The schools in the early days of Calhoun County were supervised by a man known as the "School Commissioner". The Federal Government had given section 16, of each township, to the county to be sold for school purposes. One of the chief duties of the School Commissioner was to sell the land and distribute the money to the schools. The County Commissioners Records mention the names of the following men having served as School Commissioners, but there is some doubt as to the exact date of service by each person:
John Shaw (appointed in 1836)
O. W. Bacon (serving in 1840)
Dr. William Terry (serving in 1845)
William H. Miller (1845-1846)
Nathanial Shaw (appointed in 1846)
H. P. Buckanan (serving in 1852 and 1854)
Josiah Woodward (served sometime between 1854 and 1865)
Stephen G. Lewis (1865-1869)
After the year 1869, the persons having charge of the schools was called the ''Superintendent of Schools". The list of persons who served in this capacity, together with their length of service, is as follows:
Soloman Lammy (1869-1873)
Israel Varner (1873-1877)
James McNabb (2 terms, 1877-1887)
William E. Barber (1887-1891)
John E. Watson (1891-1895)
Elmore E. Allen (2 terms, 1895-1899, 1903-1907)
Chas. H. Lamar (1899-1903)
Stephen J. Sibley (4 terms, 1907-1923)
Fred A. Long (2 terms, 1923-1929)
Cuba M. Tureman (1929- )
The first school buildings of the county were made in much the same way that the houses were. A man who lived in the county in the 30's and 40's said:
"There were in keeping with our crude environment . . . made of logs without hewing and covered with clapboards laid on what was called ribs and held in position with poles, called weight poles; nailed on roofs were the exception, but later we got one one grade higher by having boards nailed on. . . . The walls of the building had been chinked and daubed with clay mortar. Now the furniture consisted of seats made of split logs, hewed as smooth as possible (but not planed) and about twelve feet long, more or less, with holes bored in for legs. The next thing was to provide a place to write. This was generally a long plank fastened to the side of the wall by hinges and held up by temporary props or legs so that it could, when not in use, be let down as to be out of the way. And every student’s outfit consisted of an old blue back Webster's spelling book, a copy book made of sewing a few sheets of foolscap paper together, two or three goose quills to make pens, and a bottle with about two thimblefuls of ink. . . There is a lot of data on this school question, such as rules that prevailed in hiring teachers and their remuneration. There were no public schools in the county and the mode of operation would be to take a subscription paper and canvass the neighborhood in which the school is to be taught and see how many scholars the patrons would sign. The teachers would generally expect fifteen dollars a month with the privilege of boarding around with the scholars. The price per student would depend somewhat upon the number of children in the neighborhood, ordinarily two dollars per scholar. But in case the children were few, the price would be two dollars and fifty cents, or enough to make the teacher his fifteen dollars a month and board and lodgings. Our experience and observation verified the fact that the teacher staid the longest where the pot boiled the strongest, although he was expected to even up his stay among the patrons of the school. In regard to furnishing wood for the school it was expected that the teacher, with the help of the large boys, would chop the wood and keep the fire, which was no small job on a cold day. The manner of getting the wood to the school house was generally for the neighbors to turn out with one or two yoke of oxen, and a long, strong chain and haul a quantity in the school yard and by that means keep wood handy for the teachers and scholars to chop at mornings and noons and sometimes at recesses and after school."
Two of the first schools in the county were the Point Pleasant School and the Bethel School in the southern part of the county. John McDonald, who later became the Sheriff of the county and a member of the Legislature, taught the Point Pleasant school in 1829. A school was built in Mortland Hollow in 1834 by Jacob Pruden and Charles Squiers.
The reports of the School Commissioners to the State Superintendent gives us some idea as to the number and condition of the schools at different times. The first of these reports was made in the year 1852. The report gives the following facts:
"18 schools in the county
15 schools taught by men
3 schools taught by women
440 pupils attending schools in the county
Average number of months school was in session, 3 months
Average monthly salary for men, $20.
Average monthly salary for women, $10.
Amount spent in the year for schools, $870.07
School land sold in year, 280 acres for $395.
School land unsold, 720 acres."
Mr. H. P. Buckanan, the School Commissioner, in a letter, dated November 22, 1852, to the Superintendent of Public Instruction said in part: ". . . . I am glad to see that the people of this county have at last turned their attention to more education. More than half of the school houses were built in the last two years. They have all been built by subscription. The text books in use in the county are:
McGaffery's Eclectic Series
Smith's, Mitchell's, Woodbridge's Geographies
Smith's, Ray's, Adam's, and Calhoun's Arithmetics
Goodrich's, Hale's, and Grimshaw's History
Webster's and Ray's Spelling books."
In 1860 another report was made and by the comparison of it with the 1852 report we can see the advancement made in the schools of the county. This report shows the following:
1125 pupils attending
23 male teachers
8 women teachers
Average term, 7 months
Schools erected during the year, 5
Average monthly salary for men, $29.11
Average monthly salary for women, $22.85
Amount spent for school in entire year, $3692.
Highest salary paid, $35.
Lowest salary paid, $20."
