IAGenWeb Project

Adair County Iowa

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Prussia Twp Schools


Up and until 1940, the schools were the hub of the community.  Besides being the main center of learning, they were also used for entertainment.  Township meetings and voting were held at the Center School.
Up until the early 1920s, school was held only eight months in the year.  It was usually in terms. Fall, Winter, and Spring.
Older boys missed much school by having to help with the harvest and any other work that was urgent at that time.  Sometimes boys 17 and 18 years old would attend the winter term.  This made it very difficult for the teacher, in having more classes and less discipline.
About three times a year, the teacher would have a program, with songs, recitations and dialogues.  What fun it was for a week preceding the program.  Curtains were hung in front of the stage, which had to be opened and closed after each performance.  This was done by two of the pupils.


Programs were generally held at night, with a box social at least once a year.  Beautiful boxes of different shapes and sizes were decorated with crepe paper and tinsel.  A Valentine social generally brought wonderful heart shaped boxes.  Inside each box was delicious food for two.
Two of the auctioneers at that time were Clifford Sears and Ed Fessler.  Perhaps at that time Ed Fessler had auctioned off more boxes than any other man in the county.


In the later years of the 1800s and early 1900s, literary meetings were held in the schoolhouses.  These were mostly neighborhood meetings for entertainment, songs, readings, spelling bees, etc.  These meetings brought neighbors together and were enjoyed by all.


During the time between 1914 and the 1920s, manual training and home economics were introduced in the schools of Prussia Township.  They had a big carpenter's bench with attached vise and many tools.  Very few of these were used to any advantage.


Very few schools had wells on the school grounds.  Water had to be carried from nearby farm homes.
The rural school years were a happy time, and a great period of history was gone when they had to close their doors.


In 1914, ‘16, ‘17, and up into the early 1920s, the extension service from the college in Ames sent leaders out to farm communities to meet with farm homemakers.  These meetings brought the latest methods of canning and preserving food.  They were also given instructions on how to make cheese, make and use fireless cookers, sewing lessons and information on kinds and use of materials in sewing.


Between 1914 and 1918, reading contests were held in the township.  Each school in the township its best reader from each grade to the center school.  There each grade would compete against the grades of the other schools.  The winners from each grade would enter the county contest held at Greenfield.
Later spelling contest were held in the township, each school sending its best speller.  Then they would compete with other spellers from the county.  The winners from the county would go on to the state contest.


The graduation of the eighth grade pupils from country school was always a difficult time.  Poor attendance was the most common cause of students not keeping up in their grades.  Those who really wanted to pass the 8th grade were helped and coached by their teacher for weeks before the examination.



Edwin Rohr, Albert Rohr, Isaac Molln, John Tilk, Johnnie Michael.
Gertrude Schrader, Mary Pinkerton, Minnie Weber, Lena Stelling. Alva Dory, Viola Michael.
Carrie Lundy, Annie Ferber, Elizabeth Weber, Fern Fay, Mollie Michel, Minnie Kellenberg, John Schrader, Rudolph Kellenberg, Willie Tilk.
Marvin Molln, Goldie Fay, Agnes Delaney, teacher; Myrtle Molln, Sylvia Fay, Mary Stelling.


PRUSSIA NO. 2–1909

Fay Thompson, Floyd Crees, Carl Williams, Thomas Van Camp, teacher.
Elmer McGee, Willard Williams, John Mensing, Herman Williams, Joel Crees.
Eva Hoisington, Amanda Mensing, Laura McGee, Nora McGee, Ida Crees, Edith McGee, Alma Mensnig, Anna Hanke, Pauline Hanke, Bessie McGee.


The eighth grade graduating class of Prussia Township in 1915. 

Edna (Sturdy) Wallace; Maude (Bailey) Schmidt; Lole (Hemphill) Jensen, deceased: Gladys (Purdy) Bakerink; Mabel Tipling, deceased; Nellie (Gustin) Bolton, deceased; Irene (Adamson) Sturdy, deceased.  Faye Kingery,  Deceased; Louise Fagan; Earnest Jensen; Silva (Hamilton) Sivadge; Ray Blair, deceased; Claus Mangels, deceased.  Mabel (Morgan) Joint, deceased; and Maggie (Jacobson) Tilk.




