Johnston Community School District

1846 First settlers, Ezekiel and Mary Hunt, arrived and founded Huntsville (current location of 70th and Merle Hay Road) and Ridgedale (Ridgedale Cemetery still exists.)

1852 Brothers, Moses and John Lawson arrived and donated land for a school (Valley School which was located one mile east of current Lawson Elementary). The current Lawson Elementary was named after John Lawson.

1905 Hyperion Country Club organized

1905 Inter-urban tracks were built. A small depot was located in the area and became known as “Johnston’s Station” after the freight manager, John Johnston.

1909 State of Iowa received 78.5 acres from Mr. And Mrs. William McHarg and developed a state-owned training ground for the Iowa National Guard

1910 State Iowa National Guard campground named in honor of Major General Grenville M. Dodge and called Camp Dodge

1914 Four rural schoolhouses consolidated to form a new district called “The Independent Consolidated School District of Webster and Jefferson Townships of Polk County Iowa”. The four schools that joined together where Valley Grade School (located one mile east of present Lawson Elementary); Friars Grade School (located one quarter mile west of the present high school); Ridgedale Grade School (located across from Hyperion); and Rider School (located in the far southwestern corner of the present school district).

1914 First Sunday school began and led to the building of a church known as the Johnston Evangelical Free Church

1915 A new K-9 building was built on land donated by Ben McKee family (where the fire station now sits)

1917 Siebert Grade School (located in west Johnston) was added to the school district and the district name was changed to “The Consolidated Independent District of Johnston, Iowa”

1918 Federal government took over Camp Dodge and undertook a mammoth construction program, building barracks, store houses, headquarters and stables to house a full division of men. (Iowa Guard Headquarters are now located at Camp Dodge)

1918 Merle Hay Road was completed between Des Moines and Camp Dodge

1919 School became a K-12 building.

1920 First high school graduation held and school certified as an accredited high school

1922 Camp Dodge Swimming Pool was constructed (closed in 2002)

1926 Iowa farmer, Henry A. Wallace founded Pioneer Hi-Bred Int. Inc., formerly called “Hi-Bred Corn Company” and now is part of the DuPont Company. Henry Wallace went on to become Secretary of Agriculture, Secretary of Commerce and Vice President of the United States under President Franklin Roosevelt. Wallace Elementary School is named after Henry A. Wallace.

1932 The first school student council was organized and the school colors were changed from blue and white to yellow and blue and later to purple and gold.

1943 Mr. Hobart A. Ross donated land and a home to care for boys with nowhere else to go. It was called the Y.M.C.A. Boys Home of Iowa. The name changed to Youth Homes of Mid-America in 1987.

1944 Lions Club chartered and met at site of current Lions Club building.

1950 Due to growth and lack of space, some students attended classes at the barracks at Camp Dodge until 1968

1955 Construction began on the I-80/I35 Interstate Highways

1958 An elementary school was built and called Johnston Elementary. It was the north wing of the current Lawson Elementary prior to the south wing being added in 1968 and remodeled in 1998

1962 The school district was expanded with acquisition of the Herrold District and name changed to “The Johnston Community Schools”

South wing added to Lawson Elementary

1968 School district purchased building at corner of 62nd and 59th Court. It was a warehouse and administrative offices. This building was torn down in 2000

1969 City of Johnston was incorporated under the laws of the State of Iowa

1974 High School built at current location with additional rooms added over next five years with additional space added in 1994

1977 Saylorville Dam completed and Saylorville Lake was filled

1985 Middle School built at current location and remodeled in 1990

1985 Old schoolhouse (that was located where fire station is now) was demolished

1988 Wallace Elementary was built at current location with an addition in 1990

1988 Johnston public library established as branch of the Urbandale Library

1990 School district offices move to building west of Wallace Elementary

1992 Johnston pubic library becomes independent Johnston Public Library

2000 Beaver Creek Elementary built and opens doors

2000 District purchases Pioneer building to become Johnston Administrative Resource Center, housing district-wide staff and departments

2001 Johnston Public Library moves to its current home on Merle Hay

2001 Horizon Elementary built and opens doors

2003 Johnston Historical Society receives “Simpson House and Barn” and moves both to Johnston Commons (development south of 70th) for use as museum and community rental hall.

2004 6/7 grade middle school built and opens doors. This facility includes the first indoor pool for the district.