In the early days no teachers' certificates were required and no teachers'
examinations were given. After the Civil War when the county was organized
into districts, the teachers' examinations would be given by the County
Superintendent, and county certificates would be given to those who passed
The teachers' institutes were important in the early days as most of the teachers did not go away to the Normal Schools or other similar institutions to receive training. They were conducted much the same as classes in high schools to-day. Books would be given out to the teachers attending the institute, and lessons would be assigned. These institutes often lasted two weeks and the teachers would get much the same training as they receive in the summer normal training at the present time.
On the following pages a brief history, of the different schools of the county, will be given.
Lakeview School, District No. 4-1/ 2
In the early days, the children of what is now District No. 4-1/2 attended the Elm Grove School.
There have been two school buildings in the Lakeview District, the second of which was built in 1925. Very little about the history of the school is known to the writer due to the fact that no answers were received from numerous inquiries to people of this district.
Elm Grove School, District No. 4
The first school in the Elm Grove District (then District No. 1) was a log building which was built in 1859. It was situated near the site of the present building. The blackboards were made of wood and painted black. The seats were made of long boards and five and six pupils weald sit together. As in many of the early schools, the boys had to cut the fire-wood and bring it into the building. The teacher boarded around with all of the different, families in the district that sent children to the school. About thirty or thirty-five children attended the school in the school year of 1859-1860.
The first teacher of the Elm Grove School was Margaret Shultz. Other early teachers were: Elizabeth Keightly, J. W. Grafford, and James Turnbeaugh.
In 1897, a frame building was erected and it is in use at the present time. The enrollment in 1932 was 24. At one time most of the land in the district was held by non-residents. The first settler was John Howell, who came sometime before 1850.
Farmers' Ridge School, District No. 3
When the first school buildng was erected (in 1848) the district included most of north Calhoun. It was divided, a few years later, and another log building was erected farther north. This new district included all of the territory now found in the Byerton and Farmers' Ridge District. The school building stood at the crossroads, near the present site of the Farmers' Ridge Church of Christ.
In 1882 the district was again divided, the east part being known as Byerton and the west part as Farmers' Ridge. A school, a frame building, was erected near the center of the new district. It was enlarged a few years after it was built.
The old log school building was purchased by the Church of Christ and used by them for a number of years.
The present school building was erected in 1917. The construction work was done by Fred Halsey. It is a modern building, with a basement and a furnace and cost about $2,500. It has a seating capacity of about fifty, although the present enrollment is only twenty.
Among the first teachers were: Patty Ferguson, Margaret Schultz and Tom Davis.
Belleview School, District No. 5
The first school building at Belleview was constructed about 1869, and the building was used as a school and a church. Some of the early teachers were: James B. Day, George Lock, and J. W. Grafford.
The present building was erected in 1916. The enrollment of the Belleview School in 1932 was thirty-eight.
Byerton School, District No. 2
In the early days the Byerton School and the Farmers' Ridge School were combined in a building at the crossroads where the Farmers' Ridge Church now stands. In 1882, the district was divided. The west part being known as Farmers' Ridge District and the east part as Byerton. The first building was a frame structure, on the old box-car style. There were two doors on the west end and windows on both sides. This was afterwards enlarged by building on to one end of the old structure. This building was destroyed by fire and a new school house, the one used at the present time, was erected.
The new building was erected on the same site that the first building occupied. The building was erected by John Lunsford, and cost approximately $1,200.
Some, of the early teachers at the Byerton School were William Wilson, George Williams, Enid Martin, Alice Grimes, Marvin Munn, and Alden Batterschell.
Byerton School has had the honor of having one of its students to graduate from Oxford University in England. This student, Tom Bill, was a son of Caffie Bill who came to this country from England. He whaled off the coast of California and then came to Calhoun and settled just north of the Byerton School. The children of the Bill family, one of whom was Tom, attended the Byerton School. Mr. Bill cut wood for the farm that he had bought, and at a later date he started a store in the neighborhood. After his death his family went to the west to live and it was while there that Tom wrote the examination for a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford. He was successful in the examination and left for the university from which he graduated.. He returned to America, married, and is now living in Pasadena, California, and is reputed to be a millionaire.
Hillcrest School, District No. 6
About the year 1876, the Franklin School was constructed by the people of that district. The first building was made of logs and the land for the school was donated by Christian Kuck. The first directors were: John S. McConnell, Benjamin Fortune, and Christian Kuck.
Among the early teachers were: Sarah Williams of Stout, Pike County, Josephine Labby, and Martha Sharp.
When the Hillcrest Post-office was established, the name of the school was changed from Franklin to Hillcrest. In 1901 a new building was erected, and the old building was sold to the Baptist Church.
West Panther Creek School, District No. 10
The first building at West Panther Creek was built of logs and was used until 1865. The second building, a frame structure, was built in 1865 by donation. The present building was erected in 1917.
The early teachers were: Hattie Galloway, John H. Clooniger, Robert O. Brannon, William L. Merida, Mr. Cooley, and Hattie Deen.
There were forty-eight pupils enrolled in the school in 1932.
Village Green School, District No. 9
The people of the Village Green District first constructed a log building but it was mysteriously burned about 1880. It was replaced by a frame building. The school grounds were donated by Jacob Crader, Jr., the deed being recorded in 1874. Both the log building and the frame structure were used as a meeting place for the churches and Sunday schools. Among the early teachers were: F. C. Cox (1879), F. M. Lynn (1880), and Albro Burns.
