ebook  History of Watertown, Wisconsin


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Lincoln School

Formerly site of Union School No. 2


1873       Union School #2 built 1850s, removed 1909, replaced with Lincoln, WHS_005_331



06 22       Professor Whiting Resignation

Professor Whiting, of Union School No. 2, has handed in his resignation to the school board, but that body, we believe, has not yet acted upon it.  All who have had children under Mr. Whiting's charge at school during his residence here will regret his separation from our schools.  He has made a most excellent teacher, giving the best of satisfaction in every particular to all parties interested.  As we understand it for the last two years our school board has made promises to Mr. Whiting in regard to raising his salary which have not been fulfilled, hence his present move.  We see no just cause why the school board should treat him in this manner.  The school has been successful under his management and the board should fulfill its promises.  Too often has the principal teacher in Union School No. 2 [been a] good for-nothing person and if Mr. Whiting severs his connection with it the chances are that his place will be filled by one less competent.  But few of our school teachers receive the wages they ought, and instead of encouraging tried and successful teachers, nothing but discouragement is offered.



12 11       Will Build New Public School.  Public School No. 2, proposal to replace

Public School No. 2, about which we heard so much of late, was built 40 years ago.  It has never been remodeled as some are inclined to think, but shortly after water works and sewage were introduced in this city, the old vault‘s in the rear of the school were condemned and toilet rooms provided for in the basement of the school.  A small addition in front of the school was built to provide suitable entrance to these toilet rooms, but no alterations were made inside of the school other than changing the stairway.  If the plans of the Board of Education are carried out, a school will be built to take the place No. 2 that will be a credit to the city, and a school large enough for many years to come, unless our city's population will increase faster than any of our people anticipate, and even should it do so, the plans of this school will be such that extra rooms can readily be added without in any way marring its exterior appearance or detracting from the interior arrangement.  . . .   


At a regular meeting of the Board of Education held last Wednesday evening, the Board took official action to erect a public school in place of No. 2 School in the 4th ward.  For several mouths past this matter has been discussed unofficially by the Board and members thereof have visited several of the new schools in Madison, seeking information of the latest school buildings, and have had architects Claude of Madison and Uehling of Milwaukee here looking over No. 2 school to ascertain if anything could be saved to the taxpayers by having it enlarged and remodeled.  Both architects decided that it would be cheaper and better to build an entire new school building, hence on Wednesday night the Board passed preambles and resolutions deciding to build a new school on the same plans as the Doty School at Madison. 


This is an eight room building for school purposes proper, including a kindergarten room, and besides, has a teachers' room, and in the large basement, a domestic science room and a manual training room.  The building is heated by steam and its ventilating system changes the air every seven minutes.  It is fitted out with all modern improvements, every room is well lighted and its sanitary features most carefully planned.


The building cost, complete with furniture, is $25,000.  The Board of Education will present a communication to the city council at its next regular meeting requesting it to provide ways and means for raising the funds for the erection of this building. The taxpayers of Watertown in general are in favor of this new building, and we believe the council also and mayor are enthusiastic for the improvement.  Plans and specifications will be drawn at once, and as soon as the ways and means are settled for the payment of the building, the contract will be let, and work commenced as soon as the weather will permit in the spring.   WG



02 05       Lincoln School Plans Readied

The plans have been ready for some time for the new school house which the Board of Education contemplates building to take the place of the old one in the Fourth Ward, known as No. 2, which long since has “outlived” its usefulness.


Many parents of children attending this school have for months past urged the necessity of a new school building, and the Board of Education has time and again been told that the State Board of Health would be called in to condemn the building if some action was not speedily taken for the erection of a new building.  The Board has for months been at work formulating plans for a new building, after first having considered the question of enlarging and remodeling the old one, but two competent architects consulted by the board declared it would cost nearly as much to remodel the old one as to build a new one—and then it would only be a "patched-up" building.  The new school building contemplated will accommodate about three-eighths more pupils than the old one, and the Board of Education, which has given this matter its close attention, declares the new building is just what the situation demands and for many years in the future will suffice the needs of that section of the city.  At the meeting of the council last Tuesday evening the following communication was submitted:


To the Hon. the Mayor and Common Council of the City of Watertown, Wis.


