Former School Teacher Recalls History; Last Class in 1960
The Ashton Public School
By Clara Mead, long-time Ashton resident and retired Teacher
No one seems to know when Ashton's first public school house was built but it is probable that it was soon after 1872 when the first settlers arrived. The building was a one room frame structure located across the road from the Presbyterian Church about where Gus Thies lives (1963) One of its early teachers was a Mr. Bennet and the County Supervisor was Della Stiles of Sibley.
When no longer used as a school building it was moved one block west and one block south of its original location and used as the Ashton Town Hall. The building has been kept in good repair and unntil quite recently retained its original black boards.
Ashton's second public school house was a two story frame structure built about 1883. It was located in the west part of town and faced the east. There was a well and a coal house south of the building. A board fence inclosed the entire school grounds. Some of the earliest grade school teachers were Mrs. Jennie Marsh, Fanny Kelso, Frank Hahn, Ida Patterson, Una Connor, Alice Foster and Frieda Rieke. While a Mr. Roth, Miss Howard, Marguerite Saves, O.D. Simons, Amy Edelyn and Tom Redmond had the higher grades.
In 1895 two large rooms were built on the south side of the original building. Mary Redmond and Edith Finister were the first teachers in the new part. All rooms were heated with stoves and there was no plumbing. The first class graduated from the Ashton Public School in 1897 when Mary Redmond was principal and the last class graduated in 1960. At that time there were only two dwellings on the entire block east of the school house so the boys used it for a ball park,
In 1929 the entire building was torn down and a very modern two story brick structure was built a little west of the old building. Besides containing ten class rooms, it has a domestic science room, a library, a typing room, kitchen, manual training room, two lockers, a large furnace room, a combination assembly and gymnasium and the superintendent's office. In 1962 two lockers and two class rooms were added on the south and east side for the first grade and the kindergarten.
Since the school reorganization in 1960 all grades above sixth grade attend Sheldon Public School. The teach who instruct the Ashton pupils are Kindergarten, Miss Marie Boar; 1st and 2nd, Mrs. Fern Smith and 5th and 6th grades, Mr. Jack Duffy.
From Sibley Gazette April 16, 1963
The last season for Ashton High School was 1959-1960. It was absorbed by Sheldon.
1935 Lorraine Hoffman, Alice Groen, Katie Van Joh, Johanna Van Loh, Irene Willemssen, Ralph Roelfs, Vernon Dilly Walter Borchard and Marvinj Schaa
In August 7,1965 classes of 1940 thru 1960 had their first class reunion. Lists of those present. (This is not complete list of all graduates).
1940 had 11 graduates, nine were still living. Present were Mrs. Harold (Hazel Johnson) Winkel, Mrs. Martha Verdoorn Voss, Marie Wubbens, Mrs.( Fay Mohan) Smith, Mrs. Fern Willenssen De??, Mrs Gerhardt (?elna DeGroot Thomsen, Henrietta Van Loh
1941 had 13 graduates, Present were Mrs. Bill Nancy Van Rockel ?nken, Marvin Lamfers, Leonard McBride, Mrs. Cleo Wubbens ?inkel, Dan Miller, Mrs Delmar (myrna ??berts Lamfers, Mrs. Albert Ethel Houwen El?husen
1942 had 11 graduates. Present were Harvey J. Verdoorn, Mrs. Kenneth (Marjorie Wubbena) Winkel, Mrs. John (Phyllis Lamfers) Dickey, Mrs. Earl (Myrna Kruger) Trei, Mrs Anita Kruger Jobes, Mrs. Marian (Nellie Ackerman) Bruns, Delmar Lamfers.
1943 had 8 members. Present were Paul Hickman, Kenneth Winkel, Mrs. Henry (Doris Brinkman) Van Nyhuis, Mrs. Bud (Ardis Dillu(Boone.
1944 had 7 members. Present were Mrs. Henry (Dorothy Schutt) Heilkema, Mrs. Frank (Aletha Luitjens) Dystra, Fred Van Loh.
