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Fillmore History

School District 36, Fillmore


It was 1845 that the plat and survey of the village of Newark was filed with the County Clerk of Andrew County.


The Chambers, Kenyon, and the Holt addition were added to the original plat during these years. Established in the village thereafter to be known as Fillmore an institution of education under the proud title of the Fillmore Seminary. The seminary was launched under the sponsorship of the Southern Methodist Church, and furnished the earliest educational facilities to be offered in the vicinity. For a few years Fillmore Seminary prospered. It was growing institution, when the first mutterings of the beginnings of the agitation that culminated in the Civil War. As lines were drawn and sectional feelings surged high, there were doubts about an institution sponsored by a southern church in a neighborhood, where the majority of the citizens had migrated to the new land from Ohio and Indiana and other states “north of the line”. Patronage fell away, and with the opening of hostilities, the seminary was forced to close its’ doors. During the war the building suffered great depreciation and damage due to the roof being attacked by the elements and well directed stones being thrown by the boys of the village.



The first school house of Fillmore was built of logs, containing two rooms.  It was built about 1863 and was situated about one half mile south of town in what was down as Spicer’s pasture. Among the first teachers were Charles McBride and O.E. Laball. About 1865 the log school became so devastated, making it too cold for winter use.


Then a frame school house was built east of town on what was known as the Gilmore Farm.


In 1867, after the close of the war, the seminary property was offered at a public sale and was purchased by the Northern Methodist Church, which attempted to rehabilitate the institution. The sponsors pledged themselves to the “permanent continuation” of the seminary; this was found to be impossible and after a few years the doors were again closed.


The seminary building was later bought by the school district and was used for public school purposes until the erection of the modern school building in 1895. The seminary's  bricks and timbers were used in the erection of other buildings, its records have passed out of existence, but a small and dignified circular rested safely in Horace Gregory’s safe. So far the circular seems to be the only existing record.

Click here to see a copy of the circular about the seminary that was found in Horace Gregory's safe.

  The school was moved to the William Simerly place. This building was used for the younger children. Most of the older pupils went to the Seminary which was under the control of the Methodist Church. The Seminary was a large brick building of three rooms and stood on lots later to occupied by the Horace Gregory Jr. residence. (Now the Danny & Joyce Floyd residential property?) This building was bought by the district and used as a school building until 1895.


In 1895, a large four room brick school house was built just a block south of the public well on a two acre plot. The playground was enclosed with an iron picket fence. Around the fence on the west, north and east grew a row of large maple trees making the play ground beautiful and giving plenty of shade.

Click here to see the minutes from the January 15, 1896 Board of Education Meeting.



The above building was erected in 1895 was in use until the early 1990's. The building had three additions during the years. First the elementary classrooms, second the gymnasium (approximately 1939) and then the cafeteria addition. (Picture at the left was taken in the 1980's but is shown here to show the additions to the 1895 building.)


The Fillmore C-1 School District prospered and offered a fine education until pupil attendance fell and it was no longer feasible to keep the doors open. Due to damage from the elements and standing empty for the last few years, it has become necessary to start dismantling the building. Many successful and outstanding people were educated in the school system of Fillmore. We graduates have many fond memories of our years in the school system and also have family members before us educated in the school system.

Students of the Fillmore community now attend the North Andrew School. It is located at the corner of 71 Highway and Highway 48.

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