Ross School, District 4
Ross School ca 1913/15
Top row: Helen O'Brien, George O'Brien, Frank O'Brien, Marcus O'Brien, Kate McTaggart - Teacher
Second row: Kathryn O'Brien, Paul Olinger, Frank Olinger, Fr. Julius Olinger, Helen Hock, Harriet O'Brien
Bottom row: Sr. Margaret O'Brien, Daniel Tinker, Ellen Ivory, James Ivory, Genievieve Tinker, Gertrude O'Brien
I believe this photograph was taken somwhere around 1913-1915. My father, Marcus O'Brien was born in 1904. His sisters, Helen (1902), Harriet (1906) and Kathryn (1907), are also pictured. Other O'Brien's, the Ivorys and the teacher, are relatives. All of my ancestors, the Ivorys, the Carr descendants (McTaggarts), the Henrys and the O'Briens went to this school. I am not sure it was the same building. Most likely it started out as a log cabin, then a milled lumber building. Dad's Aunt Margaret Ivory Henry writes of going to this school. She was born in 1869, the same year as my grandmother, Catherine Henry O'Brien and my grandfather, Michael F. O'Brien. I am assuming they were all in the same class.
Ross School ca 1951/52
Among the 16 pupils at Ross School, Sperry Dist. 4, are twins, Duane and Dwight Dittmer, one on each side of the teacher, Bernice Davis, in this picture. The twins are seventh graders. Others in the school are: Dennis Dittmer and Gary Trumblee, primary; Linda Olinger, Karen O'Brien, Charles O'Brien, and Mary Jo Bush, second grade; Louis Haasis, Ronald Trumblee, and James O'Brien, third grade; Maureen O'Brien, fourth grade; William Haasis, fifth grade; Brenda Bush and Janell Olinger, sixth grade; and Michael O'Brien, seventh grade. This is Miss Davis' sixth year in this school, and she has taught for 17 years.
The caption on the clipping identifies the names by grades. I believe the students are (L-R):
Front Row: Karen O'Brien, Dennis Dittmer, Ronald Trumble, Gary Trumblee, Linda Olinger.
Row Two: Janell Olinger, Charles O'Brien, James O'Brien, Mary Jo Bush.
Row Three: William Hassis, Maureen O'Brien, Louis Hassis,
Row Four: Brenda Bush, Dwight Dittmer, Teacher - Bernice Davis, Duane Dittmer, Michael O'Brien
This photograph of my father, Marcus O'Brien, and Art Dittmer was taken at the annual Ross School picnic in 1953, possibly 1952. The spring of 1953 was our last year at the country school. It was closed that summer and we all went to Strawberry Point. Dwight and Duane Dittmer and I were eighth graders and would have gone on to high school regardless. The old school building was also moved to the Strawberry Point school and became part of a campus with other country schools moved in. Ross School traveled by our farm house and on up over 'Grasshopper Trail' and on to Strawberry Point on the gravel roads rather than taking the short trip on paved Highway 13.
- Source of photos: the contributor's personal collection; center photo: newspaper photo by Cowie Studio, Elkader
- Contributed by Michael F. O'Brien
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