When Paul W. Coutrap talked about the dedication of the Fourth Street administrative building in his grandfather's name Saturday morning, he told a story about trying to open a can of apricots when he was just 5 years old, how he cut himself and how compassionate his grandfather had been when he discovered his grandson's minor wounds.
It was ironic that, a few minutes later, he used a can opener to get into the copper box that was the time capsule for the school bearing his grandfather's name.
The Coultrap facility, built as Geneva's high school in 1923, was razed this summer, but Harry Coultrap's name lives on in the Coultrap Educational Services Center, School District 304's administrative offices on Fourth Street.
Harry Coultrap was Geneva school superintendent for 38 years. Under his leadership, the Geneva school district opened the Fourth Street School in 1916, Geneva High School in 1923, Sixth Street School in 1925 and Harrison Street School in 1929. Harry Coultrap retired as superintendent of schools in 1950.
On Sept. 28, 1958, the Geneva school district paid tribute to Coultrap through an official dedication ceremony of the then-Coultrap Junior High school, and the Coultrap name remained with the Peyton Street building through its years as a middle school and elementary school.
Fifty-five years later, On Sept. 28, 2013, the Fourth Street building was re-dedicated in his honor.
"His legacy continues here in Geneva," Superintendent Dr. Kent Mutchler said.
The time capsule contained several issues of The Geneva Republican, some coins, the class of 1929 yearbook and documents recording the formation of the school district.