History of Humboldt Elementary
This school has had more name changes than any other school in the District. From 1860-1865, it was called the Third Ward School. From 1866-1880, it was called the Madison School. In 1880, it became St. Joseph's First Colored School and lasted by that name until 1887 when the black students were moved to Lincoln School (Foley, 1976). In 1887, the District decided to close the German-English School at Second and Isadore Streets and move the students to the now vacant building. They also decided to rename it in honor of Alexander Von Humboldt."Baron Freiedrich Heinrich Alexander von Humboldt (17691859) was a noted German naturalist, traveler, and statesman, born in Berlin" (Funk & Wagnell,1943). He is noted for his authorship of the book 'Kosmos'. In 1901, the multi-named structure was razed and a new brick structure built. Within six-years, the new building was enlarged to accommodate pupils from the Steinacker School, which was abandoned in 1907 (Foley, 1976).
The above facts mean that this school is located on the oldest piece of property in the District. In fact, the property is one of the original three that started the School District of St. Joseph. This school, at Second and Cherry Streets, owns a distinction and shares it with no other school. The school proudly stands today. If it is possible to pause there for a moment of reflection, this school was one of the original three. It has stood the test of time and observed all of the 155 other schools come and go. The school is a point of pride for the students and staff, not to mention the District. As many as seven generations of a family have all attended the same school.