ebook  History of Watertown, Wisconsin


High School, Former, Main St

High School is the remodeled former School No. 1

plus the erection of a large addition on the south





     north side of Main Street, between Seventh and Eighth



1898, Union School No 1, Weltberger drawing, 03 19 1898, WHS_005_923




The board of education has appointed Miss Nellie Shinnick of the town of Watertown to the new position created on the high school staff, at a salary of $55 per month.  She has been pursuing a course of study at the Oshkosh Normal.   WR


08 03       A special term of school for the pupils of the high school and eighth grades will be opened at the present high school building, on Monday, August 15, and continued two weeks.  The regular work for the year will be begun.  There will also be reviews from the common branches, and instruction for students preparing to teach.  The regular fall term for the high school and eighth grade will probably not begin October.  For the other grades school will open September 5.   WR


10 05       The contractors of the new high school building promise to have it ready for occupancy on Monday, October 17, which date has been set for the opening of the fall term of the high school and eighth grades.   WR


10 19       School will open in the new High School building next Monday.  All eighth grade and high school pupils should try to be present on the first day.  Non-resident pupils will be received on the payment of a tuition fee of $2 a month.  All pupils are furnished with textbooks for use, free of charge.  The increased number of teachers will enable the High School to offer more extended and varied instruction hereafter than hitherto.  To suit all classes of students various courses will be provided:  Modern classical, scientific, English, commercial, etc.  Students who wish to prepare for teaching will receive all needed attention.   WR


10 26       School opened in the new high school building Monday morning and the pupils of the high school and eighth grades are now enjoying the conveniences and comforts of this fine structure.  The new school is the result of the remodeling of former School No. 1 and the erection of a large edition on the south.  Its location on Main Street between Seventh and Eighth, is very sightly.  The building is of brick and one of the most noticeable features is the splendid light afforded during the day by the multitude of windows.  Gas for night lighting is furnished throughout.  There are two entrances, one on the south---the main one---and the other on the east.  The main entrance, with its large portico and Corinthian columns presents a most substantial and handsome appearance.   Upon entering the building a person is at once impressed with the spacious corridors and the wide, easy stairways.  It seems that the design of the architect was to afford above all else convenience, comfort and safety.  Two stories and a basement comprise the building.  The interior woodwork is entirely of Georgia pine.  The building proper cost in the neighborhood of $11,000 and the system of heating and ventilation an additional $2,000.   WR



07 28       FREE CLASSES

During the month of August, Supt. Viebahn will give instructions free of charge, to all high school students who may need and desire help in any one branch.  Those who wish to avail themselves of this opportunity will come to the high school next Monday at 9 a.m.   WG



1910 approx, postcard


1910, later Armory, postcard



1911, later Armory, [PC_136]




     Sidewalk in front of High School



1959, Proposed site for new city hall




Three members who served on a committee named by Attorney Charles E. Kading, while he was serving as acting city manager here, to study city hall expansion needs today issued a statement opposing the proposed construction of a new police and fire station at the corner of North Eighth and Madison streets and suggested that maybe “it is time to hold another referendum” on the matter.  The three are Arthur Kuenzi, a registered professional engineer who was president of the old Otto Biefeld Co., now the Otto Biefeld Corp.; Albert W. Maas, general contractor and head of the Maas Bros. Construction Company and a former city councilman; and O. E. Carlson, for many years a building materials supplier here.   WDT




The condition of the recreation building, with its dirty and unkempt walls and the condition of the floors and many other things about it have reached such a point that one councilman who dropped in yesterday afternoon to look it over said today he was shocked by what he found.  George Shephard plans to have the matter put on the next council committee agenda for discussion to see what can be done to make some elementary improvements about the condition of the building.   WDT



The City Council last night added hundreds of more words to the long standing and running argument over plans for a new fire and police station and when it was over it had approved, by a vote of 3 to 2, to take the next step for the construction of such a building but, which in the end, won't even get off the ground, according to present indications - at least not during the present administration.  The 3 to 2 vote was on a resolution to authorize sample soil borings on the site of the proposed building - the block which now houses the recreation building.  But even now the actual construction has two strikes against it.  Councilman George Shephard and Councilman Raymond F. Franz who have previously declared they will not support the $400,000 bond issue to finance it last night repeated their statements “for the official record.”   WDT



