Side view of the house in 2004
Front view of the house in 2004
Last updated: July 16, 2004
Information from Darryl Manring
July 16, 2004
The tall, white, frame house at 513 Main Street in Lusk was built in 1899 and was located where the Niobrara County Courthouse now stands (Corner of 5th & Elm). It is believed to be the first schoolhouse built in Lusk. Harry Fernau, Sr. who lived in Lusk from the early 1900's told of attending school there. His family home was directly across the street. He remembered the building was "T" shaped and when plans were made to build the Niobrara County Courthouse one portion of the "T" was moved to it's present location on Main Street. That was the portion with the "teacherage" (living quarters for a teacher) on one end of the second floor. The other part was added to an existing house somewhere here in Lusk. Some time, probably after it was moved to Main Street, the 14 foot ceilings were lowered to 10 feet.
By the mid 1920's the building was being used for first grade students. Jennie Bass, wife of a local rancher, was the teacher. It was used until the early 1930's when classrooms became available for the first grade students in the a big brick school house which still stands on 6th street between Main and Elm Streets (Elks Lodge). Completion of the high school building on Maple Street left classrooms in the brick building available for first through eighth grade students.
The School District then sold the schoolhouse on Main Street to the Congregational Church "Circle" ladies. They used it for Sunday School classes and for the ladies "Circle" meetings while they awaited completion of their new Church building. It was called "Church House."
In 1935 the Circle ladies sold the building to Edna Manring, an LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) who was searching for a new location for her nursing home patients. Mrs. Manring had the large schoolroom divided into 5 bedrooms complete with an electric buzzer in each room so patients could summon assistance. There was also a dining room, kitchen, and bathrooms. It was licensed as a "convalescent home" and many people suffering from temporary illnesses came for nursing care. An number of babies were born in the former schoolhouse, many of whom return to see the place where they were born.
In 1940 Mrs. Manring purchased the lot to the north of the house where she planted lawn and had a vegetable garden. She continued to operate the convalescent home until the late 1960's when ill health caused her retirement.
The building which has been in the Manring family since 1935 has not been occupied since the early 1980's.
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