Kane County History: As Alice (Davis) Says, 'Schools Out For Summer!'

Kane County History: As Alice (Davis) Says, ‘Schools Out For Summer!’

To celebrate the end of another school year we thought we would look back at some of the schools in District 303 and share a brief history of each.

Amelia Anderson served as a school and township welfare nurse in St. Charles for more than 20 years.

Built in 1956, Anderson Elementary was one of three new grade schools built in St. Charles that year. Anderson, Davis, and Richmond Schools were all built at the same time to alleviate overcrowding at the two elementary schools, Shelby and Lincoln.

Each school was also named after a prominent woman in St. Charles school history.

The first school was named after Amelia Anderson, a former school and welfare nurse who helped develop programs to ensure all children received proper medical and dental care. The second school to be constructed was Davis Elementary School, it would be named for teacher, principal, and historian, Alice Davis.

The last of the three schools to be built, was Richmond Elementary School and was named for Harriet Richmond. Richmond herself severed the St. Charles schools for 31 years, first as a teacher and later as principal of the East Side School (later Lincoln School). Richmond’s family was one of the early families to settle in the St. Charles area and was very involved in the community.

This photograph of Alice Davis was taken around 1902.

To save money, the three new schools were designed to be identical to each other. At the time Anderson was built, St. Charles elementary schools housed K-6 grade. According to the brochure “100 Years of Progress” printed in 1954 by School District 303, the new schools were designed to “serve educational, recreational and social needs of this rapidly growing Fox Valley area.”

Each new school was built to accommodate 240 students in six classrooms and one kindergarten room. The six classrooms could hold 30 students each, while the kindergarten room could fit 60.

The schools were also built with expansion in mind. Plans were drawn up at the time to allow for an additional six classrooms to be added to the school, increasing the number of students it could hold to 420.

Miss Davis’ longtime classroom companion, a cocker spaniel named Rowdy, was the only dog to graduate from a St. Charles School.

The original floor plans for each school called for one long hallway with three classrooms on each side, at the end of the hall, the kindergarten room was on one side facing the administrative center on the other side.

The administrative center consisted of the principal’s office, speech therapy room, health center (set up for both medical and dental care), a duplicating room, and teacher’s room. The main lobby and restrooms were next to the administrative center and a boiler room and kitchen were next to the kindergarten room.

At the far end of each school was the large multipurpose room. The plan for the addition would add five classrooms across a long hall from the multipurpose room with the sixth classroom next to the multipurpose room.

The brochure states that the kindergarten, first and second grade classrooms all had their own restrooms in the classroom, and the kindergarten and multipurpose rooms had radiant heated floors!

Today, Anderson Elementary school continues serving District 303 as an elementary school, but Davis and Richmond schools are more closely connected than ever. More than 10 years ago, Davis and Richmond were combined, and they are no longer each elementary schools. Davis is now Davis Primary School for grades K-2, and Richmond is now Richmond Intermediate School for grades 3-5.

Richmond School, c.1950s.

Upcoming Activities at St. Charles History Museum


5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, June 23

The St. Charles History Museum’s annual 21+ Fundraising event features local restaurants, small-plates food and craft beverages.

Enjoy music and entertainment from 103.9 The Fox’s Eddie Volkman with room to dance and remember the night with a caricature done by Shermanism. Learn a little local history at the restaurant booths, which will feature a history of their building and historic photographs.

Plus, don’t miss out on the opportunity to bid in the silent auction and enter the Tri-Cities 50/50 Community Raffle with one chance to win half the pot!

New this year is craft-beer tasting provided by Global Brew Tap House.


The St. Charles History Museum and the Tri-City Exchange Club have teamed up again for the Tri-Cities 50/50 Community Raffle. Last year’s 50/50 winner took away more than $10,000. Since kicking off this year’s 50/50 raffle, the current winning pot is just over $2,000.

The winner will be announced live on 103.9 the Fox by Eddie Volkman on Saturday, June. 23, 2018, during the Museum’s third annual Best of St. Charles Foodie Fest event at 8:30 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased by calling the Museum at 630-584-6967, email info@stcmuseum.org and anytime at the St. Charles History Museum. Tickets are 1 for $5 of 5 for $20 and proceeds will benefit the St. Charles History Museum and the Tri-Cities Exchange Club.


Summer Exhibit: May 31 to Aug. 11, 2018

St. Charles’ famous Hotel is celebrating 90 years. Through twists and turns and ups and downs, the Hotel Baker has been in and out of the hotel business since 1928.

Built with no limit on cost, Baker told the architects to build their masterpiece. Baker, a farmer, and his niece, Dellora Norris, inherited the fortune of the founder of Texaco Oil, Baker’s brother-in-law, John Gates.

Baker gave in abundance and ran the Hotel Baker at a yearly deficit. He was friends with people from all walks of life and wanted people to enjoy beauty and luxury no matter where they came from.

This exhibit tells the known and unknown stories of Hotel Baker’s 90-year rich history.

Read The Kane County History Series!