YESTERYEAR: WHEELER SCHOOL

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WHEELER SCHOOL

BY PAT SIDES

Wheeler School, seen here from the intersection of Fourth and Mulberry streets, was the first schoolhouse to be built in Evansville after state legislation created a public school system.

Built in 1855, Wheeler was originally called The Public School before it underwent several name changes: Upper School (1859), Canal Street School (1875), Mulberry Street School (1910), and Wheeler School (1915). The final name honored Horatio Q. Wheeler, who served as the city’s first school superintendent from 1853 to 1865.

Wheeler School expanded several times, but after the city’s population began to shift from downtown, enrollment declined. It finally closed in 1972 and was razed two years later.

Today the site is a parking lot for a downtown hospital.

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