Myers Grade School

Education a Bright Spot in Cannelton's History

From the very beginning, men and women who have lived in Cannelton have believed in offering their young people the opportunity to train for life's activities in a strong educational program. Thus, from its first days in 1837, Cannelton has had schools for its boys and girls. At the beginning, as was the case in all endeavors, the schools were operated in small quarters and with limited equipment and supplies. However, there was a general plan of educational advancement and by 1868 a splendid, new masonry-type building was constructed to house the public schools. It was named Myers Grade School in 1935 after Oscar "Daddy" Myers, a beloved teacher, upon his retirement

Cannelton had several church schools such as St. Michael's. One of these was a school organized by the Presbyterians in a frame structure that today is the home of the Oaks located on Adams street. Another was the Catholic supported school, which was operated in the stone building, that today is a home on Seventh Street. Prior to construction of the present St. Michael's building, currently part of the city school system, there was another brick building that faced Washington Street, in the area where the rectory is presently located.

A large two-story brick structure once stood on the same grounds as the present grade school and it was commonly know as "the Colored School". When the school was closed in 1913, colored school pupils rode the ferryboat to and from Hawesville every day in order to attend school. In its later years it was used as space for regular grade school classes and Cannelton High School's manual training department as well as storage. The building was torn down in the late 1920's.

Construction of the new grade school, know then as "The Free School", in 1868 brought Cannelton a fine building. Its designers were so visonary that this building, today, remains the center of public grade school training in Cannelton. The middle grades, third through sixth, are trained at this building which is the oldest grade school building still in use in the United States. The building, which faces Taylor Street, was thoroughly remodeled in the 1950's and 1960's; yet, today, it is a place of great pride to Cannelton citizens.