School History‎ > ‎

School History (1857 - 1956)

Former school house used in the 1950's
Sts. Peter and Paul School first opened in a log building in 1857.  Lay teachers taught the students in German.  One of the first teachers was Mr. Silbersack, a member of the parish.

In the early years, teachers changed rapidly.  The only teacher who remained for 8 years was Miss Mary Haeusler.  In addition to teaching, her duties included playing the organ, decorating the altar, and ringing the bell.  When she left Twelve Mile, she moved to Illinois to become a private teacher.

Between 1877 and 1881, a new clapboard schoolhouse was built where the rectory now stands.  Between the church and the school was the shelter.  Built with bricks from the church, this building was open on both ends.  It had brick walls and a brick floor with a tin roof.  The students could walk out of school, through the shelter and into the church without being exposed to the weather for very long.

In 1888, records show the debt on the school was $250.  Unfortunately, school closed early that year because in March, the teacher "ran off into the night" with $100 of the $134 received from the Public School Class.  In August, the Young Men's Society paid off the $250 debt on the school.

During the school year of 1890-1891, the teacher was Miss M. Hansler.  She held classes gratuitously for the young men of the parish.  The classes were held 3 times a week, from 7 to 9 p.m.
Records show that in 1894, an addition was added to the school.  A folding wall was installed that remained until the school was demolished.  When one teacher was not able to teach due to illness or whatever, the wall was opened and one teacher taught all 8 grades.

In 1895, Miss Ann Enzweiler taught school for the first time in the new annex.

Lay teachers continued to teach until November 2, 1916.  The school was then blessed with the Sisters of Divine Providence taking charge of the school.  These Sisters continued to teach at the schoo until 1948.  Sister Mary of the Cross Bertran taught from 1916 to 1918 and then returned to teach again from 1945 to 1948.

The Sisters lived under the school, sharing these rough quarters with a cook.  There were not any inside steps to these rooms.  The Sisters had to walk around the outside and down a set of steps to their door.  The students were frequently told during an indoor lunch period, perhaps jest, not to jump too hard because it made the plaster fall in the Sisters' soup.
The outhouse, separate ones for boys and girls, was further down the hill.  There was an outside pump for drinking water.  Each room had a blue and white crock with a spicket for drinking water.  Each child kept a cup in his or her desk.

In 1948, the Sister of St. Benedict replaced the Sisters of Divine Providence.  They taught at our school for 8 years, leaving in the spring of 1956.

In 1951, Fr. Lou's rectory, the white house at the top of the hill, was remodeled into a school.  2 classrooms were on the main floor with the Sisters' living quarters upstairs.  The classrooms were smaller and more crowded.  The desks were very close together.  The room closest to the cemetery was occupied by the upper grades and thus became known as the "big" room.