History of Fessenden-Bowdon School

Fessenden-Bowdon school is a rural, 555 sq. mi. school district in central North Dakota. The first school in what is now Fessenden, ND opened as the Oshkosh School District in 1893 with the first school term beginning in January 1894. In 1925, the Fessenden School District was formed, originally serving only the city of Fessenden, but eventually including former country schools. In 1930 Fessenden adopted the Oriole mascot. The “old” building of the current school was constructed in 1939 through the WPA to house the high school. In 1960, the “new” building was constructed to move elementary students from the original 1901 building across the street into a combined building. In 1966, land was donated by Judge B.F. Whipple to create the football and track facilities now known as Whipple Field. 

The first school in Bowdon, ND was opened in 1900 as part of the Haaland Township School District. The first high school class graduated in 1923, and in 1937, Bowdon adopted the Beaver mascot which it used until 1993. Bowdon’s “new” and “old” buildings were constructed in 1913 and the late 1950s. 

As enrollments declined in rural North Dakota, many schools created co-ops, closed, or combined. The Wells County Bears sports co-op was formed in 1998 between the Fessenden, Bowdon, Hurdsfield, and Sykeston schools. In 1997, Fessenden and Bowdon entered a cooperative agreement. Both schools maintained elementary schools, all junior high students attended Bowdon, and all high school students attended Fessenden, with the first combined senior class graduating in 1998. The Bowdon School operated as an elementary and middle school until its closure in 2001 when a referendum created Fessenden-Bowdon School District #25. 

In 2010, Fessenden-Bowdon entered a co-op for all sports with neighboring Harvey to form the Harvey-Wells County Hornets. Our colors are purple, black, and white.

The current enrollment at Fessenden-Bowdon School for the 2022-2023 school year is 182 students PK-12. The district employs 1 full-time superintendent, 1 full-time PK-12 Principal, 19 full-time teachers, 12 classified staff, and 1 full-time school counselor. Our special education services are contracted through East Central Center for Exceptional Children which employs 2 full-time teachers and 6 full-time paraprofessionals for our district.

Mission, Vision, Beliefs

Mission - Striving to Achieve Excellence Together

Vision - Our vision, as the Fessenden-Bowdon School community, is to inspire a passion for lifelong learning through innovative opportunities that promote and empower students to become citizens who aspire to achieve their full potential.

FBS Believes….

…in providing a safe and inviting learning environment. 

…in building relationships that engage all learners.

…in challenging all learners through rigorous instruction.

…in creating an educational community consisting of students,   

    staff, families and community members. 

…in empowering students to be accountable, hardworking learners.