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Encyclopedia Dubuque


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Humke School on the grounds of Ham House Museum
HUMKE SCHOOL. The vintage one-room rural school was formerly located in Centralia, Iowa. Land on which the school was built had been donated by Christopher Higley. The school was named for a local farmer, Charles Ferdinand Humke. The school was constructed by many people living in the area led by William Ferdinand Humke.

Between the fall of 1884 when the school bell first rang until the final class in 1966, the school was operated by thirty-one teachers. In its earliest days, the school lacked plumbing, electricity, telephone service and central heating. Candles were used for light. Students used an outhouse as a toilet. A potbellied stove was kept lit by the teacher as part of his or her duties.

Vacant in Center Township west of the city since SCHOOL CONSOLIDATION in 1960, the school was given to the DUBUQUE COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY on April 5, 1968 in a letter from the DUBUQUE COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT. In moving the 10-ton building on June 22, 1969, four feet of roof was removed to avoid an additional cost of $1,000 to lift utility wires out of the movers' path. The building, followed by members of the Humke family, was brought to the grounds of the HAM HOUSE.

Source: "175 Years" Vol. II Telegraph Herald, p. 94