The city council did the expected last night.  It voted to close the recreation building and transfer all activities to the old Douglas School as soon as the board of education turns the school over to the city, expected to be around July 1.  By so doing the council went on record not to spend any public sums for repairing the recreation building or arising its safety standards.  The vote on the measure was 13 to 1 — with Alderman Erich Nuernberg of the sixth ward casting the only “no” vote.  He had sought to delay any action by having the resolution tabled until such time as the old Douglas School has been turned over to the city.   WDT




If plans to dispose of the Watertown Recreation Building and the site which makes up the block on which it is located are carried out and present ideas regarding its future facility are fulfilled Watertown may get what city officials consider a much-needed community establishment — a motel, dining area, meeting rooms and cocktail lounge.  The cocktail lounge would be needed in such a facility to help pay operational costs, it has been pointed out.  At last night’s meeting of the common council the aldermen voted unanimously to refer to the City Planning Commission a resolution taking the first step toward such a project.  The resolution is being sponsored by Council President William Wiegand.   WDT



The recreation building in Main Street, scheduled to be closed and abandoned as a public safety measure, may yet receive a reprieve and continue to be used at least through the coming winter months. That was one of the possible decisions that came out of last night’s common council committee meeting. With a new city hall in prospect, plans call for a large basement which can be utilized by the recreation department but until such a plan is actually carried out and the new quarters are available, the recreation department will either have to continue functioning in the present building or steps will have to be taken to rent the Turner Hall on a basis of fitting in the recreation schedule when the Turner Hall is available.   WDT



Although the city of Watertown's advertisements calling for proposals on the city recreation building, which is up for sale, have appeared in newspapers in Watertown, Milwaukee and Madison only and have not yet been published in trade journals, the office of Mayor Robert P. White has already had "nibbles" from five sources, including one in Chicago.  The recreation building and site are being offered for sale, since the city proposes to close the building and transfer present usages to other localities, although this has not yet met with complete success and efforts to find alternate operating locations are continuing.   WDT



05 11       Another step in the probable construction of a 30 to 40 unit motel, cocktail lounge and convention and gathering center, on the site of the present recreation building, first announced some two years ago as a possibility, was reported last night to members of the common council by Mayor Robert P. White during the regular meeting of the council.  The mayor announced that an option on the property has been issued.  The site, which includes a solid block, lies between North Seventh and Eighth Streets along Main Street.  The mayor said that since the property was put up for sale by the city his office has had many inquiries, some from as far away as Texas, representing interested parties considering a motel and allied establishment.   WDT



05 08       Mayor Robert P. White’s recent statement to the Daily Times that interest in acquiring the city recreation building site in Main Street is still “very much alive” was followed up last night with his announcement that a new “offer” to purchase the site has developed.  The mayor said that Merion Realty Co., Inc., a subsidiary investment group of a large Milwaukee business organization, has expressed interest in the site and that this has now reached the point where the concern was represented at a recent meeting of the City Planning Commission to discuss possibilities informally.   WDT


05 20       By a vote of 12 to 2 the common council last night accepted the offer made recently by the Marion Realty Co., Milwaukee, to purchase from the city the property known as the recreation building site.  Such a step had been recommended by the City Planning Commission.  In the resolution, the city set the sum of $35,000 as the price to be paid for the complete one square block property in Main Street.  The council also set a 90 day time limit for the conclusion of the sale.   WDT



Plans for a motel, several retail stores and convention facilities, including a bar and other services on the site of the present recreation building at Main and the area between North Seventh and North Eighth Streets, may move a step closer to realization next week. The Marian Realty Co., representing outside interests which propose to construct the new complex in downtown Watertown has announced it wishes to exercise its option on the property.   WDT


10 30       LUTOVSKY FARM

A conference on how best to speed up consideration of acquiring the Charles Lutovsky farm as a site for the proposed new junior high school was held at the municipal building this morning. It was attended by city officials and representatives of the board of education and others. One of the portions of land under consideration is the Charles Lutovsky farm and also property in the vicinity which is owned by Dr. E. Allen Miller and also a piece of land owned by the Oak Hill Cemetery Association.   WDT



