Starting in 1885 a two-story frame school building was built to house the primary grades on the first floor and the grammar grades on the second. The school was enlarged in 1900 by the addition at the rear. This part was used to house the upper grades. This building faced North and was located just east of where Steve Holt's residence is now located.
1907 view of the wood-framed Ellsworth Public School
When no longer being needed as a school, his building was divided into two parts and after these parts were moved, they became two homes, one of which still survives today. The house made from the back portion is on the east side of the street (Hovda residence, 1818 DeSota Street).
The other house (see below), made from the front portion, has been razed to make room for the Hemphill home at 1819 DeSota Street.
In the photos towards the top of this page, there is a bell visible, or the wheel that enabled a rope to turn the bell in order to chime the bell. That school bell was cast in 1884, and in 1913 was moved from the old frame-school to the brick grade school building. In 1974 the bell was taken down by Raymond Anderson and his son, Dennis. The bell is in the Ellsworth Library and is located in this wagon purchsed by Clarence Kuhl. Carl R. Anderson built the frame to hold the old school bell.
1913 - Brick Grade School constructed
The brick Grade Schoolhouse was built next to the frame schoolhouse in 1913. This was on the West side of the street. After the High School brick building (seen below) was built across the street in 1916, this school served students in the first six grades. This schoolhouse later (until 1973) served as the grade school building for the Ellworth students in the South Hamilton School District.
Note the old frame school is visible at left in the background of this image. It was moved shortly after this school was constructed. It was split into two parts to became two residences, one on each side of the street a half block north of this brick school.
1916 - Brick High School constructed
This photo shows the new High School building under construction.
The High School building is completed.
This brick high school building was built in 1916 across the street (East side) from the brick grade school, seen earlier on this page. There was a small gymnasium in the basement, which was used as a lunch room after 1951, when the new gym located just south of this school was constructed.
From the 1939 Ellsworth High Yearbook
Ellsworth Schools in the 1960s
South Hamilton School's Ellsworth Center
Although the old school building is no longer used, the gym is now used as the Ellsworth Community Center.
This aerial view of the Ellsworth schools shows the brick elementary school (at left on the west side of the street) built in 1913 and razed in 1974, and the brick high school (east side of the street) built in 1916, and the 1951 brick gymnasium.
The building which had been used as the home for the high school was used by South Hamilton School as one of its two junior high schools until the 1968-1969 school year. At that time all 7th through 9th graders attended the new school in Jewell. This brick building then became an elementary center for K-6 students until 1973, when the 5th and 6th graders were shuttled to Randall.
The building ceased to be used as a teaching center in the 1975-1976 school year when all the district's 4th graders also went to Randall, and the remaining students were all moved to the Jewell center. These buildings now serve as portions of the Ellsworth Community Center and as home for some South Hamilton sports practices and games.