School began in Tilden on October 25, 1869. The first teacher at St. Peter’s was Franz Stoffel. He taught classes in Chippewa Falls and Tilden on the same day. He walked between the two schools each day. At first, classes were taught in the Church. The Rectory was built soon afterward. The Rectory had an extra room that was used as a school room.
In 1873 our pastor asked the School Sisters of Notre Dame to send teachers for our school. They sent two Sisters and a candidate to teach in Tilden. The Sisters arrived on March 7, 1873 by a horse-drawn buggy. School began on March 10 with 48 students. The students and parents loved the new teaching sisters. By July, 114 students were enrolled at St. Peter School.
Present Day School
The present three-story school was built in 1906. It cost $12,300 to build. This was a lot of money at that time. The parishioners sacrificed to provide a great school for the students of the parish. At school, the students learned to read, write, and do arithmetic. They also learned very important lessons about their Catholic faith.
Graduation was held for the first time at St. Peter’s in June of 1908. Two students graduated. From 1869 – 1908, many students had attended school, but did not complete all 8 grades. Students missed school because they were needed at home to work on the farm.
Two eighth graders won a contest sponsored by the “Young Catholic Messenger” in 1930. The prize money was $15. The money was used to purchase a merry-go-round. Children still enjoy playing on the merry-go-round at recess today.
Students who lived farther away from school stayed with the Sisters during the week. They slept on the third floor or the fourth floor attic with four children in a bed. Children would come to Mass with their parents on Sundays. They would stay at the school during the week. On Fridays, their parents would pick them up and take them home for the weekend.
Providing an Excellent Catholic Education
The mission of St. Peter Catholic School has always been to provide an excellent Catholic Education for its students. The pastor, principal, teachers, and parents work together. They look for improvements that will help the students and make them happen.
In 1993, the library was moved to the 3rd floor. The 2nd floor library became the computer room. Through gracious local grants technology is a 1:1 ratio per srudent.
St. Peter School is very important to the parishioners of St. Peter Parish in Tilden. Most of the money donated in adult envelopes goes to support the school. The Parish also holds special events like the Shin-Dig to raise money for the school.
Parents are very grateful to be able to send their children to St. Peter School. Parents donate of their time to help at school. They are responsible for doing playground duty during noon recess. Parents work hard to clean the school on the weekend. Parish members also value St. Peter School. They donate of their time to paint, polish, and clean the school. They make repairs and improvements to the school and the parish grounds.
Passing on our Catholic faith and providing an excellent Catholic education for our children continues to be a priority at St. Peter School today. We thank God for his many blessings on our school over the past 150 years. We pray that God will continue to bless the teachers and students of St. Peter School for many years to come.