Historic Sites of Manitoba: Russell School No. 273 (Russell, Municipality of Russell-Binscarth)

Link to:
Principals | Vice-Principals | Teachers | Photos & Coordinates | Sources

In 1882, the Russell School District was formally established in what would later become the town of Russell. The ground floor of the Town Hall was used for classes until a new school building was constructed in 1884, at a cost of $892, opening in early 1885. An addition was made to it in the fall of 1894 but the limitations of the building became increasingly evident so, in the fall of 1897, a two-storey building was constructed on the present site of the Russell post office, and the old school was renovated into residences. A two-storey addition to this building was made in the fall of 1899. A high school was started in 1909 so, to provide the requisite space, a two-storey building was purchased from the Smellie brothers and moved to the school property. By 1913, this space was insufficient so the School Board authorized the construction of a new building designed by Winnipeg architect William Bruce. It was occupied in the spring of 1914 by a staff of seven teachers.

By 1966, there were three school buildings operating in Russell, with a total student enrollment of about 600. They were combined under the umbrella of the Russell Consolidated School No. 2454 but quickly became part of the Pelly Trail School Division, later that year.

Principals

Period

Principal

1897-1899

Ralph R. J. Brown BA

1900

Duncan P. Clark (1862-?)

1900-1902

George Henry Blackwell (1864-1941)

1903

John Braithwaite Wallis (1876-1962)

1903-1904

David Bruce Huggins (1879-1955)

1905

James Andrew McKaughan (1877-1968)

1905

David R. Jones

1906-1908

Isobel Disney

1908-1909

Frederick James Ney (1884-1973)

1909-1912

Mr. J. H. Hutchison

1912-1913

Alonzo Cyrus Crosby (1853-1923)

1913

Thomas Irwin Brownlee (1886-1973)

1913-1914

James Miller Wallace (1888-1918)

1914-1915

David Smith Tod (1870-1937)

1915-1916

Victor Wellington Jenkins (1884-?)

1916-1920

James Humphrey Plewes (1873-1963)

1920-1921

Mr. M. L. Campbell

1921-1932

Albert Maurice Pratt (1889-1972)

1932-1934

Henry Benjamin Bees (c1886-1968)

1934-1941

John Alexius Peterson (1885-1959)

1941-1945

Sidney George Denham (1909-1989)

1945-1948

Robert William “Bob” Dalton (1911-1999)

1948-1955

Cecil Cullen Foster (1911-1998)

1955-1957

Richard R. “Dick” Partridge (1922-1990)

1957-1961

Joseph Edwin Murphy (1897-1973)

1961-1966

Arnold George Minish (1930-2014)

1966-1968

Matthew Kawchuk

Vice-Principals

Period

Vice-Principal

1930-1931

John Henry “Jack” Doughty (1900-1958)

1931-1932

Archibald James McClacherty Thom (1907-2000)

1932-1936

Hazel Arretta Vandecar Foster (1897-1990)

Teachers

School Year

Teachers

1930-1931

John Henry Doughty (grades 9-10), Jessie Margaret Kelso (grades 3-4), James Percy Moore (grades 7-8), Isabel McCrindle (grades 5-6), Florence A. McKillop (grade 1), Della Nippan? (grades 2-3), Albert Maurice Pratt (grade 11)

1931-1932

Irene Hazel Coutts (grades 2-3), Edward Eldjarn Johnson (grades 7 -8), Jessie Margaret Kelso (grade 4), Isabel McCrindle (grades 5-6), Florence A. McKillop (grade 1), Albert Maurice Pratt (grade 11), Archibald James McClacherty Thom (grades 9-10)

1932-1933

Thelma Irene Balmer (grade 2), Henry Benjamin Bees (grade 11), Irene Hazel Coutts (grades 5-6), Jessie Margaret Kelso (grades 3-4), Isabel McCrindle (grades 7-8), Florence A. McKillop (grade 1), Hazel Arretta Vandecar (grades 9-10)

1933-1934

Thelma Irene Balmer (grades 2-3), Henry Benjamin Bees (grade 11), Irene Hazel Coutts (grades 5-6), Jessie Margaret Kelso (grades 3-4), Isabel McCrindle (grades 7-8), Florence A. McKillop (grade 1), Hazel Arretta Vandecar (grades 9-10)

1934-1935

Thelma Irene Balmer (grades 2-3), Laurence Samuel Bennett? (grades 3-4), Irene Hazel Coutts (grades 5-6), Sidney George Denham (grade 12), Jessie Margaret Kelso (grades 1-2), Isabel McCrindle (grades 7-8), John Alexius Peterson (grade 11), Hazel Arretta Vandecar (grades 9-10)

1935-1936

Thelma Irene Balmer (grades 2-3), Laurence Samuel Bennett? (grades 4-5), Sidney George Denham (grade 12), Jessie Margaret Kelso (grades 1-2), Isabel McCrindle (grades 7-8), Sarah McGregor (grades 5-6), John Alexius Peterson (grade 11), Hazel Arretta Vandecar (grades 9-10)

Among the other teachers who worked at Russell School were William James Sharman (?-?) and Margaret Fulton (1943-1945).

Photos & Coordinates

The original Russell School building

The original Russell School building (1897)
Source: Archives of Manitoba, Russell Schools 1

The original Russell School building at right behind the main street

The original Russell School building at right behind the main street (1913)
Source: Rob McInnes

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N50.77837, W101.28338
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Russell Teacherage (125 Memorial Avenue South, Russell, Municipality of Russell-Binscarth)

Sources:

Annual Reports of the Manitoba Department of Education, Manitoba Legislative Library.

Banner County: History of Russell and District, 1879-1967 by the Russell Women’s Institute.

One Hundred Years in the History of the Rural Schools of Manitoba: Their Formation, Reorganization and Dissolution (1871-1971) by Mary B. Perfect, MEd thesis, University of Manitoba, April 1978.

We thank Rob McInnes for providing additional information used here.

School division half-yearly attendance reports (E 0757), Archives of Manitoba.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough and Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 21 January 2024

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