History of Minne Lusa School

When developer Charles Marten dreamed up the largest neighborhood development in Omaha, he didn’t include a chunk of land for a school. However, he quickly realized it was necessary and carved out space along the boulevard. This is a history of the Minne Lusa School.

Minne Lusa School, North Omaha, Nebraska
This 1926 pic shows two things: First is the original building for the Minne Lusa School on the right, moved there in 1917. It was originally the Fort Street School for Incorrigible Boys. Second, you can see the original size of Minne Lusa School, which was tiny! Shown here is the construction site for the new wings.

Built in 1913, the Fort Street Special School for Incorrigible Boys was located at North 30th and Browne Street. Closing after just four years, the school was relocated to North 28th and Ida Streets in 1917.

This is the 1925 addition to Minne Lusa School under construction. The scrap lumber is from the original schoolhouse, which was demolished on site.

In 1922, a new six-room brick building was finished. Designed by John Latenser & Sons, the building address is 2630 Ida Street. In 1924 it expanded for almost 350 students in kindergarten through 8th grade. The building was added onto in 1925 when the combination gym and cafeteria were built. In 1950, classrooms were added, and in 1970 a new kitchen was built. The building was completely renovated and reopened in 1997.

As of 2019, the school had 450 students in pre-kindergarten through 6th grade. The City of Omaha continually looks past this building for historical preservation because of its lack of integrity.

Do you have any details or memories about Minne Lusa School to share? Please leave them in the comments!

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BONUS PICS!

Minne Lusa School, 2630 Ida Street, North Omaha, Nebraska
This is a 1925 architectural drawing of the additions to Minne Lusa School. This was designed by John Latenser & Sons.
Boy Scouts from Minne Lusa Troop 30 practice firefighting skills at OFD Station 15 in this March 8, 1931 newspaper feature.
Boy Scouts from Minne Lusa School Troop 30 practice firefighting skills at OFD Station 15 in this March 8, 1931 newspaper feature.

5 thoughts on “History of Minne Lusa School

  1. I went to Minne Lusa in 1980 and remember bein part of the safety patrol. I also remember being in class the day that President Reagan was shot and how all of a sudden teachers pulled out televisions to watch the news. I remember the Principals name was Mr. Jorgensen.

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  2. Hi, Adam. Thanks for another great piece on North Omaha history! I grew up at 25th and Ida, just up the street from Minne Lusa School where I went to Kindergarten in the 1952/1953 school before going to Blessed Sacrament for grades 1 through 8.

    I still have a few memories from Minne Lusa, including the little rugs that each of us had to take nap on. I’m not sure what the point of those naps was – I remember that many of us continued to socialize during nap time though we were supposed to be quiet. The floor of our room was hardwood, and with a little practice one could navigate his rug inchworm-like from place to place, perhaps to meet up with a comrade or to get to a prime location underneath the baby grand piano in the room.

    I remember that the name of our very kind teacher was Mrs. Greavy (may be wrong on the spelling – I was only 5!).

    Even though I transferred to Blessed Sacrament, all the kids in the neighborhood used the Minne Lusa School playground. The only piece of equipment was a jungle Jim that I’m sure wouldn’t meet modern safety standards, but was fun for us. Mostly, the playground was a good space for a baseball game.

    I remember a Fall festival on that playground with games and food and costumes. There was also a “haunted house” amusement in which kids entered one of the two building entrances on the playground side and went through a series of scary stations in the darkened building basement before exiting through the other door back to the playground.

    I haven’t thought of these things in years, so thanks for jogging my memory, Adam! I’ll save some other memories for your Minne Lusa neighborhood article.

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  3. So much fun reading about the Minne Lusa neighborhood. I enjoyed reading Joe Sabota’s comments. I believe his father was our doctor for many years, making house calls on his way home. Our house was located on 24th Street between Mary and Titus.
    I have so many memories of Minne Lusa School. I went there between 1957 and 1963. Mrs. Grebe (K), Miss Field (1st), Mrs. Kratky (2nd), Mrs. Thompson (3rd), Miss Maple (4th), Miss Miller, (5th) and Mrs. Platz (6th).
    Memories include (in no special order): Safety Patrol with hot chocolate on cold days; boys bringing in the flag from out front of the school by opening up a second story window and crawling through it onto the balcony; teachers going to The Birchwood Club for lunch; the annual Fall Carnival with the Haunted House walk through the boiler room: Halloween parades through the neighborhood; Open Houses; Library on second floor southeast corner; the ‘little” playground for younger students on the west side of the school and the excitement of finally being able to play on the “big” playground on the east side; Christmas programs where the whole school sang in the finale; getting the polio vaccine in the gym; teachers coming into our classroom crying telling us about the assassination of President Kennedy; learning about the tragic car accident near Christmas of the Nelson family; hatching chickens using an incubator; Mrs. Platz inviting the girls in our class over to her house for tea; Mrs. Durst (a first grade teacher) always drew the outline of her students to give as a present to parents. She also taught her class to sing “O Tannenbaum” in German; getting the Weekly Readers; having more than 30 students in our classes; square dancing after school in fifth grade. The list goes on and on.
    I am still in touch with many of my former Minne Lusa family members. It was a great neighborhood, school, and community. Thanks for highlighting those wonderful times!

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    1. Oh my gosh! I had forgotten many of these things but I went to Minne Lusa from 1958 to 1963 and had many of the same teachers! I also remember Mrs Carlson was principal and having the nurse come around and do head checks for lice and the Blue Angels flying in formation while the whole school watched from the “big” playground!
      Mrs. Kratky stopped my older sister one day in the hall and asked her to tell my mom that I was going to be late coming home because I was a slow poke and had to finish my classwork!

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      1. I, too, had to stay after school for Mrs. Kratky. It only happened once. Years later, I decided that she really was one of the best teacher I ever had. I eventually became a sixth grade teacher for the Omaha Public Schools. At the time, Mrs. Kratky was a school board member and went around visiting the various schools. She came into my classroom and told my students stories about my year as a second grader. She actually returned a few weeks later and handed me a story I had written while in her class. Pretty amazing that she would keep it for so many years.

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