Pere Gabriel Richard Elementary School History

    1930- Present

    Father Richard                     school

    Pere Gabriel Richard                    1930  Architect's Rendering

    From the dedication program:                      

    Père Gabriel Richard

    October 15, 1767-September 13, 1832

    A Frenchman by birth, an American by adoption and spirit,he was a pioneer of the West, pastor of old Sainte Anne’s,and a spiritual father to the Indians.His cultured mind and his eagerness to diffuse knowledge inspired him to propose a public library, to become the first patron printing in Michigan, to become a founder of the University of Michigan and of Detroit’s earliest schools.  Imprisoned for his patriotism in the War of 1812, he was later elected delegate to Congress, where he promoted Michigan’s first highways. In his Master’s service he labored with the graciousness of a gentleman and the bravery of a Frenchman, until he died, martyr of charity, ministering to the victims of the cholera.

    Board Members, Principal, Architects, General Contractor


    Presiding Superintendent:  S. M. Brownell



    President, Board of Ed:  Fred Sutter


    Secretary, Board of Ed:  Charles A. Parcells


    Treasurer, Board of Ed.:  Charles A. Poupard


    Other board members:  John R. Watkins & J. Lee Barrett


    Principal of Richard:  C.J. Messner, M.A.


    Architects:  Robert O. Derrick, Inc.


    General Contractor:  A.W. Kutsche Co.

    Samuel Brownell
    Samuel M. Brownell,
     Presiding Superintendent


    Teaching staff 1930 

    Kdg:             Gertrude Slocum, Ph.D



    Grade 1B:      Mac Walter


    Grade 1A:      Ruth U’Ren

    Grade 2B:     Helen Wise, B. S.



    Grade 2A:     Marion Walker



    Grade 3B:     Ethel Eckstrand, A. B.



    Grade 3A:     Helen Spangler



    Grade 4B:      Nina Oldham



    Grade 4A:     Virginia Ward



    Grade 5B:     Mary Greenshields, A. B.



    Grade 5A:    Lucille Groff, A. B., M. A.



    Grade 6 B:   Katherine Richards, A. B.



    Grade 6 A:   Clara Blank



    CoachingTchr:  Olga Martin



    Phys Ed.:      Garnette Foster, B. S.



    Phys Ed.:      Louis Vedder



    Art:             Janette Adams,  B.  S.



    Inst. Music:  O. Lincoln Igon, B. A., B. Mus. Ed.



    Music:          Elizabeth Dexter, B. M.


    Facts about Richard Elementary School

      Site purchased:  July, 1928-May 1929

    Construction began:  Nov. 20 1929

      Contract cost:  $352,455.70

    Equipment cost:  $15, 125.36

      Total Cost of building:  $376,272.16

    Site cost:  $132,268.33


    Pupils enrolled Sept. 1930:  389


    Pupils enrolled Jan. 1931:  412


    Increase since Sept. 1930:  23


    Capacity, present unit (on Detroit basis): 700


    Working Capacity, ultimate plant, 1225


    Number of teachers: Full time 15


    Number of teachers: Part time 4


    Per pupil cost (contract cost), $463.75


    Per pupil cost (building complete) $495.09

    Uses of Special Tiles

     Built-in Aquarium

     Detail-View Aquarium

    Classrooms Past and Present


    Kindergarten Room (1930)

    A beautiful room designed and equipped to stimulate many types of socialized and individualized activities on the part of kindergarten pupils. For this reason it has an
    attractive color scheme interwoven in all its aspects.  There is a beautiful fireplace with special tile blocks depicting characters familiar in childhood stories. There is a very attractively colored drinking fountain with a background that is fascinating to the minds of little children.  This same color scheme is carried out in the built-in aquarium which stands in the corner near the window.
      A Typical 1940's Classroom                classroom     2008 Classroom


    The classrooms of Pere Gabriel Richard School are of the standard size capable of seating forty pupils. 
    They are modern in every respect and are equipped in such a manner as to make possible the most
     efficient instruction.  Physically, the classroom meets modern requirements with respect to heating,
    and ventilating is of the uni-vent type, both the heating coil and the ventilating ducts and fan being
    integral parts of the same unit.  Temperature is thermostatically- controlled.  There is a special humidifying
    apparatus.  Lighting is obtained through a series of large austral type windows equipped
    with double roller translucent shades.