Snapshot of History
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Kellerton’s first high school burned in February of 1895 and a new brick school was built that year.
The new school building was 52 feet square, two stories high, and opened in December 1895. It was obsolete in twenty years.
In July 1915, F. X. White received the contract for the construction of Kellerton’s new high school. Work began in late July 1915.
The new school was built on the lots behind the existing schoolhouse.
I didn’t learn why, but there was a long delay in the construction. Claude Mapel and Henry Warner, two respected builders from Mount Ayr, came in April 1916 to help finish the project. A band concert was given in the new auditorium in May 1916.
In 1951, a new gymnasium and vocational agriculture classrooms were built to the south of the school building. The dedication ceremony on November 16 included two basketball games with Diagonal. Kellerton won the first game and Diagonal won the game featuring the reserves on both teams.
In the late 1950s, a rural schoolhouse from Decatur County (Foland School) was moved to the Kellerton High School grounds to be used as the band room.
A new school district was introduced in 1958 – the Grand Valley School District which originally included the Beaconsfield Consolidated School and the Ellston Independent School system.
By 1959, the Grand Valley Community School District was comprised of Grand River, Kellerton, and a rural school in Decatur County.
In April 1960, it was announced all high school classes would be held at the school in Kellerton, all junior high classes would be held at Grand River, and elementary classes would be conducted at both schools. The sports teams would be known as the Grand Valley Tigers and Tigerettes.
The last graduating class at Grand Valley was in 1992 with Fred Ford, David Grose, Tami Larson, Galen St. John, Blaine Scott, and Heath Straight making up the senior class.
Future high school students would attend Mount Ayr Community High School while elementary classes would continue at Kellerton.
On June 1, 1998, students passed through the doors for the last time and the school building was torn down in 1999.
The Foland Schoolhouse had been moved to Decatur Street about 1997. The gymnasium and cafeteria were saved and taken over by the Southern Iowa Parks & Recreation with a grand opening held June 18 and 19, 1999.
The facility is used as a community center and recreation building.
The Foland School was moved back to the school grounds in 2011 and now serves as a museum. The gymnasium has been used for games, auctions, and other events. The cafeteria is used almost daily by the local coffee drinkers.