Odebolt School History


Also see "1916 School History" below

Odebolt-Arthur Community Schools

(Source:  “As Time Goes By”, Odebolt, Iowa 1877-1977, 
printed by The Odebolt Chronicle May, 1977, pp. 145-149)

The patrons and students of the Odebolt community have always taken pride in their school.

The first pupils of the Odebolt school were gathered together in a small building located at the corner of Third and Main streets.  This building was at that time (1878 or 1879) a one-story frame structure.  A man by the name of Jacob Gable served as teacher.  In a short time the school became so crowded that more than one teacher was needed.  In April 1880 this school became an independent district, and a neat two-story frame building was erected on the present school grounds.  There were three rooms in this building, two on the first floor and one on the second.  The upstairs was used for the high school, while the two rooms on the first floor were used for the grades.

Even a short time later this building was not large enough to house all who wished to attend.  It became necessary to build a wing onto the frame building and later a separate addition.  Since that time Odebolt has not hesitated to expand, rebuild, and build new buildings as the demands warranted.


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So again an all-modern four-story brick and stone school building, one of the finest in the state, was completed in 1900.  It was a majestic building of beauty and grace, the latest in architecture, the pride of the community, and was predicted to be adequate for the needs of the community for 100 years.


High School

The new building, 1900

1910 school room
1910 Assembly
Photos courtesy of the Keller collection.
 Scanned by Curt Wareham

(Click photos for enlargements)

Room No. 6

However, in the late twenties it became apparent that a new building was needed, and construction of a new high school and gymnasium was begun in the spring of 1930.


new high school
New High School

High School and Old Building

With the building of the new senior high school building the board of education began to consider the possibility of the approval of the high school by the North Central Association, the highest accrediting agency in the middle west of high schools and colleges.  Before Odebolt could qualify for membership, more room was necessary, as was additional equipment consisting of library books, laboratory equipment; qualifications of teachers had to be approved, and a complete inspection of the entire school performed by the association’s official representative.  This was accomplished and Odebolt became a member of the North Central Association in 1932.

Following the trend toward reorganization, and with a neighboring district already organized, a group of rural people were interested in becoming a part of the Odebolt School District.  The result was that the first reorganization took place on July 1, 1955 and our school became known as the Odebolt Community School District.  In August the resignation of the Arthur school superintendent was the initial step in the second reorganization.  The Odebolt Community School board agreed to furnish facilities for the Arthur high school under contract.

In December petitions for Odebolt-Arthur Community School District were circulated, and after hearings the matter was brought to a vote May 29, 1956.  A 98 per cent majority vote in favor of the reorganization plan was the beginning of the Odebolt-Arthur Community School District effective July 1, 1956.

The new Odebolt-Arthur Community School building represents a great step forward in the education history of this community.  (Note:)  An elementary addition, new gymnasium and a new "library wing"  were completed in 1958-59.

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Elementary wing

Front entrance

Library wing

Sixteen Superintendents in History of School

Since the beginning of the independent school district of Odebolt in 1880, 16 superintendents have headed the school system as follows [as of 1977]:


1880-84 Clarence Messer
1884-94 J. H. Orcutt
1894-95 H. C. Coe
1895-98 Charles Henry
1898-1900 Charles Kamphoefner
1900-05 Thomas B. Hutton
1905-08 Leslie I. Reed
1908-12 C. E. Burton
1912-17 J. H. Voris
1917-18 George F. Robeson
1922-24 Dale Welsch
1924-30 E. B. Lynch
1930-44 A. W. Coon
1944-69 Bartley Ogden
1969-     Jerry Hoenschel

the_log2.jpg (118941 bytes)
Many people will remember "The Log" in the playground before the old school was torn down.  This photo was taken in the 1950's. Click the photo for an enlargement

By Mrs. C. A. Teaquist

(transcribed by B. Ekse)


History of High School - From the 1916 Odebolt School Yearbook

Odebolt High School dates back as far as 1870. The old building was a two story wood structure. There were two rooms downstairs, one being used for the intermediate grades, and one for the primary grades. The upstairs of only one room was used for the assembly room. On account of not having sufficient room for all the pupils, the first primary grade was held in a separate building.

The first class to graduate was the class of 1886 which numbered four. In 1890 a new course was added. Before this there had been only a two year course, then it became a four year course and an accredited school.

In 1899 a new school was built. Since that time many alterations have been made, and present conditions demand the attention of the improvement committee, owing to lack of room.

There are three courses in the curriculum, Latin, English and Normal Training. The normal training course was added in 1912 and with it a Domestic Science room.

The number of alumni and students has increased immensely during the last years. There are three hundred and twelve alumni. Not only has the High School the largest enrollment of students, but the largest Senior Class that has ever been recorded.

In 1912 Music was introduced into the school, and a Glee Club was formed. Since then much more attention has been paid to music than there had been in the preceding years.

The Parent-Teacher Association was organized in 1913. The aim of this association was to bring the teachers and parents into a closer relation with each other. During the same year a Teachers' Club was formed.

A Teachers Club was formed in 1915 under the name of the "Study Center." This work is taken up by all the counties of Iowa, each county being divided into four districts. The reports from these districts are sent to the county superintendent and he sends them into the State Teachers College.

Two new subjects were added in 1915, a course in General Science and Manual Training. With the addition of Manual Training another teacher was added to the High School staff, increasing it to seven. On account of lack of space in the school building it was necessary to furnish a room down town.

In view of the past record of this school, we can foretell with certainty that its work will be a great success. M.F. 1916

From the 1956 Odebolt High School year book.

"In 1930, the present high school building was erected, and the older building turned over to the grade school. Now, with an enrollment of approximately six hundred pupils and the enriched curriculum which the school now offers, the present facilities are highly inadequate."


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