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Historical Palmyra

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This first Palmyra School dated 1874 was at the north end of Main Street on Illinois where the library now stands on the triangular piece of land given by John Taggart. The grades were not separated and went through 10th. There were only three rooms. This picture was copied from one belonging to Edna Hart Holland, class of 1896. Palmyra graduated its first class in 1891.


This 1973 photo shows additions to accommodate more students as Bennet and Palmyra merged in 1965. Country schools consolidated with town schools. The country school was added on the north. The metal building and connection were added in the 1970’s. All grades

1-6 attended at Bennet and Kindergarten moved to Bennet in 1986.


Supt. Childers contributed this aerial view of the 1996-1998 brick two-level addition on the north of classrooms, computer lab, larger media center and improved music facilities. The parking lot across the street north was also added. The parking lot east of the circle drive was added earlier in the 1990s.


This is the new 1905 school located at the current location. It faced east and also had a west entrance. You can see the Taggart home upper left. Basketball and plays were held downtown on the west side of the street in the middle of the block. There was a wooden annex west of the school that later became the Legion Hall. This picture was the property of Pearl Francis Stilwell, born in 1895.


This was the school in Palmyra until the fire in 1933. This school faced east and also had a west entrance. There were outhouses. Basketball and plays were held downtown on the west side of the street in a Hall that later was partitioned and became a restaurant and later the Lion’s club. The building directly north of the Beauty Salon with the Telephone Building occupying the north half of the same building. In later years the manager of the telephone company and his family lived in the south half. There was no auditorium at the school until the new one was built in 1935.


This is an enlarged copy of a 1907 postcard sent from Roberta to Nellie Jones. It is part of the postcard collection and the Nebraska State Historical Society. I was especially interested in the boardwalk and the path where West 4th street is now.


Palmyra From the Heavens 1910 August 2000

This is an enlargement of a postcard belonging to Lyle Whited of Torrence, CA. He is the grandson of Orville Edwards. It was taken from the water tower in the park looking down Illinois, the angling street. See the Presbyterian and Methodist churches. Notice people had barns.


Palmyra Public High School and Grade School

The 1905 building burned over Christmas 1933 or 1934. The building was an improvement because it had indoor plumbing and a gym/auditorium. There is a cornerstone on the southeast corner. The picture was copied from the 1951 cookbook of the Palmyra Progressive Club.


Copied June 1998- This photo of the 1935 school taken by Helen Wallen (Luff) during her senior year 1940. The 1st floor bay windows are the Primary Room on the south and the Intermediate Room on the north. The 1st floor middle row of windows are the Grammar Room. The upstairs round windows are the boys’ bathroom on the south and the girls’ on the north. The middle set of 6 windows are the high school study hall. There are 6 more rooms upstairs for high school and a stage, gym, bathrooms, locker rooms, and Home Ec room, shop, kindergarten room and classroom. We played softball west of the row of pine trees. The pine trees on the left or south served as a windbreak for the side walk.


Congratulations to the 50 year class 2002 as seen in their Junior year; back row: Leslie and Bill Weatherhogg, Ed Golden and front row: John Stilwell and Jim Strodtman. Malvin Kissinger is not shown. Other team members back row: Gary Thomson and Warren Lashley; front row: Coach Bernie Davis and Lynn Copes, Duane Biggs, Kent Lanning and Wayne Copes.


Congratulations to the 2003 50 year class! Back row: Mildred Hartman and Wilma Dowding; middle row: Marquerite Guy, Elberta Rhoten and Gera Powers. Other team members back row: Donna Smith, Frances Anderson, Coach Bernie Davis, Marie Cooper and Connie Foreman; Middle row: Jodene Dowding, Francie Stilwell, Marie Weatherhogg, Betty Copper and seated: Marilyn Kelly and Vera Thomson.


A bond issue was passed in 1953 to add a kitchen for hot lunches; enlarge the gym by tuning it east and west; and add a bathroom, home ec, shop, classroom and large kindergaten room to the north. Kindergarten started in 1950 and was combined with 1st and 2nd.

The high school study hall windows and kindergarten windows were covered as part of the energy crisis remodeling as seen in this view. There were school buses starting in 1963