Local: School Index
Hamilton School District
It was mandated in 1959 by the state and the
county that there be a high school district in
what became the Hamilton School District and it
took three years of wrangling, lots of meetings
and petitions to finally accomplish the opening
of Hamilton High School in September of 1963.
The very first meeting was in May 1959 at the
Sussex Village Hall (the 1936-built Sussex
Community Hall). Originally the name for this
school district was "Joint School District No.
10" which became "Union High School" and then
finally Hamilton School District and Hamilton
The district included Sussex, Lannon, Butler,
parts of Pewaukee and the eastern half of the
Town of Lisbon, plus the southern part of
Menomonee Falls and a little bit of Brookfield.
The territory was a gerrymandered set of
leftovers that on the map looked like an R
laying down with a period some distance from the
bottom of the R. This period was Butler which
was actually separated from the rest of the
proposed Hamilton School District.
Butler, in the mix because of its valuation,
fought tooth and nail to not be included. Butler
at times, tried to be included with Menomonee
Falls High, Brookfield Central and East, and
most outrageously to be annexed by Wauwatosa so
it could be included with those schools.
But the state, county and electors of the
district finally prevailed and Hamilton High was
accepted and built The period of 2009-2012 will
be the 50th anniversary of the school and the
Oddly, I knew the very first Hamilton School
District President, Francis Beaudry, who served
from 1960-63. I had been employed as the
Wisconsin State Fair poultry building and
chicken husbandry leader from 1946-52. That is
when I noted Beaudry as a midway snake oil
promoter who would spellbind people with his
baritone voice presentation for the vitamin
extracts that his group would sell.
I marveled at his ability to hold country
boobs with his sales pitch in an almost gospel
evangelist-style fashion. I was then at the
early meetings of the emerging Union High School
(Hamilton) birth when Beaudry again emerged, and
this time the crowd accepted him as a spokesman
and school board director/leader. Knowing his
earlier life as a carny, I did not vote for him,
or against him but just sat mute marveling at
how things change.
In addition, Robert Brisk of Sussex was the
first elected clerk, Roger Robinson treasurer,
and Sussex's Don Gill, Lisbon's Fred Linstedt
Sr., Butler's Peter Monfre, and Dan Schnabel
completed the first seven-person school board.
The next big event was the selection of a
site. After some wrangling, four sites were
chosen; one near Butler, two other sites and a
site on the Pusch 80-acre farm on Town Line Road
between Silver Spring Drive and Highway 74 in
In March 1960, the final vote was 471 for the
Pusch farm site, 91 for Butler and only three
for the two other sites combined. The cost was
$40,654.73, $40,000 for the site and $654.73 for
lawyer, real estate fees and other payments; for
all practical purposes, it was $500 an acre.
Immediately there was a start after the March
1960 site selection meetings to get things
rolling on the $2.1 million school. In January
1962, Lowell Paffenroth, principal of Marcy
School, was hired as the new Hamilton principal.
Gordon Heier replaced Paffenroth at Marcy and
was later the first longtime Templeton Middle
In February 1962, school construction was
topped out. In March 1962, base salaries for
Hamilton, including teachers, were set at
$4,800. Watler Wagener was hired as athletic
director and football coach, and Horace Moran as
basketball coach. Also coming on board was
teacher Jack Crook and Norman Friess as
superintendent. Hamilton was accepted into the
now revamped Braveland Conference with full
membership slated to begin in 1963 to 1964.
In July 1962, the proposed budget was
$657,239 for the first school year and in
September of that same year, Hamilton opened for
its first classes of freshmen and sophomores -
about 400 students. Hamilton graduated its first
class of seniors in June 1965 and its first
class of freshmen through seniors in 1966.
Note" The following is a correction to the
"HAMILTON IS BORN"
by Hugh Swofford, III.
transcribed and edited by Michael R. Reilly
for the Hamilton District was born in a report given by Mr. Ralph Joliffe, of
the State Department of Public Instruction on May 2, 1956, before the Waukesha
County School Committee. He presented two plans for school re-organization in
the Town of Menomonee area. One called for creating a K-12 district which would
include the Menomonee Falls village district. The other called for creating a
Union high school district under which the Menomonee Falls district would give
up its K-12 status.
In subsequent months, meetings
were held in the area. Little enthusiasm was expressed for either plan.
