Stolley Park School began as a private school in 1864. The first teacher was Theodore Nagel, who taught his classes in German. Official records date back to 1871. Records show that at that time there were 17 students in regular attendance with 215 days of school.
In 1884-1886 mill levies were established to build a brick building on the present site. These two original rooms are still in use.
Stolley Park was named after William Stolley, who was one of the first settlers in the Grand Island area in 1856. Mr. Stolley served as one of the directors of the school for 40 years.
In 1893 the district voted $1,300 to build a house and stable for the teacher as well as providing a salary. Stolley Park was the only school district in the state to do so.
Until its annexation by Grand Island, Stolley Park was a K-8 Class 1 school. It was the first Class 1 elementary district to hire a full-time music teacher.
Stolley Park has had two additions to the original building. One expansion to the north and south was in the early 1950's. The second expansion to the west added several classrooms and a large gymnasium.
Sketch by Cynthia Duff