The Bay City Times - Saturday, November 24, 1940.
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.