Iowa Heritage Digital Collections
State Library of Iowa

040_Hubbell and Jackson Schools


040_Hubbell and Jackson 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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38 HUBBELL SCHOOL 42nd and Center Grades K-6 Dates of construction 1910 One-half 1917 One-fourth 1925 One-fourth 1955 The community room was remodeled into Site 5.0 acres two classrooms. Hubbell School was named in honor of Frederick M. Hubbell, philanthropist, and wealthiest Iowan in the history of the state. Arriving here in 1885 from his home in Connecticut at the age of sixteen, he worked, studied and invested in land. Later he became a leading lawyer and founded the Equitable Life Insurance Co. of Iowa. He was also a railroad financier and builder as well as real estate investor and public utilities magnate. He was devoted to Des Moines and invested here, where he made his fortune. Just how much he contributed to the growth and development of Des Moines cannot be estimated. Some Highlights about Hubbell History On September 15, 1908 a petition was presented to the Des Moines school board by H. C. Wallace, representing West University Place, asking for an additional schoolhouse. The property selected was designated as Lot 32 located at 42nd Street and Woodland Avenue, for which $4,250.00 was paid. Bids were called for in 1909 and the contract was awarded to Martin Conroy who presented the lowest bid—$47,147.00. "The building is fire resistive and two stories in height. The brick walls are 12 and 16 inches thick; floors are concrete; incombustible partitions; oak trim; incombustible ceilings; wood roof over concrete ceiling. There are two open stairways in the hall, basement to second floor. The basement contains a gymnasium, fan room and classrooms; first floor nurse's room, office, supply room and classrooms; second floor auditorium and classrooms." On the motion of J. B. Sullivan and seconded by C. H. Martin, at the February, 1909 meeting of the school board, "the school building to be erected on 42nd and Woodland Avenue is to be known as the Frederick M. Hubbell School". Carried. In May, 1910 thirty feet along the south side of the Hubbell School ground was given up for the use of the city in opening Center Street. Hubbell School opened in the fall of 1911. Miss Amelia Morton was the principal and there was a staff of seven teachers — Miss Emma Bradley, Miss Mary Heaton, Mrs. E. D. Brunn, Miss Katherine Haley, Miss Elizabeth Mason, Miss Jessie E. Dicks and Miss Adeline Winterble. IA 1917 the south wing was added to the original building; first and second floors providing additional space for classrooms and a community room in the basement. In 1922 Hubbell School served 670 children in eight grades; by 1923 there were 610 children in six grades, the seventh and eighth grade pupils attending junior high school in the new Roosevelt High School. In 1925 the north wing was added giving the school a gymnasium, classrooms and auditorium. In 1930 there were twenty classrooms, three special rooms and an enrollment of 563. In 1955 the community room was converted into two more classrooms. The student population has maintained itself through the years in the Hubbell district and continues into the 70's. A new addition of two kindergarten classrooms was opened in 1971. This enabled the utilization of the former kindergarten room into a media learning center. Hubbell School in the mid-1970s is an Equal Education Opportunities receiving school. The large playground north of the school formerly was at an elevation of eight to ten feet below treet level. Extensive filling of dirt brought this up to the height of the Hubbell playground adjacent to the building. The addition of the two rooms in 1971 enabled the removal of two portable classrooms that had been placed there in the 1960s. A landmark along on the Hubbell-Roosevelt site was the tall smokestack that was removed in the early 1970. This saw the conversion of the heating plant and the installation of new boilers at the heating plant and conversion to gas and oil. With the energy crisis of the mid- 1970's someone has commented that we probably should have retained the coal-stoked furnaces and the tall landmark smokestack to utilize the Iowa coal. Forecasts by hindsight are easier to make. During the 1974-75 school year there were eighteen teachers, a secretary, an associate, a Voluntary Transfer associate and 2.5 custodians at Hubbell. Also, the part time staff included a nurse, library associate, speech therapist, Title I math and reading teacher and a Learning Disabilities Teacher. The school enrollment was 419 students representing 278 families. Principals of Hubbell School include: 1910-1917 Amelia Morton 1917-1923 H.D. Eickelberg 1923-1939 Laura P. Matthews 1939-1958 Blanche V. Toohey 1958-1965 Mildred E. Kaisand 1965-1971 Ann Schott 1971-1973 Howard Miller 1973-1974 Eleanor Singer 1974- Irene Perkins JACKSON SCHOOL Indianola Road and Watrous 1972 Addition of 10 Classrooms, Grades K-6 Gym and Media Center Date of construction—1962 Site—11.5 acres Andrew Jackson School opened its doors in January, 1962, to serve 184 children in kindergarten through third grade. The school is located on a spacious site on Indianola Road near Watrous Avenue, close to the boundary line of southeast Des Moines. The glass walls, exterior corridors, and colored ceramic brick extend the length on each side of the ground-hugging structure, which is to be the first wing in the construction of a complete school. This $305,000' building was designed by Architects Associated of Des Moines. There is a continuous turnover in pupil personnel due to the mobility of the area. The mobility is a result of a low-economic section and temporary residence provided by three trailer courts. At the present time, a 40-home housing project is under construction directly west of the school. Beginning with the 1963-64 school year the undepartmentalized program was extended to include fourth grade.