My Genealogy and History Page of
 Public Schools

 Click on some pictures to enlarge

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The Estevan Public School Division was formed in 1892
 The name used,
Estevan School District No. 257


Other history books the following is written,
The first Elementary school in Estevan was opened in 1893,
Located in a rented room on the second story
of a building at 1210 4th Street
at that time the Lindsay and Patterson General Store.

TEACHER- Mr. Willson or Wilson?
Proper spelling is Wilson.

I found some newspaper articles
that clarify the opening dates a bit better,

Aug 26, 1892-
Article titled, "Estevan Echoes",
states a School District is being organized.

Interesting side note-
the newspaper at ECI, was called "Echoes"
now we know where they got the name from

Sept 8, 1892-
The election of School Trustees
will take place on Saturday, Oct 8, 1892.
The School is expected to open
on the 15th. (Oct 15, 1892)

Sept 27, 1892-
At a Public meeting held recently it was decided
 to rent the hall over Price & McKay's store,
 for Church and School Purposes, during the winter.

Oct 8, 1892-
A School meeting was called that today,
for the purpose of electing School Trustees,
a poll was called,
with Mr. Cameron in the chair.
There were 8 nominations with 3 elected.
At the close of the poll, Mr. (John) McLeod led the vote with 30.
Mr. E. (Edward) P. Leacock 28 votes,
and Mr. (J. O.) Mitchell and Mr. (W. E.)  Flumerfelt,  a tie,
the Chairman giving the casting vote
 in favour of Mr. (J. O.) Mitchell.

my Edward Philip Leacock web page

 Oct 22, 1892-
which states the following:
The School board are engaging a teacher,
that holds a First Class Certificate.
It is expected that School will open Nov 1st. (1892)
The board have secured Price and McKay's hall for the winter.

Nov 11, 1892-
Mr. Wilson the School teacher is busy forming classes
and preparing for the winter's work.

Dec 20, 1892-
Average attendance of 32 at the School.
Described as a properly organized School.

Dec 28, 1892-
The Public School has been closed
for 2 weeks holidays.

So now we know the First School
was opened between Nov 11, and Dec 20th, 1892,
in Price and McKay's hall.

First School Bell in Estevan
was located on 1st St at 12th Ave.
now (2010) located at the ECI School Memorial on 1st st.
The Bell was moved and used at Central School
as far as I know, then saved
 when that school was demolished.
As the sign says, donated by Tom McLean
placed here by his friend, George Green


Stone house on right side is the 2nd school
1916- on the right in this old postcard

Aug 1990 photos

 The George Rooks Family House 
1213 - 3RD ST
This School was built by Master Stone mason
Mr George Rooks, in 1899?
Article in picture above says 1892-1895 it was used.
This was Mr Rooks family home.
He also constructed the old stone Presbyterian Church
on SW corner of 3rd st and 12th Ave
He Built them to last!
On a personal note-
I went to school with his grandson, Robert Rooks
A nicer guy there isn't!

Again I found more articles that clarify this school, a bit more.

Sept 18, 1893-
Mr. George Rooks is nearly done his stone building,
The Trustees have rented this for a School.
So now we know it was not used until 1893.

Later more Public Schools were built

nicknamed the Stone School, for obvious reasons.
Located on SW Corner, 3rd St, 13th Ave
The Post Office, Federal Building, was located on this site,
prior to it's move north, a couple of blocks.
Weddings even took place in this building.

Colorized Postcard of Central School,
donated to me by Volker Tobias,
who now lives in Estevan, with thanks

My Mother Helen Gent, nee Gesell
went to Grade 1 there.
First Teacher- Mr Freeman
Constructed in 1894,
by Mr George Rooks, master stonemason.
In Pictures above, part on left, at rear was built first
and used as a School in 1895

Apr 11, 1895-
 Mr. R. E. McCullough was the teacher.

Front, right part was built less than 10 years later,
by a Mr John Phillips
It housed Both Elementary and High School Classes
Until Jan 21, 1914 when ECI opened.
First High School Principal- (Dr)  John Henry McKechnie (1907-1910)
He became Deputy Minister of Education in SK

Closed in 1955 when Westview School was built.

Received a nice email from
Joan (Wilkinson) Lytle
Feb. 20, 2010,
who, as a School Project, wrote a letter to
Mrs. Jennie McKenzie

 the Wife of Estevan Builder,
Harry Emerson McKenzie,
who built many buildings in Estevan,
including ECI.
Jennie June McKenzie, nee Mill, was born to
Rial and Carrie Mill, at Schaler, Iowa on July 6,1889,

She died July 23, 1980,
buried in Estevan City Cemetery.
Below is Mrs. McKenzie's reply to Joan in 1955.
Here she describes coming from Iowa to Estevan
on Apr 5, 1905, by train.
Some very interesting historical information included.
(2 pages)
Please click to enlarge.

Thanks Joan for sharing this letter!


718 3rd St

an old postcard of the school
Valleyview School was built in 1912,
just before Hillside School.
Hillside students were transported here,
before their school was completed.
First Principal was Mr J. W. Coulter

Side view of Valleyview School, ca1924
photo courtesy Cameron Brace, 25/10/2014
from Norman L. McLeod's Collection

1925 class, My Mom's class, but she was not in the picture, for some reason.
My Mom attended Valleyview School, in 1925.

1914 to 1927 it was used as a Normal School also,
Third Class Teaching Certificates were obtained there.

Trinity Towers now sits at this location.
I don't have the date this school was demolished
Somewhere in my mom's scrapbook is a picture.
If you know the date, please let me know.

