History of Public Schools of Morris Illinois

In the matter of public schools, Morris holds a position far in advance of ordinary cities of its dimensions, and this fact speaks volumes in her favor to every lover of science and education, as well as to all who recognize the truth of the axiom, that education is the only sure foundation upon which the temple of liberty can stand. Undoubtedly her schools have done much in attracting families here. There are at present three school buildings for the ward schools, beside the High School building, which is three stories in height, and contains twelve rooms. There are employed a Principal and thirteen assistant teachers, and there is something over 700 pupils in attendance.

By a vote of inhabitants, taken August 21st, 1875, bonds were authorized to be issued to the amount of $30,000, to erect a suitable building for the High School, and by a vote taken in October, $7,000 more were authorized to purchase a site upon which to erect the new building. A site was purchased and work commenced immediately, and the fine building standing upon Division street, between Chapin and Benton streets, is the result of this action. It is built of brick and Aux Sauble stone, and is, as we have said, three stories in height, and contains twelve rooms. It presents a fine appearance, and is a conspicuous landmark for miles around. The Union school of Morris was organized in October, 1854. Mr. E. SANDFORD was the first Principal. Mr. SANDFORD, remained in charge one year and a half, and was succeeded by Mr. H. K. TRASK. At the close of his first year the records show 270 pupils in attendance. The history of the school has been one of success, until we now find it under its present efficient Principal, Mr. M. WATERS, assisted by thirteen teachers, and a register showing 719 names of pupils in attendance, with $7,297 paid the past year in salaries, and school buildings costing $51,950, and furniture and apparatus, $6,750.

The course of study in first grade embraces Language, Reading, Spelling, Writing, Music and Numbers; Drawing, Instruction in Natural Science, for first term, also for second and third terms, and these same branches extended for second and third grade. To the fourth grade Punctuation and Geography are added, and continued through the fifth, sixth and seventh grades. The eighth grade takes up Grammar and History.

The course of study for the High School is as follows: First year – Algebra, Natural Philosophy, Latin or German, and Botany. Second year – Geometry, Latin or German, General History, Chemistry and Trigonometry. Third year – Astronomy, Philosophy, Latin or German, Bookkeeping, Mental Philosophy and Zoology. Fourth year – Geology, Latin or German, Rhetoric, Physical Geography, English Literature and Civil Government.

Morris High School Administration, 1877-1878

  • Prof. M. Waters, Principal
  • Miss Julia A. Pomeroy, Principal 3d Ward
  • Miss Mary J. Noble, Principal 4th Ward
  • Miss Sarah A. Hall, Principal 5th Ward

Historical Photographs of Morris Illinois Schools

Source: Lawrence & Thompson’s Grundy County Directory, 1877-1878

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