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History of Annandale Schools
Presentation to the Annandale History Club
Date: February 4, 2013
Steve Niklaus, Superintendent 

Advocate Articles
      -Consolidated Schools 
      -Excerpts from Memories of Annandale by Lotus Heaton Williams (1987)

This is Steve Nicklaus’s 27th year in the district and his 21st year as District 216 Superintendent.  He came to Annandale in 1986 as high school principal.  His presentation included information from available school board minutes and the Wright County Historical Society archives.

(Excerpts from School Board Minutes)

1869:  Annandale’s first school, a small log structure near the east end of the village, existed about 17 years before the village was planned.  It served as the school, community gathering place and church until 1888.

1888:  The school opposite the current middle school was partially built.  Its two rooms served until two additional classrooms were added about 10 years later.

1903:  An election changed the district to an independent school district.

1907:  The first high school commencement was held for a class of five.  Graduates:  Luella Mathieu, Lotus Heaton, Millicent Dally, Louise Hansch and Ruth McDonald.

1910:  The original 1869 school districts, #72 (Corinna), #130 (Lee, Southside), and #71 (Annandale) voted at a special election to consolidate and use the Annandale District #71 name and buildings.


1917 School Board Members

President         J. F. Lee
Treasurer        G. G. Sawyer
Clerk               N. C. Smith
Director          W.S. Ives
Director          Fred Shadduck  
Director          W.D. McDonald

1917 Horse-Drawn Bus Routes

#1     At Rudolph Place
#2     School House to Shadduck and return
#3     Known as Hanson route 
#4     Known as Paulson route (short route)
#5     County route to Cedar Lake Bridge

October 23, 1918:  Considered closing the school for a short period of time because of the contagious disease Spanish Influenza.  Schools closed from November 4, 1918 to November 25, 1918.

July 15, 1919:  The Board of Directors of the Consolidated and Independent School District No. 71, Wright County, Minnesota, met in special session at the residence of Fred Shadduck on the 15th day of July, 1919, at 9:30 p.m.  On motion of W.H. Towle, seconded by W.S. Ives, the following resolution was adopted.  WHEREAS,  it is the duty of the Board of Directors of said school district enjoined by the State Board of Education to erect a modern school building in the near future and WHEREAS, such school building will require a large supply of water from a deep well and the maintenance of a pumping system and will also require a large and expensive septic tank so installed as to meet the requirements of the state and WHEREAS, said Board of Directors is of the opinion that the Village of Annandale will soon install a water system and a system of sewage and such systems would be preferable and superior and far more economical when applied to said school building than an independent system could be NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that said school district should pay its share of the expense of said Municipal Water Works and Sewage provided said Village will and does furnish said school district with sewage and an acceptable supply of water as aforesaid on or before May 10, 1920 at which period and when said conditions are fully met said School District shall pay to said Village the sum of six thousand dollars.

April 6, 1920:  … After a lengthy consideration of the question of the erection of a new school building on the part of members of the school board and by members of the said representatives of the Commercial Club and after listening to Mr. Parson’s views of present economic questions and the present and future business outlook, it was decided wise for the board to ascertain the cost of the proposed new school building by submitting the plans and specifications to contractors and advertising for bids and after learning of the cost of the new schoolhouse as expressed by the lowest responsible bidder to submit the question of issuing the required bonds to the voters of the School District at a special school board meeting to be called in the near future.  Moved by McDonald and seconded by W.D. Ives that the secretary of the Board be authorized to advertise for bids on the proposed new high and grade school building to be received April 23, 1920.

June 1920:  Voters approved construction of new school for a total of $140,000.  School Board meetings held on first Friday night of each month of the school year at 8:00 p.m.  Elections held in July at the annual meeting through petition or application and election for one hour.

May 28, 1923:  First class of 29 seniors graduated from the new school.

June 12, 1951:  Motion by Peterson, seconded by Thayer that Common School Districts #109 (Fashant School, Albion Township) and #105 (Lake John School, Southside Township) be accepted as part of CSD #71 in the event they are dissolved by County Commissioners and attached to #71.

August 6, 1951:  Special meeting.  Motion by Peterson, seconded by McDonald that Common School District #81 (Heberling School, Corinna Township) be accepted as part of CSD #71 if dissolved by County Commissioners and attached to #71.

November 13, 1951:  Accept the bid from Ray Bruns for $366 for the buildings from former District #105 (Lake John School).  Accept the bid from Harry Bohte for $403 for buildings from former District #109 (Fashant School).

January 9, 1952:  Motion by Peterson, seconded by Planer that Common School District #106 (Kiehn School, Southside Township) be accepted as a part of CSD #71 if dissolved by County Commissioners and attached to #71.

February 19, 1952:  Special meeting.  Motion by McDonald and seconded by Lundeen that we request the County Commissioners to affect the transfer of School District #106 (Kiehn School) to July 1, 1952.