The common council at its meeting last night took three important — but not unexpected — steps.  It voted to sell the old city hall to the most suitable bidder and to advance plans for the sale of the old recreation building site in Main Street.  The council also approved a resolution calling to proceed with negotiations for the purchase of the Charles Lutovsky farm as part of the site for the proposed new junior high school at a price not to exceed $65,000.  WDT



01 31       The Marian Realty Co. of Milwaukee last night was granted a new extension on its option to purchase the recreation building site and construct a motel and convention complex on the block costing no less than $250,000.  The price is to be $35,000 for the entire downtown block.  The extension expires May 3 of this year.  In the event the realty company does not exercise its option the council agreed to consider negotiating a similar option with the group known as Behrndt, Perkins and Knodl, also of Milwaukee, owners of the Charles Lutovsky farm which the city is to acquire as part of the site for a new junior high school.   WDT


02 13       There now are two out of town groups seeking the old recreation building site in Main Street for commercial development purposes.  This came to light last night during the common council’s committee meeting after it was disclosed that the Marian Realty Co. of Milwaukee had decided not to exercise its option on the property.  The two groups are Behrndt, Perkins and Knodl of Milwaukee who have agreed to sell to the city 34 acres of the former Charles Lutovsky farm as part of a new school site, and a Madison group which had first shown an interest in the site some two years ago.   WDT


02 28       Representatives of Behrndt, Perkins and Knodl, Milwaukee, were in the city last evening in connection with plans for utilizing the site of the old recreation building in Main Street on which the group holds a 90-day option.  Architects have been at work on plans for a 29-unit motel, restaurant and cocktail facilities, along with meeting and convention facilities, which the Milwaukee concern proposes to erect on the site, subject to approval by the City Planning Commission.   WDT



Work on demolishing the old recreation building in Main Street continues.  It is to pave the way for a motel and related facilities.  Owners of the property are Behrndt, Perkins and Knodl of Milwaukee.  The original part of the old building began as School No. 1 and the rear wall had a stone inscribed “1863.”


When the major portions of the building, fronting on Main Street, were constructed is a matter of question.  The building was a high school until the World War I period and then became an armory and later the recreation building.  As a high school it replaced the old Webster School in Western Avenue which had served as a high school before becoming an elementary school.  It is no more, having been leveled for a playground and replaced with a modem Webster School at 634 South Twelfth Street.   WDT


11 04       MOTEL PLANNED

The motel to be constructed at the corner of North Eighth and Main Streets, on the site of the former recreation building, will be up and ready for occupancy by next summer, one of the three developers involved in the project told the Daily Times.  James J. Knodl, one of the three men involved in the project, said the facility would be up by next summer.  The razing of the old rec building which years ago served as a high school, has been underway for many weeks.  Under the terms of the purchase contract with the city, construction of the motel must get underway 61 days after the building is razed.   WDT



01 25       PLANS FOR MOTEL

Plans for the financing of the motel and related facilities on the site of the old recreation building here have been advanced and it was announced that a Menomonee Falls dentist, Dr. Guido E. Quartullo has entered into the operation as an investor with the Milwaukee group which purchased the property at Main and North Eight Streets from the city — Berndt, Perkins and Knoll of Milwaukee.  Under terms of the agreement with the city the construction must begin within 41 days after the property is cleared and that was Wednesday of this week.   WDT


02 05       PLANS FOR SITE

Plans for the future of Watertown’s old recreation building site in Main Street, between North Seventh and North Eighth Streets, which Behrndt, Perkins and Knodl of Milwaukee, a group of developers secured from the city last year, were discussed at a meeting held here yesterday afternoon following an earlier announcement last week that Dr. G. E. Quartullo of Menomonee Falls had bought into the operation.   WDT