A new school was built in 1925. The enrollment, in 1932, was thirty-three.
East Panther Creek, District No. 1
The district has had two school houses but no dates were given to the writer as to when they were built or how long each was in use. The description of the first building and its equipment would lead one to believe that it must have been built as early as the sixties. This building had an oak floor and the teacher's desk was the only desk in the room.
Some of the teachers who served the East Panther Creek School were: Jef Thurston, Isaac Kade, John Benn, George Manley, Mr. Musgrove, Winifred Fullan, Mace Smith, Miss Melvina Hooker, Dema Williams, Mrs. Andres McConnel, William Brown, Alex Labby, Anderson Jackson, Emet Martin, Mrs. Frank Rose, Frank Linn and Freman Cory, Frank Heavener, George Bartley, William Piper, Cora Retzer, Frank Rose, Emelius Tharp, Emma Thurston, Warn Wheeler, Al Couch, Alden Battershell, George Lumley, Harrison Dirking, William Hanks, Lee Hanks, Elmore Zumwalt, Roxie Hodge, Meridice Battershell, Iva Johnson, Verna Norton, Freeman Martin, and O. Harpole.
Some of the early settlers in the district were the Retzers and the Smiths who came from Pennsylvania. The Retzers came first and then wrote to the Smith family asking them to come to the county.
Early accounts of the community tell of a visit of a Vigilance Committee to a family accused of stealing a horse. They also mention the visits of bushwackers to the neighborhood during the Civil War days.
The present enrollment in the East Panther Creek School is 40.
Pleasant Dale School, District No. 8
The first building of the Pleasant Dale District, a log structure, was destroyed by fire July 4, 1887. A new frame building was immedlately erected to replace it. This building was used until 1925, when the present one was built. Thirty-two pupils were attending the school in 1932.
Among the early teachers of the Pleasant Dale School were: Jennie Pearl (1882), F. M. Lynn (1884), John Lammy, Sarah Lammy, Chittic Lammy, Mollie Lynn, W. W. Smith, M. E. Martin, Charles Temple, and E. E. Smith. Miss Pearl received $30 per month in 1882 and Mr Lynn received $40 per month in 1884.
Silver Creek School, District No. 7
When the first settlers arrived, probably in the 50's, they built a log school in the Silver Creek Hollow. This building was used both as a church and a school until 1887, when a frame structure was erected. The new building was never used as a church, but a Union Sunday School met in the building for some time.
The following are some of the teachers of the Silver Creek School: Albert Wigand, Fred Wigand, Charles Foiles, Frank Lynn, Joseph Becker, William Piper, E. A. Tharp, Stephen J. Sibley, Jennie Sibley, William Rose, Clo Jennings, Laura Kritz, Lena Waldheuser, Lela Foiies, Elba Sibley, Roxana Hodge, Mildred Walls, Charlotte Brangenburg, Flora Armstrong, Bessie Tozier.
Fox Creek School, District No. 11
The land upon which the Fox Creek School is now built was purchased in the year 1859. There was probably some sort of a log school at first, and in 1873 a frame building was erected. Until about 1900, the Fox Creek also included the territory now a part of the Mozier Hollow District. For many years the school buildings were used as a place for church services. John Lammy, Sheriff of Calhoun County, was killed near the schoolhouse, on Sept. 26, 1881.
The present building was constructed in 1925 and it contains two classrooms. It is one of the most modern buildings of its kind in the county. The Fox Creek District is said to be the only district in the county to have a Parent-Teachers Association. The 1932 enrollment was sixty.
The following teachers taught in the first two buildings: Anna Wineland, Alta Tibbets, Frank Lynn, Emelius Tharp, Frank Heavener, Sylvester Grader, Louis Goltz, Minnie Peters, George Fulkerson, Charles A. Sevier, William Piper, Frank Rose, Sam Darr, and William Merida.
Since the two-room school was erected the following persons have taught: Lawrence Charlton, Myrtle Benz, George Lumley (2 years), Beatrice Foiles (2 years), Clarence Foiles, Beatrice Foiles, Mrs. Armstrong, Myrtle Benz, Lee Farnbach (2 years), Selma Blackwell (2 years), Lee Farnbach, Louis Goltz.
Mozier Hollow School, District No. 16
Before the Mozier Hollow District was organized the pupils of the neighborhood went to the Fox Creek School. The present building was erected in 1901-1902. Some of the early teachers were: Myrtle Dirking, Gussie Smith, and Charles Buckanan.
The enrollment of the Mozier Hollow School in 1932 was thirtyeight.
Hamburg School, District No. 17
Long before the Civil War a log school was constructed by the people of Hamburg. It was located in the southwest part of the town, near the present site of the Waldron Hall. The second school, of hewn logs, was built about a half of a block southeast of the present school building. The third building was built about 1870. It was a large one-room frame structure, located on the west side of a large hill and about a block from the Mississippi River. About the year 1910, the building was enlarged by adding a large room to the south side of the old building. In 1924, another room was added to the west side of the building. This room is used by the high school.
