A look at Shaw and Sumner Elementaries

Published 6:00 pm Saturday, September 17, 2011

Returning to our series on the historic names of our community, I bring you two short paragraphs from “Mill on the Willow: A History of Mower County, Minnesota.” From the Austin Public Education Section:

“Sumner School

September, 1895 saw the opening of Sumner School which was built in 1894. Mr. Selleck, the superintendent of schools, lived across the street. In 1893 there were 33 teachers on the entire staff of the Austin School System and there were 1,366 students. [2009-2010 enrollment was 4,373.] Teachers averaged between $360 and $575 per year. The first principal was Dorothy Kimball. The school also had a lady custodian, a Mrs. French, who took care of the furnace, cut the grass and shoveled the snow. Two additions were added to Sumner, one in 1937, and again in 1949. There seems to be some mystery as to why the school was named Sumner.

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Shaw School

1916 saw the opening of Shaw School in the southwest section of Austin. It was named for O.W. Shaw, the president of First National Bank and a prominent citizen. There were eight rooms in the original structure; seven of which were used that first year. One clock served the entire school, and students marched into and out of the school accompanied by music in those first years. Four more classrooms were added in 1937 as was a regulation size gymnasium. Classes were held in the gym in the fall of 1948 until the eight new classrooms were ready in January, 1949, along with, four workrooms, a library, cafeteria, and office spaces.”

The Shaw School was torn down in 1993.

Monday: Board of Directors, 8:30 a.m.; RSVP for Social Concerns due

Tuesday: Social Concerns: Trivia and Fun Facts About Austin and Mower County by Cheryl Corey of the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau, 10 a.m.; Board of Trustees, 4 p.m.

Saturday: Tour for Austin High School Class of 1961, 1 p.m.

Coming soon

Social Concerns: 100 Years Later — How Our Girls Are Doing by Mary Goetz of the Girl Scouts on Tuesday, Oct. 18, at 10 a.m. Light refreshments will be served. Please RSVP to the HHH office at 433-4243 by 4 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 17.

“10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Hormel Family,” presented by Laura Helle & Dustin Heckman, director of the Mower County Historical Society at 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 24 at the HHH. This presentation is free to members of the HHH or MCHS and $5 to non-members. Register at the HHH office at 433-4243.