Electrical Co., Waterford, wiring, $19,935; fixtures, $5,555, all figures being the base bids.

 

The Nicholson Builders Hardware Co., Green Bay, entered a base bid of $4,320 for finish hardware, while the other bidder, Philip Gross, Milwaukee, bid $4,455.

 

Additional Sum Needed

 

The total bids exceed the amount of money which has been set up for the new school.  Thus far there is available a cash fund of $100,000, plus a $400,000 bond issue, making a half million dollars in all.  Based on the total bids submitted last evening, the additional sum of $30,857 will be required to carry out the project.  In addition to this, the board of education has invested something like $30,000 in the school site, which is in the Washington park area.

 

School authorities said that construction work and materials will go even higher and that they consider the figures submitted last night as substantially in keeping with other costs which have been rising and many of which will continue to rise.

 

No date for completing the school has been specified, but if work gets underway this autumn, as planned, the building should be ready for occupancy some time in 1952.

 

10 21       WHAT’S TO BECOME OF OLD WEBSTER BLDG?

Sometime in 1952 Watertown will have a new school — the one replacing the old Webster school building in Western Avenue.

 

And now the question is being asked:  What is to become of the old school? 

 

Is it to be torn down and the site sold for residential building lots? 

 

Is it to be maintained as a sort of civic center for local organizations to locate their headquarters in and meet in? 

 

Is it to be utilized for vocational school purposes, or what?

 

All these questions, and many more, present various possibilities.  But at the moment, of course, no one knows the answers, or if they do, they haven’t spoken up. Anyway, it is something to think about.

 

The present school occupies a good portion of an entire block in what is a residential section of the city on one of the finest and widest streets, or avenues, in the community. What is to become of the building and the site?  If the building is to be used for various civic groups and organizations will the city have to add it to its maintenance costs by providing janitor service, light, heat, etc.?  If so, the taxpayers will certainly be interested.  Anyway, the new school will be a monument to present building standards and give the city one of the finest grade schools in the state.  And it will be located on a five-acre plot, which gives sufficient grounding area for a modern school plant.

 

But sooner or later the questions concerning the use of the old school will have to be met and answered.        WDTimes, Item in Times Square column

 

1952

                NEW WEBSTER SCHOOL CONSTRUCTED

               

06 14       All material and physical properties in the old Webster School building are ready to be moved out, it has been announced by Roger B. Holtz, superintendent of schools.  He informed the Board of Education at its meeting this week that all such materials have been collected and packed, ready for moving.  He said that St. Henry’s School, which will occupy the building starting July 1, has already made arrangements for moving in some of its equipment which it will use while its new school building program is underway.  Demolishing its old school building will be started by the parish next week.

 

1956

OLD WEBSTER SCHOOL USED BY PAROCHIAL SCHOOLS

Since the school was replaced by a new Webster School building, the old structure has been occupied by two of the city's parochial schools while their own new schools were under construction.  Both St. Henry's Catholic and St. John's Lutheran parishes used it.

 

No immediate future use for such purposes is now seen, since St. Mark's Lutheran congregation now in the process of constructing a new school unit is using its present school building.  And when the new Douglas School is built by the city there will be no need to use the old Webster School building.  So, for temporary school purposes, the old building is “out.”

 

1957

08 24       BIDS FOR DEMOLISHION WEBSTER SCHOOL

A call for contractors to bid on the demolition of the old Webster School building in Western Avenue is expected to be issued in an official city advertisement shortly, in compliance with a resolution to that effect which the City Council adopted at its meeting last week. 

 

City officials hope to get the work underway before winter if possible.  The city is retaining ownership of the site and will probably use it for playground or park purposes, with the eventual use to be left to the Board of Education should the time ever come when the site can be utilized for some minor school use.

 

1957

09 27       DEMOLISHION WEBSTER SCHOOL APPROVED

The "go-ahead" signal from the City Council on the demolition of the old Webster School building in Western Avenue, and a report from City Manager C. C. Congdon relative to a survey on bus line operations in state communities are included in the agenda which the City Council will take up at its meeting next Tuesday evening. The agenda was being prepared today at the office of the manager.   WDT

 