On January 14, 1957, the Menomonee town
chairman appeared before the committee to ask if plans has been made for a high
school in the Town of Menomonee. He requested permission to form a committee
representing various municipalities concerned with a high school for the area.
The committee the request.
In Discussion at the same meeting, the Superintendent of Schools of Menomonee
Falls brought out the fact that his district was interested in consolidating
with only a few districts in the northeast corner of the township. It was also
brought out that a new high school district might be needed in the Lisbon,
Lannon, Marcy, Menomonee, and Butler areas.
THE DISTRICT TAKES SHAPE
On April 22, 1957, a special meeting, which
had been previously requested by the school boards of Lannon, Willow springs,
Marcy and Butler, was held to discuss the future high school status of the area.
On February 23, 1958, the county school
committee met with the Sussex Parent-Teacher Association and presented a
proposal for a new high school District covering the following elementary
districts: Lannon, Sussex, Butler, Marcy, North Lisbon, and Willow Springs.
(Editor's note: By this time the western half of the Town of
Lisbon had been absorbed into the Arrowhead High School District).
After this proposal, there was considerable
and other meetings regarding a union high school district.
On June 16, 1958, at Marcy Elementary School,
a general discussion was held on a proposal to create a union high school as
previously proposed in Sussex. After much discussion it was moved by a member of
the audience that the people go on record requesting the committee to hold a
formal hearing on a proposal to create a union high school district of the
following districts, except for the portion of Marcy in Brookfield City, and the
portions of Sussex and North Lisbon in Arrowhead: Sussex, Marcy, Lannon, Butler,
Willow Springs and North Lisbon. The motion was seconded and carried unanimously
by those present.
The formal hearing was held July 9, 1958 in
Marcy. After discussion, Mrs. Kinkel, stated she believed the group present was
generally in favor.
A DISTRICT IS CREATED
It was moved from the order creating the
district effective September 2, 1958 be passed and it was unanimously approved.
On November 4, 1958, the order was voted down
in a referendum. the negative vote was heavy in the Town of Lisbon.
Three further meetings were held on the
situation until another formal hearing on February 25, 1959.
During the meeting of December 18, 1958, at
the Waukesha county courthouse, (the last before the formal hearing) the
attorney for the Town of Lisbon stated the people had changed their minds since
the original order had been voted down. He said people were opposed to a new
proposal which excluded the Town of Lisbon and would prefer the original order
placing all the remaining territory of the Town of Lisbon and village of
Menomonee Falls into a union high school district. He said the people had been
afraid the high school would be located in Butler if the original order had gone
into effect. If the high school could be located somewhere near Sussex, where
sewage was available, the the attorney believed the people would probably go
along with it.
The people of Sussex and Lisbon urged the
County School Committee to deny the proposed reorganization excluding the Town
of Lisbon. The proposed reorganization was denied.
DISTRICT NUMBER 6 IS CREATED
At the Sussex school a public hearing was held
on February 25, 1959, as a result of a resolution adopted by the county school
committee on February 4, calling for a hearing on the creation of a union high
school district. This resolution stated:
"It is hereby ordered that Union High School
District Joint No. 6 of the Town of Pewaukee, Town of Lisbon, Village of Sussex,
Village of Menomonee Falls, Village of Butler, Village of Lannon, Waukesha
County, Wisconsin be created."
THE DISTRICT IS BORN
The first annual meeting was ordered to be
held May 11, 1959, at the Sussex Community Hall at 8:00 p.m.
The School Board was ordered to consist of
An affirmative vote of the Waukesha County
school committee completed the action. The order was mailed on February 27 and
became effective March 30, 1959.
On November 3, 1959, the County School
Committee attached additional areas to the district from in the Towns of Lisbon
WHY WAS THE DISTRICT CREATED
The primary reason for the creation of the
district was the high school situation in the individual districts. Much of the
area had a long history of populations too low to support a community high
school. As a result, the students were sent to high schools outside of the
community on a tuition basis.
In recent years there had been
over-crowding in the high schools used by students of the area on a tuition
basis. Many of the areas were notified that after a certain date no students
would be accepted. This meant that a high school education must be provided for
the children. Such public high schools as Menomonee falls, Wauwatosa West,
Waukesha, Arrowhead and Germantown had been attended by students of the future
Union High School Joint No. 6. After plans for the building were well under way
notices were received that Brookfield could accept students. However, Wauwatosa
stated that Butler students would not be accepted after 1961. Waukesha would not
accept Sussex area students after September, 1961. The long awaited rejection of
district tuition students had begun.