Mr. J. W. Coulter, from Weyburn, was the first principal,
with four teachers under him.
He was followed by Mr. Chisholm, (see below)
then Mr. Hans Fredrick Martens in 1936 to 1955.
shown as Mr. F. H. Martens in most records, names reversed
Mr. Martens became Public School Superintendent in Estevan later.
His wife was also a Teacher and Principal in Estevan

Mr. Hans Fredrick Martens
b- Sept 4, 1889, d- Jan 26, 1972, buried in Estevan City Cemetery
They had a son named Donald Martens, who attended ECI 1955-57.
Haven't been able to find his wife's real name.

Lillian Eremko, daughter of Alexander and Katherine (nee Pitts) Eremko
d- Wednesday, January 11, 2006, age 90 years, four months and twenty-two days
 taught school at Hirsch, Bienfait  (1941) and Valleyview School in Estevan (ca1962 - retired in 1971)
her first school was at Two Creeks SK, a rural school near Wroxton

Irene Rust, nee Bevan
b- May 1902, in MB, married in 1933 to Frank H. Rust, Toronto
Irene taught school in 1925 at the then, 4 room, Valleyview School,
prior to her marriage.

 Principal in 1925- Mr. John Alexander Chisholm
(b- Jan 27, 1875 in Thamesford, Oxford Co, ON- d- Sept 28, 1937),
buried in Estevan City Cemetery, age 61

He was a principal in Estevan schools from 1912-1936
His wife was Jessie Chisholm, nee Whitton
(b- Mar 13, 1877 in ON, d- Mar 7, 1961, buried in Estevan City Cemetery)
married in Winnipeg MB in 1902
Jessie was also a teacher at Valleyview School.
They had a daughter Jessie Christina Isabelle (Isabel) Chisholm,
 (b- June 14, 1904 in Ellisboro, SK, d- Feb 26, 2001 in Saskatoon SK, age 96),
buried in Woodlawn Cemetery, Saskatoon, SK.,
She was also a teacher.  She also attended ECI.
She married a Floyd Arthur Cousins, who also was a teacher.
John's father was also named John Chisholm,
 born in Moss-side, Ordiquhill Banff, Scotland.
mother- Christine Kerr, also born in Scotland.

other teachers in 1925
Grade One- Miss Barclay
Grade Two - Miss Littler
(she was still teaching grade 3 there in 1947)

Grade Three - Miss McConkey.  (possibly Sally E. McConkey),
Upstairs was Miss Porter, who now is Mrs. Ewart Robertson
Miss Hyslop, now Mrs. Lockyer


There has been 2 Hillside Schools.
The Original School was built in 1912
Located at 721 Henry St
This was my First School in Estevan,
which I attended Grade 4-6 and then grade 8
Principal and best Teacher ever, Mr Doug Third.
My Hillside School History Web Page

served as the School Board Office until the fall of 1993
The Old Hillside School is now the RM of Estevan Offices


700 Eva Street
Built in 1962, with an addition in 1965,
and a gym, named Doug Third Gymnasium, added in 1977.
It was built to the east of the old School on Eva St.
It closed June 2003
The New School, became South East Christian Academy
Aug 2009 no new school.
Old school I believe is now empty,
and to the east of the old school
is a new huge condo complex


Located at 1610 2nd St
( ECI )
First classes Thursday, Jan.  22, 1914
built by Mr. Harry Emerson McKenzie.
I created a web page back in 1999
for the Reunion 2000, the pages have been updated
over the years, and the link below is the result
My Estevan Collegiate Institute History Pages- ECI
I Went to School from Grade 9 to 12 here,
From the years 1964-1967.
It closed in June 1969 as ECI.
A Memorial to this school has been constructed
on 1st St overlooking the valley
across the street from where ECI once stood.

The building was re-opened as
 in Sept 1969
In 1979 , the Public School District assumed trusteeship
 of the Estevan Collegiate Institute
 and became Estevan School Division No. 95
This School closed in June 2003.
It was demolished in March 2005
Now townhouses, and private residences
are on this property.

Between 1912 and 1955 no schools were built.


1607 2nd Street
Built in 1955, built during the big oil boom in the City
Opening day book from the Backman family
Opened Oct 17, 1955

School my cousins, the Backman's attended.
Located across the street from ECI on 3rd St.



1700 Dieppe Crescent
Built in 1958 in the Pleasantdale Subdivision
on the North west corner of the city.
It is located very near the old city Cemetery.
I attended Grade 7 here, when Hillside was too full.
It had an addition in 1964, and a gym added in 1978


609 Rooks Avenue
Built in 1960 in the Hillcrest Subdivision
on the South East portion of the city.



Located on NE corner of King St,
and Bannatyne Ave., across from the Mall

It was opened September 1961
 by Estevan School Unit No. 2
It was a school for the Rural area around Estevan
but physically it was in Estevan.
It was located in the Scotsburn Subdivision,
thus the name.
It closed 1 year after the new Hillside School closed,
June 27, 2003
It was partially demolished, and renovated
into a small retail mall.
Students went to Spruce Ridge School after this

Located in Scotsburn Subdivision
just east of Hillside

255 Spruce Drive 
This school replaced ECI as the High School in the area.
Opened Sept 1969
In 2008 it is still being used.

My cousin, Grant Fiest drafted the Monogram for this School
It was designed by Tommy Graham's son, Terry Graham

(Grant and Terry were in the First group of students to attend this School )
Grant's Dad, my Uncle, Bill Fiest was one of the first Janitors/Maint. Men
My Aunt Dolly Backman, was one of the first Library staff.
When I was a kid, I used to go out here and shoot gophers.
It was bald prairie then.


321 Spruce Drive
Built to replace the Hillside Schools,
in the Spruce Ridge Subdivision, east of Hillside.
It would have opened in 2003





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Page created by Doug Gent 2016
Revised Apr 15, 2016

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