03 05       NEW OWNERS

The new owners of the city’s former recreation site, in Main Street, have requested that they be permitted to meet with the common council next week to discuss with the city their future plans for the site.  The new owners are Dr. G. G. Quartullo and Delore Schultz, both of Menomonee Falls.  When the entire block area was sold by the city to Berndt, Perkins and Knodl of Milwaukee, for $35,000, it was stipulated that the site was to be used for a 32-unit motel, include a commercial area and a section that would offer convention facilities and a meeting place for large gatherings, as well as provide a steak room, a bar, etc.  A minimum construction of $250,000 was also stipulated.   WDT



Hanging city officials in effigy via dummy which was strung up from a tree in the old recreation building block area yesterday apparently was the last straw for the city and a cleanup of the place was begun.  The Daily Times received a telephone call about the incident this morning from someone who had witnessed it.  Aldermen urged that the city clean up the place and bill the owners if they did not move to clean up “the unsightly conditions and mess” on the site which fronts on Main Street.  Signs painted on the block-long retaining wall, which drew heavy fire from aldermen, also have been obliterated.  WDT



Vandals have again attacked the surface of the retaining wall which fronts Main Street on the site of the old recreation building, only hours after city crews “cleaned up” the site and resurfaced the wall to obliterate the slogans and saying which had defaced the wall and which was an eyesore for many months.  The cleanup was carried out yesterday.  Later someone had painted a letter “P” on the wall, authorities said.  Police said they had at least a lead on one suspect and had the names of several others they were going to question.   WDT



David Fries, city attorney, last night reported to the common council that an entirely new start on a motel project may be in the making, that the old recreation site in Main Street is now owned by Dr. G. G. Quartulla, Menomonee Falls dentist, and that prospects for new construction appear vague but likely.  The city attorney’s verbal report was made in reply to questions which had been raised at the previous council meeting.  The initial plans for a motel commercial area, convention facilities, have been “thrown out” and a new beginning is about to be made, according to the latest information made available to the city attorney.   WDT




The latest information in connection with the proposed motel, to be constructed on the site of the former recreation building, at Eighth and East Main Streets, was presented to Mayor Robert P. White on Wednesday by Dr. G. E. Quartullo, Menomonee Falls, a dentist, who now owns the property.  Quartullo advised the mayor that efforts now are well underway to secure a tenant for the commercial portion of the property, which will consist of approximately 10,000 square feet of floor space.  Dr. Quartullo and a Menomonee Falls contractor, Delore Schultz, acquired the property from three developers, James J. Knodl and Richard H. Berndt of Milwaukee and Forrest W. Perkins of Muskego.  The three had acquired property from the city for $35,000, this low figure having been established in order for the city to be helpful in bringing about the construction of a downtown motel.   WDT



City Attorney David J. Fries today issued a statement on the status of the old recreation site which had been asked to provide for the common council by Alderman Armund Turke, president of the council.  In his statement, the city attorney points out that there is a mortgage in the face amount of $90,000 to the Bank of Watertown, and “that it cannot by ascertained, however, from the public records, whether the amount owed to the Bank of Watertown is in this full amount or not.”  The city attorney, in summarizing the legal aspects, gives it as his opinion that the city of Watertown at its option may regain title to the property on payment of $35,000, together with possibly such sum as the owners can establish constitute reasonable costs and that any balance on the mortgage would, in the city attorney’s opinion, not constitute reasonable costs.   WDT



O. Harvey Krause, city assessor of Watertown, differs sharply with the policy of the present city administration relative to some real estate transactions carried out in the past few years and especially with the transactions involving the old recreation site on Main Street, between North Seventh and North Eighth Streets, according to a statement he issued at his office this morning.  “The progress or lack of progress in developing the old recreation building site recently prompted Mayor Robert P. White to publish a record of the steps taken in the sale of this property,” Mr. Krause says in his statement.   WDT


03 06       KEEPING “A WARY EYE”

Members of the common council at their committee meeting last night agreed informally to keep “a wary eye” on the “immediate future” of the old recreation site at Main and North Eighth Streets in order to keep informed on prospects for the construction of a motel complex on the property.  Alderman Armund Turke, the council president, said he feels that if there is no evidence of construction or assurance of construction this summer, or near the close of the year that the council consider a move to regain the property from its owners.  At the same time Alderman G. G. Waller told the council he feels the aldermen should be kept better informed on developments through regular “progress reports.”   WDT



