First School House is Built

It was in the early days of Providence that its humble residents demonstrated that the cause they had espoused in various parts of the world, and for which they had come to make their homes in the mountain wilderness, had taught them obedience to counsel from Church authorities.

From the nearby canyon they had hauled logs with which to build their first school house.  Peter Maughan, who was then the religious leader of Cache Valley, came to Providence one day.  He saw the large pile of logs on the northwest corner of the present school block.  "What are you going to do with those logs?" he asked.  "We are going to build a school house," they replied.  "Are there any more logs like that in the canyon?" he continued.  "Oh yes," they answered, "plenty of them."

Then in a subdued tone he proposed:  "Suppose we haul these logs over to Logan and build Apostle Ezra T. Benson a house.  You can get some more in the canyon for your school house, can't you?"  So the logs were hauled to Logan where several Providence residents helped build Elder Benson a much needed house.

Later, more logs were hauled from the canyon, and the first school house in Providence was built on the northwest corner of the present school block.  It was constructed in the latter part of 1859.  On the west of the building the stars and stripes waved from a large flag pole on holiday occasions.  The school, built by William Fife and John Maddison, was about 32 feet long and 14 feet wide.  Both the west and east sides had two windows, and a door opened on the south.  A rectangular piece of lime served as chalk and a piece of sheepskin as an eraser for the blackboard hanging on the north wall.

In 1864, when the town was laid out according to its present lines, the old school house was moved a block south, where it stood for many years next to the Old Rock Church.

Brick School Building Built in 1905.  Elderly authorities who were here in 1905 when the brick school house was erected remember the construction vividly.  "it was grand.  We had eight classrooms, a reading room, and an office.  And a wide staircase that went upstairs.  And nice big arches over the doors.  It was everything you could ask for."  "Everything" included the bell tower at the top with the heavy rope extending down into the hall.  It included a furnace in place of the traditional monkey stoves.  It included, as well, the west addition of the old rock school, which was attached to the brick part and which provided the home of janitor Henry Beard and his family.

Many of the oldtimers couldn't decide which classes they attended in which school, and the years have blurred the smells of chalk and oil and books and kids until they all belong to both places.



Providence Elementary School

Graduating Class of 1925

Providence Elementary School

Graduating Class of 1926

Providence Elementary School

Mrs. Lowe - First Grade Class 1958-1959 School Year

Providence Elementary

Mrs. Howell - Second Grade Class 1959-1960 School Year

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Providence Elementary School

Mrs. Virginia Cooley - Kindergarten Class 1974-1975 School Year