The school building was used for both church and school purposes until about 1900.
Among the teachers who taught in the period of 1870 to 1905 were: Hollis Stone (1870), George Harrington, James McNabb, W. E. Barber, Anna E. Temple, Nellie Hooker, James E. Nimerick, Harriet E. Williams, J. D. Rose, J. W. Becker, John Day, Jr. (7 terms), Warren Sitton, and Addie M. Fowler (1902-1903). A number of those mentioned above taught two or more terms.
Indian Creek School, District No. 18
Little is known of the first log school that was built in the Indian Creek District. Jane Kincaid describes it as a small log building, located about 200 yards from the home of her grandfather, Silas Wilson, Sr. That location would be about one-fourth mile from the present building, and northwest of the present site of the W. W. Campbell home. She remembers two teachers who served there, Jack Cavander and John Elledge.
The second school building in the Indian Creek District was made of logs and covered with clapboaids. It was located at the intersection of the Indian Creek road and the state road, just south of the present site of the George Swearingin home. The building had a door on the south side, several windows on the east and west sides, and a solid north wall. A blackboard was placed against the north wall. The seats extended from north to south, lengthwise of the building. They were made of split logs, smoothed on the flat side, with holes bored on the round side into which were driven wooden legs. A large box stove stood in the center of the room. While the children were studying, they sat facing the stove, but if they wished to write they would have to turn around, since the writing desks were against the walls of the building.
From a report made by Henry T. Crader, the Township Treasurer in 1873, we get the following facts about the Indian Creek School of tha,t time:
"School year, 1872-1873
One log school, one female teacher, 22 boys and 15 girls attending, length of term, 6 months, teacher's salary, $35 per month."
This log building was used by the Church of Christ each year that it was used as a school. Some of the teachers who served in this building were: Ben Rannals, Lafayette Nye, Mr. Gilbert, Henrietta Rundles, H. S. Stone, Samuel Hollis, Sanders, Z. T. Williams, Miss Elizabeth McGinnis (now Mrs. Stephen McDonald), and Miss Elizabeth Joslin (later Mrs. C. W. Suiersq).
On the 17th day of May, 1875, one acre of land was given to the the Indian Creek District by Silas and Nancy Wilson. Upon this land the first frame school building was erected. It was located some distance up the Indian Creek Hollow, at the site of the present school building. This building was used by the church until the Indian Creek Church was built, in 1885.
The first teacher in the frame building was Miss Rosanna McGinnis. Other teachers were: H. S. Stone, Z. T. Williams, Miss Mabel Stone, Samuel Crader (a son of Abraham Crader), Richard Williams, Anna Wineland, John C. Rose, John S. Wilson, Charles Lamar, W. S. Wilson (4 terms), Miss Janie Hirst (now Mrs. W. S. Wilson), Thomas Turnbaugh, Miss Addie Fowler (now Mrs. John Day, Jr.), Charles Buckanan, Sadie Miller, W. E. Barber, and Charles Kinman. Miss Emma Bovee (now Mrs. John Foiles of Kampsville), and Harriet E. Nimerick each taught a summer term. The last teacher in the old school was Miss Leta Byrd.
A new building was erected in the summer of 1915. The contractor was John U. Roehlof Hamburg. He was assisted by Frank Roehl and L. A. Wilson. The first teacher in this building was Miss Leta Byrd. Others teaching before 1920 were: W. S. Wilson and Miss Ione Grader.
Some of the men who served for many years on the school board were: Abraham Crader, Henry T. Crader, Ira Lawson, Sr., Austin Wilson, Alfred Carnes, Silas Wilson, Sr., John H. Trowbridge, Jesse Wilson, Silas Wilson, Jr., Timothy Stone, F. W. Webster, H. H. Phillips, Frank Ternus, Herman Crader. Several of these served for as many as six terms.
The enrollment in the Indian Creek School in 1932 was thirty-eight.
Summit Grove School, District No. 12
In the year 1847 or 1848 the people of the Summit Grove neighborhood erected a log building which was to serve as both, a church and a school. At a later date, a frame structure was erected about a fourth of a mile from the old cemetery. Another frame building was erected at the same place and was used until 1907 when a fourth school, also a frame structure, was built.
Some of these persons who taught in the district were: John Nevius, McAlister, William Cooley, Anderson Orr, Mill Hooker, Albert Ansell, Frank Lynn, William Piper, William Rose, and Miss Mattie Dean.
Mount Hope School, District No. 15
The first building in the Mount Hope District was built in 1874. The second building which is in use at the present time was constructed in 1908.
Some of the teachers who have taught in the district since 1890 are: Cora Toulouse (1890), Maggie Kelley (1892), Katie Williams (1894), Bridget Nimerick (1895), Maggie Kelley (1896-1899), Margaret Inman (1900-1903), William Page (1904), Clara Shannon (1906), Hanna Feidler (1907), Jessie Oden (1908), Ester Cloniger (1909), Gertrude Workman (1910), Charles Sevier (1911-1912), Edwin Moorman (1913), Grace Foiles (1915), Esther Hefner (1917-1919), Ione Crader (1919-1920), Clarence Foiles, Catherine Fischer, Manuel Hagen, Frances Corbett, Lena Jones, and Darlene Clugsten.
