first public school district in Black Hawk County was formed
in Cedar Falls in 1853. A 16 x 20-foot schoolhouse was built
on a site at Fifth and Main Streets. In 1854, a bell was
purchased for the school with the proceeds of a dinner given
by the ladies of the community. The Meneeley Foundry Company
of New York, the same foundry that produced the original
belle for the UNI Campanile carillon, cast the bell.
schoolhouse was used until 1863, when Jefferson School and
the first Lincoln School replaced it. The bell was used
at Jefferson School and later at the first Humbert School
in 1960. When the new Humbert School was built, the bell
was kept there for a time. It has since been donated to
the Cedar Falls Historical Society.