May 5, 1952:  Motion by McDonald, seconded by Dr. Peterson to accept whatever part of District #57 (Schneider School, Corinna Township) to CSD #71 as set over by County Commissioners.

July 14, 1952:  Motion by McDonald, seconded by Kiehn that Mr. Eininger confer with District #98 (Segner School, Corinna Township) in regard to disposing of school building in District #57 (Schneider School, Corinna Township).  Motion by McDonald, seconded by Kiehn that the chairman and clerk be authorized to execute a contract with Hubert H. Swanson for planning and construction of a new building.

November 10, 1952:  Motion by McDonald, seconded by Kiehn that Common School Districts #64 (Kean School, French Lake Township) and #138 (Gunnary School, French Lake Township) be accepted as part of CSD #71 if dissolved by County Commissioners and attached to #71.

December 16, 1952:  Motion by McDonald, seconded by Lundeen that Common School District #77 (all or part) be accepted as part of Consolidated Independent District #71 in the event they are dissolved by County Commissioners and attached to #71.

January 13, 1953:  Motion by McDonald, seconded by Kiehn that District #64 (Kean School) continue their school for the remainder of this school year.

February 10, 1953:  Motion by McDonald, seconded by Dr. Peterson that we accept Common School Districts #18 (Sherman School, Clearwater Township), #69 (Dykman School, Albion Township), #107 (Camp Lake School, Albion Township) as part of  CSD #71 in the event they are dissolved by County Commissioners and attached to CSD #71.

March 10, 1953:  Motion by McDonald and seconded by Kiehn that we accept District #43(Lake Augusta School, Southside Township) and Districts #169 (Lyon/Stokes School, Lynden Township, Stearns County) and #78 (Mooney School, Lynden Township, Stearns County) as part of CSD #71 in the event that they are dissolved by County Commissioners and attached to CSD #71.

March 17, 1953:  Motion by McDonald, seconded by Lundeen if District #16 (Silver Creek, Silver Creek township) and one adjoining district or more vote to consider consolidation with District #71, the board will construct and operate at least a two-room modern school in the Village of Silver Creek.  Motion by Lundeen, seconded by Kiehn that, if being recommended by school administration that school at District #64 (Kean) not be operated for the year 1953-54.

April 15, 1953:  Motion by Dr. Peterson, seconded by Kiehn that we accept Districts #16 (Silver Creek), #137 (Sugar Lake School, Corinna Township) and #68 (French Lake School) as part of CSD #71 if they are set over by the Board of County Commissioners.

April 29, 1953:  Special Meeting.  McDonald moved, seconded by Lundeen that we hold the bond election on June 9th, subject to legal advice, and that any district being attached to District #71 after that date will be required to assume their portion of bond indebtedness of CSD #71.  (Election was later postponed to October 6).

June 9, 1953:  A decision to advertise for bids for school buildings and equipment in Districts #64 (Kean), #57 (Schneider), #138 (Gunnary), #107 (Camp Lake), #120 (Plainview, Clearwater), #77, #78 (Mooney).

July and August 1953:  Sale of: 
$185   Building and stove from #57 to LeRoy Schantenback
$102   Stove from #64 to Nels Raisanen
$150   Building and shed from #64 to Oscar Lindala
$80     Building and shed from #78 to G. Pannhoff
$860   Building from #138 to Neilo Raisanen
$510   Building and half land from #107 to Mt. Herman Lutheran Church 
$12     Piano from #107 to R. Rudolff 
$25     Swing from #107 to C. Berg  
$255   Buildings from #77
$526   Buildings from #137 to Immanuel Lutheran Church (Silver Creek)

September 1953:  Motion by Dr. Peterson, seconded by McDonald that we change District #71 to Joint Independent Consolidated District #216.  Authorized bond sale of $525,000 for an addition to the school building.

October 6, 1953:  Bond election passes, 627 yes, 166 no.  SCHOOL DISTRICT OFFICIALLY KNOWN AS 216 JOINT INDEPENDENT CONNSOLIDATED.

May 11, 1954:  Motion by McDonald, seconded by Dr. Peterson that we let out bids on Districts #69 Dykman), #81 (Heberling) and #43 (Lake Augusta) schoolhouse buildings and land, except the land on District #43 (Lake Augusta).

June 8, 1954:  Motion by Kiehn, seconded by Lundeen to accept bids as follows:  $150 for the schoolhouse and $25 for the shed to Walter Bissonette
$301 for building in District #81 to Charley Geardink.

August 10, 1954:  Sale of buildings in #69 (Dykman) to George Luce for $1,050.

June 1957:  Bids are opened and work approved to remodel the old school building (1888 building) across the street from the new school - $9,632.