Crater School, District No. 14
The first school building was a frame structure, erected about the time of the Civil War. It was used until 1900 when the second building was erected.
Some of the teachers of the Crater School were: Bridget Kelly (1890-1893), Charles Temple (1893-1895), Edward McDonald (18951897), Lottie Bain (1897-1899), Peter A. Gotway (1899-1910), J. Edward Godar, Agatha C. Braungel, Marie Wittman, and C. S. Goddard.
Since 1929, the district has been renting a new brick building, located about a quarter of a mile south of the old building, and just west of the post-office.
Kampsville Public School, District No. 13
In 1878 the first school building in the Kampsville district was erected. It was a frame building, about 36 feet by 40 feet, and located near what is now the intersection of Broadway and Locust Streets. The first teacher in this school was Martin DeKinder. Another school was maintained a short distance up Crawford Creek. This school was discontinued about 1900.
A new site for the Kampsville School was purchased from M. A. Kamp in 1900. The old frame building that had been used was sold to the Baptist Congregation, who used it for several years and then sold it. It is now being used as a dwelling. A new building was erected upon the new site. It was afterwards remodeled, and at the present time it is being used by the grade school and the three-year high school.
Some of the early teachers of the Kampsville School were: C. C. Wiegand (1890, salary $43. per month), Charles Lamar (1892), E. A. Tharp and Maud Haper (1893), F. F. Bennett and Charles Bellamy (1896), Nellie Carpenter and Frank Bennett (1898), C. Killebrew and F. F. Bennett (1899), Maude Haper and Tillie Eutter (1900), Henry Rose (1900), S. J. Sibley and Vester Darr (1901), W. M. Piper and Rosa Tharp (1902), W. E. Barber, Rose Tharp, and Augustus Smith (1903), Gussie Bartholomew and E. A. Tharp (1904), Vina Hirst and E. A. Tharp (1905), Saddie Utterback and G. C. Churchman (1907), G. C. Churchman and Winnie Johnson (1907), A. F. Auer and Winnie Johnson (1909), G. C. Churchman and Elizabeth Batchelder (1910).
Degerlia School, District No. 19
The first school in the Degerlia neighborhood was built in 1870 on land donated by Mary Godar. The teachers of this school were C. C. Wiegands and Rose Ann McGinnis. The second school was built in 1884, and the persons teaching in this building were: Charles Lamar, Charles Breden, J. Edward Godar, Mary Miller, Peter Gotway, William Breden, Jr., and Judith Pregaldin.
The school that is being used at the present time was built in 1916. The 1932 enrollment was forty-one.
Hardin Public School, District No. 20
The first school to be built at Hardin was erected some time before 1859. It was in that year that James Greathouse who later became one of the best known of Calhoun attorneys, came to the county and was employed as teacher. Some of his pupils were Mrs. Lucy Beaty, Mrs. Ruth Lammy, and George B. Childs. After this building was abandoned as a school it was remodeled into a dwelling, and it stands today at its original location, on the lot just north of the Standard Oil Service Station. Some of the men who taught in this building were: James Greathouse, John and Chittic Lammy.
The second school building was erected about 1873. It was a two story, frame building and was located northwest of the courthouse, on the lot just west of the Chris Ringhausen home. Some of the teachers who taught here were: Albert Ansell, Mr. and Mrs. James Day, Mr. Osborne, C. M. Tucker (1880-1881), James McNabb (18791880, 1881-1885), W. W. Pulliam (1885-1887), William Wells, E. A. Tharp, John Watson, and Elizabeth Stoffle.
This school building was destroyed by fire in the fall of 1897. The town hall was used until a new building could be erected.
The school board purchased a tract of land several blocks south of the court house and a new two-story, three room, brick-building was erected. The first teachers in the new building were J. F. Lacey and wife. Other early teachers were John Mackelton, Charles Lamar, and Chris Worthy.
A new addition to the school was completed in May, 1917, at a cost of about $6,000.
The high school was organized in 1916, and the first graduating class left the school in June, 1919. The four graduates were Mildred Aderton (now Mrs. Archie Nelson of Jerseyville), Ione Wilkinson (now Mrs. Arthur Mielke of Hardin), Mac Canan and Fred Linkogle.
Franklin School, District No. 23
At first there was no definite place in the Franklin District for holding school. Different houses and homes were used, and finally a small log building was erected. It was used until 1859, when a brick building was erected a short distance south of the log structure. This brick building is in use at the present time.
Some of the early teachers were: William Arnett, George Smith, William Fowler, and Mr. and Mrs. Van Duzen. Some of the pupils in the early days were Stephen McDonald, the Schleepers, Squiers, Cresses, Mortlands, and Smiths.
Before the Union School district was organized, the children of that neighborhood came to the Franklin School. Some of these children were the Nairns, Johnsons, and Richies. Before the Oasis Church was built, the church services were often held in the school building.
Oak Grove School, District No. 21
The first school that was held in the Oak Grove District was in a house on the Carl Squier farm. The second school was conducted in a house on the McNabb farm, and at a later time a house on the farm of John Byrd was used. All of these buildings were used in the sixties. The first building to be constructed for school purposes was in the year 1867 or 1868. This building was used until 1879 when it was replaced by a frame building. In 1916 the building that is being used at the present time, was constructed.
