The name Bigham Knoll refers to an early pioneer family who arrived in Jacksonville in 1853 and owned this parcel of land. John Bigham gave a section of his property known as the knoll to the city’s school district for the creation of a new school in 1867.
The first school building on “Bigham’s Knoll” – a two-room building – was built that year. It burned in 1870. Another fire in 1903 claimed the subsequent wood building. This was followed by a two story brick building which only lasted two years and was claimed by fire in 1906.
And the large brick building you see today was built in 1908 and was declared “One of the Hansomest and Best appointed Schools in the State” by the Jacksonville Post. The gymnasium was added in 1924 and additional classrooms were added to the rear of the school building in 1936. Then in 1948 another classroom wing was added to the gymnasium.