September 1957:  School District #216 is first noted as JOINT INDEPENDENT CONSOLIDATED SCHOOL DISTRICT  #876.

October 1957:  Motion Kiehn, seconded Lundeen to sell Silver Creek School to Edward G. Dalman for $837.

April 10, 1958:  Motion by Dr Peterson, seconded by Lundeen that we accept students from #2697 (#110 Benson/Myrback School, French Lake Township) for our next school year.

October 16, 1958:  Motion by Kiehn, seconded by Lundeen to accept the bid of Ben Lantto for $225 for Gunnary School subject to the condition that the building be removed within one year.

January 16, 1960:  Motion by Rhoe, seconded by Lundeen to accept students of 7th and 8th grade of the South Haven District  #136 for the 1960 and 1961 school year.  Note:  On a tuition basis.

April 14, 1960:  Officers of District #2638 (Sherman School #18, Clearwater Township) present and requested #876 accept their students for instruction in our school the coming year.  A motion was made by Lundeen, seconded by Hoikka to accept the students in #2638 for the coming year on a tuition basis.

August 11, 1960:  Superintendent Anderson presented requests from rural school districts #2638 (Sherman, Clearwater Township), #2671, Hannon School, Albion Township) and #2697 (Benson/Mryback, French Lake Township) to accept their students for instruction.  Rhoe made the motion, seconded by Magnuson that we accept these students and signed a contract for instruction at the regular full cost as provided by law.

January 1961:  Bond election called for $150,000 to add an industrial arts addition.  February 1961:  Election – 436 yes, 122 no.

September 12, 1963:  Motion Lundeen, seconded Magnuson to approve a contract for instruction of elementary students from District #2671 (Hannon School #62, Albion Township).

May 14, 1964:  John Lee and Walter Baier discussed the possibility of District #2638 (Sherman School #18, Clearwater Township) becoming part of the Annandale School system.

July 1964:  Land purchased from Genevieve Thayer and Gordon Thayer for $19,500. 

October 1964:  $2,407 bid of Mildred Olson to purchase the Lake Francis School #113 was accepted.

May 13, 1965:  Motion by Lundeen, seconded by Rhoe to accept any part of #2638 (Sherman School #18) and #2701 (Sheldon #115, Clearwater Township) as approved by County Commissioners subject to assuming their share of bonded indebtedness.

December 1965:  $500 bid from Oliver Sheldon for Sheldon School, formerly District #2701.

August 1966:  Approved purchase of land from Clarence Buckman for $18,000.

February 10, 1967:  Because no rooms are available for kindergarten in the present school building, Mr. Van Putten was asked to investigate the possibility of renting classrooms outside the school building and to ask the Department of Education to use outside facilities.

August 11, 1966:  Motion Lundeen, seconded by Hoikka to purchase land from Clarence Buckman for $18,000.  (Note:  East of high school – parking lot.)

July 29, 1967:  Mrs. Arlen Salmela and Mr. Allen Miller of Common School District #1936 (Village of Fairhaven) requested a meeting with ISD 876 to discuss possible consolidation. They pointed out there had been a petition from the people within the Fairhaven School District requesting the same, and that this petition had been rejected by the State Commissioner of Education in favor of a petition for consolidation with the Kimball School District.  A vote had been held on this petition and it has been rejected by the voters of the Fairhaven School District.  Therefore, they request that an opportunity be given the voters of their district to vote for consolidation with the Annandale Schools.

August 17, 1967:  Motion by Lundeen, seconded by Magnuson to adopt the following Resolution.  Be it Resolved that the Board of Education of Independent School District No. 876 approve the consolidation plat for the Common School District No. 1936 (Fairhaven School), Stearns County, as modified by the Commissioner of Education.

June 4, 1968:  Bids accepted for constructing four temporary classrooms at a cost of $17,180.

November 19, 1968:  Motion by Dr. Mackereth, seconded by Magnuson to approve the consolidation plat involving the Independent School District No. 876 and a part of Independent School District No. 889, South Haven.  The consolidation has been approved by the State Department of Education.

May 8, 1969:  Motion Lundeen, seconded by Mackereth to call an election for June 25 for construction of a new elementary school.

June 12, 1969:  Purchased 23 acres of land from George Houchins for $40,000.  Note for elementary & High School.

June 24, 1969:  Bond election results:  Yes - 318, No - 379.

October 21, 1969:  Bond election for new elementary school:  Yes – 485, No – 489.

March 20, 1970:  Bond election for new elementary school:  Yes – 855, No – 702.

May 13, 1971:  First female school board member elected – Mrs. Mary Wehman.

