On Tuesday morning, members of the Muscatine Community School Board joined Jefferson School students and staff to open a time capsule that has been sealed inside of the cornerstone of the old building since 1927.
One of the builders who assisted in the removal of the cornerstone was on hand to assist in the opening of the box.

A small rotary saw is used to cut through the copper box.

A small rotary saw is used to cut through the copper box.

 

Jefferson Principal Corry Spies held a small camera over the box to allow the children to see the contents broadcast onto a large screen.
Board member Randy Naber was invited by Muscatine Superintendent Jerry Riibe to remove the first item from the box.  The package was small, wrapped in thick white paper and tied with a string.  Across the front the words “Muscatine Independent Schools” was written in a flowing script.  Inside of the paper was a small black Bible.

Board Member Randy Naber pulls a small wrapped package from the box.

Board Member Randy Naber pulls a small wrapped package from the box.

 

 

 

School Board President Tammi Drawbaugh followed suit by removing the next item.  The book had a blue cover, and pages that were still white.  The front proclaimed it to an Auroran, the MHS yearbook, form the graduating class of 1926.

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School Board President Tammi Drawbaugh examines the 1926 Auroran pulled from the Jefferson time capsule

 

 

 

Board member Nathan Mather was next in line to draw from the time capsule.  The front of the book said “Announcement Muscatine City Schools.” Inside was what would be considered a curriculum guide today.  Included were requirements for teachers, lists of texts that would be used, and what “benchmarks” the children would be at by a certain point in each year.

Board Member Nathan Mather pulls a book that turns our to be a curriculum guide from the capsule.

Board Member Nathan Mather pulls a book that turns our to be a curriculum guide from the capsule.

The remaining items from the time capsule included the original proposal for the building of the school, newspaper clippings from inside of an envelope, two copies of the Muscatine Journal, and one copy of the Chicago Tribune, a directory of all teachers in the district at the time and a phone book from the Muscatine community.

After the ceremony concluded, Drawbaugh said, “it makes me a bit emotional thinking of what the thought processes must have been, deciding what to include. “
Dr. Riibe echoed the sentiments saying, “It is interesting to look at what they thought they should share, and how we are so interested in it today.  Really, a lot of thought went into what they thought was important.”
The items removed from the time capsule will be cataloged, preserved in any way needed, and then returned to Jefferson school at a later date to be on display.

Items collected from the Jefferson School time capsule that was sealed in 1927.

Items collected from the Jefferson School time capsule that was sealed in 1927.

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Board President Tammi Darbaugh reading teacher requirements and salary guidelines from 1927.

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Enclosed with the school district information was a Muscatine phone book from 1927, including several names that are still familiar around town. Board member Randy Naber commented that his father’s name was listed in the book.

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The title page of the “Announcement” Inside of the book details information about class performance and expectations.

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Included in the Announcement is a listing of required courses for high school students.

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Inside the capsule is what appears to be a proposal for the construction of Jefferson School.

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A directory of all of the teachers in the Muscatine district in 1927

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The front cover of the Muscatine phone book found inside of the capsule.

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The inside of the solid copper box after all of the contents were emptied.