10 23       DEMOLISHION OF OLD WEBSTER SCHOOL BLDG

The Kreitzer Construction Co. of Watertown is in charge of demolishing the old Webster School building in Western Avenue which is due to begin shortly.  The school was abandoned in 1952 when a new Webster School was opened in South Twelfth Street.  Constructed in 1883 at a cost of $12,500, the old Webster School served for many years as a high school and later became an elementary school after the present Recreation Building was built in Main Street and served as the city's high school.  Since 1952 the old Webster School was used on a temporary basis by both St. Henry's and St. John's Schools while individual new schools were being constructed by the respective congregations.  It has also been used in the summer as a vacation Bible school by the First Baptist Church.   WDT

 

1958

01 16       NEW CITY HALL PROPOSED for old Webster School site  

The site of the old Armory Building, now the Recreation Building, in Main Street between North Seventh and North Eighth Street, has been proposed as the most logical location for a new City Hall for Watertown.  The recommendation has been proposed by the architects, Durrant and Bergquist of Boscobel, Wis., and Dubuque, Ia., who some months ago were delegated by the City Council to study the matter of a solution to the present overcrowded and largely outmoded City Hall   WDT

 

1959

09 02       MORE ON PROPOSED NEW CITY HALL 

Two sites are under consideration and available for the construction of Watertown's long-discussed and proposed new city hall—when and if the city council at last goes ahead and decides to build.  That was announced last night following the regular meeting of the council when City Manager C. C. Congdon presented to the councilmen the first “layout” for the building.  As yet the council has not authorized a new city hall and it is still in the planning stage.  The information presented by the manager merely reflects the various department spaces and facilities that have thus far been proposed for the new building.  The two sites which have been made available are the old armory location in Main Street, now utilized as the city recreational building, and the old Webster School site in Western Avenue.  Plans for a new city hall, which have been discussed for years, reached a point more than a year ago when two miniature models of such a structure were prepared and studied by the council.   WDT

 

1960

12 22       MORE ON PROPOSED NEW CITY HALL 

Miss Alice Krueger, Webster School teacher, is the author and director of a skit on the first kindergarten in America established in Watertown in 1856, which is scheduled to be presented on WISN-TV, channel 12, Dec. 31, New Year’s Eve, at 6 p.m.  Mrs. Robert Liners will portray the role of Mrs. Carl Schurz in the sketch.  Six Watertown children will also appear in the cast.  They are:  Ann Bruce, Storey Hibbard, Kate Bloor, Susan Hines, Melanie Shepard and Jimmy Schwoch. All are pupils at Webster School.    WDT

 

1961

06 21       NEW FIRE STATION PROPOSED for old Webster School site 

The common council last night set the wheels in motion for a new fire station, possibly on the old Webster School property in Western Avenue.  At the suggestion of Alderman Herman Gerth the mayor named a committee to study the issue and report back.  The alderman said he was bringing up the matter to get the issue started in the present council, that it was an old issue which had been thoroughly explored by the previous administration but that it never reached a definite conclusion.  He said he thought it was time for the present council to turn its attention to the problem and that the logical first step would be for a special committee to “start the ball rolling.”

 

08 05       OPPOSITION TO FIRE STATION

A petition signed by 26 residents of the area opposing plans for the location of the city’s new fire station on the site of the old Webster School in Western Avenue was filed with the common council at its meeting last night.   WDT

 

2004

11 05       WEBSTER STUDENTS AT CAMP MATZ

A group of students at Webster Elementary School learned more than academics during a recent overnight camping trip at Watertown's Camp Matz.  The camp, located on the grounds of Bethesda Lutheran Homes, was an opportunity for teacher Pam Vonderohe's fifth-grade students to learn about cooperation and teamwork.  Vonderohe and her 12 pupils took part in outdoor projects, many including aspects of their American Indian social studies curriculum.  “Part of it is to do something out of the ordinary with them,” said Vonderohe, who has taken three classes on the outdoor adventure.  “We get away from the daily grind and enjoy each other’s company away from school.”   WDT

 

2005

05 08       BRAD CLARK, RIVERSIDE ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL

Watertown Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Douglas Keiser is recommending Brad Clark, Riverside Middle School assistant principal, as the Webster Elementary School principal.  He will succeed Diane Benner who is retiring.  Clark was chosen out of 45 applicants from throughout the state and country for the position, according to Keiser.  Keiser said only candidates with administrative experience were looked at because Webster is the district’s largest elementary school.  He said Clark’s personality and experience working in the district for over 10 years attributed to his recommendation.  WDT

 

 

Cross References:

Webster School, old (Western Ave) Constructed by Christian Schmutzler

Webster School, old (Western Ave) Webster School, Old

Webster School, old (Western Ave) Webster School, Old

Webster School, old (Western Ave) Webster School, Old

 

 

 

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