Ogilvie, Minnesota And Its School
Ogilvie has always been a one building school district, even when the school moved into different buildings. The school serves the town of Ogilvie and its surrounding farming and rural community. The school district borders the districts of Onamia and Isle to the North, Milaca to the West, Princeton and Cambridge to the South, and Mora and Braham to the East.
The town is currently 474 members, according to the 2000 census road sign as you drive into town. The number of people in the town has varied much throughout the years, as has the number of students attending the school. The first graduates of Ogilvie High School in 1915 numbered three. At this time, many students did not finish school past the eighth grade, especially the farm boys and many of the girls. Therefore, the school held regular graduation ceremonies for those completing eighth grade including the speeches and “the band”. (Erickson, 9) The oral history in If These Walls Could Speak (Erickson) is not specific which band played at the ceremonies – the town band or the school band. The number of graduates each year fluctuated between one and sixteen until the 1930s when the school population and the notion of completing a high school diploma actually started taking off. From 1932-1939, the number of graduates was consistently in the mid-twenties. The largest classes numbered close to 60 during the 1980s and 1990s. We currently graduate around 50 students each year.
The school buildings have changed some over the years. The school started out in 1895 as a one-room schoolhouse before the town was established as Ogilvie. A larger, brick schoolhouse was built in 1902 with two rooms upstairs, and two downstairs. One room was for grades 1-4, another for grades 5-8, and one library. (Erickson, 9) The next move was to a large, three-story structure built in 1917. It was built to allow for growth of the town and school population, and the third floor wasn’t finished for twenty years. The 1917 construction was followed in 1918 by the building of the town’s water tower and the start of indoor plumbing for the school.
The town and surrounding area’s population grew in number along with the school’s population, and the third floor of the school was partially finished off in 1937 and completely finished in 1948. There was an addition to the school in 1958 that added a stage and gymnasium. In 1966, a new elementary wing was added as well as various remodeling projects including the band and choir areas. In 1977, the kitchen and music area (close in proximity to one another) were demolished in order to create new areas for each. The new rooms included band, choir, practice rooms, and a kitchen, lunchroom and shipping dock.
In 1991, a new school building was opened to allow for the growth of the expanding school population. This is the building in which we currently hold classes. It includes four large hallways of classrooms, a large library, offices, a band and choir area, a theater, indoor pool, large kitchen and lunchroom, and spacious gymnasium areas. There was an addition built in 1999 to allow for the building of a multi-purpose area (that eventually became the current choir room), and a new gym used for elementary gym classes and junior high ball games.