Among the teachers who served the district in the early days were: Amanda Buel (later Mrs. William Wilkinson), Mr. Athy, Chittic Lammy, Albert Ansell, J. W. Grafford, Stephen McDonald, Mrs. Stephen McDonald, Hollis Stone, Z. T. Williams.
Some of the denominations that used the Oak Grove School at different times as a place for church services were: the Presbyterians, Church of Christ, Latter Day Saints, and Methodists.
Gilead School, District No. 22
Since Gilead was the first county seat of the county, it is quite likely that there was a school established there at an early date. John McDonald who later became Sheriff of the county went there to teach in the thirties. One record mentions the fact that Peter Cartwright, the famous Methodist Circuit-rider, held a meeting in the Gilead School, in 1848. The las.t school house erected in the Gilead district, was in 1902.
Some of the early teachers at Gilead were: Hollis Stone (18761877), Z. T. Williams, Alice Squiers, Nellie Hooker, Alta R. Tibets, Elmore Allen, Joseph Becker, Jennie Pearl, William E. Barber, Emilius A. Tharp, and Ida Bain.
Both, the Methodist and the Lutheran Church used the Gilead School at different times.
Lower Gilead School, District No. 24
The first school in this district was erected in the fall of 1893. The first teacher was Nellie Harrell, who taught two terms. The school was often referred to as "The Little Nellie School". Miss Addie Fowler served as the second teacher, and Maud Haper as the third teacher. Others who taught there were Allie Batch, Carl Gordon, and Sadie Miller.
Before this school was organized, the pupils of the neighborhood went to the Gilead School. The petition for a separate school was started by Nick Kritz, Henry Feidler, and Michael Fonck. Others in the vicinity signed the petition, and in a short time the new district was created.
Union School, District No. 26
The first and only school building to be constructed at Union was built in 1865. The contractors were Wychoff and Mallay of Meppin.
The first teacher of the Union School was Charles Ingersol. Other teachers in the early times were: Mr. Athy, Mr. Owens, Dr. Milliam Nairn, Elmore Allen, Andrew Smith, Frank Belt, Mr. Francis Cox, Mattie Ellis, Olive M. Haper (1893-1894), Warren Sitton (1895), Walter Squiers (1896), Wm. Daugherty, Ella Squiers, and Albert Wiegand.
The school term did not begin until November and lasted for only three months. Another term was started in the spring and was known at that time as "Summer School". Sometimes a different teacher was hired for this term. Among those who taught in the "Summer School” were: Elizabeth McGinnis, Annie McDonald, William Fowler, and Mrs. Soffronia Smith.
Church and Sunday School was conducted in the school house in the early days by the Church of Christ. Two preachers of this denomination that attended the services were Reverend Sears and Reverend Burns. W. W. Smith, a Methodist preacher, also held services in the school. In the early days, debates and spelling matches were held in the school house.
Monterey School, District No. 27
Sometime before the year 1852 a log building was erected at Monterey. It was in use in 1877 when the brick building was edected. The brick structure is still in use at the present time. Before 1874, the school was known as the "Rock Point" School.
One of the first teachers was James Smirl, a subscription teacher. After the district school was organized, the first teacher was F. T. Belt. Other teachers in the early days were: Mr. Jenkins, Thos. Athy, William Cooley, Mildred Hooker, James Van Deusen, Elizabeths Van Deusen, Elmore Allen, Zachrey Williams, M. L. Tremain, Chas. W. Ingersoll, D. D. Nelson, Mary Jane Allen, Mattie Ellis, Wm. Daugherty, and R. V. Smith.
Stephen McDonald and Louise Crull taught in the old log building. A "Summer School” was maintained in the district on about the same principle as at the Union School.
Little Rock School, District No. 30
The first building to be erected in this district was a log structure, erected sometime in the thirties or forties. In 1863, a new stone building replaced the log one. This building is the oldest school building in the county at the present time.
Some of the early teachers were: Ann McDonald (1863), William Bartlett (1865). D. W. Van Deusen (1868-1869), J. F. Tribble (1881, salary $35 per month), R. V. Smith (1883, $40 per month), J. F. Tribble (1883-1884, salary $40 per month), Eliza Flanagan (1885, $30 per month), Florence Greamba, $30 per month).
An old schedule dated November 1874 shows 10 pupils attending the school, bearing only three family names: Greamba, Lippincott, and Keithley. Sue McCurdy was teaching and the salary was $50 per month. The directors at the time were Hiram Keithley and D. E. Lippincott.
There have been very few pupils in this district in the last ten or fifteen years. During a number of the school term years there were no pupils attending, but it was necessary for the directors to hire a teacher and have the school open on each school day in order to keep some neighboring district from annexing the territory. The reason for the small number of pupils is that the district is nearly one hundred percent Catholic and a large parochial school is maintained in the district to which most of the children go.
Mount Victory School, District No. 25
About the year 1840, a small log school was erected on the southwest corner of the Benedict Sackman farm. This building was located at the top of a large hill, and was usually called the "Mudsock School".
