Iowa Heritage Digital Collections
State Library of Iowa

035_Garten and Granger Schools


035_Garten and Granger Schools


This is a page from the collection "Bicentennial Reflections: History of Des Moines Public Schools, 1876-1976" by Dr. Robert R. Denny, published by the Des Moines Public Schools in Des Moines, Iowa in 1976.

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035_Garten and Granger Schools


33 GARTON IN 1975-76 In the mid-1970's Garton Elementary School faces some of the declining enrollment problems that other Des Moines Schools are facing. Garton continues to maintain a six-unit program in grades 5-6 with the art teacher serving another building half time. Grades K-4 continue on an undepartmentalized basis. During the past two years Garton has been "paired" with Logan School in a program called "Shared Activities". Many worthwhile activities have been planned in all grade levels. Time was spent in sharing field trips, educational films, physical education, science and basic skills subject matter. Most of the activity was conducted at grade level for a period of one-half day but in the 5th and 6th grades Garton and Logan exchanged about 15-5th and 15 sixth grade students for a period of seven half days to participate in units in science, literature, physical education. In August of 1973 Garton requested permission to participate in Career Education. We were accepted and during the past two years we have incorporated this concept into our curriculum. In September of 1973 Garton initiated "Parent Orientation Week". This provided an opportunity for parents to visit their child's teacher and get a preview of the "things to come". It was a start in our awareness program which encouraged parents to become "School Volunteers" and become active in Garton activities. In 1974 Community Education sponsored a Pre-School class of 20 students which is scheduled for three half-days weekly. Garton has had an excellent Safety Patrol Program. The patrol captains during the school year of 1966, 1969, 1972, 1973 won first place in the AAA Safety Contest and won expense paid trips for the captain and Safety Patrol Supervisor. The Garton Staff participated in a First Aid Course first offered to entire school staffs in 1974 and all participants received their American National Red Cross Certificates. Principals of Garton include 1958 - 1966 LoRetta Patrick 1966 - 1971 Lorraine McFadden 1971 - Harry Elder GRANGER SCHOOL S.E. 2nd and Leach Street Grades K-6 Dates of Construction—1954 One-third 1957 Two-thirds Site—1 0.0 acres The first six rooms of Barlow Granger School were completed in August, 1954. The $452,000 addition, including 14 regular classrooms, a kindergarten, a practical arts room, a gymnasium, and kitchen facilities, was completed in 1957. This single-story structure was placed on a site of ten acres, Wetherell and Harrison were the architects. The School Board recommended that the elementary school at South Union and Leach Avenue be named Barlow Granger Elementary School. The following is an excerpt from the Granger P.T.A. bulletin of February, 1962: "BARLOW GRANGER—born 1816, m New York. At the age of 13 he quit school to become an apprentice printer. In 1846 he journeyed west — by coach to St. Louis; to Keokuk on steamboat; to Fairfield by coach; and on to Des Moines by horse and buggy. At that time the population of Des Moines was 127. Barlow Granger was the editor of the first newspaper published in Des Moines, the Iowa Star. Vol. 1, No. 1, was dated July 26, 1849. He was one of the most widely known of the early settlers. The press was set up in a log cabin on Second Street near Vine. The town was known as Fort Des Moines. Granger needed no reporters because he knew every family in town. He bought the press at Iowa City and sent to Keokuk for the paper. The Iowa Star was financed by a Curtis Bates, who later became a candidate for governor. Politicians often in that day sponsored newspapers in order to rush their personal political aspirations. Barlow Granger was asked to be the editor. He announced his editorial policies m spite of the political leanings of the owner, stating that the paper would publish his own views as "purely individual" but nevertheless the Star would be "Firmly, decidedly, radically democratic." However, the editor would hold himself responsible to no party, sect, creed or clique." Forty of the eighty acres of land purchased by Granger for a homestead is now Pioneer Park reached over S.E. 6th Street and Hartford Avenue, one of the oldest streets in Des Moines. This southside location became noted for its hospitality and Granger built a stone and wood house on the site. Part of this house, in so far as we can discover, is still a part of the custodian's residence. The well, 370 feet deep, was sunk by Granger around 1900, three years before his death, and furnished the water used by the park when it was first established by the city. He brought birch trees from Wisconsin and planted them on his property and otherwise beautified it. The park custodian, when the Pioneer Park was established, had a scrapbook owned by Barlow Granger in which he had kept clippings, especially poems he had gleaned from magazines and other newspapers. It is