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Our History

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Columbus High School, June 2004-Present
2200 Twenty-Sixth St.
Renovation cost $17.7 million

Columbus High School, 1958-2004
2200 Twenty-Sixth Street, Original Cost: $1,609,966

Kramer High School, 1925-1958
2400 Sixteenth Street, Original Cost: $288,759

High School Building, 1898-1925
2300 Sixteenth Street, Original Cost: $25,000

High School Building, 1883-1898
2300 Ninth Street, Original Cost: $12,000
On the evening of May 29, 1856, thirteen men comprising the Columbus Townsite Company, arrived at the present site of Columbus after a tedious trip by ox team from Omaha. They camped for the night on the north side of the Loup River near Buck Island. Except for trees along the river, the landscape, as far as the eye could see, was unbroken prairie. The original town plat of Columbus was one mile square. During the first month, the men built a log house with a roof of grass at 7th St. and 15th Ave. and called it the Company House. They lived there for several months. Nearly every man had an ox team, and, during the first summer, they broke ground and put in a crop. The fall harvest didn’t amount to much as grasshoppers came. Fortunately, wild game was abundant, especially deer and elk. A herd of a thousand elk was seen near the river after a prairie fire. The first woman arrived in Columbus as a bride in November, 1856.

The first school was started at the Company House in 1860 with 66 pupils. The first school built was in 1861 at 1802-1806 8th St. Seven years later it was sold to the Reorganized Latter Day Saints for a church and was later used as the Jewish Synagogue, by 1866, when the Union Pacific Railroad went through Columbus, 207 pupils were attending schools in Platte County. A school built in 1868 was outgrown. Another school, built in 1874, was also outgrown. In 1876, there were 1,677 pupils in the county.

The facilities expanded each successive year until 1880 when the First Congregational Church Building, just north of 9th St. on the west side of 22nd Ave., was purchased by the school system and converted to a high school for “advanced education.” The 1885 records listed the members of the first graduating class as Harry J. Arnold (a physician); Earnest Slattery (a judge); Addie Ransdale and Mate Wadsworth. In 1887-1888, Columbus High School became accredited by the University of Nebraska. From 1885-1898, the high school was at 2316 9th St. (site of Williams School). The second brick building was erected in 1898 at 2300 16th St. and served as the high school until 1925. This became the junior high when a large, three-story high school was built to the west, 2400 16th St., and was named Kramer High School. The present high school at 2200 26th St. was opened in 1958.

The building recently underwent some major renovation. The project was made possible thanks to a $17.7 million bond issue. Work began in June 2004 and finished in November 2006.