Gentlemen: At a regular meeting of the Board of Education, Dec. 2, 1908, a resolution that it is necessary to erect a new school building in place of the present school building No. 2, in the Fourth Ward of this city, was unanimously adopted.


The probable cost of such proposed building will be thirty thousand dollars ($30,000).  At a special meeting of said Board of Education January 21, 1909, the plans herewith submitted for your approval were duly adapted.


The material in said old school building may be used in the erection of a new school building, and it would be advisable to authorize and instruct said Board of Education to offer the same for sale in the call for sealed proposals for a new building to contractors, the proceeds which may be derived therefrom to be applied on the contract price for such new building.


Watertown, Wis., Feb. 2, 1909.  By order of the Board, Carl R. Feld, Clerk.


The matter was laid over for further consideration by the committees having the matter in charge.


The Board of Education is now ready to proceed in this matter and has been for some time—it is now up to the council to hurry the matter along—the school board cannot be held responsible for further delay and the people must now deal with the City Council if this matter is not speedily disposed of.


The Board of Education believes the council should hold a special meeting forthwith and settle this matter.  On this question The Daily Times of Wednesday evening says when it came up before the council Tuesday evening:


"The proposition for a new school to replace the present No. 2 school was debated and after all was said the matter was laid over for two weeks.  It was evident that the members agree to disagree on the school question, but it would be much wiser it they got together on this point.  A new school is badly needed and no patchwork will go with the city.  But some of the aldermen evidently believe that they can play horse with the people and children's health.  There should be no baby play in this matter.  It is something which concerns the health of the children attending school.  It can very easily be taken out of the hands of the school board and city council when a question of health is involved, which is the status of the matter at present."   WG


02 26       Ordinance authorizing the issue to bonds preparatory to the building of school house   WG


04 02       Bids opened for New School House   WG


04 09       Commissioner C. H. Jacobi resigns   WG


04 09       Margaret McGrath resigns, Lillie Habhegger appointed, first grade teacher   WG


04 23       Classrooms relocated during school construction   WG


04 30       Old school demolished   WG



12 31       Public Schools Open:  On account of unforeseen delays caused by the holidays, Lincoln School will not open until Thursday, January 6, 1910; instead of Monday as formerly planned.  Time lost will be made up during the spring vacation.  All the other schools will open Monday, January 3, 1910.  Board of Education.    WG



02 11       New Lincoln School, open house   WG



Hundreds of citizens visited the new Lincoln school.  The pupils of the school furnished a very appropriate program in honor of the event and in honor of the day, Saturday being Lincoln's birthday anniversary, after whom the school is named.  A fine bust of the late Abraham Lincoln occupies a conspicuous place in the lower hall on the left as you enter the building, and here the statue was unveiled and the exercises were held, the pupils of the school and teachers being arranged on the stairways leading to the upper story; all held small flags and waved them as they sang the Star Spangled Banner.   WG   [FULL ARTICLE].


02 25       Teachers of Lincoln School entertain teachers of public schools, members of school board    WG



04 29       Prince Charming.  On the evenings of May 12 and 13, the beautiful operetta, Prince Charming will be produced at Turner Opera House by the pupils of Lincoln School, ably assisted by Misses Genevieve Mullen and Meta Radtke and Mr. Frank McAdams.  The operetta consists of catchy songs and spicy dialogue, and with its atmosphere of flower, fairy, and moonlight, calcium lights and sweet music, it is decidedly the most beautiful production ever seen on a Watertown stage.  Our citizens will have an opportunity of hearing Miss Genevieve Mullen, whose sweet voice and gracious manner have won for their owner much deserved renown.  . . . Parts taken by pupils of the school, the cast including one hundred and forty.   WG 