March 9, 1972:  Motion by Lundeen, seconded by Schultz for the following Resolution:

WHERAS, the new elementary school will be opened with the 1972-73 school year, and WHERAS, the majority of parents of children presently attending the Silver Creek School have expressed a preference for their children to attend the new elementary school, and WHEREAS, it has been determined that the South Haven School would not be operated beyond the 1971-72 school year, and WHEREAS, certain financial savings would be made if the Silver Creek School and the South Haven School were closed, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that classes be discontinued at the Silver Creek School and the  South Haven School effective with the end of the 1971-72 school year, and that the students presently enrolled in each school be enrolled in the new elementary school beginning the 1972-73 school year.

Annandale Advocate Newspaper Articles
Annandale Schools

January 11, 1906:  A program of examinations was posted for teachers’ state certificates.  It was held at Buffalo, Jan. 25, 26, and 27, 1906.

 June 6, 1907:  The baccalaureate sermon was preached to the graduating class of ’07 Sunday morning at the village hall by the Rev. F.W. Hill of the M.E. Church and was attended by a large congregation which completely filled the hall.  Mr. Hill chose for his subject “True Education and its Practical Application to Everyday life.”  He said that this was a critical time in the lives of the young people whom he addressed.

June 6, 1907:  The graduating exercises of the Annandale High School occurred Tuesday evening in the Village Hall and was a memorable event in the history of our town.  The event had been much anticipated by both pupils and parents as was in evidence by the large assembly which gathered at the hall at an early hour.  The stage was prettily decorated in bunting, palms, potted plants, and carnations, which together with the new gas lights gave the hall a very bright and pleasing appearance.  The graduating class consisted of Millicent M. Dally, Ruth A. McDonald, Lotus M. Heaton, Gertrude L. Matheu and Louise A. Hansch, all of whom were beautifully gowned in white and carried large bouquets of red roses.

August 29, 1907:  The enrollment for the Annandale schools is expected to exceed that of last year.  It is possible that an additional teacher will be necessary to handle the grade pupils.  The senior class this year will be, it is expected, six strong.

November 21, 1907:  The Annandale high school basketball team are to play the Buffalo team Friday evening at Buffalo.  The game will be played indoors, which gives Buffalo a big advantage.  Should Annandale win this game it will practically assure them of the championship of Wright County.  The team leaves on the afternoon train and will return on the evening train.

December 5, 1907:  The State Truant officer, Mr. B. Friedlaender, called on our Supt. of Schools on Wednesday, Nov. 27th, and inquired into the matter of truancy in our schools.  His purpose was to call upon all truants and their parents or guardians and see that the state laws concerning truancy were enforced.

1912:  (October 23, 1991 - Annandale Schools supplement) - According to Nobel Shadduck, the Annandale schoolhouse got a drinking fountain and electric lights instead of kerosene lamps. 

1915:  Two new school vans, horse-drawn, were in use picking up rural pupils

July 1, 1920:  $125,000 bond issue for new school building carried by vote of 140 to 62.

1920:  W.A. Andrews came here as the new school superintendent, and he proved to be helpful in plans for the new school structure.

January 26, 1922:  The second semester started this week.  New subjects taught this semester include civics, economics, garment making, home management and physiology. 

February 2, 1922:  The regular meeting of the Parents-Teachers Association was held at the schoolhouse on Wednesday evening.  The program was put on by the students themselves.  Genevieve Shierts sang a solo, followed by a Style Show put on by the girls in sewing class.  Lastly, the Public Speaking class gave many speeches representing the work done by the class.

February 8, 1922:  The Annandale High School girls basketball team captured the Soo Line championship in the county at Buffalo last Friday night when they defeated Maple Lake 18-12.  A large number of fans accompanied the teams and were treated to a good game.  The boys, however, were defeated by Paynesville at Paynesville by a score of 24-12.

March 9, 1922:  For the third successive season the Annandale High School girls basketball team has held the county championship.

1923:  The new school building was occupied on February 13 for the first time, the move taking place over the weekend.  The schoolhouse was dedicated at the Commencement ceremonies.

1924:  J.W. Perry of Brewster was elected superintendent of the school succeeding W.A. Andrews, who resigned.

September 22, 1926:  The financial report of the Annandale consolidated school district No. 71 for the year ending on July 20, 1926, shows there to be $131.21 cash on hand at the beginning of the year.

January 21, 1926:  A change was made in the hours of the school day.  Now there was to be eight 43-minute periods in the high school.  Heretofore periods had been 37 minutes in length.

1927:  Henry N. Swanson of LeSueur was elected to head the school faculty and is the present superintendent.

May 2, 1929:  The Annandale School Band was awarded second place at the District Tournament held at St. Cloud Saturday.  The band is under the direction of Harold Kalberg, science instructor of our school. 

May 23, 1929:  The school year is rapidly drawing to a close and plans for the exercises of Commencement Week are being completed.  This year’s class consists of 19 boys and girls.  Ruth Sather is valedictorian and Burton Francis is salutatorian.  Students ranking next in order are Benhart Raisanen, Laurence Maurice, Dale Herman and Alma Haggerty.

