Lannon School History: 1939 thru 1959

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History of Education in Lannon Area; Waukesha County, Wisconsin

Edited by Mike Reilly, c.November 6, 2000

revised 06/04/04

1939 Thru 1959

1939 – new Lannon Elementary School is built and dedicated onSeptember 1st,  and classes began on Monday September 11th. Grade 1 had 8enrolled; grade 2 – 10; grade 3 – 14; grade 4 – 19; grade5 – 14; grade 6 – 23;grade 7 – 17; grade 8 – 14; grade 9 – 16; and grade 10 – 9. The teachers wereMr. Philip Pejza, principal; Mr. Gumm; Misses Lees, Knoebel, and Rocheassistants. Mr. Hayes, music, and Mr. Phillips, band. The girls of the uppergrades have formed an athletic association with Miss Lees as advisor. Mrs.William (Margaret) Miller, librarian, announced that the library will soon open,and a new shipment of books is on the way. The assignments of teachers to a particular class is unknownat this time. for 1939. (Editor’s Note: The new schoolcontinued the 9th and 10th Grades probably up to the time that the HamiltonSchool District was created and the new Hamilton High School built in the Townof Lisbon  in 1963. Although, it recently came to my attention thatsometime after 1947, the two grades were discontinued and they 8th Gradegraduates either went to Menomonee Falls or Waukesha High Schools. Others wentto private schools in Milwaukee or surrounding areas. See 1950/Sept.)    

For more information about Philip Pejza, see1937.

Milk was delivered to school children by the FoxGolden Gurnsey Dairy, costing 3 cents for each half pint bottle, or 15 cents forthe weeks. Students selected from regular white, orange, chocolate orbuttermilk.

The School newspaper, HIGHLIGHTS, began runningads which apparently the students created themselves for local businesses. Thepaper had a column called “If I Had My Way”; in the November, 1939Vol. III, Issue 3, Miss Margaret Miller wrote the following:

“I would like my community to be morecultured. I would like to have all the swamps drained and the unused land madinto some beautiful parks. The old school building could be turned into an artbuilding or workshop. The playground of the old school could be made into a parkand play things for the children would be provided. I would like all homes to bemade of stone. A manufacturing plant near the outskirts of town to give all theLannon men employment would be another one of my plans.”

Picture of Lannon School.  This first one apparently was taken very shortly after the school was built, as there isn’t any landscaping around the building.

Father Jack Pejza,May 10, 2001

1939 – William Metzger III, Mirian Knoebel , and Walter Wierlgraduate from 8th grade at Willow Springs.

1940 – Miss Mary Roets (one of the teachers?) at Willow SpringsSchool.

1941 – Willow Springs: 26 students were in grades 1-4 with Miss Katherine Stier,of Sussex, as their teacher (she only taught the one year.

1945/Jan – The Willow Spring School 4-H Club was headed bypresident Barbara Barrett and vice-president Melvin Metzger.

1945/Sept. – 131 studentsattend Lannon State Graded School including its’ 2-year high school classes.

1945/Oct., week of 3rd – Lannon Band Mother’s Club staged a card party to raise funds. LaVernSchultz is the club president.

1947/Jan., week of 21st -the Holy Name Men’s Society of St. James held a men’s smoker partyusing Willow Springs School Hall.

                 – the Lannon boy basketball team lost to Sussex High School team, 27-14,but the girl’s team beat Sussex, 17-9.

1947/Feb., week of 25th -the Lannon PTA sponsored a program at the new school, which according tonewspaper reports, included a “colored children’s chorus fromMilwaukee”

1947/Mar., week of 18th –Lannon Principal Glenwood Graulich is on the sick list.

        /Apr., week of 1st – Lannon’s 5th-10th grades attended the Waukesha County Dairy Show.

        /Apr., week of 15th -Richard Gruetzmacher returns to school after breaking a leg.

                                   – the Lannon School Band played at MFHS.

                                   – May 9th is chosen as Prom night for Lannon High School. Donald Gruetzmacherwas the Prom King and Yvonne DeLany, the Prom Queen.

