Cordelia Harvey Elementary School is located on the north side of Kenosha just a short distance from the shores of Lake Michigan. It was built in 1961 and its first sixth grade class graduated in 1962. The principal at that time was Ms. Bernadette Tacki. A picture of Ms. Tacki is displayed in the Educational Support Center where she has the honor of being one of Kenosha’s Outstanding Educators. Although enrollment has been as high as 710, the 353 students enrolled now include all areas of special education, K-4, 5th grade gifted and talented, and regular education.
Cordelia Harvey School was named after a woman known as the “Wisconsin Angel.” Cordelia Perrine, who married Louis Harvey, was a teacher in Southport (WI) during her young years. Louis Harvey became governor prior to the start of the Civil War. He was killed while giving aid to wounded and sick Union soldiers. Cordelia Harvey was determined to carry on his work.
Madison Hospital, later known as Harvey United States General Hospital, opened in 1863 after Cordelia took it upon herself to meet with President Abraham Lincoln. She convinced him that soldiers would recuperate better at a hospital in a cool climate. This hospital operated in Wisconsin until the close of the Civil War at which time it was converted into an orphanage for children of deceased Union soldiers. Mrs. Harvey was its superintendent. Staff members working in a school that has been named after the “Wisconsin Angel” feel a pride in continuing to nurture and guide children attending Cordelia Harvey School. Hopefully each child will graduate ready to achieve goals and apply strategies that will enable him or her to achieve in an ever changing world.