History of BCSD

The city of Burlington opened its first high school in 1864.1st Graduating Class in 1869

Classes were held in Turner Hall of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church which stood at Fourth and Division.

The school offered advanced studies in Grammar, Orthography, Arithmetic, Geography, and Foreign Language.

Its first Commencement Exercises were held on June 5, 1869.

In the picture are eight girls and three boys who comprised this first high school graduating class:  Florence Littlefield, Anna Sales, Anna Lawrence, Mollie Cook, Willie Horner, Laura Roads, Bessie Knibb, Maggie Quinan, Jessie Affleck, John Foney, and William Mauro.

In 1869 the city’s high school classes were moved out of the Presbyterian Church and into Marion Hall, a facility located at Fourth and Washington. Classes were held in the Hall until 1873 when the school pictured here was completed.

Known as “Burlington City High School”, this building stood at the corner of Central Avenue and Valley Street near the site of our present Heat Plant.

Burlington City High School has been recognized as the first high school building erected in the state of Iowa.

Here is an 1876 Diploma belonging to Willie R. Smith from Burlington City High School.

The date issued was June 20th, 1876.