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McKinley School
211 Blend st. - Bay City, MI
  • Contributed by Clarence and Gladys (Weide) Stroemer
    from the Scrapbook Collection of Miss Freida Stroemer. (December 2005)
  • The Bay City Times - Saturday, November 24, 1940.

    McKinley School

    Building Erected as West Bay City
    Became Heavy Residential Section

    EDITOR’S NOTE: The McKinley school furnishes materials for the eleventh in a series of stories dealing the historical background of schools in the city system which are published each Saturday in The Times. Next week’s contribution will be the Corbin school.)

    The McKinley school is one of the newest in the city and was erected in 1907, at the time when building construction on the West Side made a larger school necessary for students who were coming into the area with their parents. The lumber days of Bay City were already becoming history and the new residents were establishing homes here as they entered the small businesses and larger factories which were replacing the lumber industries as means of livelihood for Bay Cityans.

    Before the erection of the McKinley school, a school entitled the Denison, was adequate for the students of the eight ward of Bay City. This building had only four rooms.

    The school today with eight rooms, principal’s office, rest room, and gymnasium, constructed from a basement room, was rated “good” on four points out of 21 for instructional efficiency. It was given “fair” on 10 items, including location, landscape, architecture, construction, height, basement, efficiency for administration, class rooms, equipment, and safety. General condition, heating, ventilation, and water supply were rated as “good.”

    Although ground for the McKinley school was broken in 1907, the building was not completed until 1908, when W. H. Hartley was the first principal. There were eight grades and a kindergarten at that time. The following year, A. J. Armstrong replaced Hartley, and at that time the enrollment was so large that an assistant was added to the staff of eight teachers. In 1912, Armstrong left and W. G. Burton became principal, staying for two years.

    Add “Special Room”

    From 1914 to 1919 George E. Butterfield, now dean of the Bay City Junior college, filled the post, and it was during this time that the “special room” was added to the school. This required the opening of a room in the basement in order to accommodate the pupils. This was in 1917 and Miss Julia MacNeil was placed in charge of the room.

    In 1919 Miss Maud E. Gilbert came to the school and has remained as principal.

    Before T. L. Handy Junior High school was opened in 1922 the McKinley school had an enrollment of well over 400 pupils and since that time even with only the six grades and kindergarten the enrollment has been as high as 360 pupils.

    One of the latest features of the school is the gymnasium acquired through the transformation of a basement room.

    Since the McKinley school was opened in 1908 more than 56 teachers have taught within its walls. Some of these are still teaching in the local school system, while others have moved away, and still others are on the retired list.

    The staff of the school includes Miss Gilbert as principal, Frederic Brams, Dorothy DeLong, Mary V. Griffiths, Nellie Hagarty, Mary C. Hunter, Christina McKay, Mary Neumann, Camilla F. Seaholm, and Grace Saunders.

    No. 10: Wenona school NEXT No. 12: Corbin school
    Photo Appearing with Article

    (Click to enlarge)
    (Listed alphabetically)
    17. Central High school
    12. Corbin school
    08. Dolsen school
    15. Eastern Jr. High school
    13. Farragut school
    01. Fremont & Whittier schools
    05. Garfield school
    14. Handy Jr. High school
    06. Kolb school
    07. Lincoln school
    11. McKinley school
    04. Park school
    03. Riegel & Salzburg schools
    02. Trombley school
    09. Washington school
    10. Wenona school
    16. Woodside school
    People Referenced
    Armstrong, A.J.
    Brams, Frederic
    Burton, W.G.
    Butterfield, George E.
    DeLong, Dorothy
    Gilbert, Miss
    Griffiths, Mary V.
    Hagarty, Nellie
    Hartley, W.H.
    Hunter, Mary C.
    McKay, Christina
    Neumann, Mary
    Seaholm, Camilla F.
    Saunders, Grace
    Subjects Referenced
    Bay City Junior college
    Denison school
    Eighth ward
    Lumber days
    Contact Bay-Journal if you would like to add an article on this subject or provide an article on another subject.