GHS History Page

The first school in Goldfield was actually built in 1856 in the town of Liberty, as Goldfield was then known. It was a 12' x 12' log cabin built by the early settlers near where the Methodist Church now stands. During 1858-59 it was used as a fort at the time of the Spirit Lake Massacre. The men barricaded the cabin and the women and children were sent to Webster City for protection. At this time Goldfield was the county seat of Wright County.

In the southwest part of town a second school was erected in 1861. This was a frame building and was used as a church, polling place, center for debates and even a dance hall.

By the close of the Civil War, Liberty had the largest school in the county with an enrollment of 63. As the county seat moved to Clarion in 1866, the people worried that the town would become a ghost town. The coming of the railroad in 1881 created further growth and in 1883 a two-story schoolhouse with a wooden cupola was built about two blocks east of the second school in what we now call "Old School Park". In 1889 this was enlarged because of the increasing enrollment.

The Goldfield school district organized it's first high school in 1888. In 1892 the first class graduated with two members - W.C. Dewell and M.C. Keith. In 1902-03 the school board broadened the high school curriculum to meet higher standards and college requirements. There were no graduates in 1903 to adjust to these changes.

On November 30, 1904, the wooden two-story school was completely destroyed by fire. A strong wind, lack of water and inadequate fire fighting equipment combined with the attic fire to leave the school in ashes. After the fire, students were educated in a vacant store, the Baptist and Christian churches, and a hardware store.

A new school was bonded for $10,000 at the school election and plans were made for an elementary and high school on the same site. It was completed in time for the fall classes of 1905.

Goldfield High School was accredited by the State Board of Education in the 1911-12 school year. This meant that students might enter any college or university in the state without an entrance exam.

The state reorganization law passed in 1952-53 caused the reorganization of the school in 1954 and we became known as the Goldfield Community School.

In 1956 the present school building replaced the "Old School Park" building. Students helped complete the move into the new school. A small building was erected to the south of the main school to house two elementary classes, but it is no longer in use by the school.

A student sharing program between the Clarion and Goldfield Community Schools begun in the 1981 school year found Goldfield students grades 9-12 attending the Clarion center for morning classes and returning to the Goldfield center for a class and their extra-curricular activities. Beginning with the 1986-87 school year the Goldfield Junior High and Senior High students attend all classes and activities in Clarion. The elementary program remains in Goldfield.

Reorganization plans were underway because of state mandates regarding the sharing program funding in the 1993-94 school year. When it was approved the new school - Clarion-Goldfield Community School - continued with elementary in the Goldfield center and Junior and Senior High attending the Clarion center.

One hundred years have brought many changes to our school. It is hoped that the memories will live on even as the school itself changes.


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