In the spring of
1916, plans were made by members of St. Anthony Church to
start a parochial school. Esther Link was hired to teach the
school-age children in the parish. The back of the church
was used as a classroom facility for four years.
taught in the school for three years before moving to New
Mexico. She was succeeded by Miss Agnes Louragon who taught
just one year.
In 1920, the
parish decided to provide the children with a real school
building. An old public school building in Clark County was
purchased at a public auction for $525. It was located three
miles west, one mile south and another quarter mile west of
Minneola on property belonging to a parishioner, Peter Batt.
It was moved to Fowler and another room was added to the
school immediately to accommodate all the children.
By September of
1920, the parish welcomed the Dominican Sisters who took
charge of the school and began what was to become a 50-year
ministry of Catholic education in Fowler.
The new school
was built in 1950. The architect was Lorentz Schmidt from
McVay and Peddy of Wichita.
contractor was Noland Construction Co., of Dodge City.
Bishop Mark K.
Carroll dedicated the school on November 27,
The Fowler Public
School band participated in the ceremony of dedication.
The school was
constructed at a cost of $61,000, which included all the
equipment. It was constructed of brick and measured 84 feet
long by 57 feet wide.
It had three classrooms,
a library, and a large room for serving school lunches that
could also be
used as a place for recreation when the
weather was inclement. The school had a furnace room and
restroom facilities for boys, girls and teachers.
The north part of
the old school was moved away, and the south part was torn
down. The new school was built on approximately the same
location as the old school. While the building of the new
school was in progress,
classes were held in the
local Knights of Columbus
all the playground equipment for the new
The enrollment in
the parochial school in 1951, was
From 1951 on, the enrollment increased every year until it
reached its peak in 1962, with 99 students. From that year
on, the enrollment declined.
About 50 Catholic grade
school students attended the public school. In the year
1966, the seventh and eighth grade began attending the
public school. The last year the parochial school was in
operation was 1970, with 46 students enrolled. This was two
more students than the year the school opened,
it was difficult to operate the school efficiently with such
a small number of students. St. Anthony School was in
operation for 54 years.