July 18, 1929:  In the Annandale School District that should register over 400 votes, all of 21 votes were cast at the school election held Tuesday night.  The officers up for re-election were J.F. Lee and Henry Ransom, who will serve another term.

July 18, 1929:  The school board installed an Iron Fireman Coal Stoker in the school heating plant during the summer vacation and it is all ready to do the work.  This stoker will automatically take care of the firing and keep an even temperature in the school room as long as the hopper has coal in it.

August 15, 1929:  Attention was called this week by state officials to a new law passed by the last Legislature which bans agents from canvassing rural schools in efforts to sell merchandise.  Efforts of solicitors to dispose of merchandise ranging from books to sets of dishes became so provoking to teachers and school officials that necessity for a law was seen.  Violations will constitute a misdemeanor.

August 29, 1929:  Miss Ruth Knauss tendered her resignation as high school principal of the Annandale Schools some time ago and has been released by the Board of Education.  We understand she has accepted a position on the Waseca school faculty.

September 12, 1929:  The Annandale school has a total enrollment of 323 pupils.  This is an increase of 24 from last year.

October 10, 1929:  Wright County rural school boys and girls will put aside their books for a time during October and submit to an unusual type of test, a health inspection.  Miss Mabel Johnson, field nurse from the Minnesota Public Health Association, began work this week checking up on the physical condition of rural school children. The health survey is part of the county wide tuberculosis prevention program made possible by the Christmas seals.

October 10, 1929:  Enough boys have shown interest in Glee Club so that one was organized this week.  The Glee Club was very happy to have a new and talented senior join again in their organization; namely Elizabeth Smith.

October 10, 1929:  A crowd of over 100 people attended the reception given for the school faculty at the school auditorium Tuesday night.  The improvement Club sponsored the party.  A short program was given consisting of an address of welcome by the club president, Mrs. Norris.  Miss Swanson, high school principal, responded to the address of welcome.  A male quartet sang a song.

January 8, 1942:  The Dykman schoolhouse burned to the ground on Monday morning.  The Annandale school board has arranged for the pupils to be transported to the Annandale school for the balance of the school year.

March 5, 1942:  The student council is setting up and operating an employment agency in the school.  A list of all pupils who wish to obtain jobs will be kept and the time that each can work.  Many of the students would like to work after school hours and on Saturdays.  One may call Annandale High School for details.

c.1950 – (October 23, 1991 – Annandale Schools supplement) – According to Attorney Nobel Shadduck, he was hired by Superintendent Tripp to aid in consolidation of the school district.  “There were probably well over 20 districts consolidated.”

January 18, 1851:  The Annandale school would like to increase the number of pupils taking hot lunch to at least 300 or more pupils per day.  They state that with more pupils, the lunches would be better and the meals cheaper.  As an experiment, they reduced the price to 15 cents per meal for those buying tickets.

November 15, 1951:  The material for the new fire escapes at Annandale High School has arrived and the crew will be here soon to install them on the east side of the building.

July 3, 1952:  Harold Anderson of the Annandale school faculty recently completed a course for the training and certification of Driver Training Instructors held at Moorhead at the state Teachers College.  The course includes a minimum of 30 hours of classroom work and at least six hours of behind the wheel instruction per pupil.

November 26, 1952:  26 of the driver education students are now taking the actual driving part of the course.  This consists of learning to shift, steer, make proper turns, parallel park and other skills they will use as drivers.  About 65 students will receive this training during the year.

September 25, 1952:  The students of Annandale High School are looking forward to the 1952 Homecoming which they anticipate to be the biggest and best in the history of the school.  The official opening is slated for Thursday night, Sept. 25, with a pep fest and bonfire, followed by a snake dance.  The activities will end with a pep fest in the street after which all will retire to dream of the big day ahead.

December 4, 1952:  The first group of students to complete their driver training course went to Buffalo on Nov. 19th to take the road test for their drivers license.  All students in this group successfully passed the test.

April 24, 1952:  At the Midwest spelling contest held in Minneapolis Saturday, Teddy Gunnary, eighth grade Annandale pupil, placed fourth.  She was accompanied by Donald Durand of the school faculty, her mother, Mrs. E. B. Gunnary, and Jimmy Gunnary, to the contest.

May 1, 1952:  The annual School Election of Consolidated Independent School District No. 71 will be held at the schoolhouses on May 20, 1952.  Polls will open at 8 p.m. and remain open for one hour.  The terms of L.H. Bendix and Norman Planer, trustees, will expire.  Therefore, it will be necessary to elect two members to the board for a term of three years. 

