Have you ever wondered what Kellar was like in the past? Well, now there’s an answer. Originally there were two schools in the Kellar area. They were Johnston School and Stringer School. Johnston School didn’t have enough students, so the students were sent to Stringer School. Leaders from Stringer decided to build a new school which would be more centrally located and up to date. On August 25, 1894 land for Kellar School was purchased from William Giles for $210. The new school might have been called Beaconsfield School and was at the site of Kellar East. At some point it was named Kellar School after Reverend Isaac Kellar, a settler in Richwoods Township.
In the very early 1900’s, Kellar School was quite a social center. Entertainment and socials were held there. It was also a Sunday school. In November of 1910 the school was struck by lightning and destroyed. So in 1911, a new Kellar School was built. During that time, it was one of the most modern one-room school buildings in Peoria County. It had a large cement basement for children to play in during stormy weather, and there was enough room to seat 45 children. It also had a furnace, a fire escape, two large dressing rooms, and a library. In 1936, a two-room brick addition was added and is currently built into Kellar East’s south end. Soon after in 1948, the 1911 wood building was torn down. In the1950’s several rooms were added. First, a two-room addition was added. Later, in 1954 a $137,000 four-room addition was added. Some of these rooms included the principal’s office, the teachers’ room, the kitchen, and the basement assembly playroom. Now the school could hold 201 students. This completed the current Kellar East.
On December 27, 1956, land just across the street from Kellar East was donated to the school by more than 65 people interested in the planning of the school. The donation included land to create a nature study area. Some known Peoria families that donated included the Altorfers, Cohens, Hoerrs, and Sommers. By 1959, Kellar West had been built. This became Kellar Central because a new Kellar West was built in 1964; in 1977 Kellar West became Lindbergh Middle School. A $340,000 10-room expansion to Kellar Central was supported by voters in 1960. In 1965, Kellar became part of District 150 after being District 111 for many years. For years, kindergarten and 1st grade were in Kellar East while 2nd, 3rd, and 4th were in Kellar Central. Then, in 2008, an addition was built onto Kellar Central so all grades could be in the same building.
Kellar’s history is very interesting. The school has existed for many years and is still a good place to learn.By Alix R.