A Letter from One of the First Teachers of the Lusk Schools
2700 Fulton Street,
March 11, 1929
To the Senior Class of Lusk High School, Lusk, Wyoming.
The first teacher of the Lusk public school was Mrs. Margaret J. Goodwin, who had eighteen pupils enrolled. That was in 1887.
School work was hampered by scarcity of public money, as no report had been sent in by the clerk of the Board of Education - hence the shortage. There was only money to pay for a three-months' term, which closed December 23rd.
I arrived in Lusk the 21st day of December and opened a pay school the first Monday in January - that was open to every one in the district whether they could pay or not - so that is the way the first school year was finished. The School Board co-operated by cleaning the schoolhouse for the opening, and also gave rent and fuel free.
After the school election I was engaged to teach for the coming year - nine months.
The school-house was a small frame building, formerly used as a boarding house by Louise Eng (Mrs. John Giinther, in later years), and Lena Larson (Mrs. Lena Henry). There was a wooden partition across the center that separated the school and cloak room on one side from the well-filled room of stove-wood on the other. The room was well built and warm except that the north door let the howling blizzards in. It stood in the extreme northeast corner of what is now the D. E. Goddard residence lot at Main and Third streets. There was no sidewalk on either side.
It served one more year as a schoolhouse and then became the property of Nat Baker, who moved it to a lot he owned at the southwest intersection of Third and Oak streets, where it still stands - facing east. Later it became the property of Ben Hummel.
New settlers had come to Lusk since the previous year and some small children had attained school age, so we had 45 names on the register. It is forty-one years ago, but some of them are your friends. Would their names interest you? Here they are - from memory:
Bernard Allbee, Mary Allbee, Mamie Brooks, Bertha Carpenter, Stella Carpenter, Willie Carpenter (dec'd), Mamie Champney, Charles Champney, Mabel Collins, Emily Collins, Harry Cook, Elizabeth Hancock, Edith Hancock, Bertram Hancock, Ralph Hancock (dec'd), Jeanie Hargraves, Mary Hoffbuhr, Myrtle Hogle, Ernest Holsapple, Ada Huff, Alfred Hall, Lawrence Johnson, Alfred Johnson, Mary Johnson, Lora Johnson, Martha Knittle, Barbara Knittle, Warren Loud (dec'd), Laura Loud, Charles McClure, Arthur Parker, Charles Patterson, Bertie Powell, Pearl Reed, Charles Renieyer, George Reynolds (dec'd), Louis Reynolds, Millie Reynolds (dec'd), Willie Reynolds (dec'd), Minnie Schwartz, Jimmie Sweeney, Jay Wolfe
Miss Lute LePage taught in 1889. The new schoolhouse on the hill was occupied in 1890. The teacher was a graduate of Oxford University. If I remember right, his name was George Osborn.
We had two teachers for the first time in 1892. They were Mrs. Rector and her sister, Miss Gillespie.
I hope this may be of some little help to you. I thank you for remembering and calling on me.
Very sincerely yours,
MARY S. WUCHER.
P.S. We moved to California in August, 1907, so do not know about the teachers of 1910.
Brief History of Lusk High School
from the 1929 Lusk High School "Ranger" yearbook.
In 1910 the present High School building was erected.
Only the main floor and the present eighth grade room, which was then the High School auditorium, was completed at this time. There were two grades in each room. Only a two-year course was offered. The first superintendent was Mr. Miller, who was assisted in the High School work by Miss Christian.
The first class that graduated from Lusk High was the class of 1912, composed of Florence Miller and Autumn Mayes.
May of 1912, Miss Florence Miller-Winter (left) and Miss Autumn Mayes-Harris (right)
became the first graduates of Lusk High School.
Later the remaining part of the High School building was completed. Then the attendance being large enough to require one grade to a room, the sixth, seventh and eighth grades moved upstairs. Later the attendance of the High School was so large that the partition separating the High School auditorium from the eighth grade room was removed.
In 1913 courses in commercial studies were introduced. Then in 1914 Lusk High was made a four-year accredited high school. The superintendent at this time was Mr. Roland. A vocational agriculture course was added in 1926. The year 1916 was the first year of basketball at Lusk High. Coach Hartwell introduced football in 1922. Now (1929) Lusk High is to have a track team. The coach will be Mr. Blodgett, who also coached football this year.
The teachers in Lusk High at the present time are:
Miss Prendergast (Senior sponsor) - Spanish and Commercial studies.
Miss Nuckolls (Junior sponsor) - History.
Miss Harrison (Sophomore sponsor) - Latin and English.
Mr. Blodgett (Freshman sponsor) - Vocational Agriculture.
Superintendent Kuns - Mathematics.
And now as Lusk High has grown so much, plans are being made for a much-needed High School building - separate from the grades.
Lusk to Have New High School
By a vote of 270 to 84, the people of District No. 1, on Saturday, May 11, 1929, decided to float a $60,000 bond issue, for the purpose of building a new high school in Lusk, the exact location of which has not at this time been determined.
It is the plan of the Board of Education to secure a plot of ground sufficiently large to afford a good athletic field adjoining the school building. The new high school plant will have an up-to-date gymnasium, will be modern in every particular, and so constructed that additions may be made as the needs of the district demand.
We congratulate the people of the district on their progressive spirit, and their response to the demands of modern education. While the class of 1929 cannot be with you to enjoy the new high school, we are glad indeed that those to come after us will be afforded better educational opportunities through the use of more modern facilities.
Lusk High School in 1914
Mrs. Robert Templeton, N.C.H.S. secretary, recently came across this photo of the entire Lusk High School in 1914. The photo was likely taken in what was then the new school (now the Elks Home).
With married names added, where obtainable, pictured, l to r, are:
Back – Kenneth Willson, Will Bonsell, Ida Hitschew, Helen McFarland (Mrs. Glen Willson), Herbert Fowler, Inez Bergren (Mrs. Frank Gorsuch), Alta Ewing, (Mrs. Brownie Hancock), Audrey Barker (Mrs. Ray Marshall), Gertrude Larsen, (Mrs. Wilson), Kenneth Miller, Mary Cutler (Mrs. Frank Gray).
Middle --Supt. Joe Kozina, Amy Christian, Polly Bare, Kate Sturman, (Mrs. Olllie Damrow), Irene Larsen, (Mrs. Lewis), NaomI Reynolds (Mrs. Martin), Marjorie Sturman (Mrs. Frank Burnugh), Florence Gorsuch (Mrs. Roy Moss), Leona Barber (Mrs. Frank Chambers), Carrie Giinther (Mrs. Cy Blair), Mabel Christian (Mrs. Garrett Wilson).
Front—Fred Willson, Ethel Thompson (Mrs. Don C. Taylor), Verna Dean (Mrs. Raleigh Reed), Edith Simon (Mrs. Joe Miller), Orian Mayes (Mrs. Larry Hamblin), Lila DeCastro (Mrs. Lila Johnson), Oscar Larsen, Floyd Bell.
Members of the school, not pictured, were: Nat Baker, Robert Gamble, Lionel Bell, Ray Christian, Lola Mathews. The photo was enlarged from a small original to its printed size by Dave Hamaker, N.C.H.S. science teacher.