May 1, 1952:  15 high school agriculture students attended the District III FFA Judging Contest at Morris on Friday.  The Dairy Judging team consisting of Arvid Klemz, Dennis Klemz, Roger Dykhuizen and Russell Repke placed second in competition with 24 others teams.  The teams in livestock and crop judging have not received their placing yet.

August 14, 1952:  At a special meeting of the voters of  School District 138 held at Gunnary Schoolhouse Monday night, Aug. 11, the voters decided to dissolve their school district and to become part of the Annandale District.  There was a high percentage of the qualified electors at the polls, 73 voters turning out to decide the issue.  The count was 40 in favor of dissolution, 33 opposed to it.

September 11, 1952:  A total enrollment of 543 pupils in the grade, junior and high school is reported as of September 9.  Indications are that about 12 more students will enroll in the high school after they have completed working at present employment.

January 7, 1954:  Bonds in the amount totaling $525,000 are advertised for sale by the Annandale school district, which now bears the title of “Joint Independent Consolidated District 216 of Wright and Stearns Counties, Minnesota.”  A large majority of voters approved the bond issue at the special election held last October.  The construction of a new addition to the Annandale school building and of a new school building at Silver Creek, are the purposes for which the money from the bond sale will be used.

January 28, 1954:  The Annandale Board of Education accepted the bid of the J.M. Dain Company of Minneapolis at the opening of the bids on Thursday evening.  This was the low bid with an average interest rate of 2.7902 percent for the entire issue.  It might be interesting for the taxpayers of the district to know that if the bonds had been sold last summer as was anticipated at one time, the interest would have been at least $50,000 more than it will be with the present rate.  The school board and the administration feel that this was a very satisfactory bid.

March 11, 1954:  March 17 will be Student Day at the Annandale School.  Students have been selected to act as teachers in the high school classes and will work under the supervision of the regular faculty members.  Dick Rotsolk will be the superintendent; Mary Lano will be the principal.

July 22, 1954:  A.H. Pagenkopf has resigned his position as principal of the Annandale school.  Richard Harwood has been named principal. 


July 24, 1954:  A concrete footing has been constructed for the new smoke-stack for the Annandale school.  When finished, the stack will rise 81 feet into the air.

June 1955:  At the 48th annual commencement exercises, 44 seniors of the Class of 1955 received their degrees in the new auditorium/gymnasium. 

February 11, 1954:  School authorities have turned over to the local March of Dimes chairman a sum of $94.46, which has been collected from the children of the Annandale school.  A volleyball game was held Tuesday with the men of the faculty opposing the high school football team.  Proceeds from the tickets will be added to the MD fund.

July 28, 1960:  The school year 1959-60 reports show the biggest enrollment in the history of the  Annandale school, according to Superintendent E.E. Anderson.  There was a total of 397 students enrolled in grades 1 through 6 and 514 students in grades 7 through 12.  The past year the school has had a teaching staff of 43 and 11 additional employees. Of the total of 911 students, 677 were transported to the school by 18 school buses under the direction of Neil Bahr.

1962:  Monica Spies from South Africa was Annandale’s first foreign exchange student.

1972:  Bendix Elementary was built in 1972 and can accommodate over 900 students.  Bendix is named after long-time doctor and 30-year school board member, Dr. L.H. Bendix.

June 24, 1987:  Annandale students will be attending school in Annandale during the 1987-88 school year following the Annandale Board of Education’s decision not to participate in the voluntary open enrollment program.  School districts participating in the open enrollment program agree to allow resident students to enroll in other participating districts and to accept nonresident students from other participating districts.

July 15, 1987:  If all goes as designed, Annandale schools will have hired a new superintendent, said Larry Blow at the Annandale Board of Education’s organizational meeting Monday night.  Blow’s resignation, effective June 30, 1988, was approved at the April 27 meeting.  About 90 applications can be expected for the Annandale superintendent’s job, said Blow, who indicated he does not plan on being actively involved in the selection process.

August 2, 1987:  The two surviving graduates, Lotus Heaton Williams and Millicent Dally Rudolph, held their 80th class reunion Monday, Aug. 24, at the Thayer Hotel.  Members of their families also attended.

January 27, 1988:  The possible need for a new high school came up at the Annandale Board of Education meeting.  The 1922 section of the high school is the biggest concern of the members.  Many are wondering how long the building will last.  If it needs to be retired soon, the board will start the planning process for a new high school.

February 10, 1988:  A new GED program is available in Annandale. Annandale is the first of 12 school districts in the Westonka project of Minnesota Adult Basic/Continuing Education to use computers with the GED class.

March 9, 1988:  This is the second year Annandale students have participated in the Mock Trial Competition sponsored by the Minnesota State Bar Association.

July 2, 1988:  Annandale All-School Reunion held at the Annandale High School. 

