Soulard School District #15

Soulard School was originally named for Antoine Soulard, a surveyor general of French descent. He originally purchased 6,002 acres (all of survey 2991) which composed much of the present day City of Arnold.

      The first Soulard School was a log building located on property owned by the Lindwedel family and later by Emil Christ. (near Leolia). At one  time, it was known as the “Lead’s property.”

     The second Soulard School was also constructed of logs and built on Jeffco on property owned by the McClain’s and adjacent to the Joe Kochner property (near Schnucks). The second school house was destroyed by fire on the last day of school in 1883.

     A third Soulard School was then built on property now located in the City of Arnold proper on Jeffco Boulevard known today as Arnold Square. In 1905, this building was again replaced with the help of a $2,000.00 loan from Joseph Burkhart.

     In 1927, Hazel Vivrett taught at Soulard School, working hard to improve the school district. She took the time to diligently remind the public that the district had a valuation of over $400,000.00 and had a 15 cent tax levy. She believed that with the cooperation of the board, they had sufficient funds to purchase library books, a teacher’s desk and chair, and badly needed playground equipment.

     The school had the distinction of playing host to the very first Rock Community Fair, a prelude to the Rock Community Fair and Horse Show that took place for several years afterward at the fairground site where present day Riverbluff Subdivision is located.  Area farmers brought various kinds of produce, animals, and woodcraft for judging, while homemakers brought canned goods, baked goods, and sewing to capture the judges eye.

     This building was used for 43 years and closed in 1948 when Soulard School became part of the Fox Consolidated School District. The school building was sold but is still part of the Arnold landscape. It is located next to the United Missouri Bank on Jeffco. The original frame building has undergone extensive remodeling inside and out.  It now has a brick façade and houses Gyros to Go and Studio Synergy.

    RESOURCES:  Country Schools Jefferson County Schools 1806-1952 by Della Lang, and Historic Arnold Jefferson County Historical Society as well as Individual Interviews.

 

     In 1933 Bill Stamm began first grade at Soulard School. Josephine Haefner was the teacher for grades 1-4.  Now in 2007, Bill is 79 but he recalls that  for a few years around 1940 he played shuffleboard before classes in the basement at Soulard School with the janitor, Leonard Mueller.

     In the same class Roy Wilde, also 79, recalls that Judge Harry Frederitzi was the school board president. He hired Ethel Drew as teacher for grades 5-8. She stated that “the Judge wanted to shake  her hand to seal the deal  but he first took the tobacco wad out of his mouth.”  Ethel wanted the job but she said “I had no other option but to shake his hand.”

     Roy Wilde also remembers that in 1933 his parents instructed Gladys Stahl, an eighth grader, who lived across the street  (where Captain D’s is now located)  to walk Roy, age 5, to school which was about one mile south on Jeffco Blvd.

One Response to Soulard School District #15

  1. Charles Nahlik says:

    In 1949 ( my eight year class ) the eighth ” graders” from the schools that made up the new Fox school were transported to the Bowen school where we were to finish out that school year . A room had been prepared for us and we finished there in 1950 , that was when I started my freshman year at Herculaneum .

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