Allamakee co. IAGenWeb Project - School Records
new content added 09/04/2021

School Index

Franklin twp. No. 3, Red School

Section 15, Franklin twp.


County Superintendent's School Notes



Miss Mabel Thelman had a Halloween party at the Red School House on Friday afternoon. Games were played by the children and peanuts and candy were provided by the teacher.
~Postville Herald, Thursday, November 5, 1931, Postville, Iowa, Page 6



Red School News Notes
Ann Oelberg, teacher, attended the teachers' institute held at Waukon on Saturday. On Friday afternoon Gregg Peters, teacher of Volney school, brought the kittenball team to the Red School, where a kittenball game took place that was very interesting and exciting. Both teams were quite evenly matched, but the Red School team was a little the best and won the contest.

Crystal Van Horn and Milton Van Gorder were the only ones absent the past week.

On Sunday, Ann Oelberg, the teacher, and some of the older girls of the Red School went to the woods and had a picnic. Those in attendance were Crystal Van Horn, Irene Brainard, Melva Henderson, Viola Smith and Lillian Powell.
Ann Oelberg, teacher
~Postville Herald, Thursday, October 5, 1933, Postville, Iowa, Page 6

Red School Notes
On Friday afternoon the Cherry Valley kittenball team visited our school and played a game with the Red School team, our school coming out victors in the contest. Visitors were Jessie Geno, Miss Lulu Leet, Albert Leet and Mrs. Clarence Bloxham. Ann Oelberg spent the week-end visiting at the parental Charles Oelberg home in Fayette county.

In the lower grades William Enyart had the highest average in his studies for the first month. Viola Smith had the highest scholastic standing in the upper grades. Others on the honor roll in the upper grades were: Melva Henderson, Leonard Geno, Roy Dahlstrom, Hartley Enyart, Adelbert Brainard and Iva Oelberg.

Friday afternoon, September 29th, Volney came to our school to play kittenball. The score was tied during most of the game and not until the last inning did the Red School gain the winning point. The final score was 5 to 4. Next Friday we plan to play No.9 in Franklin Township.

Leonard Geno was elected captain of the ball team for this fall.

The first three grades bring milk to school to drink at recess.

The following pupils earned perfect attendance certificates the first month. Roy Dahlstrom, Melva Henderson, Hartley Enyart, Viola Smith, Orlan Berg, Alta Dahlstrom, Iva Oelberg, Beulah Oelberg, Ida Mae Van Gorder, Stanley Berg, William Enyart and George Oelberg.

Melva Henderson, Leonard Geno, Ida Mae Van Gorder and Iva Oelberg have earned blue marks in spelling. Ida Mae has the most one hundreds for the year in spelling.

All the girls above the fourth grade, Lillian Powell and Miss Oelberg went on a picnic Sunday.
Ann Oelberg, teacher
~Postville Herald, Thursday, October 12, 1933, Postville, Iowa, Page 6


Roy Dahlstrom was absent Wednesday as he was helping his folks with corn shredding. A kittenball game was played Friday on the field at the A.L. Powell farm between Volney and Red School teams, the Red School winning the contest.

Melva Henderson, Viola Smith, Stanley Berg, William Enyart and George Oelberg have perfect attendance records. Ida Mae Van Gorder has a perfect spelling record for the past month.

Ann Oelberg attended the teachers' meeting at the Ben Krambeer home Monday evening.
~Postville Herald, Thursday, October 26, 1933, Postville, Iowa, Page 6


Red School Notes
Wednesday, November 1st, A.J. Oelberg came to the Red school with his truck and took the kittenball team to Volney. We won by a score of 15 to 3. William Van Horn, Roy Dahlstrom and Leonard Geno are hard hitters. This makes five successive victories and so far no defeats.

We have new typewritten song books. The books include all the choir songs and several other songs.

William Enyart had the highest scholastic standing for the second month in the lower grades. William is in the second grade.

Of the upper grades Melba Henderson and Viola Smith are tied for first place, Viola in 6th grade and Melva in the 8th grade.