Teachers:  Leona Steinmann, Mary Crangle, _____ McDonald, CatherineBrasky, Misses Margaret McGrath, Mamie Stacy


         c.1910, Lincoln School; Mary Crangle was principal for many years




Lincoln School was closed on Wednesday to allow repairs on the heating apparatus, which was unserviceable owing to the extreme cold weather.  One of the boilers at the Northwestern College was out of service the same day, and the G. B. Lewis Co. plant shut down for the day owing to boiler difficulties caused by the cold weather.   WG





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Miss Elsa Rose, teacher




01 23       MOTHER'S MEETING

About seventy-five mothers accepted the invitation from Miss Crangle and the teachers of Lincoln school to attend a mother's meeting in the Lincoln school building Monday night.


Superintendent Thomas J. Burto spoke on the purpose of the meeting.  He asked that the parents and teachers cooperate more generally in looking after the attendance, punctuality and work done outside of school by their children.  Miss Genevieve Mullen, director of music in the public schools, sang a delightful solo, and Miss Ina J. Hathaway, domestic science teacher, read an intensely interesting paper on "Meats as Food and Some Ways of Preparing Meats."


The girls of the eighth grade served light refreshments.  During refreshments the Victor talking machine owned by the Lincoln school furnished excellent music.  The informal nature of the meeting made it especially valuable because it gave parents and teachers a chance to discuss some of the problems that are constantly coming up in school life.



01 21       Parent-Teachers Meeting

A very successful parent-teachers meeting was held at the Lincoln school Tuesday evening, about ninety parents accepting the invitation to attend and being treated to an interesting and instructive evening of entertainment.  Miss Mamie Stacy rendered several selections on the piano and Miss Sophie Kerschensteiner favored with two solos.  Victor records loaned by Mr. and Mrs. T. B. Roach also added to the musical part of the program.  A stereopticon lecture descriptive of Yellowstone Park was a much enjoyed feature of the program.  The slides and lecture were furnished by the extension division of the state university and were of a high order.  The guests were served with refreshments by the eighth grade girls.  The refreshments were previously prepared by domestic science pupils.  The meetings are very successful and the object being the bringing of parents and teachers into a closer understanding . . .    WG



       Kindergarten class, Lincoln School



       Third Grade class, Lincoln School




A group of children in a school

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Neva Schmeichel, Mary Jane Byington, Margaret Yohn, Dorothy Shearer, Gail Hoffmann, Vera Freitag, Elaine Loeffler, Delores Schmeichel, Geraldine Conrad, Fred Pagel, Lavern Pagel, Roy Jacobsen, Eugene Schmidt, Don Marquardt, Melvin Wendt, Merlin Ziebell, Ralph Johnston, Gordon Gerth, Maas, Gordon Goecke, Earl Ebert, Don McCaskill, Otto Volkmann and Eugene Trachte.



       Sixth Grade class, Lincoln School




            Miss Graham, teacher



       Class pic



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         Built by Maas Bros. in 1947






01 27       NEW LINCOLN SCHOOL:  Lincoln School is Sturdily Built

Reinforced Concrete and Masonry Used; Brick, Lannon Stone Employed in Facing

Watertown Daily Times, 01 27 1949


The building is constructed of reinforced concrete and masonry. The exterior of the classroom section and gymnasium is faced with brick with an Indiana limestone trim. The kindergarten section is of Lannon stone. The building contains right classroom spaces 40 x 22 with one of these spaces subdivided into a health room and visual education room; adjoining rooms for the opportunity class with an academic room 23 x 22 and an activity space 30 x 22; a kindergarten suite with a general room 26 x 40, a project room 27 x 22; and a service area 13 x 22; a gymnasium and auditorium 50 x 70 with a stage 24 x 32; a teachers' room; principal's office; storeroom; kitchen; and the necessary toilet areas and corridor space. The heating plant, storage space for janitor's supplies, and two shower rooms are located in the basement. At the present time there is one unoccupied classroom, and the health-visual education space is so arranged that it can be used as a classroom if necessary. Thus, there is a possibility of adding two additional classes to the present building. The building is designed so that an addition can readily be added to the north end of the building in case future enrollments make this necessary.


