Minnesota City Schools

Minnesota City settlers opened the first school in Winona County. It evolved from home school to a subscription school and finally to a county school. A new brick school designed by famous architect C.G. Maybury was built in 1872 and was replaced by a more modern building in 1938. In recent years the Riverway Learning Community was located at the site of the previous Maybury and 1938 school buildings.

Subscription School 1852

The subscription school of 1852, taught by Miss Ann Orton, was followed by a log cabin structure that has been described by Denman, one of the first settlers. Denman wrote, “Miss Hester A. Houck, afterward Mrs. William H. Stevens, taught the first public school in the county at Minnesota City. It was opened Oct 31, 1853, and continued for 13 weeks. There were 27 pupils. This school was held in a double log house, the north half of which was occupied by the Thompson family,” thus states Mr. Denman in a recent letter.  MCHA newsletter June 2011.

C.G. Maybury School Building  1872

Charles G. Maybury was a New York born contractor and builder. When the firm he worked with was dissolved, he went into business himself. In 1856 he moved to Winona and became a successful architect and contractor. In 1865 he became a full time architect. In 1872, Maybury prepared plans for the two story brick building which would cost $3000.00 and house 150 pupils. This school was used until the 1938 building construction was completed. Maybury also designed the Winona County Courthouse.  MCHA newsletter April 2011.

Maybury School at Minnesota City in the early 1900's. The description of the school, written by a student, is from the Winona Republican-Herald newspaper, March 21, 1882.

The only remaining artifact of the Maybury school is the school bell. It was given to the Winona Historical Society for their school museum. The bell was placed in storage and its whereabouts were unknown for decades until it was rediscovered in 2010. Since that time the bell has been refurbished and has a permanent display near Garvin Brook.

                                         The Maybury school bell was put on permanent display in 2022. 

1938 School Building

In 1938 a new school building was built on the site of the Maybury school. Construction cost $30,000 and the new school contained three classrooms, a library, kitchen, dining room, assembly area and boiler room.  Classes continued at the Maybury school until the new one was completed.  Photo: Construction of 1938 school building being built alongside the old Maybury school. MCHA archive

1938 Minnesota City school after completion. An addition was added in 1966 which contained four new classrooms, library, gymnasium, auditorium with stage, cafeteria area and offices.