Tag Archives: buildings

Back to School, Back in Time

School District #25 was established on March 19, 1878 by a petition signed by John Casey and eighteen other Clontarf residents.  The first teacher was Kate Shinnick, daughter of William Shinnick, and classes were held in the Catholic Church until a schoolhouse was built in 1880.

By the 1914-15 school year the two-story frame school building was showing its age.  Timothy P. Foley, the school board member who completed the District #25 Record of Application for Special State Aid on June 8, 1915, reported that the building was in “very poor” condition.

Enrollment for the 1914-15 school year was 74, with on average 55 students attending class each day.  The school had one twelve-inch globe, and the library contained 304 volumes, forty of which were purchase from St. Paul Book and Stationery, Co. on January 13, 1915.

The students received instructed from two teachers.  The principal teacher was Loretta Fogarty and the assistant was Mary McMahon.  The principal was rated a “very poor teacher” by Mr. Foley while Miss McMahon did “excellent work”.  I can imagine that Mary McMahon was a fine teacher.  After all, she was my great-grandfather’s younger sister and my mother remembers her as having a great sense of humor.  I suspect, however, that Timothy Foley’s report is not without bias; he was married to Mary’s sister Bridget.

The 1978 Clontarf anniversary booklet indicates this picture is from about 1915.  The old schoolhouse is pictured behind the Clontarf students.  The school was located on the site of the Anna Shinnick home on Armagh Street.

1915 Clontarf School District #25

A brick building replaced the old schoolhouse in 1917 at a cost of $60.000.  It served the  Clontarf community until 1972 when the Clontarf school district merged with Benson.

I am sure many readers of this blog have memories of that schoolhouse.  Please share them…

1917 Clontarf School District #25


Filed under Clontarf

Bruno J. Perrizo: Renaissance Man of Clontarf

Mr. Bruno J. Perrizo certainly was a busy man!  This excerpt is from the 100th Anniversary booklet:

Bruno J. Perrizo was born in Delavan, Minnesota in 1868. He was married to Miss Melinda Litterneau in Delavan in 1889 and came to Clontarf in 1903. After conducting a land office in Clontarf for two years, the family moved to Hancock where B. J. Perrizo operated a saloon for the next six years. In 1911 the Perrizo family returned to Clontarf where B. J. Perrizo entered the hay business and operated a saloon until 1917. In 1912 B. J. Perrizo and his nephew, Wm. J. Perrizo, organized the Farmers State Bank of Clontarf with B. J. Perrizo as President and Wm. J. Perrizo as Cashier. The bank was sold to the First State Bank Stock Corporation in 1931.

B. J. Perrizo operated a stock and dairy farm in the Clontarf area for a quarter of a century. He was also a livesock buyer for a number of years prior to the organizaiton of the Clontarf Shipping Association. In 1933 he opened a cafe and beer parlor in the Clontarf bank building. He was a great lover of horses and raised blooded stock for several years; he raced some of his horses in Canada.

There were six children in the Perrizo family: Della, Belle, Roy, Hazel, Archie, and Winifred. Belle Perrizo Fiala operated the cafe for several years after B. J. Perrizo’s death in 1938.

You were correct Jackie!  Mystery Photo #3 is the old Clontarf bank building.  Thanks for the history of the building after it was used for the bank.  You can read her comments here.

Anyone know when the bank was torn down?  Any memories of the building, in any of its incarnations?

Only a couple of days left to build your entries in the Clontarf Prairie Pub T-shirt drawing!  Just leave a comment or a reply and you will be automatically entered.


Filed under Clontarf, Family Histories

Mystery Photo #3

It has been awhile since we’ve had a mystery photo.

Care to guess on the identity of this Clontarf building?

Mystery Photo #3

By the way, fifty pounds of salt cost 50 cents in 1884.  We will take another peek into Mr. McDermott’s ledger soon.  Nothing too interesting was showing up this week, mainly the staples – sugar, tea, and tobacco.

Remember…get in the running to win a great Clontarf Prairie Pub t-shirt by commenting on a post.  For every comment or reply you make through July 31st, you will be entered in the drawing.  To leave a comment (or a reply if comments have already been left), simply click on the link at the bottom right of each post, next to the ! mark.


Filed under Clontarf

Mystery Photo #2

What is this?

No one even attempted a guess on the first mystery photo.  It was pretty easy…any last minute guesses?

On to the second mystery photo.  This building was constructed in 1878 and is no longer standing.

Identify the building and the year it was torn down correctly and you will be entered in a monthly drawing for a special Clontarf prize!  You had better hurry – the deadline is Friday, April 30th.  (You can earn an additional entry if you guess on Mystery Photo #1 as well)

Any ideas?


Filed under Clontarf

Mystery Photo #1

What is this?

Can anyone out there identify this Clontarf building?

Here are a couple of clues:

  • It was built in the late 1880s and it is still standing today (at least it was last week!).
  • Maybe one of your ancestors spent a night or two here.

Post a comment if you know what this building is.  Let us know any stories or memories you might have of the building, too!


Filed under Clontarf