The Interior of the building is finished in modern, fire resistive materials. The ceilings are of Acoustone applied either directly to the concrete slab or suspended by steel framework.  This material provides a fine appearing surface and has a high coefficient of sound absorption. The walls of the rooms are plaster and have been painted in pastel colors, designed to provide a high degree of light reflectivity. The floors of all classrooms are of-asphalt tile laid directly on the concrete slab. Hall floors are of quarry tile, and the floors of the toilet areas and shower rooms are of mosaic tile. The only wood floor in the building is in the gymnasium, where maple flooring has been laid on concrete, as it provides the best type of flooring for gymnasium activities. The walls of the corridors, toilet and shower areas are of glazed tile. The wood trim throughout the building is birch finished in natural shade.


Heating and Ventilating:


The building is heated by steam generated in two stoker-fed, coal burning boilers located in the basement of the building. The floors, walls, and ceiling of the boiler room are of reinforced concrete, and all doors leading from this area are covered with metal, providing fire resistive qualities as recommended by the Fire Underwriters. Each classroom has two recessed, deflection type radiators. Each classroom also has a univent, a mechanical device for heating and ventilating. This unit also has a blower which takes fresh air from the outside of the building, passing it over steam-heated coils and forcing it into the room. In ordinary operation the radiators provide the booster heat for the early morning period or for times when the univents may not be operated. After the room has reached normal temperature, the correct temperature is maintained by the univent. The univents are scientifically designed for mixing the air and forcing it into the room at a temperature and in such a manner that drafts are not noticeable. Both radiators and univents are controlled by thermostats. It does not vary more than two degrees during school hours. The thermostatic system has a dual control so that the temperature in the rooms may be maintained at 55 degrees when the building is not in use.


The kindergarten has the same type of heating as the other classrooms, but in addition coils have been laid in the concrete floor through which hot water will circulate to keep the floor of the room warm. This should prove a great advantage to the health of the young children who frequently sit or play on the floor during kindergarten activities. The gymnasium-auditorium is heated by two blowers located at the front sides of the room which assure fresh air and proper temperature for this space.


Under ordinary conditions window ventilation will not be necessary. However, the lower pane of the window is placed in a movable sash which is hinged at the bottom and opens into the room from the top. The hardware on this window permits it to remain in any desired position from a closed position to an opening of 45 degrees. The window provides its own draft deflector, forcing the incoming air toward the top of the room, and prevents drafts which occur when windows of the ordinary type are open.




The building has been carefully planned to provide the maximum of natural lighting in all classrooms. All classrooms face either east or west, which is much more desirable than the north-south facing of the old building. Each classroom has six windows, which provide 163 square feet of glass area for admission of light. The artificial lighting is furnished by 12 incandescent Holophane units. These fixtures are controlled by switches so that the lights on the interior side of the room may be used at times when it is necessary to have artificial lighting on the window side of the room. A check shows that these lights provide 27 foot candles of illumination at desk level.




One of the unique features in the classrooms is the provision of especially designed cabinets and work space for carrying on the various activities recognized as essential in a modern elementary school program. A more complete discussion of this phase of work will be found in an adjoining article on elementary school activities.  However, a discussion of the building would not be complete without describing the activity space. A space for free reading-is provided in the back of each room at the outside or window side of the room. This space has appropriate shelving for books and magazines, and contains a reading table and chairs. The remainder of the space at the back of the room is arranged for the carrying on of activities related to science, art, health and creative activities. In the primary rooms, this area is surrounded with linoleum-topped counters with an abundance of storage space arranged for the storage of the particular types of materials that are used by these grades. In the intermediate rooms, the area is quite similar, except that more counter space is provided in order to furnish the necessary areas for these grades. In each room a sink is recessed in the counter. Counters in the various rooms are built at different heights to accommodate the size of the pupils who will be using the room.




