Sheridan Media continues its look, now, at local sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This week, reporter Pat Blair focuses on Holy Name Catholic School.
Holy Name is among the newest of Sheridan's nationally recognized historic places, earning the designation on April 23 last year. The school is one of 13 opened in Wyoming between 1878 and 2006. The Sheridan school – completed in 1914 at a cost of just over $19,000 – is the oldest Catholic school building remaining in the state, and one of only seven still active in Wyoming today.
An $8,000 loan from the Diocese of Cheyenne, along with individual donations and assessments from the Holy Name church parish, financed the school's construction.
Although a new school building was constructed and dedicated in 1952, the original 1914 building remains in use. Classrooms on all three floors provide instruction for pre-kindergarten and older students, as well as a computer lab. Holy Name secretary Liz Gale notes that the basement, now home to the lab and pre-kindergarten classes, was the first home for the nuns sent to teach at the school.
The Sisters of Charity in Leavenworth, Kansas, provided teachers not only for the school in Sheridan but for other Catholic schools opened at the time. Three nuns came to Sheridan by train from Kansas City, in August. One of the three later recalled that they opened the school in September, before the building was finished. She said the stairways were just boards laid across to make steps. Then as now, classes were taught for students through eighth grade. In the school's first year, the three nuns taught 68 students in grades one through eight. Current enrollment is 111.