About Us

Historical Background     

In 1873 the railroad opened this region of Nebraska to settlement. On October 13, 1877 a plat of land was filed for by Malcolm A. and Emma Showers. Showers laid out lots on Section 21, Elk Precinct. This land was to become the location of the town of Malcolm.

In the 1880's Malcolm consisted of a number of small dwellings, a blacksmith shop, a railroad depot, a grade school established by Malcolm Showers, a store owned by Showers and a store owned by Ira Bishop. Bishop was also in charge of the Post Office which his store contained.

As with most settlers life was not easy for early Malcolm residents. In February of 1880 a fire swept across the prairie engulfing the entire area between Middle Creek and Elk Creek. In the spring of 1880 severe cases of diphtheria took a toll of two to six children in some families. Some of the settlers gave up and returned to the East. During this same time period Indians and Gypsies were frequent callers.

Malcolm Showers was responsible for establishing the first church in Malcolm. In September of 1885 Showers obtained two lots on which to build a Methodist Church. Malcolm Showers acted as the first minister in the church until the Reverent D.Y. Black took over that position.

In the 1890's Malcolm boasted a creamery run by a Mr. Nietzel, a barber shop, an implement business and stockyards. In later years, Malcolm also had a butcher shop, a hotel and a State bank.

On June 16, 1915 Malcolm became an incorporated village. The first village board members were L.E. Cozad, Fred F. Schmieding, R.L. Mahan, Al Otterman and F.S. Davey.

A Malcolm weekly newspaper was established in the year 1891 by the name of the Malcolm Messenger. The paper served the community until 1934. One feature of the paper was a large gossip column letting a person know what had happened in the life of the community and its members during each week.


The advanced Pre-K/K-12 facility now existing in Malcolm had rather humble beginnings. The first Malcolm High School building was built in 1917 and had only two rooms. This school opened its door to a full year of school for the first time in 1919 with only 50 students. This school was taught by one teacher and did not enjoy any of the benefits that Malcolm now has to offer.

While the school was under-funded, it did provide for its continued prosperity in many ways. During the winter, coal heaters were used to warm the students. The school also attempted to make money using such techniques as operetta performances.

As time progressed, the school slowly added to its curriculum and extra-curricular activities. Within just a few years of being established, Malcolm High School had an active liberal arts program that hosted both musical and dramatic performances. Simultaneously, Malcolm became involved in the various sporting events that were currently offered in the surrounding area.

The Malcolm Public School system continued in adding to its resources over the next few decades. Sadly, in 1944, the Malcolm High School facility burned to the ground. Malcolm was without an official school facility until two years later when a new Malcolm High School was completed. This facility remained until 1970 when a library was added to the structure.

As the town of Malcolm grew, so did the needs of its school system. Early in the 1980's, District #148 constructed what is now known as the Fern Westfall Elementary School to keep up with district growth. This facility is still in use today.

The Malcolm High School complex continued to be used until 1998 when the district passed a bond issue approving construction of a new school facility. This facility was completed early in the 1999-2000 school year and is still in use today. The new facility is larger, more complex, and most certainly the most technologically advanced educational resource Malcolm has ever had the pleasure of using.

Malcolm Public Schools, District #148 has advanced far beyond its humble beginnings and continues its long tradition of offering educational excellence. The school offers a full variety of sports ranging from football to cross-county. The school also has an excellent liberal arts program that includes a full band, choir, snd state champion drama and speech teams. The school is a member of the Trailblazer Conference.