IAGenWeb Project - Clayton co.

Pony Hollow schools
Section 11, Boardman township

Section 25, Boardman township

- Spelled 'Poney Hollow' in some records
Pony Hollow school was the first school in the township. The school is shown in section 11, Boardman twp. on the 1886 plat map of Clayton county, as well as subsequent maps. When a second Pony Hollow school was built, the original school became known as lower Pony Hollow school, District No. I. In later records it was often referred to as the Cook school.
- The second Pony Hollow school was built sometime in the early 1890's in Section 25. It was known as upper Pony Hollow school. Originally in District No. I, and later in District No. II, Boardman twp.
- Both Pony Hollow school buildings were auctioned off in 1954.


Pony Hollow School

The first school house in the township was erected in Pony Hollow. Little is known concerning it, except that, following the dictates of custom and necessity, it was built of logs. Its first teacher was Miss Melissa Howard. It is unfortunate that a detailed description of this first school is not available, but it is intriguing to try to picture it: the chinked log walls, the rude slab benches, the serious little scholars in their homespun frocks and suits poring over the few dog-eared texts which were available.

The exact date of the building of this school is not recorded in the histories of Clayton county but it must have been erected several years prior to 1848, for on September 28 of that year the township inspector of school, A.D. Griswold, was able to issue the following well-organized report:

"Number of persons in the town of Boardman under the age of twenty-one and over five, 114. Whole number of scholars in District No. 1, organized and reported, 45. School taught three months by a man at $15.00 per month. District No. 2, organized and reported, 39. School taught three months by a woman at $1.25 per week. Avertage number of scholars taught, 14. Amount paid for schooling n the township, $60. Districts No. 3 and 4 have not reported and are not organized."

This report would argue that the school system of the township was fairly well organized and shows that another school had been established in addition to the original school at Pony Hollow. It is amusing to note the discrepancy between the wages paid the male pedagogue and those of his female colleague. Apparently the equality of the sexes on the teachers' wage scale had not been established. Absurdly low as these salaries seem, it must be remembered that in those days the teacher was not generally required to be self-supporting. He "boarded round" with the families of his district.

The little Pony Hollow school house was also the township's first religious meeting place. An itinerant preacher, Rev. Sidney Wood, would come there occasionally to exhort the few scattered settlers of the vicinity.

By 1849, District No. 3 was organized, and in October of that year Mr. Griswold was able to make a detailed statistical report of the educational situation in his township to the Hon. E. Price, the school fund commissioner of Clayton county. It revealed that the length of a term in the Boardman township schools was 154 days, that the cost of a school house was $184.00, and that the average compensation of a male teacher per month was $18.00, and that of a female teacher, $6.00 per month. The other teachers then employed were E.V. Carter, 30, of Ohio, and Miss Emeline Ames, 18, of Garnavillo.

~from the Clayton County Register, October 13, 1937
~transcribed by S. Ferrall for Clayton Co. IAGenWeb, July 2016




Misc. Pony Hollow school items

Report of Pony Hollow Public school, for the month ending Feb. 18, 1881.
Jennie S. McAlvin, teacher.

No enrolled during the month, 31. Average daily attendance, 26. No. perfect in attendance 11.

Names and grades of those passing the monthly examination:

Names - Scholarship & Deportment
Emma Kill - 91, 100
Rose Downie - 96, 100
Curtis Williamson - 94, 100
Cora Kill - 91, 100
Sophia Commene - 86, 100
Lillie Varley - 96, 100
Henry Downie - 99, 100
Thos. Christenson - 100, 100
Helen Williamson - 90, 86
Emma Lei - 96, 90
John Kill - 91, 100
Warren Downie - 84, 90
Clara Kill - 99, 100
John Christenson - 96, 100
Christian Hulverson- 86, 100
Alva Atwood - 84, 100
Peter Lei - 64, 90
Alfred Wilson - 81, 75
John Hennis - 88, 80
Johnie Tresch - 68, 100

~source: Elkader Register, Friday, March 4, 1881
~note: Names were clear in the article but grades were smudged & are 'best guess'
~contributed by Reid R. Johnson


Report of the Pony Hollow school, for month ending May 27, 1882
S. Jennie McAlvin, teacher

Number of days taught - 20
Average daily attendance - 23
Number enrolled - 32
Number perfect in attendance - 9

Result of monthly examination:

Names - Scholarship & Deportment
Rose Downie - 97, 100
Warren Downie - 84,100
Ray Downie - 86, 90
Curtis Williamson - 90, 100
Helen Williamson - 99, 100
Hattie Howard - 97, 100
Alice Howard - 97, 100
Herbert Williamson - 85, 90
Clara Kill - 99, 100
Altha Atwood - 99, 100
Lillie Varley - 95, 100
Emma Lei - 84, 100
Clara Hulverson - 92, 100
Cora Kill - 92, 100
Peter Lei - 91, 100
John Tresch - 81, 90
Delos Miles - 98, 100
Peter Tresch - 84, 95
Clara Williamson - 84, 95
Tena Hulverson - 87, 100
Lena Hulverson - 90, 100

~source: Elkader Register, Friday morning, June 16, 1882
~contributed by S. Ferrall


The Pony Hollow school, taught by Miss Julia Downey, closed with appropriate exercises on Tuesday of last week. Miss Downey has taught this school for several terms and we learn that she has given entire satisfacton to the patrons. ~Elkader Register, Thursday, July 16, 1885

Miss Jennie McAlvin, who is teaching the Pony Hollow school, was obliged to close her school on Tuesday last, on account of sickness. ~Clayton County Journal, Wednesday, May 5, 1886

Maud Tyler is teaching the lower Pony Hollow school.
Maud Tyler commenced her first term as a teacher at the Pony Hollow school on Monday last.
~Elkader Argus, and The Register, April isues, 1893

Frank Hill began his spring term in the lower Pony Hollow school Monday. ~Elkader Register, March 22, 1906

Miss Irene Corkery is again teaching the Pony Hollow school. ~Elkader Register, September 12, 1918

Everyone is invited to the Christmas program and box social in District No. I, Boardman township (upper Pony Hollow school) on Friday evening, December 21st. Ladies please bring baskets. Mabel Steen, teacher. ~Elkader Register, December 13, 1928


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