THE HIGH SCHOOL IS NAMED
to be continued
On what U.S. currency bill can Alexander Hamilton (1755-1804)
be found? He was the Secretary of Treasury under President George Washington
from 1789-1795, and founded the U.S. Mint. Photo by: Keller
How Hamilton High School got
Just recently, Brian Frantl, one of Hamilton's
all-time great football linebackers, saw me on
Main Street in Sussex. He came to a screeching
halt in his vehicle and caught up to me. He said
he had a discussion with some of his high school
friends about how Hamilton High School got its
name. He added, "I told the guys if anyone knew,
it would be Fred Keller."
I told him that
there was a contest and Hamilton was one of
nearly 50 suggested names. Ironically, Milwaukee
at about the same time was picking a name for a
new south side high school and Hamilton was also
chosen. Thus, there is a Milwaukee Hamilton and
a Sussex Hamilton.
As the Hamilton School District was forming
and would enroll students from Lannon, Sussex,
Butler, parts of Menomonee Falls, Lisbon and
Pewaukee, there was an original name, Union High
School Joint No. 6. The name represented the
union of the six communities.
However, there was a push for a proper name
in 1959. Hamilton opened in 1962. The School
Board was led by Francis Beaudry who served four
years on the board coming from Marcy School
District. There were outstanding people on the
board including Fred Linstedt and Dan Schnabel
of Lisbon, Robert Brisk of Sussex and Roger
Robinson representing Willow Springs.
Francis Beaudry, was a big man both in
stature and girth which was accented by a
booming baritone voice. When he talked it was
like a prophet on high. He had a commanding
presence, voice and the ability to dominate a
group or assembly.
I had known him during another life of mine,
the six years I spent at the Wisconsin State
Fair. I was that 6-foot, 3-inches-tall kid at
age 15 who knew all the different varieties of
chickens, ducks and water fowl. I had a pedigree
inheritance of chicken knowledge inside me that
the state of Wisconsin desired for a certain job
— building manager of the chicken show at the
fair. When I first reported the State of
Agriculture Director Harold King found out I was
only 15 years old, but he looked me in the eye
and said, "You have to be 18 years old to get
this appointment." He eyed me up and down and
then added, "You look 18 and therefore, you are
18." And for the next four years I was always 18
This is where I met Beaudry who was a
spellbinding snake oil salesman on midway
between the then chicken pavilion and the cattle
barn and fair coliseum. With his voice he would
draw in a crowd and keep them for 45 minutes or
so before the suckers would open their wallets
and purses to buy this cure-all vitamin-mineral
life preserving item. He almost convinced me.
So this 1959 board of directors held a
contest to name the new school. More than 50
entries came in for the renaming of Union High
School Joint No. 6. The award was a $25 savings
bond which cost $18.75.
As entries came in, they were whittled down
to Glacier, Badger State, Liberty, Kettle
Moraine, North Star, Eagle Head, Oak View,
Northwestern Union, Silver Spring, Little Fox
and the eventual winner, named for Alexander
Hamilton. Hamilton was a Revolutionary patriot
secretary to Gen. George Washington and treasury
secretary to President Washington. He was born
Jan. 11, 1755, on the Isle of Nevis in the
British West Indies and came to the mainland to
attend King's College (now Columbia University).
He rose to colonel during the Revolution. He was
a major spokesman for a strong central
He is remembered for "The Federalist Papers"
that were used to approve the Articles of
Confederation. He served in Washington Cabinet
from 1789-95. He helped Washington write his
famous farewell address. Years later in 1804, he
was crucial in deciding to swing the Electoral
College behind his old rival, Thomas Jefferson,
taking the presidency away from Aaron Burr.
Burr challenged Hamilton to a duel. On July
11, 1804, this duel was fought with Hamilton
fatally wounded. Burr lived the rest of his life
The odd part about Hamilton (considered the
founder of the Republican party) he assured
Jefferson of being president and Jefferson is
considered the founder of the Democratic Party.
Probably the reason Hamilton is on the $10 bill
is that he founded the U.S. Mint.
Incidentally, the contest winner was decided
Dec. 7, 1959. Linda Wickland, a St. Agnes
Catholic School student from Butler chose the