Perfect attendance certificates were awarded to the following: Leonard Geno, Melva Henderson, Hartley Enyart, Viola Smith, Orlan Berg, Irene Brainard, Iva and Beulah Oelberg, Rodney Berg, Stanley Berg, William Enyart, Alice Brainard and Leonard Roffman.

Spelling certificates were awarded to Ida Mae Van Gorder, Viola Smith, Melva Henderson and Leonard Geno.

We miss Ida Mae, Leslie and Milton Van Gorder very much at school, they moved to near the Smithfield school.

One of the improvements in our school recently is a hook for each child to hang their wraps on. The name is placed above each hook, and this causes less confusion at recess and dismissal.

Red school and Volney school will have a spelling match at our school on Nov. 9th.
Ann Oelberg, teacher
~Postville Herald, Thursday, November 9, 1933, Postville, Iowa, Page 6


Red School News
Thursday (Go to School Day) a program was given at the Red school celebrating American Education Week. All parents were invited to visit the school and learn more about its history, teacher, pupils, etc., and the following program was presented. School song by the four upper grades. Mrs. A.L. Powell gave a history of the Red school.

Ann Oelberg gave the history of the teacher, her life, schooling, etc. Mrs. John Berg gave a talk about the children of the community. Melva Henderson and Roy Dahlstrom, eighth grade pupils gave a talk about the classwork, etc. Marilyn Berg and Alice Brainard new pupils, gave recitations. Leonard Geno, captain of our kittenball team gave an interesting talk about our team.

The first four grades sang the song "Looby Loo." Viola Smith told about awards and honors. Thursday afternoon, following the program a spelling match was held with the Volney school. Red school won by two points.
~Postville Herald, Thursday, November 16, 1933, Postville, Iowa, Page 6


Friday, Miss Oelberg and pupils of the Red School met Volney in a spelling bee, Volney lost by four points.
~Monona Leader, Thursday, November 23, 1933, Monona, Iowa, pg 2



Red School News
Melva Henderson, Leonard Geno and Ray Dahlstrom took eighth grade examination in Waukon on Friday, February 2nd.
No school was held in Franklin district No.3 on Monday on account of trustees meeting. In picture study we have studied Leonordo Da Vince's (sic) "Last Supper" and Lincoln's Memorial, which is in Washington, D.C. Ann Oelberg, our teacher, spent Thursday evening visiting in the Ira Smith home.
Ann Oelberg, teacher
~Postville Herald, February 8, 1934, pg 7



Miss Jessie Decker, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Decker, won the spelling contest for Franklin township on Friday, which gives her a chance to spell at Waukon. She is a pupil of the Red school and her teacher is Ione Lamborn.
~Postville Herald, Thursday, March 7, 1935, pg 6



Little Red School House

The children in the photograph are, from left:

Leslie Winters, Cheryl Brainard (waiting to bat), Gilbert Brainard (batting) Pitcher Norman Borcherding, Patricia Doeppke, Mary Lou Borcherding, Stephen Smith, Donna Smith, Carold Borcherding and Jane Clark.

One of the few one-room, one-teacher public schools still operating in Iowa is pictured on today's cover. This is also one of Iowa's most interesting schools. It is in Allamakee County in the Yellow River Valley some 12 miles north of Monona, 12 miles south of Waukon and 12 miles northeast of Postville. The school is a landmark, constructed in 1874. Though it has been improved and repaired over the years, the original building is still in use, and it has always been painted red. In fact, the official name is "The Red School," and all records are sent to the superintendent that way.

The Red School is part of the Allamakee Community School District, but is operated as a rural school under that system. Its enrollment of 18 boys and girls represents all eight grades. The teacher is the Rev. Curtis Webster, who is also pastor of The Forest Mills Evangelical United Brethren Church about two miles from the school. There is no connection between the church and the school. The Rev. Mr. Webster has taught The Red School for the last nine years and has taught in the area for 28 years. Many of his present students are children of parents he taught.

