Petersburg Elementary School

New: June 7, 2015


Written by Bonita Hutcheson and Thea Hutcheson for "Sheridan Celebrates" in 2014.
The area known as Petersburg was colonized by Swedish immigrant Peter Magnes [also Magnus, originally Magnusson] and encompassed the area south of [Old] Hampden Avenue to a few blocks south of Kenyon Avenue and west of Santa Fe Drive [to The Platte River on the west].

Magnes was a farmer/entrepreneur who brought sugar beet farming to Colorado, and was a great contributor of civic causes and a major political figure in Arapahoe County in its formative years. He donated land for the school, and the railroad tracks, and brought many Swedish immigrants to Colorado. He paid for and published a newspaper for the immigrants.
The area's schools began “just prior to the Civil War with a log cabin situated east of the Platte River where a toll bridge was built [north of present-day U. S. 285, and west of present-day Santa Fe Avenue]. “(A Historical Sketch of Petersburg School, District 23, a document found in Petersburg School cornerstone).

Somewhere about 1893 a brick building was built on the land Magnes deeded in exchange for one dollar. In 1909 District 22 was set aside and became
District 23. The school board consisted of Mr. Hoskins, Joe Brown, and Tom Skerritt. Among the first students were Sherman and Clarence Brown, Joe, George, Charles, and Mamie Skerritt. Some of the early teachers were Minnie Mae Bell and S. Ella Brown.
In the spring of 1926 when the school burned to the ground, there were two teachers: Mrs. Francis Miller and Miss Belle Morris. The cornerstone of the new building was laid 1 October of 1927. “(A Historical Sketch of Petersburg School, District 23, a document found in Petersburg School cornerstone).
The district serviced “the residences that were along Natchez Court, and South Santa Fe Avenue." At that time Natchez Court came straight off Hampden and went straight south to where it curved into Kenyon, south of the Petersburg School, east to the railroad tracks, north of Hamden and south of the area adjacent to Kenyon,” said Clark Bond, a 53-year veteran of the Sheridan School District and alumnus of Petersburg School and Sheridan Union High School. The Petersburg school district also encompassed much of the area down on the other side of the Platte River, north of Hampden Avenue.
Reminiscing about his school days, and living near Petersburg School, Bond remembers that Petersburg only went to the eighth grade and that for a “period of time when students were finished up at Petersburg … they [Petersburg school board] were constantly trying to work out an arrangement for somebody to take the students after they got out of Petersburg. There was an agreement between Petersburg and Englewood for a long period of time… and then around the late ‘40s, Englewood discontinued for whatever reason and would not take Petersburg students after that. Later other arrangements for students to go to Denver South School or West. It left the graduates without a sure thing after the eighth grade."
Principals: Pending

Alice Terry / Fort Logan / Northgate / Maryville / Ora Oliver / Petersburg / Middle School / High School / SOAR Academy /District #2

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