All furniture and equipment in the building is new, modern, attractive, and designed for comfort and health. The teacher equipment consists of a steel desk with linoleum top, steel filing cabinet, and aluminum chair. The unit for the child consists of a combined desk and seat which is all steel with the exception of the wood seat and the desk top. Both seat and desk are adjustable and movable. The wood parts of the desk are of birch in natural finish. The pupils' chairs are all steel with wood seats, and they as well as the reading table are also of birch.


Birch has been used throughout the building for the trim and all cabinet work. It is finished in a natural tone with non-gloss surface. Clocks are located in the corridors and in each room and are operated by a master control clock located in the principal's office. Slate blackboards are provided at the front of the room at a height suitable for the teacher's use. The blackboards at the side of the room are located at a proper height for the pupils' use. Bins are found under the front blackboards for storage of maps and charts. Those maps and charts when in use may be suspended from adjustable map hooks located at the top of the blackboard. A large amount of cork board space has been provided in each room for bulletin board use.




Recessed lockers in the corridors provide storage space for all children from grades one through six.  The storage space for the outer garments of kindergarten children is provided in the service area located between the two kindergarten rooms.


Toilet facilities for boys and girls are provided on each floor of the building. The latest design in fixtures, partitions, and stalls have been used to provide for clean, healthy surroundings.


Gymnasium - Auditorium:


The gymnasium-auditorium provides space for physical education and recreational activities for the pupils of the school and the community. Equipment is provided for basketball and other games.  Folding chairs are available for seating when the space is to be used as an auditorium. The space will accommodate approximately five hundred. The stage is fully equipped with lights and curtains, and is adequate in size to accommodate all amateur productions. Facilities for the serving of food are provided by the kitchen located at one side of the stage. This kitchen may be used by adult groups, and will provide facilities for warm lunch programs when the attendance at the school warrants such service. The space at the other side of the stage provides two entrances to the stage and space for storage of chairs and equipment. A space over the kitchen and open from the stage will provide storage space for stage equipment. The building is arranged so that the public may use the gymnasium-auditorium without passing through other sections of the building. The entrance for the gymnasium-auditorium is on O'Connell Street.




There is no necessity fo the pupils to go below the first floor level, as all of their services and requirements are provided for on the first and second floors. There are two shower and dressing rooms in the basement to accommodate older groups who may use the gymnasium for athletic purposes. The remainder of the basement area is occupied by the heating plant and storage space for janitor's supplies. Tunnels lead from the basement area. These tunnels follow the outside walls of the building in all of the unexcavated areas. The tunnels carry the heating, plumbing, and electrical services and serve to prevent the frost from penetrating under the building during the winter.




It is recognized that the site for the building is entirely too small. The playground area is very limited. However, the best possible use of the site has been made, and it is hoped that in future years additional property may be obtained to furnish the desirable area. New sidewalks and fence have been installed, as well as a retaining wall at the north end of the building. The area has been landscaped and grass has been planted. The playground area will probably be resurfaced with asphalt next summer.


With the exception of the size of the site, the building meets all modern requirements for serving the pupils and community in an efficient, safe, and healthful manner.




The city’s Lincoln school, completed two years ago, was selected as one building a group of 47 teachers enrolled at the Whitewater State Teachers’ college wanted to see and so they recently came to Watertown under the leadership of their instructor, Dr. Daggett, to look over the building.  Dr. Daggett made the necessary arrangements with Superintendent of Schools Roger B. Holtz who spent two hours with the visitors at the school, showing them through the entire building, explaining its operation and its facilities.  The group, needless to say, was much impressed with this fine new school plant. 


In another two years visitors will have an even finer building to inspect, when the city’s new half million dollar Webster school is finished and ready for operation.




           “Santa Claus in Toyland”

Jimmy Litwin, Bobby Loveland, Mrs. Gladys Litwin, Henry Winogrond, Michael Seager,  Billy Sack, Jay Winogrond, Gene Seefeldt, Billy Wiegand, Charles Summers, Tommy Peterson, Chuckie Teggatz.







