First School in Fort Atkinson

Date in History: 1839

The very first school in Fort Atkinson met in 1839 in a primitive cabin that belonged to the young pioneer William Barrie. The teacher was fourteen-year-old Jane Crane who lived with her older sister Sally Crane Jones, and Sally’s husband Milo Jones.

Jane had six young students – Newton and Amelia Jones, Mary Ann and Celeste Foster, Elizabeth May, and Susan Snell.

Over the next few years the school continued to meet in various houses with various teachers until 1843 when the Koshkonong town meeting voted to spend $100 to build a real schoolhouse. Local carpenter Charles Rockwell managed to build the one-room school at the corner of South Third and Grant Street on time and on budget.

This historic document aired on the radio as an Historic Minute on 09/04/2006.

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