A master’s thesis published in 1931 by Colorado State University student F.E.C. Williams provides an interesting picture of Windsor’s early schools. Written in consultation with some of the town’s earliest educators, it was undertaken just over 10 years after the Windsor (District 4), White Hall (District 51), and New Liberty (District 70) districts chose to consolidate in 1920. The thesis acknowledges that there is scant information about how the Windsor district was organized. However, it does establish that a district was in place as early as 1873, with established boundaries. Notable members of the 1874 school board include A.S. Eaton, T.S. Whitney, and John Cobbs. The first schoolhouse was constructed on Whitney’s property for a sizable sum of $590 and was later moved to town, where it served as a restaurant, and later, as a private residence. Over the ensuing years, the district’s boundaries were regularly expanded, indicating an increasing number of children of school-age children seeking an education within the immediate area.
The district’s first report, published in 1875, indicates 23 students were enrolled. The school term was six months and classes were taught up to the 9th grade. About 1886 or 1887, a four-room brick schoolhouse was constructed to replace the earlier wood structure. In 1902, a second brick structure was constructed on the current site of Bethel Lutheran Church. This building later served as the town library. About 1904, the first wing of the present Park Building, formerly Park School was constructed. The older brick schoolhouse was torn down about 1908-09 to construct the second half of the stone structure that serves as the present town hall. It served as the Park School from 1910 until the 1980s when it transitioned to its present use.
In 1919, a high school was constructed and adjacent to it, a junior high school in 1921. While the former remains a portion of the present middle school, the latter burned down in 1964. The present high school was not constructed until 1975. Today, Windsor Re-4 School District has six elementary schools, two middle schools, and one high school. Total enrollment for the academic year 2010-2011 was 4,582. To learn more about Windsor’s fascinating history, go to www.windsorgov.com/artandheritage or visit the Town of Windsor Museum on Facebook.
Carrie Knight is the art and heritage manger for the town of Windsor