How did the current elementary schools get their names?

The name of Madison School comes from Madison Park across the street. The elementary school is one of seven school names that will no longer be used after the completion of the Quincy School District's school construction program. | H-W File Photo/Phil Carlson
Phil Carlson
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Apr. 10, 2018 12:01 am

Having just read The Herald-Whig article regarding the naming of the new elementary school on Harrison Street, I would like to know the history of the naming of our current schools. This includes Adams, Berrian, Dewey, Ellington, Madison, Washington and Baldwin.

When the Quincy School Board started the naming process of the new elementary schools, Herald-Whig Staff Writer Deborah Gertz Husar compiled a list for the March 20, 2016, issue. Here is what she found:

• Adams: The original school was built in 1891 and demolished in 1949, with the current building opening in 1952. According to a Dec. 31, 1972, article by Carl Landrum in The Herald-Whig, the school was named for President John Quincy Adams in 1891 at the request of Dr. Joseph Robbins, who represented the 2nd Ward on the School Board.

• Berrian: A Dec. 19, 1936, article in The Herald-Whig said the school was named in honor of Benjamin F. Berrian, who donated the three lots where the first four-room school was built in 1868 at a cost of $7,200.

• Dewey: Originally called Highland School, the name of the school was changed after an addition was built in 1898. The name was in honor of Spanish-American War naval hero Adm. George Dewey. In a June 26, 1977, article by Landrum, he wrote that there was some opposition to the request made by George W. Earhart, president of the Quincy School Board, because Dewey was alive at the time.

• Ellington: The school is named for the township it is in. The township is named in honor of the Ellington, Conn., hometown of Eratus W. Chapman, an early resident of Adams County, according to “People's History of Quincy and Adams County, Illinois.”

• Monroe: The School Board decided on Monroe in March 1959 after receiving 45 different suggestions from 100 people. Eight suggested naming the school for U.S. President James Monroe, and the school was on the site of Quincy's first airport, the former Monroe airport. The E.N. Monroe family, which owned Monroe Chemical, also owned land in the area.

• Madison: The school shares its name with Madison Park across the street. The Aug. 8, 1867, issue of the Quincy Daily Herald reported that the School Board designated that the school be named Madison School after Madison Square.

• Washington: The first Washington School, which was built in 1867, might have been named for George Washington, though newspaper articles from the time don't mention why it got that name.

• Baldwin: Baldwin was named in 1982 after a vote taken by fifth-graders who were going to be the first sixth-grade class to graduate from the school, which opened as an intermediate school for the 1983-84 school year. It was named for Thomas Baldwin, a Quincy native and famous aerialist of his day credited with being the first American to make a parachute jump from a balloon.

Need a question answered? Just ask. We'll quiz community leaders, business officials, historians, educators -- whoever can tell us what you want to know. Submit questions to or mail them to Answers, The Herald-Whig, P.O. Box 909, Quincy, IL 62306. Provide a name and phone number so we can respond or clarify information. Questions dealing with personal or legal disputes will not be accepted.

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