Victor School History

Victor Primary School

Main Street Victor, MT

Victor School Buses, 1914

On December 8, 1881, part of the present town lying south of Main Street, twelve blocks, was laid out into a town site by Judge Woody of Missoula, Montana, and named Garfield. Later, at a public gathering, the name was changed to Victor, in honor of Chief Victor of the Flathead Indians. White men who studied about Chief Victor later found he was very wise and one of the greatest military and political leaders of his time. He was early on one of the chief opponents of having his people leave the Bitterroot Valley.

Additional land was purchased from J. P. Martens, B. F. Tudor and R. S. Fowler, and incorporated into the town site August 10, 1877, by A. B. Hammond, A. S. Blake, B. F. Tudor and J. P. Martens. At that time there were in the town two stores, and two saloons, with six families residing in the town. There were several buildings in the process of erection.

The first school house was built of logs, with a dirt roof, and stood at what is now the west end of Main Street. Mrs. N. B. Liter and J. J. Bond were among those who taught there. Mr. Bond remained active in school work in this community and was appointed Superintendent of Schools of Ravalli County in 1893 when the county was formed. His daughter, Mrs. Anna Herbert, taught here in 1886, and in 1894 she was elected County Superintendent of Schools.

Victor’s second school building was a frame structure that stood on Martin Street north of the present location of the Federated Church. It had a seating capacity for 40 or more pupils. This building was sufficient to care for the needs of the community up to 1896 when the east section of the present school building was erected. In 1909 the building was enlarged by the addition on the West. In 1915 the building for the primary grade and heating plant was erected and to this was added the gymnasium in 1934. With two teachers in 1896 and about 60 pupils, the school has grown to its present size of 12 teachers, and 265 students, 83 in the high school and 182 in the grades. A new elementary school addition was finished in 1951.