East Carter County School History

"For a short while after the town of Ellsinore was formed, it was necessary for the children of school age to walk to the Cole School. The Cole School was on the Cole farm about one and one half miles south of Ellsinore. The school was near what is now called Cole's Pond on Cane Creek."  L. W. Kingen

The Ellsinore School District was organized in 1891. The first school board  was composed of Charles Herrin, Ben Malin and Dr. McDonald. A one room school building was erected near the W. S. Perrin residence, now the water tower. Joseph Hannah taught the first school; a term of six months at $40.00 per month. The equipment was nearly all homemade. Dr. McPherson kept one of the old benches in his office for years. The library contained one volume, a real old edition of Webster's Dictionary which was contributed by one of the citizens. In 1906 two teachers were hired. W. S. Perrin taught the upper grades and Miss Hattie Glass taught the lower grades. In 1909 a five-room, two-story frame building was built at the same location. In 1912 the Ellsinore, Crommertown, Lower Ten Mile, Upper Ten Mile, Hogan Hollow, Whitesmill and Freeland districts consolidated to maintain a high school. Four of the districts soon drew out of the consolidation, leaving Ellsinore, Whitesmill and Freeland. The high school was accredited first for the years 1913-14. Homer E. Gooch was the first high school teacher and the first graduating class: Gladys Gunn, Wesley Warren and Albert Carnahan, graduated in 1914. An accredited high school has been maintained since that date with the exception of the years 1922-23. In 1917 bonds to the amount of $10,000 were voted to build a new schoolhouse. The new two-story brick building was located on the south edge of town and was completed in time for the 1919 term of school.  At the time it was the most modern school building in the county with the exception of the Van Buren school. About 1937 the present school structure was completed with WPA labor. During that time the school was housed in the Baptist, Pentacost and Methodist Churches, the old brick building in town known as the Crommer Building, the old Dildine Store building located where Raymond Stucker lives,  and in a building located where Van Dyke's Feed Store is Located.  In 1959 when the industrial arts building was completely destroyed by fire, it was decided that more should be added to the main unit as well as the rebuilding of the industrial arts structure. At that time an addition was constructed on the southeast of the building and made to house the home economics and special education facilities. Under the superintendency of Mr. L. W. Kingen the districts of Ellsinore and Grandin became East Carter County R-II School. In 1965 a bond issue was passed for the amount of one hundred and twent-five thousand dollars to construct a gymnasium and fine arts building, to renovate the present building, and to add four classrooms in what was the old gymnasium.
The Ellsinore School graduated 706 during the fifty-year period between 1914 and 1964. For 12 years, 1914 to 1926, the school was a two-year high school, and for seven years a three-year high school from 1926 to 1933. There were 13 graduates from the first four-year high school in the class of 1933.