12 18       Headquarters for area Civilian Defense communications; portion of the basement approved for use   WDT



02 16       SCOUTS BANQUET

The Cub Scouts of Pack 12, Lincoln School, held their blue and gold banquet last evening.  Cubs and their families celebrate the birthday of scouting with a potluck supper at 6 o’clock.  The tables were decorated with blue and gold place mats.  The napkins were folded in the shape of the Cubs neckerchiefs and a clothespin Cub Scout was placed on the tables for each family.  The following boys received awards from Tom Stoppenbach who is in charge of advancement: Bobcat — Larry Rowoldt, Todd Damrow, Wayne Werner, LaVern Michel, Clayton Schultz. Wolf — Michael Shackley, Todd Damrow. Gold arrow — Steven Jones. Bear — Michael Rowoldt. Den chief cords also were presented to Randal Behlke, Howard Shackley and Dale Bruske for their help to the den mothers in the past.   WDT




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11 02 1965 <> Lincoln School Kindergarten pupils visited the first kindergarten located on the grounds of the Octagon House.  The children are contrasting schools of long ago with the modern school in connection with an educational TV program which they view each week from Station WHA-TV in Madison.  WHA-TV program to feature kindergarten.  The two children are Misha Radish and Mary Semon.




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Cathy Grosenick (3rd), Sally Dobbratz (2nd), Darrell Westenberg (1st), John Teggatz (3rd), Kim Bostrom (2nd), JoAnn Michel (1st).  Richard Groenke, elementary art consultant



      “Westward Ho” was the theme

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Al Equi (student art teacher), Mike Schlesner, Mrs. Joyce Cromwell, Miss Lenys Dietzman, Jeff Madsen, Christine Nass



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Mrs. Lucille Biege, first grade teacher for 17 years, presented with token of appreciation.



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Mrs. Lucille Biege is a first grade teacher at Lincoln School and has been teaching for 37 years.




Officers for the 1970-71 school year.  Beverly Spoerle, Randy Winkelman, Linda West 



11 17       Lincoln School erected 50 years after the original building burned down   WDT



08 29       Ed Kusel, kindergarten, 1924, re-visits   WDT



09 29       Residents take note of the new look to the outside of Lincoln school during the open house.  Renovations done over the summer.  Updates included a new boiler, unit ventilators and added insulation, repairs and new paint to the lockers, new entryway doors and glass block windows in the gym, a new flagpole and landscaping, and new windows throughout the building. Also, the school has been equipped with a programmable security system that can lock the building immediately in an emergency . . . Lincoln school was built in 1949 after the previous school burned down in a fire.     WDT


The Watertown Unified School District Board of Education and district residents will celebrate the completion of the construction project at Lincoln Elementary School on Monday with an open house from 4:30 to 6 p.m. and a ribbon cutting ceremony at 5:30 p.m.  The board’s regular monthly meeting will be at the school at 6 p.m.  Remodeling and renovation has been taking place throughout the summer at Lincoln Elementary School including new windows, floors, doors, paint and a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning system.  “It looks great,” Doug Linse, district director of business services, said.  “There still is work that has to be done but with school starting we are kind of at a standstill.”



10 26       Officer Marcie Repta retired after 26 years of service with the Watertown Police Department.  Repta had been assigned to Lincoln Elementary School for most of her career to help supervise the area in the morning and afternoon as the students arrived and left for the day.




Image Portfolio

Lincoln School    1911, postcard

Lincoln School and Playground   1910,  postcard


   Image Portfolio 



Cross References:

                Mrs. Ira O. Howe, formerly Miss Cora Bradbury, taught school in the old No. 2 Union School


                Chapter on Schools


DEATH OF MARY CRANGLE -05 02 1953:  Miss Mary Crangle, 86, of 301 South Montgomery Street, retired Watertown school teacher and for many years principal of Lincoln School, died at 8:10 a.m. today in St. Mary’s Hospital following an illness of two weeks.  Miss Crangle was a native of Watertown and was born Feb. 23, 1867, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Crangle, who were among the pioneers of Watertown.  She attended St. Bernard’s School, Watertown High School and the University of Wisconsin. She taught here for 47 years.





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History of Watertown, Wisconsin