AASD
History of Edison

History of Edison

In addition to being one of the smallest elementary schools in Appleton, Edison is also the oldest. 

Edison Elementary began as the First Ward School in 1857 in a private home on the corner of College Avenue and North Meade Street.  

That same fall, Appleton’s First Ward began to build its first public school where the Edison School playground is today.  In midwinter, the unfinished schoolhouse burned down.  

By 1860, a two-story frame building was completed on the same site.  Overcrowding was one of the factors that led to the construction of the third school for the First Ward in 1881, the same year that Thomas Alva Edison perfected the incandescent lamp.  

During the next 80 years, the school acquired a second, informal name of the “Silk Stocking School”.  Staff members, parents, and students, in showing pride in their school, said the First Ward School was a “silk stocking” when compared to other schools.  

The First Ward School was renamed Edison Elementary in 1932.  In early 1959, parents and other residents began a campaign for a new school building. They were successful; the current Edison Elementary building, built north of the “old” Edison, was completed in 1961.  

The former Edison building was razed that same year to create a playground area for the new school.  

An addition that included a music and art room was completed in 1991. A more recent addition included a new library and computer lab completed in 2006.
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