Waukechon Township Schools
by Jane Glenz
The Town Board of Waukechon met on the 31st day of August, 1908 to form a new school district known as School District No. 6 of the Town of Waukechon. This consisted of the territory in the N 1/2 of Section 19, all of Section 18, and parts of Section 7, 8, 17 and 20 which were west of the Wolf River.
There was no school in this district before this time. The children went to the Riverside School, 3 to 4 miles distance for some children.
Member of the district who hauled material or worked on the school were to receive $3 per day. A warm air furnace was installed in the school when it was built. Every member of the district furnished four fence posts for the fence around the school, and the first year $300 was raised to run the school.
There was little change made in the original school. It was used by the district until 1955 when it was closed. Today it is used as a garage for tractors.
The first year that the school was started it was voted to have six months of school; in 1909 they had eight months starting the first of October. In 1922 they had nine months of school starting the first part of September.
The district voted to supply free textbooks to the students in 1937. Before this time the children were required to purchase their own.
In 1908 the enrollment was 27, ranging in age from 5 to 15. At the close of school, the enrollment was also 27. When the school was first organized the district voted to hire female teachers only. This was changed when they hired Ervin Koenig of Shawano as the first man teacher.
The Porter School, formerly in District No. 5, Town of Waukechon, has an interesting history. As the result of consolidation, the school was closed in 1951 and the building was then used for storage purposes.
The first school for the people of that area was constructed in 1876. Land was purchased from the Tuma family. From 1895 to 1920, an early record book reveals that additions were made practically every year to the building, such as new siding in 1895, and a roof costing $27. The woodshed was built in 1897. In 1908 the old wood stove was sold for 30 cents and a new heating and ventilating system was installed, plus extensive repairs to walls and ceiling. Water was purchased from farmers nearby for $1.50 to $4.00 a year. In 1910 a well was drilled and in 1913 free textbooks were furnished.
In 1916 an additional acre of land was purchased. The old school was torn down to make room for a new building. The new school was erected in 1920. The building was constructed of red brick and tile with a tin ceiling. The cost of the new school was $10,000, rather expensive for those days.
The enrollment averaged around 90 in the 1900’s.
The Dallman School, formerly in District #2, Town of Waukechon, was named by Carl Dallman. The school was located three fourths of a mile east on County W, about one mile from the city limits.
The first school was built around 1878 and was in use for 50 years. A new building was located on the same site as the old school. It was completed in 1928. An additional one half acre of land was purchased. The large building accommodated 36 desks. It had a full basement and furnace. Restrooms were installed after District 8 was organized; water connected to the Shawano city water system.
In the early years $5 a month was a good salary for a teacher, and in some instances, the salary was not paid until the end of the school term. During the Depression years, the minimum salary was $65 per month.
The first teachers walked from Shawano. One rode a bicycle to the school. Later teachers drove their cars or boarded out.
The district which included the Riverside School, was organized in 1913, in the Town of Waukechon. Before that time the children attended the Porter school, some having to walk three to four miles each way. In 1913 the Riverside School was constructed and the Porter and Riverside districts divided the territory. The school is located on highway 187 and County Trunk T. The land was leased and later bought from the Hammond brothers. The School was constructed of veneer brick. In later years the Sandy Road School was moved next to the school since the enrollment was two large. This was called the “little school” and had grades 1-4. The little school was used one year after integration with District 8. It was then sold to Chas. Urban who moved it to a different location and uses it as a summer home.
The first years’ enrollments were high. When Mrs. Tomashek taught there, at one time she had 25 first graders and 14 eighth graders. The enrollment was never less than 50 children. The present enrollment is 21 and only grades 1-6 are housed at River-side. For a time the public school was shared with the parochial d school in Belle Plaine.
THE TEACHERS who have been hired to teach at Riverside remained for many years. Mrs.Margaret Tomashek taught there 11 years. Mrs. Leona Knutson (present teacher) has been there 17 years. Other teachers were, Sadie Breed, Esther Sprauge, Helen Tomashek, Clarence Tomashek, Rose Wege O’Brien; Josephine Wilson, Eleanor Schweers, Mrs. Engels, Laura Grosskopf. Teachers usually boarded in the neighborhood, but later drove. One teacher even lived in a trailer house.
BOARD members who served in the past were: Albert Hammond, who was the first clerk; James Vomastic, a clerk for 18 years; Wm. Prey, Albert Zabel, Wm. Hoppe, Wm. Grosnick, Herbert Prey, David McMurray. The board at the time of integration he was composed of Joe Klement, Henry Kriescher, Alfred Prey. Mr. Prey was a member of the board for I years and then served as a board member of District 8 until his death. (Information about Riverside School was provided by James Vomastic and Leona Knutson).