Wisconsin’s Old-Time Schoolhouses

Hendry school, no more!

Researching some of these schools can be a fight. This was a tough one. I do not recall how I heard about this school, the Hendry School of Lafayette near Chippewa Falls. It was close to my home. So I drove out there quite excited. I arrived at the spot and there was no school. I saw a man and his wife across the street. I asked them about it. They told me it had been demolished and removed two weeks earlier. Awe man, just my luck!


Somehow my take of woe got out, and a guy e-mailed me some information about the school. He told me James Hakes had built a model of the school and said it was on display at the Irvine Park Welcome Center in Chippewa Falls. One thing leads to another and I have found some good information about the school.


The Hendry School was in Lafayette, Chippewa Falls County. Newspapers back in the 1880s spelled the village “La Fayette.” Back in the day the Wisconsin Historical Society listed it aT “W  Side Paint Creek Rd, 2.2 M N Ciy Line,” now known as 210th Street.


IN 1882 it was in District 11, taught by Miss Ella Beaver. The enrollment was small, the school itself was small, and the equipment available was not very good. The Chippewa Herald said it was “an unpainted … frame edifice and its inside arrangements nothing to boast of.” In 1883 it was identified as in District 12. 


The schoolhouse was used for all kinds of events, including organizational meetings, funerals, festivals, church services, and parties. 


Gary Swartz sent me a note saying, “The Hendry School was the third one built on the Hendry property, the last one was finished in October 1929.” Gary also sent me this photo of the school. I assume it is of the one built in 1929. Some people in the neighborhood told me that the Hendry Family, who lives just down the street, decided it was too expensive to fix and dangerous.


I also want to show you the model of the school made by James Hakes. Mr. Hakes passed away in 2007. This is a photo of the model on display at  the Irvine Park Welcome Center in Chippewa Falls


Last but not least, this is a photo of where the school used to be!