In 1877, the people of the district voted upon a new site for the school, and the one that was chosen was located at the foot of the same large hill to which previous reference has been made. The land upon which the new building was erected was donated by Dominick Zigrang. The building was a frame structure, costing about $200. The construction work was done by Claus Martin. At a later date a twenty foot addition was put to the front of the building.
Some of the teachers in the early days were: Hodgen Douglas, Frank Cox, Mollie Bartlett, Amanda Buhl, and Hattie Moore.
The log building was used by the Church of Christ as a meeting place on numerous occasions.
Batchtown Public School, District No. 28
District No. 28 (formerly No. 1) has had four school buildings. The first one was a small log building, erected sometime before 1852. Mrs. Sarah Plummer, one of the oldest of the Batchtown people, says she went to school in this building when she was six years old. Her first teacher was a Mr. Atkinson.
The second building, made of stone, was erected in 1854, and was still standing in 1910. Some of the first teachers in this building were: Mr. Strickland, Abram Yandall, C. B. Golden (about 1860), Thomas Athy (1861-1863), John L. Lewis (1867-1868), and Mary J. Allen (1868-1870). During the term of 1868-1869 there were forty-one boys and forty-three girls attending the school. The directors at that time were Wm. Batchelder, James Davis, and James Berrey. The term was six months and the salary of the teacher was $40. per month. Z. T. Williams taught in this building in 1874 for $55 per month, E. E. Musgrove in 1875 for $50, Fred Linley in 1878 for $60. The spring term of this year was taught by J. F. Tribble. This was Mr. Tribble's first term. Anna Lindley taught in 1878 and 1879 and Mr. Tribble again taught in 1889 and 1881.
The third school was a two-story, two-room, brick building and it was erected in 1881. Z. T. Williams was the first teacher (18811882), and Mary S. Day taught the spring term of that year. Hattie C. Moore taught in 1882-1883, T. B. Smith in 1884-1885, and Jennie Hof, the spring term. Mr. Tribble came back to Batchtown in 1885 and taught each year from then until the year 1908.
The present building was erected in 1912 on the same grounds as the two-story building. This building has three rooms, is built of red brick, and has a seating capacity of 110. Some of the first teachers were: Margaret Inman, Cora Smith, Irma Wallendorf, Minnie O'Donnell, Rose Bin, D. W. Story, T. B. Mills, Rose Bailey, Letitia Mortland, E. C. Rose, Lucy Wilkinson, and Ross Twichell.
The High School was organized in 1891 with E. C. Rose as principal. He taught two years and was followed by Glenn Nevius who served until 1933. Miss Cora Smith has taught in the primary room since 1910.
Some of the early township treasurers were: A. C. Wilson (18561861); George B. Smith (1861-1867); John Lowe (1867-1880); R. C. Beaty (1880-1890); and A. B. Lowe (1890-1910).
Nicholas School, District No. 29
The first building in the district was made of logs. It was later replaced by a frame building and was used until the present building was erected in 1916.
Among the early teachers were: Wm. Arnott (1858), S. W. Jones (1859), A. G. Ansell, Stephen McDonald, Jersey Coner, Elmore Allen, Heziah Cash, Dr. I. S. Berrey, J. F. Tribble, A. L. Wiegand, R. L. Smith, Clara Greamba, and Edward Canan. The school was named after John Nicholas, an early settler.
Western School, District No. 32
The school building used at the present time in the Western District was erected sometime between the years 1850 and 1855. But before the erection of this building there were two other buildings that were used, but we do not know the date of erection of either. The first one was located about a mile west of the present building, while the second one was across the road from the building in use at the present time. In 1898, the present building was enlarged.
Some of the early teachers were: Sue Houghtland, Mrs. Green, Sue McCurdy, Levi Guthrie, Charles Watson, R. V. Smith, A. W. Wiegand, E. J. Canan, Anna Eaton, Elizabeth Stoffle, Walter Squiers, William Tharp, Ella Fowler, Emilius Tharp, J. R. Hardesty, and Henry Weigand.
Liberty School, District No. 33
The first building in the Liberty District was erected in 1848. The first teacher in this building was General Brown. The building continued to be used until 1905, when it was moved away and replaced by a new frame building. This second building was used until its destruction by fire, in 1923. A new building, one of the finest rural schools in the county, was erected on the same site.
Some of the early teachers were: Walter Woodward, William Williams, Charles Guthrie, Sarah Loonam, Susie Wurtz, C. Lammy, Charles Ruble, William Smith, Edward Canan, Lue Springston, Thomas Plummer, Anna Eaton, Agnes Hagen, Ophelia Delonia, Leon Wurtz, Howard Bell, Fred Fiedler, and Hannah Fiedler.
The school building was used for church services for a time. Services were conducted by Rev. Blockage, a Lutheran minister.
Brussels Public School, District No. 31
The first building of the Brussels School was located about a mile and a half west of the village. It was constructed about the year 1855. The school remained at that place until about 1866, when the site of the old building was sold and a new site purchased from William Pohlman, Sr., at the foot of what is now known as the "Pohlman Hill". The old school building was sawed into two parts and then moved to the new site. It remained here and was used for a school until it was blown down in a storm in March, 1913.
