Central High Class Pin
Description: This pin once belonged to Regna Wold, who belonged to the graduating class of 1899 of Sioux City High School. The school was built as a Richardsonian Romanesque-style castle in 1893 in response to the need for a larger high school in the city. In the 1920s and 1930s Morningside was growing faster than other areas of town and a new high school, East High, was built to service Morningside and other eastern neighborhoods. Since it was no longer the only high school in the city the old Sioux City High School was renamed to Central High School. For years Sioux City Central was the largest high school in Iowa. Over the years more expansions and projects took place in the building, including elaborate murals painted on the inside celebrating Sioux City history. Eventually however, the school became too old and too small to suit the city’s needs. Three new public high schools were built all at the same time in the 1972: North High, West High, and a renovated East High. Leeds, Riverside, and Central High Schools all closed down with the opening of these new schools. Today the three new schools built in 1972 still serve as the city’s major public schools (with their respective middle schools built in the 2000s), all part of the Sioux City Community School District. The “Castle on the Hill” still stands today as an apartment building.
The old Central High sits at 610 13th Street, right on the border of what is considered “Downtown” and “Northside” today. Though the largest it was by no means the only school downtown. The first school was a small, one-room schoolhouse on 7th and Nebraska Street. It opened in 1857 with 19-year-old Mary Wilkins teaching kindergarten through 12th grade. Casady’s Hall, or the “Big Brick School,” opened in 1859 with both grade and high school rooms. Hunt Elementary, which originally opened in 1869, once held both elementary and high schools. It was the major high school in Sioux City until Central High opened. After Central High was built Hunt serviced just elementary grades, and it was moved to the Northside in 1890. Hunt Elementary still operates today on the Northside.
*For more information on Central High and Sioux City’s oldest schools, see siouxcityhistory.org*
Donor: Gertrude Hirt