Gospel Ridge School No. 3

Garden Grove Township, Decatur County, Iowa
The first school in Leon, Iowa, was conducted in 1854 by H. V. WAINWRIGHT in a log schoolhouse located on Gospel Ridge and East Leon. He taught one term and was succeeded by Sarah PATTERSON BASHAW, who conducted a school in the same schoolhouse for two terms.

Gospel Ridge was a section located four miles northwest of Garden Grove. It was dubbed "Gospel Ridge" after Daniel WINTERS, an early minister of the Baptist Church and the first to settle in 1846 at that location.

When the time for the next term of school came the old log schoolhouse was too small to accommodate the number of pupils, so that the lower floor of a two-story building, used as a courthouse, and standing where the VARGA residence now is, was pressed into service and George T. YOUNG hired as teacher.

SOURCES: HOWELL, Prof. J.M. & SMITH, Heman C. "Decatur Schools." History of Decatur County and Its People. Chapt. VII. "Progress of Education in Decatur County." Pp. 85-6. S.J. Clarke Pub. Co. Chicago. 1915. "Souvenir Supplement of the Garden Grove Express." Garden Grove IA. 1900.

Pupils   School Board 
Carle McBroomKyle McBroom  J.G. McBroomPres.
Matt GartonDewey Garton  G.E. MetierSec.
Ardath MetierMerle McBroom  A.H. MetierTreas.
Will MetierLeoanrd McVay  C.A. GartonT.H. Kelley
Emory GermanCarrol Curry    
Bloss MetierCash Garton    
Mabel McVaySue McBroom    
Earl StockerHalard McBroom    
Diana MetierFay McBroom    
Hattie StockerPearle Garton    
Bess McVayClaude Curry    
Clare CurrySam Metier    
Boyd MetierChester Stocker    
Lillian Stocker      

 The Leon Journal-Reporter
Leon, Decatur County, Iowa
1975 or 1976

Public District No. 3, Garden Grove Township

By Zana Curry McKibben

In 1847, a Missionary Baptist Minister from Ohio, Daniel Winters, settled four miles northwest of Garden Grove, his calling gave the location the name of Gospel Ridge. Soon a need for a school arose, and the first school house was a rough log cabin located one-half mile east of the west Garden Grove township on the south side of the Popcorn road.

Because of the way the area was settled this school soon was off to one side. The Rev. Winters gave one acre of his land for a new school. This located the new building one mile east of the township line and three-fourths mile north of the Popcorn Road on top of a big hill, east side of the road, and there were two large cottonwood trees in the yard.

In 1859, the school was again moved north to the bottom of the big hill on the north side of Weldon Creek and the west side of the road to make it nearer the center of the district and was called Gospel Ridge Public School No. 3, Garden Grove Township.

Rev. Winter's son, Daniel Jr., taught the school for 15 years. Jim McBroom, the first white boy born to the settlers in 1852, attended this school. His only book was a spelling book and it was used for reading and writing, too.

[portion of article clipped off] . . . area.

The 1915 History of Decatur County and Its People noted "In the LeRoy District ... No. 3, Gospel Ridge, there is one male teacher, 13 [pupils] enrolled, one $300 schoolhouse."

The school house was moved to LeRoy in 1920 as a class room along side of the two story building to make room for the pupils when the area was consolidated.

The school had a large enrollment often in the 40's for the winter term. Surnames of some of the students -- Garton, Metier, McVay, McBroom, Ghlke, Pettis, Trysler, Landau, Curry, Roe, Evans, Rosengrant.

Teachers who taught at this school -- Daniel Winters, Jr., in the late 1800s; Kate Vail in 1901; Ed Anderson, 1902; Marion Woodard, 1905; Ella Bronson, '06; John Duffield, '08; Coral Talbot, '10; Carrie Rosengrant (Mitchell), '19. She was the last teacher and then it went into the LeRoy Consolidated District. Other teachers but not knowing dates - Jessie Nish, Grace Gettinger, Ethel Bunch, Ina Overholtzer, Coy Smith, Iona Woolman (Smith), ___ Critchfield.

Audrey Rosengrant Robertson and Clell McBroom are second generation that attended Gospel Ridge and still live in the same location.

Article submitted by Decatur County Historical Museum, Leon IA
Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, July of 2015
Gospel Ridge 1908-09 Souvenir, Courtesy of Decatur County Historical Museum, Leon IA, Delk Collection
 Faye McBroomEthel GosslineGoerge Gossline
 Carroll CurryEmary GermanRussell Delk
 Louis GosslineBoyd MetierGoldie Parker
 Sue McBroomMerl McBroomAlma Gossline
 Claude CurryGlen HammilKyle McBroom
 Collie ParkerArdath MetierIra Delk
 Earl ParkerWill MetierWillie Hart
 Sam MetierCharles DelkCarl McBroom
 Clare Curry David Hart

Original page created by Sharon Becker 2013, updated 2015/2018; transcribed and  reformatted  by Conni McDaniel Hall Oct 2019.
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