The following month (April, 1913) an election was held to decide whether a new site should be chosen and a new building erected. The majority of votes were for a new site and a new building. A strip of land was purchased from Barney Pohlman for $500. This site is located on the corner, southeast of the Lutheran Church and a few hundred yards west of the site of the old school.
The building cost about $2,500 and it was ready for use in September, 1913.
One of the first teachers in the old building was Julius Demming. In the record of the Minutes of the Directors meeting, which was held on April 6, 1855, we find that Mr. Demming was to get the sum of $78, for the term, but no mention is made to the length of the term. Other early teachers were: Francis Fitzgerald (1858), Talman Andrews (1860), John F. Nolte (1865-1866). Mr. Nolte received $35. per month. Other teachers were: Sarah Lammy, Charles Flanagan, Marion Todd, A. D. Foiles, Johanna Fiedler, Henry Wiegand, and William Dougherty. Herman Imming taught ten successive terms (1875-1886) at $35. per month.
Before the first Brussels School was built, the children of the neighborhood probably attended the Bethel School, which was located on the Thos. Andrews farm, west of Brussels. John Lammy in his history of the county says that the Bethel School was the first one in Calhoun County, and that it was built before 1829. The records of the old Bethel School (or Gilman School as it was called by many) are still in good condition and from them we can get much valuable information about schools in the early days.
The Brussels School were never used by any church as a place to hold services, but for a time the building was used by an organization known as the "Sons of Temperance".
Point Pleasant School, District No. 34
The first building to be erected after the district was organized was built in 1850. But there was probably a log building before the frame building was constructed, as school was being conducted in this neighborhood as early as 1829. John McDonald, who later taught at Gilead, served as the first teacher. In 1870, the frame school was replaced by a brick building, and it continued to be used until 1917, when a modern and well equipped building was built in the district.
Some of the teachers in the early days were: Mrs. Cash, Miss Kibbie, John Lammy, Albert Weigand, John Watson, Thomas Plummer, Grant Auer, Charles Watson, Rose McNabb, Elmore Allen, Mrs. Lottie Hopkins, Charles McNabb, Sara Lammy, Chittic Lammy, and Tod Andrews.
In about the year 1870, the school was used by the Methodists as a place in which to hold church services.
Fruitland School, District No. 36
The Fruitland District is one of the smallest, but at the time of its organization there were a great many people living in the neighborhood, due to the fact that a coal mine and a quarry were located in the district.
The school house was built in 1905 and there were between fifty and sixty pupils in the district at that time. Some of the early teachers were Siebert Elder and Edward J. Canan.
Keck School No. 1, District No. 35
There are two schools in District No. 35 and they are known as Keck No. 1 and Keck No. 2. The smaller of the two is Keck No. 1 which is located on the "Prairie", about a mile above the Deer Plain Ferry. It is a small, one story building, being erected in 1888. Before its erection there was a log building which had been used since 1871.
The teachers in the log building were: Hannah Barnhart, Angie Cline, Sarah Ann Nicholas (spring of 1873), and George Watters. All of these were subscription teachers. The first district teacher was Cora Rexford (winter of 1877). Other district teachers who served in the old log building were: Charles Watson, John Watson, Albro Burns, Douglas Baxter, Maggie Kelley, Mary McCauley, and Florence Greamba.
The first teacher in the new school was Rebecca Dare. Walter Cockrell was another early teacher. The new building was located about a quarter of a mile north of the old log building.
Keck School No. 2, District No. 35
The first school in the district now known as District No. 35 was built about 1850 in what is now a part of Meyers' orchard.
The first teacher for this school was obtained from Monticello Academy at Godfrey. This school continued to be used until about 1893 when it was replaced by a new two story frame building, which was located about a half mile south of the old building. When the new building was erected it was the intention of the directors to have two teachers for the school, but a few years later the enrollment decreased and one of the rooms was never used.
Some of the teachers who taught in the old school building were: George Ruckstuhl, Lucretia Brown, Elizabeth McGinnis (spring term, about 1871), Todd Andrews, John B. Miller, C. W. Jones, Spaulding Brown (2 terms), Milton Brown, Carleton Woodward, Jemima Hoff, Rebecca Dare, and Grant Auer.
The first teacher in the new school was E. B. Legate. Others who taught in this building before 1910, were: W. W. Fulliam, Tom Plummer, Elmore Allen, Nona Haper, J. Edward Godar, Stephen J. Sibley, and Otto Snyder.
One of the directors in the early days was Peter T. Carpenter, who served for more than twenty years.
The buildings that were constructed, Keck No. 1 in 1888 and Keck No. 2 in 1893, were built from a fund left by the Will of Mr. Keck. The money left to the district could be used for two purposes. Part of it could be used for the building of the two new schools and the remainder was to be loaned out and the interest was to be used to provide free text books for the pupils and to pay the salary of the teachers. The amount that was out on interest was large enough that no school taxes were levied until recent years.
Mr. Keck was born in Mercer County, Pennsylvania, and came to Calhoun County at an early date. Mr. Francis Marshall and he batched together until 1853. He died December 16, 1871.
Extracted 20 May 2017 by Norma Hass from History of Calhoun County, pages 31-48.
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