May 1947 – This 8th Grade graduating class was thefirst to have to go (be bussed) to other area high schools (mainlyMenomonee Falls). The 9th and 10th grades were discontinued at most areaelementary schools. The children then became “tuition students”;the municipality in which they lived had to pay the school district where theynow went to 4-year high school a yearly fee.

1947/May, week of 6th  – Mrs. Eric Gruetzmacher was the president of the Lannon PTA.

                                   – Delos Barret, of  Lannon, who participated in football, basketballand baseball while at MFHS was named that high school’s Prom King.

        /May, week of 13th -Small pox and diphtheria shots were given at Lannon Grade School by Dr. Domanand a country nurse.

1947/May, week of 20th  –  the graduating 8th Grade had a class trip to Cave of the Moundsin Blue Mounds, west of Madison. This graduating class was the first tohave to go (be bussed) to other area high schools (mainly Menomonee Falls).The 9th and 10th grades were discontinued at most area elementary schools. Thechildren then became “tuition students”; the municipality inwhich they lived had to pay the school district where they now went to 4-yearhigh school a yearly fee.

1947/June, week of 24th -Lannon Advancement Association offered free outdoor movies some evenings atLannon Grade School. In case of rain on the scheduled night, they were shownat Duffy’s Tavern Hall.

        /July, week of 15th -the Lannon Advancement Association was improving the old school grounds withsome playground equipment for the village children.

1948 – Willow Springs: 23 students in grades 5-8.

Nov. 1949 – Lannon Graded School started a hot lunch program providing soup.

1950: circa – Lannon VFW association buys an old Army barrackspreviously used in Milwaukee, and erects it on the site of the former two-storywood frame school house (present Village Hall).

        /Sept – John Beck was the school bus driverwho took Lannon high-schoolers to Menomonee Falls High School (1st year forbusing?).

               Lannon had a half-day kindergarten class for 4-year-olds (Wasa kindergarten already in place at Lannon? If not, when?)

               Stanford C. Witter was the principal at Lannon.

Sept. 1950 -Lannon had a half-day kindergarten class for4-year-olds.

1950’s:early – student growth pushed the basement into use as aclassroom at Willow Springs.

Oct. 1952 – The Lannon PTA served a 6:30 pmpotluck dinner at the meeting, sponsoring babysitting services for attendees.

1954 – St. James Catholic School is built.

1957 – Willow Springs had a new addition added.

<— Map: School Districts, Town of Menomonee, as of September, 1957. Source: County Superintendent of Schools, Winston Brown, Waukesha. [Editor’s Note – Prior to 1850, the entire Town of Menomonee was School District No. 7. Down in the far southwest corner, it appears that a Sussex-Lisbon school district may have had a chunk of Menomonee (?) Where are the Nelson and Bailey schools ? Is Marcy School in Menomonee Falls now?]


1959 – Willow Springs has four additional classrooms,  built at a cost of$55,009.60, bringing the total to eight.

            Reference Sources: “From Farmland to Freeways: A History Of  WaukeshaCounty” edited by Ellen D. Langill and Jean Penn Loerke; the article “TheHistory of Education in Waukesha County” by Ellen D. Langill;”Public Education in Wisconsin” by Conrad C. Patzer,Superintendent of Practice Teaching – Milwaukee State Normal School, 1924.Issued by John Callahan, Wisconsin State Superintendent of Schools; “Memoirsof Waukesha County”, Theron W. Haight, editor, 1907; the works of local historian FredKeller, some of them printed or reprinted in the Sussex Sunnewspaper; and the microfilm Menomonee Falls News articles and “Glimpses ofMenomonee Falls – Past and Present”Menomonee Falls SchoolHistory contributed by Carol Wildt, at the Maude Shunk Library; andthe microfilm Waukesha Freeman articles at the Waukesha PublicLibrary; plus the historical archives held by the Waukesha County HistoricalSociety Museum; in addition to interviews with current or former Lannon residents: Keith Richard Gissal, Donald E. Miller, Shirley DeLorm (nee Wandsneider), and other individual input.