All the children in the school, now concluding its 87th year, are from farm families. They, like their teacher, enjoy the scenic beauty surrounding their school, which stands at the bottom of a long hill. In winter they ski and toboggan on the hill, and in spring and fall they join in softball, football and volleyball games in the schoolyard. When the photograph on today's cover was taken by Gordon Lord of McGregor, the teacher was catching a softball game. Children who were playing but are not in the picture are Sandra Brainard, Nancy Clark, Sandra May, Raymond Winters, Diane Clark, Ronald May, Dean Engelhardt and Gregory Courtney.

~The source & date of this story and photo are unknown. Estimated to be c1961. The article most likely appeared in a local or regional newspaper, and had been clipped and saved in a scrapbook I made in junior-high back in the early 1960's. The Red Schoolhouse has been restored. It's present location is at the Waukon, Allamakee Co. Iowa fairgrounds.
~contributed by S. Ferrall


Little Red School Stll Lives

"I don't believe it," the writer-photographer muttered to himself as he parked his car in the midst of a vista so beautiful and picturesque. But there it was, the Little Red School, built in 1874, its male teacher at the doorway, bell in hand, about to call in a dozen or so pupils from recess. The paint is faded, but there is no doubt about it. The school house is red and probably always has been, as are the two small buildings at one end of the school yard which house the outdoor plumbing. The only incongruous thing about the setting is the little yellow bus parked by the school.

Curtis Webster is the school bus driver and the teacher. He also is pastor of the Forest Mills Evangelical United Brethren Church, located about a mile from the school. "Curt" Webster, that's how he is respectfully and affectionately called by his 15 pupils and their parents, has taught school within a radius of six miles for 33 years. This is his 14th year at the Little Red School. Born and reared in this area, he taught at both Forest Mills and Volney before coming here. The Forest Mills and Little Red Schools are now one. The Volney school has been moved away.

If the paint is fading it's probably because the school house soon will "change hands." It is operating this year on borrowed time. Scheduled to close at the end of the year 1965-66 school year, its curriculum was extended by necessity for another year after the Waukon High School building burned last December. Located in the Yellow River valley, 12 miles north of Monona, 6 south of Waukon and 12 southeast of Postville, it is part of the Allamakee Community school district. Beginning next fall its pupils will attend school in Waukon. Seventh and eighth graders from this area already go to Waukon.

As soon as the Little Red School ceases to operate it will become a museum, under the control of the Allamakee County Historical Society, of which Mr. Webster, incidentally, is president. The school and land will remain as they are. The school house will be restored like the old original building. This may be harder than you'd think. The kerosene lamps have long ago been replaced by electric lights. The hardwood stove that stood in the center of the room is gone and the school is efficiently warmed by a more modern space heater.

The old school bell is gone from the belfry - but only temporarily. It was taken down and stored after some "collectors" stole the bell from the Forest Mills School. Restoration could mean taking out the telephone, hot plate for heating lunches and the refrigerator for cooling them.

When the kids of the Little Red School go to town next fall they will miss many of things that are now associated with it, both inside and outside. How about the red fox that used to come down off the hill and hunt mice in the field just beyond the school yards or the deer that come out of the woods below - after the hunting season ended? (Mr. Webster said they once counted 25 deer down there at one time.) Or, tabogganing down the slope in the winter time? Or ice skating on the nearby pond? Or the stories Curt always read to the school after the pupils - and he - finished eating at their desks the food they'd brought in their lunch buckets? Or playing "Cops and Robbers" and mumbletypeg in the school yard at recess?

The class of 1967, the final class at the Little Red School, has the following roster:

Ronald Oelberg, first grade
Julie Engelhardt and Richard Baumgartner, second grade
Gary Brainard, Jerry Brainard, Richard Brainard, Frederick Oelberg and Kathy Winters, third grade
Lori Fawell, Jeanene Baumgartner and Thomas Oelberg, fourth grade
There is no fifth grader enrolled this year
Raymond Winters, Darrell Baumgartner, Ronald May, and Dianna Clark, sixth grade

~Transcribed by Cindy (Maust) Smith from a newspaper article written and photographed by Art Hough in the Cedar Rapids Gazette, Sunday, October 2, 1966, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Page 24


Red School, Franklin No. 3
Red School, Franklin No. 3

~photo is from the Waukon Democrat, November 20, 1986
~contributed by Connie Ellis



Return to School Index