Other Township Schools
by Jane Glenz
WILLOW CREEK SCHOOL
The Willow Creek School was built because the people of the area felt a definite need for it. Their children had to walk all the way to Pella in order to attend school. Later the district paid tuition to some neighboring schools for they were closer than the one to which the children were assigned. Some of the children did not start school until they were eight years old for the parents felt the distance too far, with too many dangers, to send younger children.
At great personal sacrifice they built a neighborhood school in 1924-25. The land was donated by John Willow Creek School Conradt, on a lease.
The school was closed in 1968.
Franklin School District #3 was once known as the Ainsworth and Mathison School. No doubt it was named for the many Ainsworth and Mathison families which lived in the district in the early existence of the school. Later the pupils had two names to select from Mayflower or Franklin School.
The first log schoolhouse originally stood on the land that now belongs to Arthur Vomastic. There are no records as to when the school was built. In 1904, the entries were remodeled. In 1909, it was voted at the annual meeting to “cut the school in two and the back end be moved back and 12 feet be built in between.”
This made the building 40′ by 28′ in size. In 1913, they fixed the school yard.
The inside of the school was whitewashed and cleaned twice a year in the early 1900’s for $4.00.
The enrollment in 1902 was 65. One pioneer said, “When the noses touched the blackboards they had to put on an addition.” Although the enrollment was high the average daily attendance was poor, especially in winter months.
In the early 1900’s the ages of the pupils ranged from 3 years to 20 years.
One child was four in November. There were many four-year-olds enrolled. One register called them the baby class.
In 1909 the school rules were framed and hung in the schoolroom. It listed the teacher’s and the student’s rules. The teacher was to be in school by 8 o’clock, hold students responsible for properties and was not permitted to hear complaints at recess. It gave the teachers the same authority as the parent. The students were to be in their seats when the bell rang, and were to refrain from using profane language and tobacco. Damage done to the school property was to be paid for.
In 1890 to 1900 the school term was two sessions, usually a fall term of four months and a spring term of three months. Later a continuous term of eight months was held and later nine months.
The community voted at its meetings for the kind of teacher the Board was to hire. In 1890 only female teachers were to be hired. In 1892 a male or female teacher could be hired, whichever was the cheapest.
The school was closed in 1950. At that time there were 16 students enrolled.
The Lyndhurst School was formerly in District #5. It was built in 1915 and prior to the completion of the building the children of the area attended the Gresham School. It is one of the schools that came into District 8 under the consolidation program.
The school was closed sometime between 1950 and 1960.
MORGAN SIDING SCHOOL
The Morgan Siding School began in the early 1900’s as a government school to take care of the Indian children present at that time in this small community. In 1915, the school became District No. 3. There were 45 students. In 1932 because of increased enrollment, an addition was added and it then became a two-room school. Grades I – 4 were taught in the new building.
The school was closed in 1958 when the new addition at Gresham was completed and the pupils were transported to Gresham.
Land for the first Riverbank School was obtained from the William Meisner farm. The first school was known as the Mayflower School.
The school was first in District No. 2 which later joined Joint School District No. 8. In about the year 1917 the first school building site was moved through the streets of Embarrass and Clintonville to another site and it was then used for other purposes. Plans for the second school building were drawn by an Oshkosh architect. When the new school building was completed, it was known as Riverbank. This was a step forward, since the school had a basement with a pump in the basement.
In the spring of 1956 the school was closed because of small enrollment and the children attended Pine Ridge School. In the fall of 1956 Riverbank was reopened but closed for the last time in 1966.
PINE GROVE SCHOOL
Residents of the area, Shawano, Route 3, realizing the need for a formal education for their children, purchased a portion of the farm then owned by August Meyer for a school site.
Interested neighbors combined their efforts and with the use of teams of horses, cleared the wooded land. They left a pine grove to the north, hence the name, Pine Grove.
The entire cost of the finished project was $360. The building was reputed to be one of the best school buildings in the state at the time. The year was 1896.
L.D. Roberts was Superintendent of Schools when Pine Grove was organized. Approximately one hundred other schools in the territory were under his supervision as well. Mr. Roberts made his rounds to the schools on a bicycle.
After fifty years of continual operation, Pine Grove became a part of Joint District 8 and the school was closed in the spring of 1946.