After graduating from 8th grade, most townships would have graduation exercises.  Prussia Township held their exercises in Handley’s timber, a big timber patch located one mile west and one mile north of Prussia Center.  The farmstead is now occupied by Roger Blanchard in section 16.  A picnic was held at noon.  A stage was erected for the program.  There were speakers, music, and a ball game.  The County Superintendent, would give out the diplomas to the graduates.  Sometimes each graduate would have to give as reading.  The last two graduation exercises held in the township were at Canby.  After that, they were held in Greenfield or Fontanelle.


Prussia No. 1 School, December, 1946, Mrs. Mildred Young, the teacher.

Robert Morrison, Richard Lundy, Virginia Lein, Joe Lamb, Betty Young.  George Wilson, Janice Kellenberg.




School District No. 1 included sections 1, 2, 11 and 12.  The schoolhouse was erected in 1874. The Lutheran Church, organized by the community held services in the schoolhouse from 1874 to 1913.  The school was dismantled in the 1950s due to lack of pupils and consolidation.


School District No. 2 included sections 3, 4, 9, and 10.  The schoolhouse was erected in 1871.  It was located in the southeast corner of section 4.  It was known as the Mensing School.  It has been dismantled.


School District No. 3 had the combined sections of 5, 6, 7, and 8.  It was located in the northeast corner of section 7.  It was known as the Canby School.  It also has been gone since the 1950s.


School district No. 4 included sections 17, 18, 19, and 20.  Schoolhouse was erected in 1873.  It was located in the northeast corner of section 19.  It has since been dismantled.



School District No. 5 included sections 15, 16, 21, and 22.  Center Schoolhouse, as it is called, was erected in 1873.  It is still standing, located in the southwest corner of section 15.


School District No. 6, known as the German Ridge School, included sections 13, 14, 23, and 24.  The first schoolhouse was built in 1873.  In was located in the southwest corner of section 13.  In the early 1900s a new building was erected.  It has also been dismantled, due to busing of rural students to town.


Prussia No. 6 School in 1900

Bertha Bolger Robert Dwigans, Bertha Buchanan, Archie Nolte, Nellie Dwigans, Edith Sturdy, Anna Sieg, Oscar Hofmann, Maude Sturdy, Art Sturdy, Eva Hofmann, George Worthington, Carrie Worthington, Amelia Bittner, Ella Nolte, teacher; Ardiss Bitcon, Bessie Hofmann, Grace Sturdy, Nellie Shike, Stella Buchanan.



School District No. 7 comprises sections 25, 26, 35, and 36.  the schoolhouse was located in the southwest corner of section 25.  It was sometimes called the Brandon School and the Tarr School.  It has also been dismantled.


Everett Paxton (deceased), Lloyd Harris, Albert Kreis, Leola Hofman, Ruth Lane Vanatta (deceased), Albert Erbes.  Center row: Nell Sturdy (deceased), Anna Belle Sturdy Wight, Carl Kreis, Edward Weinheimer, Jennie Sturdy Evans.  Anna Weinheimer Queck, Wm. Sturdy, and Lloyd Hepler (deceased),


School District NO. 8 included sections 27, 28, 33 and 34.  The schoolhouse was located in the southeast corner of section 28.  It was known as Coon School.


Herman Mangels, Andy Glade, Fred Rohner, Anna (Anderson) ?, Alda (Mangels) Ritter, Dora (Hepler) Lane.  Albert Jensen, Walter Glade, Ed Glade, Henry Mangels, Carl Diers. Carl Mangels, Hans Jensen, Marie (Jensen) Jacobson, Golda (Hepler) Nelson, Hannah (Jensen) Rohner.  Grover Hepler, John Hohertz, Carl Rohner.  Fifth row: Walter Lane, Lois Jackman, Bernie Jackman, Henning Jensen, Norman Hepler, Louie Diers, Teacher Eardley Bell.


School District No. 9 embraced sections 29, 30, 31, and 32.  The schoolhouse was erected om 1871. It was located in the southwest corner of section 29.  It has also been dismantled.


John Rogers, Mildred Mangels Pickrell, Fred Cooper, Lorena Miller Walker, Ellen Cooper Huesman, George Winters Marjorie Eblen, Roy Brewer, Kenneth Leuthauser, Marie Miller Denton, Dorothy Winters Freeman, Jack Brewer.  Wilma Held Weinheimer was the teacher of this group.



transcribed by Mary Cochrane, Adair County History, 1976




Adair County

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