A Tradition of Scholarship, Leadership, and Discipleship

The history of St. Martin of Tours Parish School begins with the parish of Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary and the community known as St. Martin's settlement during the time that Wisconsin was still a territory. On December 20, 1839, the town of Franklin was founded, and a few years later, in 1842, Father Martin Kundig settled in the town. Church services were held near what was to be the village of St. Martins. Though no records exist to support the fact, it was reported that Father Kundig platted the village of St. Martin's and that it was named after him.  

Large numbers of Catholic German immigrants began to arrive in the country and many settled in the St.Martin's area. They attended Holy Assumption Church, a primarily Irish congregation. Having difficulty understanding English preaching, the German Catholics sought to establish their own church, and in 1858, a German priest, established a new church on land donated by Holy Assumption Church.  

The donated land was sufficient for the erection of the church, rectory and a plot for the cemetery. Holy Assumption was to have a small area reserved for its cemetery. Today, the two cemeteries adjoin and appear as one, though separate records are kept. On May 18, 1858, the German congregation started construction of the church. The cornerstone was laid on June 5, 1858. It can still be viewed on the Northeast corner of the building. It is said that farmers hauled field stones in their horse-drawn wagons to the site. Two-foot thick walls were put up using mortar made from sand, water and lime burned in the old lime kilns at Trimborn Farms at 92nd Street and Grange Avenue. On Oct. 15, 1859, the church was blessed under the title of Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary.  

Parish membership grew steadily during the first hundred years of its existence. In 1909 hot water systems were installed in the school and several other improvements were made to the parish. By 1954, enrollment in the original school rose to 351. On Feb. 14, 1954, plans were laid for an eight-room, one-story school. Ground was broken in May of 1954 with the dedication on May 22. On May 7, 1956, the parishioners voted to add on eight rooms, creating the current L-shape school. Upon its completion in 1958, 725 students were registered.  

In 1969, Sacred Hearts Grade School was closed due to skyrocketing costs and lack of teaching nuns. As desired by parish membership, the school was re-opened in fall of 1977 for grades kindergarten through sixth. By the 1979-1980 school year, eight grades were open, and 195 students were registered by 1982-1983.  

On July 1, 1998, the two long-time neighboring parishes, Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary and Holy Assumption, combined to form St. Martin of Tours. Although the parish name changed, the school continues to educate children in its proud tradition.