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St. Cloud’s First Public School Opened – On ‘This Date In Central Minnesota History’

Everett School (Stearns History Museum)

ST. CLOUD - September 20th, 1858 – First public school opened in St. Cloud

In the fall of 1856 a schoolhouse was built in “Lower Town” (located where St. Cloud State University is today). It was built by private donations and named the Everett school in honor of Edward Everett of Massachusetts. Everett was so honored to have the school named after him that he arranged for $200 worth of books to be sent to St. Cloud and to be used as a library for the school.  These 130 volumes arrived in the city on February 12th, 1858.  This was the first library in the city of St. Cloud.

The first school taught in this building was in the winter of 1856-57, by Amelia Talcott. This school was supported entirely by tuition. Twenty-four pupils were enrolled this first year, and each paid the tuition charge of $1.50.

The first public school was opened in this building on Monday, September 20, 1858, with M.P. Noel as teacher. Thirty-three students enrolled and the school was supported entirely by taxes levied on residents of St. Cloud. This was the foundation stone of the present city school system of St. Cloud.

The Everett school building continued as a schoolhouse until 1868. Then it was used as a community center, for church services, public meetings, as a polling place, etc. It began to go into disrepair and it was finally torn down in 1887.

Thanks to Sarah Warmka and the Stearns History Museum for their help with our series, “This Date In Central Minnesota History” on WJON.

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