From Magnolia School #1 to Mattie Lou Maxwell
In 1894, James Baker started the first school in the West Anaheim area on a trial basis. The school was housed under a large canvas tent and was located on the corner of Orange and Gilbert. There were only a total of 35 students in grades 1-8.
The next year, in 1895, a School District was formed.
A 2-acre site on the corner of Magnolia and Orange was donated to the district and a 2-story 4-room wooden building was built to house the school in 1896. The wife of a School Board member suggested the name "Magnolia" for the new school.
By 1925, attendance at Magnolia School had greatly increased, and more room was needed in the small wood-framed school. Thus, the old building was sold to Stanton to be used as a school, and a new brick building was erected. This building was state of the art and included modern amenities such as an auditorium and a kitchen used to serve hot lunches. There were a total of five classrooms, a library, and restrooms with showers.
Mattie Lou Maxwell had been a teacher at Magnolia School, but had moved on to become a principal in another district. She returned to Magnolia School #1 in 1929 and became the principal. In the meantime, Magnolia School #1 continued to expand, adding army barracks to a site that had been purchased from Savanna, until they had well over 2300 students. Eventually, the district expanded and other schools were built, including Dr. Jonas Salk Elementary, Dr. Peter Marshall Elementary and Walt Disney Elementary.
In 1957, the old brick building that housed Magnolia School #1 was torn down, as it did not meet current building code. In the same year, Mattie Lou Maxwell retired as principal. This led to the construction of the current facility that you see today, and Magnolia School #1 was renamed Mattie Lou Maxwell Elementary.
Former students describe Mattie Lou Maxwell as having high expectations for all, yet being willing to help in every way she could. We aim to continue with her spirit here at Maxwell School.