Woodmansee School No. 2

Decatur Township, Decatur County, Iowa
 Woodmansee School probably was named in honor of pioneer James W. Woodmansee who, with his family, came from Jackson County, Indiana, and was the first permanent settler in Decatur Township. His residence and grist-mill were located near the school site.

SOURCE: "James W. Woodmansee." Biographical and Historical Record of Ringgold and Decatur Counties, Iowa. Pp. 595-96. Lewis Publ. Co. Chicago. 1887.

In 1857 a log school house was built on the land donated by Mr. Woodmansee and accommodated as many as forty or fifty pupils during the winter session. The seats were made by boring auger holes into slabs which had been secured at the saw mill, and driving wooden pins into them for legs, the round side of the slab being underneath. There were no backs to these seats. In the absence of desks, the pupils were obliged to hold their slates on their lap or arm. But as it was necessary to have some kind of desks to use when the writing lesson period came along, these were made by driving wooden pins into the logs along the side of the room and placing a board on top of them creating a writing desk. Slates and pencils were used; writing pens were made of goose quills.

The first teacher of the school was a man by the name of C. G. Bridges, who is said to have been a very good teacher. Only the three R's were at this time.

During the early years of the school there was no blackboard in the school house, so the teacher borrowed a plane of Mr. Woodmansee, smoothed off some of the logs on the inside of the room and on these he wrote the multiplication table, where it could be seen by all the pupils and studied until it was thoroughly learned.

Some of the pupils came a distance of four or five miles to attend this school. This was not surprising as the nearest school to this one was about seven miles further away. The winter season was always overcrowded with many of the older boys attending at this time.

Soon after the school house was built, preaching services were held by the Methodists at the schoolhouse every two weeks during the summer. The preachers, usually coming from Decatur City, included Revs. Miller, Talmadge, Thompson, and Bennett. The class leaders were Claborn Jones and Jimmie Millsap. Sunday school was held every Sunday. When meetings were held at night, a single lamp on the teacher's desk was often the only light in the room.

click on the images for larger views

School Souvenir

1901, cover

School Souvenir

1901, Pupils

School Souvenir

1906, inside

Woodmansee School

1946 - 1947

Woodmansee School

1948 - 1949
Ina L. Springer, Teacher
F.M. Euritt, S.A. Millsap, Peter Shamboult, R.E. Lee
Etta Negey, Ruth Negley, Rose Negley, Rebecca Negley, Clyde Negley, Willie Negley, Oliver Negley, Burrel Warner, Dulcie Shambault, Mabel Euritt, Bert Millsap, Grace Buckingham, Clyde Millsap, Horace Millsap, Elmer Gibbens, Lora Woodard, Lizzie Woodard, Eugena Jones, Esther Jones, Fred Young, Raymond Young Ina L. Springer, Teacher
F.M. Euritt, S.A. Millsap, R.E. Lee, Geo. Buckingham, Eli Hutchinson

Elizabeth Woodard Rose Negley
Fred Woodard Jr Reuben Negley
Fred Woodard Sr Duclie Shambo
George Woodard Blanche Shambo
Adda Woodard Clarence Shambo
Clifford Woodard Earl Shambo
Grace Buckingham Horace Millsap
Mae Buckingham Mabel Euritt
Willie Buckingham Burl Warner
Laura Buckingham Laura Swisher
Willie Negley Bertha Bennett
Oliver Negley Olive Bennett
Oscar Davis
Betty Hembry, Ruth Lemonds, Patricia Corll, Sylvester Lemonds, Maurice Elalrs, Helen Hembry, Jimmy Butcher, Marvin Hembry, Mary Lou Butcher, Rose Lemonds, Helen Warner - teacher Marvin Hembry, Betty Hembry, Maurice Ellars, Sylvester Lemonds, John Hembry, Gene Surber, Charlotte Lemonds

Original page created by Sharon Becker 2013, updated 2015; transcribed and reformatted by Conni McDaniel Hall Oct 2019.
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