August 21, 1991:  …For the first time in over 69 years, high school students would attend a brand new facility, and for the first time in as many years three schools would be in operation.   The schools were scheduled to serve over 1,700 students, from pre-schoolers to seniors… In all, the new high school is 154,100 square feet.   Note:  A new auditorium was finished in 2000.

October 23, 1991:  Arlen Johnson is now in his 25th year as principal of the elementary grades.  He came to Annandale in 1967 when grades 1-12 were housed in what is now the Annandale Middle School.  A year later, Johnson convinced the Annandale School Board to start a kindergarten.  Today, Bendix Elementary, built in 1972 and added onto in 1986, serves students from pre-schoolers to grades four, over 700 in all.

October 23, 1991:  Six weeks into the school year, the new Annandale Middle School (1922 building), housing students in grades five through eight, is functioning well, says Middle School Principal Tim Ilse.

September 8, 1999:  Four pre-built temporary classrooms are scheduled to arrive at Bendix by Oct. 15.  They will be attached to an enclosed walkway and put on concrete blocks located at the southwest corner of the school.  After all four temporary buildings are joined together and connected to wiring, four of the eight second grade classes and their teachers will move into them.

December 7, 2011:  Bendix name to be dropped from school – The new elementary school will have a new name, Annandale School Board members decided, Monday, Nov. 28, at their regular meeting.  After some discussion, board members decided unanimously that the new school, scheduled to be finished the fall of 2013, should be named Annandale Elementary School… 


Note:  The consolidation dates and the close dates are not necessarily the same.  If new information is found, it will be added.  Common school district numbers changed to four digits in 1955.  In the early years students boarded in town to attend high school.  Bus service started about 1936. 

District             Name               Section                        Close Dates


62        Hannon                        11                    1872 -1953                                                                  

69        Dykman                       17                    1867 -1953                              

77        Granite Lake                 29                    1868-1942

107       Camp Lake                   33                    1880 - 1953                                                                 

109       Fashant                          5                     1881 -1938                                                      

114       Albion Center               22                    1888 -1971                                                      

116       Smith                           24                    1890 -1945                                          

125       Wolff                           35                    1895 -1969                                                      


17        Clearwater Public          7                     1857 -1968      

18        Sherman                       22                    1872 -1960                                                      

115       Sheldon                        25                    1889 -1963

120       Plainview                     33                    1892 -1940                  


57        Schneider                     14                    c.1872 -1936                                                    

71        Annandale                    29                    1869-Present     ISD 216 in 1953 & ISD 876 in 1957

72        Corinna                        21                    1868 -1910                                                      

81        Heberling                     16                    c.1872 -1923                                                    

98        Segner                          34                    1875 -1948                                                                  

137      Sugar Lake                                                    -1953


64        Kean                            10                    1867 -1953                                                      

68        French Lake                 15                    1869 -1971       1st school built 1861 in Section 14.           

110       Benson/Mryback           36                    1884 -1958                              

113       Lake Francis                 6                     1886-1964                   

131       Lee                               17                    1899-1971                                                                                     

138       Gunnary                       13                    1909 -1952  




15        Carter                           33                    1856-1969                                                       


16        Silver Creek                  8                     1872-1953                                                                                           

95        Sorenson                      34                    1895 - 1946                                                     


2634     Hasty                                                   1865 -1961




43        Lake Augusta               14                    c.1872-1939                                                                       

93        Wadman                       21                    c.1872 -1938        Students to South Haven                                                                                                                                                      

105       Lake John                     25                    1879 -1937                                                      


106       Kiehn                           22                    1879 -1926


130       Lee                               14                    c.1899 -1910        Schoolhouse moved to town.                                                                              

136       South Haven                16                    c.1888 – 1971     7th & 8th grades to Annandale 1960.




78        Mooney                        19                    1869-1953                               


169       Lyon/Stokes                 16                    1893-1953                               



Excerpts from Memories of Annandale by Lotus Heaton Williams (1987)

The Annandale Public School

From the beginning, the pioneer settlers of Wright County were interested in education.  Both the State and the County provided for school districts and the hiring of teachers.  Whenever a few families lived close enough to make it possible, some provision for a school was made.  Sometimes it was a log shack, sometimes merely a brush shelter and in some cases only part of a cabin, separated by an imaginary line.  Teachers were paid very small wages and the qualifications required were poorly defined.

The first school in Annandale was in a log hut.  As soon as the town was organized, plans were made to build a proper building.  The building was a two-story structure on Cedar Street and Cherry Avenue.  It is now the southeast corner of the City Hall.  It was built in 1888 and the first year only the downstairs room was used.  Miss Bertha Boswell was the teacher.  The next year the school population warranted two teachers and Cyrus King was hired as Principal and Miss Grace Allen as assistant.

In 1891, Mr. J.F. Lee was hired as Principal and Miss Allen was still assistant.  Mr. Lee had received his education in the rural nearby high school in Monticello and had additional training in the St. Cloud Normal School. 

