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Fowler School System

Prior to settlement, Meade County was pretty much occupied by open-range cattle operations, buffalo hunters and other adventurers. The county was first formed in 1873, but went through different configurations until it was finally organized with the current borders in 1885. Settlers, however, started to acquire land in the Fowler area as early as 1878, and settlers meant families, and families meant children in need of schools. 

The settlement of Meade County generally took place from the northeast part of the county to all points west and south. In 1880, School District Joint #1 was formed with parts of Ford, Meade, and Clark Counties, and a school located just south of Wilburn in Ford County. That same year District #18 was formed and a school house placed just a few miles north and east of where Fowler now stands in Sec. 24-T3-R26. This was six years before Fowler even became a town. 

Fowler City was surveyed, platted and dedicated by George Fowler, owner of the land, which was a part of the northwest quarter of Section 6-T31-R26; plat filed May 1, 1886. Fowler City was duly organized and incorporated, and flourished for a time, but unfortunately, when the county gradually depopulated because of hard times, Fowler became dormant, and remained so for many years without city government. The town, however, was never abandoned, because it was always a strong trading point. In April, 1908, it was reorganized and municipal government again established under act of the Legislature of 1907. At that time Fowler had a population of 345.  

District #18 became the Fowler School when the one-room schoolhouse was moved and located in Lot 2 (original townsite) in the north part of Fowler. School opened in the fall of 1886, under the supervision of one teacher. During the years 1886 to 1900, the school had an enrollment of about 12 to 24 pupils. The school term was generally six to eight months.  

The first high school courses were offered in 1906, when the Friends Academy was opened. It was under the supervision of the Friends Church, but financed by the community. The Academy was opened in the fall of 1906, with Henry Townsend in charge. There were two teachers, Mr. Townsend and his wife. During the Academy's six years, the enrollment ranged from 31 to 60 students per year.  

A public high school was opened in Fowler in 1911, and a majority of students went to the public school, which forced the Friends Academy to close after 1914, because of decreased enrollment.  

In about 1900, a new grade school building was erected, and school was conducted there until 1911, when a new brick building costing $15,000 was erected in the middle of Lot 2. This was known as the Lincoln Grade School building. Both grade and high school classes were conducted in this building and the old frame building was sold to the Eaton family and moved to another location.  

In about 1916, the Methodist Church was purchased and used for the first three grades. As there was no gymnasiums in either building, all athletics events were out-of-doors games.  

St. Anthony Catholic Church also opened a parochial school in 1916. The back of the church was used as a classroom facility for four years until a new school was built near the church in 1920. 

By 1923, the new high school building had been erected at a cost of $58,931. The Methodist Church was sold to Jim St. Lawrence. The high school classes moved into the new high school and the first eight grades were placed in the Lincoln Grade School building.  

In 1945-46 the district was reorganized as District Joint Number 72. A new high school was erected across the street west of the old high school building in 1948, at about the cost of $325,000, and the old high school became the grade school building. A $10,000 vocational agricultural shop building and a 10-stall bus barn were erected. During the summer of 1947, a new football field was opened complete with bleachers and lights.  

 
Fowler High School building as of 2018
The current grade school building (2018) was built in 1962, on the site of the old high school-then-turned-gradeschool, and this building has also undergone many renovations over the years. 

In 1965, District #72 disorganized and Unified District #225 was formed. The country schools were closing and all of Meade County’s students were being bussed to Fowler, Meade and Plains for school.

 

 

 

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