The final dismissal bell ringing for New Market Schools on May 23, has brought a sad end to many years of traditions and history to the Town of New Market and the surrounding area.
The first school in New Market was opened in 1882 after the Humeston & Shenandoah Railroad missed the town of Memory.
It was decided to move the town to the site of what is now New Market. Additional land was purchased and all but four houses were moved to what was then known as Newmarket.
The first New Market School stared in the M.E. Church, the first school built started in a four room school house in 1882, when it burned down in 1900 it was replaced by a new 5 room school.
Until 1912 the New Market School only went through the 10th grade. The first graduating class that completed 12 full years was in 1914 with Zetta Herrron, Ruby Herron, Eula McKinley, Bill Steel, Ray McNutt, Corda Lake, Hallene Owen, Herschel Harris, John Gillet, Val Hicks and Merrill Anderson.
During the 1921-1922 school year the new brick building was built with the generosity of John Liggett.
After the school was completed several changes took place: One major one was that from 1925-1945 the Normal Training Department was in force training graduates to teach in rural schools.
1925 also brought football and an athletic team naming contest.
More than 50 names were nominated and the football team narrowed it down to 5. The final name was voted on by all the students, Karl Pullan's entry "Miners" was declared the winning name and the athletic teams and students would forever be known as Miners.
In 1928, the New Market High School entered the Little Seven, Athletic Conference, the longest running conference in Iowa history for a total of 32 years.
In 1960, when due to growing numbers of schools the conference ended.
The Commercial Department was also established in 1928, offering typing, bookkeeping and Shorthand.
In 1932, Vocational Homemaking Department was added. The first organized band that competed in events and performed in formal concerts to the New Market community started in 1940.
The New Market Minerettes basketball team were the first team from New Market to make it to the state tournament by winning 26 of 27 games during the 1945-46 school year.
Two new class rooms for Vocational Agriculture for the newest academic addition for the boys were added to the south end of the school. Then in 1954, two rooms were added to the second floor above the Vocational Agriculture room and the hot lunch program was established in the Manual Training room.
Rumors of the New Market Schools closing circulated as far back as 1956, and on November 12, 1958 a new district was approved and covered the rural school districts of Siam, Silver Lake, Ladoga, Frog Valley, Lindsay and Hawleyville. Plans were implemented and finished in 1961 for a new elementary, a new gymnasium, improvements in the old building for the Homemaking Department, Science, and Music.
Summer school came for only one summer for all students in the summer of 1965. Also, five new teacher's aides, nurses room, equipment and a part time nurse.
Vocal Music moved to the newly remodeled stage in the old gym in 1968. In 1969, Art was added to the Elementary and Junior High School curriculum. Art at the High School became Art I, II, III and IV. A room over the north end of the gymnasium as added with a balcony for a new band room.
During the 1975-76 school year there were plays and projects that helped the community of New Market receive the bicentennial flag.
The Junior High School Student Council planted a pin oak tree commemorating the bicentennial year and 10 in front of the school. A combined Baccalaureate & Commencement was held on Sunday afternoon.
Pre-kindergarten (Head Start) had a summer session and the library moved from behind of the study hall to a central library north of the study hall in 1976.
A new metal building was erected on the old Football field to be used by the Vocational Department in 1979.
After the class of 1989 the high school students were split between Clarinda, Bedford and Villisca High Schools.
As of July 1, 2008, the New Market Community School District will cease to exist and the district will be incorporated into one of three neighboring school districts: Bedford, Clarinda, or Villisca.
There is a plan in the works for a New Market Schools Historical Society, they have already begun collecting pieces of history and are looking for a building to set up in.