Clipped From Kossuth County Advance

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 - Aiqono Kmuth County TU8SDAY, AUSUST 4, 1W9 --...
Aiqono Kmuth County TU8SDAY, AUSUST 4, 1W9 -- AL6ONA, IOWA y \ / ^^ \J^ Looks back on old Kossuth and finds junior has it soft By Esther Charlotte Smith Swea City -- September approaches and once more it's time to round up Junior for another school term. Did parents in Great-Grandma's day meet \\itii as much juvemie resistance toward school as modern parents do? Scan some long-ago schools of Norhwest Kossuth and you may garner a few arguments to use,on Junior. Supposing he'd been born a hundred years ago, here's what his school might have been like. School boards of today who ponder over adequate classroom lighting might wish themselves living Dack in 1865. No lighting worries for the Greenwood township school of that date! It was a half-dugout half-shanty in a hillside west of the river in what is now the Quinn pasture two miles west of the Bancroft cemeteries. The first school in all of Northwest Kossuth, it was taught by A. P. Buker, and his son Cyrus was one of the pupils. Cyrus later taught rural schools in Swea, Eagle and Grant townships, and his wife, Ida Moulton iuker, conducted the first school in Swea City around her dining room table in the winter of 1892. Mrs Geo. Butterfield; Sr., still living in Swea City, was a pupil in that dining-room school in 1892, in the house now occupied by Mrs Newton. Keating systems and flooring in the splendid new Sentral High school are the finest to be had today. In 1868 Mrs Chart- day Swea City man narrowly escaped drowning when he fell thru the rotted platform of the abandoned well on the school- grounds of the Seneca rural district where he was a pupil. UP IN GRANT township, the school patrons of the 1890s couldn't agree on a site for the district school. Built on skids, it was moved here and there and pupils never knew where they might find it in the morning. At another Qrant district, youngsters attended school in a granary for a term or two. The oldest school in Swea township, built in -1877. is now part of the Wm. Krumm home in Swea City. Another is the Baptist Guild hall and another is the VFW quarters. Up in Eagle township, near Burt's Lake, a young farm boy Indian Day at Titonka is a success Titonka -- The Indian Day amatuer contest was won by out of town contestants. Bill and Dorothy Trees. Armstrong, son and daughter of the Donald Trees, won S20 with a vocal duet. Monty Woodford, Curlew, won second with a solo, and third went to Vicki and Becky Missal, daughters of the Donald Missals, Clarion, · with a tap dance. There were 15 contest- ents with prices totaling $100. The morning-\ was highlighted saved the school from destruc- with a parade for 5,000 in at- tion in a prairie fire by plowing a firebreak around the building. That school, like many others, served as a polling place, the spot for literary society meetings, box socials, and singing school. If a school burnt in those days, the entire recreational facilities for a community went up in smoke. School terms 'were mostly seven months long, rather than the present-day nine or -more. Teachers seldom had a high school education -- some had less than eighth grade schooling, but if an applicant could pass a written examination by the county superintendent, a tendance. The day was humid and hot. es 0. Fish taught one ,of the certificate was granted. Salary first schools in the 'territory was largely determined by the grade of the certificate held. Twenty-five dollars a month was now served by Sentral. Located in Section 9, Seneca township, the building was a log shanty with a sod roof and no floor. Ventilation was more than adequate, for the one window had no glass, only heavy paper. The stove in the center of the room allowed those near it to roast and those sitting closer to the window to freeze. The hay on the floor caught fire now and - then, but- this merely- created a pleasant diversion and allowed the pupils to find'the pencils they had lost in the hay. AS FOR books, there were no persuasive book saiesm take the busy superintendent's time. (For that matter, there wasn't any superintendent.) The books were such as the kids brought with them from the schools they had attended in other communities. Mrs Fish as teacher was obliged to assign lessons in half a dozen different kinds of textbook for every subject--some of the textbooks had been brought from New York state, some from the Frink school on Black Cat creek north of Algona, and some from schools in Illinois. The teacher herself had more to do than prepare next day's lessons at night. She walked home a mile to a sod house and got her husband's supper, cared for her twin baby girls, and helped her six-year old daughter with her school work. No big yellow bus picked up the youngsters, and in winter blizzards it was not uncommon for some to freeze hands or toes on the way to school. Those who had to cross the river did so by a footlog in spring and fall, unless the water was too high; then they got a vacation. As late as the 1890s, the kids of that neighborhood got a half- holiday every time there was a burial in the township cemetery. The schoolhouse, which stood just across the road, was used for church and funeral services, so as soon as the horse- drawn procession came into sight, school was dismissed. School safety was not exactly stressed, either. One present- considered fair pay -- and it; Army appeal is encouraging ·wasn t handed out lightly. One the returns are considered The Wm. A. Alkes have a son born at the Hancock Memorial hospital at Britt, Thursday. He weighed 8 lb."6 oz. Mrs ».e and son Darryl George came home Monday. The Richard Temples, Carolyn and Marilyn, Kamrar, were recent visitors at Ray Welp's. Glenn Welp left Thursday for Fort Sill, Okla., after two weeks with his parents the Ray Welps. He completed his basic training at Fort Carson, Colo. The Paul Kromingas and daughter, Rockford, 111., spent last week with the parental Amos Kromingas and the Bernard Phelps. The response to the Salvation lightly Swea City senior citizen remembers driving all day with 'a team over mud roads to help his sister collect three months' pay. The warrant had to be signed by half a dozen school officials in the township before the teacher could receive her princely-earnings" of ;about, $75' for three months' work. '/ A school wasn't often disrupted by a visit from the county superintendent, however. With the schools of a large county to . l , 0 visit and no form " conveyance excepting a team and wagon or sled, the 'top brass' did well if he visited each rural school once a year. M E A N W H I L E , that same school might have had 3 or more successive teachers, for the teacher was hired only for one term -- fall, winter or spring term -- and there might frequently be a different individual hired for each one. Nowadays, with the small fry and the teen-agers of this area going into Swea City, Armstrong, Bancroft, or the towns of the Sentral district for 13. years of the best available training, it seems unbelievable that within the memory of living people this same area had only dugouts, deserted claim shanties, and sod houses for schools. But' if the youngsters of today become the solid citizens that the ·graduates' of the dugouts and sodhouse schools turned, out to be, there is a bright future for this country. Vacation Time! the returns are considered fairly good, according to W. H. Ricklefs, local chairman. A. W. Boyken is local treasurer. The Henry Van Hoves, Carroll Van Hoves, Nancy Boeck-. holt, Titonka, and Keith Van Hove, Mason City, were Indian Day visitors at George Sach- HIT* 5 . - * - - - -- -» *? 5 ' · . *· The Wayne Millers, Roslyn and Beth. Versailles, Mo., visited at Glen Miller's, Len Gallies' and Ray Miller's last week. Vance Reibsamen, Farmington, spent last week visiting in and around Titonka. Mrs Joe Bestenlehner Sr., of Algona, and Mrs Mary Rockwood and Mrs Magdaline Bleich, Wesley, were Indian Day visitors at Mrs Mary Oesterreicher's. Mr and Mrs David Robert. Los Angeles, Calif., were Monday to Wednesday visitors with Mrs Robert's mother the Jay Budlongs. and also at Everett Rippentrop's. TRADITIONALLY THE FINEST If you'r* looking for ciwr»d diamond ring value, and hav* j budget to consider, then Mt our beautiful selection. 88NOINI

Clipped from
  1. Kossuth County Advance,
  2. 04 Aug 1959, Tue,
  3. Page 7

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