Our History

The exact year as to when our school was started is hard to find. Records would indicate there may well have been a school before the church formally organized in 1872.

The first teacher in the congregation was A. Niemann. At that time, the school term seemed to be in the spring of the year. Around 1880 it was decided to change the school term to the fall of the year from about mid October until Christmas. Pastor C. F. Kock came in 1889 and conducted school for four days a week, five months of the year. The next pastor, Robert Heidmann came in 1902 and continued the teaching duties until 1912 when Mr. Fred Fettinger was hired and taught school for several years. He was followed by Miss Elsie Heidmann who taught until 1918. The next two years Mr. Harry Fromholz taught. In 1921 Mr. Fred Meyer accepted a call to the school and taught until 1928. During his time of teaching the enrollment grew as to need an assistant in the lower grades. During Mr. Meyer's time at St. Paul, a nine month term was introduced and half of the subjects were taught in English. Before this time only German was used. The various assistants during this time were Henry Claasen, Herman Aufderheide, Herman Gurgel, Alfred Windland, Reinhold Kutz, Elsie Heidmann, Meta Heidmann, Martha Stoefen, Hildegarde Schuetze, Dorothea Augusteen, and Hertha Penk (Mrs. Hertha Mueller).

Teacher A. E, Gerlach was installed as teacher and principal in the fall of 1928. During his time the first permanent lower grade teacher was called. Gilbert Timm served in this capacity until his untimely death on May 4, 1938. Mr. Waldemar Zarling assisted this work as well as helping in the congregation and after he left, John Bradtke helped in the school in December of 1940. On June 8, 1941, John Bradtke was ordained and installed as the pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church. Substitute teachers finished the school year in the upper grade classroom with Miss Elsie Heidmann teaching the lower grades and acting as principal. In 1943 Mr. Arthur Glende became principal and upper grade teacher until 1955. (Mr. Glende went on to teach at St. Paul Lutheran School and Dr. Martin Luther College in New Ulm.) In 1955 Mr. Edgar Weichmann took over as principal and continued in that position until 1964. At that time Mr. Franklin Kolander became principal and did so until 1979, but continued teaching until 1996. In 1979, Mr. Don Koch became principal, and Mr. Eric Kaesermann became the principal in 2007 (?)

The first instruction of the children was conducted in the old church. When the second church was built in 1886, the log church was moved the new church site on Adams Street and placed directly in back of it, with only the alley of the block between the two. Some alterations were made in the old church to better adapt it for school purposes. This building served as the congregation's school until 1916 when a larger and more modern brick building was erected. This new structure served our congregation for another 31 years when the congregation again decided to enlarge the school in 1947. This time it was doubled in size which is the school as we know it today except for the gymnasium. The gymnasium was added in the late fall of 1959 which was a gift of the Lester Pinske family.

Many improvements have taken place in the building over the years. Some of them include ceilings lowered, water sprinkler installed, white boards installed, cable and internet connections into the school, computers in every room, library, and office.

[Text extracted from Arlington 1856-2006, written by Don Koch.]