After two years teaching in Annandale, Mr. Lee was elected County Superintendent of Schools in Wright County.  He served in this office some time, using all his influence to improve the rural schools of the County.  Miss Allen also left teaching and took a position in the Annandale State Bank which she held many years.  Mrs. Burdick and her daughter took over the teaching in the Annandale School.

During the period of growth, I have found few remaining records.  I have two closing day programs.  One is dated 1894 and the other has no date.  Songs, dialogues, recitations, singly or in groups, displayed the accomplishments of the day.  Many of the names of the performers bring to mind some specific parts which their parents took in developing the town…

As the Annandale school population increased, it became necessary to provide more room and more teachers.  In 1896 (when Mr. A.A. Zech was principal), two more rooms were added to the west side of the first building.  The old winding stair of the first building was replaced by a broad stair and hallway between the two parts.  Mr. Zech was principal until, like his predecessor, he became County Superintendent of Schools.  Mr. M.A. Morse was principal in the school years of 1902-03, 1903-04.  Mr. Leonard Graves followed for one year.  Mr. Bert Cosgrove was principal in 1905-06.  In 1906 a third addition was needed and rooms were added to the back.  This addition was completed in 1906-07.  Mr. L.J. Farmer became Superintendent of the Annandale Consolidated School District.

The consolidation had taken in two rural districts, the Lee District of Southside Township and the Ransom District in Corinna.  Mr. Farmer remained until 1908 and then Mr. Sandstrom took over.  During 1908-09, the two-room building which had been the Lee School was moved across Pleasant Lake in the winter and installed west of the schoolhouse to provide added space.  The Annandale school then added an extension course in Agriculture and Domestic Science.  Space was also added to the playground at this time.

The school remained a consolidated school, absorbing nearby rural districts, until in 1913 another type of growth came about.  Some of the nearby small towns became associated and sent their advanced pupils to Annandale, retaining the younger ones at home.

The Annandale High School outgrew the last addition and finally a high school building was built on the east side of Cherry Avenue.  It was first occupied in 1923.  The elementary grades were housed in the old building.  The most recent addition to the Annandale School System is the addition of the Bendix School to accommodate the elementary grades.  The old high school building has been remodeled as a city hall and the Lee building was all given to the Public Library.

The Annandale High School proudly graduated its first class in 1907 on June fourth.  This class was composed entirely of girls.  They were Miss Millicent Dally, Miss Ruth McDonald, Miss Lotus Heaton, Miss Luella Mathieu, and Miss Louise Hansch.  All except Louise were daughters of local pioneers.  Louise was the sister-in-law of Mr. John Buri and came from Maple Lake, which had no high school.  Neither the town nor the graduates had any experience along these lines, but the town was very proud of the fact that Annandale had achieved an advanced status in the field of education and the graduates tried to do justice to their position.  Honors were heaped upon them.  Parties, dinners, and breakfasts were held in their honor.  A solemn baccalaureate sermon was delivered to a sizeable audience in the village hall.  At the graduation exercises, also in the town hall, diplomas were awarded each girl.  Each girl in turn had to deliver an oration of her own composition.  Gifts were showered upon the graduates and red roses were expressed out from Minneapolis so that each girl might carry a sheaf of them.  It was indeed a grand occasion.

At that time, a high school education was rare and a college or university graduation was very rare indeed.  Immigrants from Europe were often well-educated in their own country but found that they could not supply the same advantage to their children whom they were raising in a pioneer setting.  Graduation from high school at that time required sixteen full credits.  The program did not have much variation or free choice.  The four required English credits were Grammar, Composition, American Literature, and English Literature.  The four in Mathematics were Algebra for one year, Geometry one year, Higher Algebra one-half year, Solid Geometry one-half year, and one year of Civil Government.  The half year remaining was devoted to the study of Physiology.  The language course offered to us was Latin.  In later years, German was also offered.  The Latin course offered to us required one year of Latin grammar, one year of Caesar’s Commentaries, one year studying Cicero and one year of Vergil’s Aeneid.  At this time high school was primarily considered to be preparation for entrance to a college or university and the languages offered were preparatory to scientific or medical courses.  Now high school is to many a preparation for life and is related to life activities.  Special training courses are required for various occupations.

The school directors who set all this in motion in 1888 were dependable and substantial citizens who planned wisely.  If we were to list members of the school board through the years, the list would contain the names of men who were prominent in promoting Annandale.  Mr. W. Towle, Mr. W.D. McDonald, Mr. J.J. Rennie, Mr. John Buri, and Mr. A.G. Lano were a few of the early ones.  When the school consolidated, some of the progressive farmers were on the board.  Mr. Henry Ransome, Mr. J.F. Lee, and Mr. Fred Shadduck were among them.

By Lotus Williams