The next step in the city of Watertown’s decision to seek to regain the old recreation building site in Main street will be taken in Jefferson County Circuit Court, but as yet no date has been set for a hearing.  The city sold the block square area to Milwaukee promoters for a motel complex for $35,000 during the previous city administration.  The property was later sold by the Milwaukee group to Delore Schultz and Dr. G. G. Quartulle of Menominee Falls, Wis.  WDT



The city of Watertown is all set to go to trial in connection with the steps that have been taken to retrieve the recreation site located at the corner of Eighth and Main Streets.  The property was sold to three Milwaukee developers for $35,000, with the stipulation that they erect a motel costing at least $250,000.  The three, instead of proceeding with the erection of a motel, sold the property to a contractor and dentist from Menomonee Falls.  Since the sale, the dentist, Dr. G. E. Quartullo, has bought out his associate.  WDT




A meeting was set up by the common council last night for April 15 to afford Dr. G. E. Quartulle of Menomonee Falls, owner of the old recreation site, his attorney and representative of Red Owl an opportunity to appear and present the council with a plan which could lead to the occupancy of the site by Red Owl.  It was pointed out that the law firm of the late Malcolm Whyte, Milwaukee, a native of Watertown, engaged by the council as consultants in the city’s attempt to regain ownership of the block-square property would in no way affect that attempt, a matter now pending in Jefferson County Circuit Court.   WDT


04 02       RED OWL PLAN

A meeting was set up by the common council last night for April 15 to afford Dr. G. E. Quartulle of Menomonee Falls, owner of the old recreation site, his attorney and a representative of Red Owl an opportunity to appear and present the council with a plan which could lead to the occupancy of the site by Red Owl.  It was pointed out that the law firm of the late Malcolm Whyte, Milwaukee, a native of Watertown, engaged by the council as consultants in the city's attempt to regain ownership of the block-square property would in no way affect that attempt, a matter now pending in Jefferson County Circuit Court.


06 13       RED OWL “FINAL OFFER”

A meeting was set up by the common council last night for April 15 to afford Dr. G. E. Quartulle of Menomonee Falls, owner of the old recreation site, his attorney and a representative of Red Owl an opportunity to appear and present the council with a plan which could lead to the occupancy of the site by Red Owl.  It was pointed out that the law firm of the late Malcolm Whyte, Milwaukee, a native of Watertown, engaged by the council as consultants in the city's attempt to regain ownership of the block-square property would in no way affect that attempt, a matter now pending in Jefferson County Circuit Court.



Dr. G. E. Quartullo, Menomonee Falls dentist who is the owner of the old recreation site property in Main Street which the city sold for $35,000, has asked $75,000 to sell it back to the city and last night had his offer rejected.  Rejection came at an executive session of Watertown aldermen who met with Mayor A. E. Bentzin prior to the council’s regular committee meeting last night.  As a result, the case now is headed for settlement in Jefferson County Circuit Court.



There was a flare up between attorneys Wednesday afternoon during the fifth day of the circuit court trial in the city’s effort to retrieve the so-called recreational site at Eighth and Main Streets here.  Yesterday’s court session was held in the circuit court chamber at Jefferson, with Judge Henry Gergen, Jr. of Beaver Dam presiding.  The clash occurred when Attorney Thomas Hayes of Milwaukee, representing Dr. G. E. Quartullo, accused Attorney Edward Cleveland of the Milwaukee law firm of Whyte, Hirschboeck, Minahan, Harding & Harland, which is representing Watertown, of not having turned over to him some of the documents introduced Wednesday afternoon.




An effort by Dr. Quido E. Quartillo, Menomonee Falls dentist, to obtain more money than had been awarded to him for the Eighth and Main Street recreation property has failed.  At the conclusion of the circuit court case in which a determination was to be made by Judge Henry Gergin, Jr., as to the sum which the dentist was to be paid for the property, Gergin set the figure at $65,926.  The city had received $35,000 for the property and sold it at this very low price, in order to assist in the construction of a motel and related facilities on the site.     WDT



Cross reference:

Honor Roll, Veteran's wall, along sidewalk




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History of Watertown, Wisconsin