Miss Eleanor Skillen (27 Jan 1857 - 22 Nov 1923) taught in Indianapolis schools for over 40 years. For 30 of those years, she was principal of School #34, on the southside of Indianapolis. A year after her death, a group of her patrons lobbied for the school to be named for her.
The only reference to family was a sister, Mrs. John W. Cook, who presented an original portrait to the school in 1940. That portrait still hangs today.
The school has run its course, and can't easily be upgraded to handicapped accessible (many stairs to different levels added through the years), along with other vital necessities. The new building is located overlapping a corner of the existing school. Classes will move into the Phase I section in March, with Phase II to be completed in the fall.
While the old building is still in use, we're planning one last open house in early December. Thus my urgency to locate anything about Eleanor Skillen's relatives. From the research our group has done, Miss Skillen was very strict with the rules, using the strap and cat 'o nine tails when needed.
I didn't go to school here, but I have a 2nd grader at Eleanor Skillen #34. If you find anything about her family, I'd be grateful to hear from you.
- Teri Morgan
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