James B. Rue Elementary School was named for educator James B. Rue. James B. Rue graduated from school and began his teaching career in Kentucky prior to coming to Council Bluffs in 1853. Coincidentally, this was the same year that General Dodge also came to Council Bluffs.
James Rue started a private school, which was located on Kanesville Blvd. He was a very good teacher and administrator. He became the principal of the first high school in these parts. The high school was located on a hill in Council Bluffs. The local papers joked about the location of this school saying, “it was like mountain climbing”. Rue’s next venture was to become the Pottawattamie County Superintendent.
In 1863, he left the Council Bluffs Schools for 10 years and explored the furniture business. In 1873, Rue returned to the school scene and went to work at the new Washington School. He left that position to be the principal at the Council Bluffs High School. In 1877, he left the Midwest and went to California.
James B. Rue was very instrumental in starting the schools in the Council Bluffs area. Before he came to Council Bluffs, it was just a frontier. James B. Rue Elementary School was built and the cornerstone laid on July 18, 1924. Rue was built due to the need for more schools in the west end of Council Bluffs. More people were moving into the area. When Rue was built it had so many students that an addition was necessary in just 3 years.