1945 had 7 members. Present were Kenneth DeJong, Mrs. Charles (Marge Brinkman) Mastbergen, Ellgin Larson, Kennest Ackerman, Mrs. Bob (Leona Willomssen Martin, Mrs. George (Betty Groen) Msrtens
1946 had 6 graduates. Present were LaVerne Reinke, Leon Kruger
1947 had 11 graduates. Present were Mrs. Paul (Adriana Zevenbergen) Hickman, Bob DeJong, Don Larsen, Mrs. Richard (Lois HIckman) DeBoer, Richard DeBoer, Maynard Schutt, Dennnis Pomerenke, Mrs. Claude (Shirley Groen) Leiner, Mrs. Stanley (Lois Webbena)Johnson
1948 had 13 graduates. Present were Mrs. Jerome (DorothyHeibult) Breuer, Stanley Johnson, Mrs. Glen (Jean Boerhaven) Doorenbas, Donald Wynia, Lorin Kruger, George Martens, LaVerle Pomerenke, Merrill Sterler
1948 had 8 graduates. Present were Joyce Addengast, Mrs. Gerald ( Joyce Hickman) Behrens, Mrs. Harry (Muriel Roas) Ostendorf
1950 had 5 graduates. Present were Mrs. Julian (Audrey Lamfers, Hart, Cecil Ackerman, Mrs. John (Marjorie Wynia) Kannegeiter
1951 had 6 graduates. Present were Mrs. Dale (Glenda Heibult) Osterman,Roger Bannick, Mrs. Dan (Dorothy Wubbena) Swain, John Kannegieter
1952 had 10 graduates. Presnt were Mrs. Dale (Marlene Can Loh) Slykhuis, Bernard Lamfers, Mrs. Charles (Arlene Roos) Lubbers, Fred Lamfers, Mrs. Roger (Marjorie Johnson) Raelafsen, Mrs. Jim (June Heibult) Barrett, Bob Pomerenke
1953 had 9 graduates. Present were.Mrs. Ray (Dorothy Sterler) Brink, Mrs. John (Donna Pomerenke) Karnies, Mrs. Neil (Dorothy Wynia) Seiben, John Addengast, Mrs. Kenneth (Marlene Dagel) Stevens, Mrs. Bob (Marie Kanneniegeiter) Pomerenke
1954 had 6 graduates. Present were Kriene Schneiderman, Ronald Sterler, Mrs. Jakke (Cleo Ackerman) Ahrendsen, Nrs, Wm. (Charlotte Reinke) Holzer
1955 had 10 graduates. Present were Mrs. George (LaVonne Sterler) Blankers, Paul Krahling, John Lamfers, Mrs. Harlan (Judy Lamfers) Weets, Mrs. Arlyn (Wanda Schniederman) Johnson, David Petersen, Mrs. Walter (Carol Reinke) Seivert
1956 had ? graduates. Present were Richard Buss, Howard Johnson, Mrs. Art (Joan Lamfers) Riemersma, Mrs, Eldon (Shirley Dagel) Techen
1957 had 4 graduates. Present were Marion Ver Mulm, Mrs. Paul (Janice Monkernier) Lightly, Mrs. Martin (Marilyn Sterler) Ennema, Mrs. Lester (Joan Buss) Buysman
1958 had 8 graduates. Present were Mrs. Edward (Marilyn Loerts) Markus, Merlyn Johnson, Gary DeBoom
1959 had 10 graduates. Present were Edwin Roos, Kenneth Boerhaven, John Redinius, Mrs. John (Sharon Reinke) Dornon
1960 had 10 graduates. Present were LeRoy Venega, John Buss
1965 Jack Breevaardt, Shirley Breevaardt, Betty Johnson, Ronald Sterler, Charlotte Reinke, Jack Verdoorn
1973 Michael Hatting, Carol Krogman, Peter Strouth, Debra Klein, Marilyn Ostermann, Mary? ??off, Janice Roetzel. Robert Budden, Diane? ??ie?, Marcia Dykstra
1975 JoAnn Thole, Vicki Strouth, Patty Klosterman, Mel Johnson, Leta Marnach, Karen Lonneman, Karla Seivert, Joseph Martens, Nancy Honkomp, Jervis Sterler, Judy Tremme; Noble, Karen Dammann, Terry Johnson, Paula Mateloni, Rob Imhoff, Michael Hatting, Julia Kappes, Debi Sinkey, Cindy Honkomp, Todd Newman, Donna Strouth, David Meyer, Swniaw Niichel, Vince Hatting, Randy Huss, Dennis Hatting
1977 Janet Frick, Sherri Goedken, Valeria Sterler, Jay Newman. Carol Lonneman, Pam Wallrich, Arlyn Jon Kruger, LeRoy Boender, Pat Wallrich, Coleen Feldman, Pam Heiman, Kelly Boerhave, Dan Heibult, Ron Kolbeck, Pauline Kolbeck, Vicki Meyer, Julile Warman, Todd Roelofsen,
1978 Kenneth Van Dyke, Tom Klein, Stan Roder, Denise Sterler, Rick Schaa, Doug Strouth, Keith Zylstra, Pam Seivert, Theresa Strouth, Robert Houwen, Daryl Seivert, Mary Kay Fettes, Dave Imhoff, Harvey Addengast, Ronald Thole, Daryl Slykhuis, Steve Still, Charlotte Platt, Rona Wimmer, Keith Imhoff, Karen Imhoff
1989 Jennie Adams, Chris Barrows, Steve Bloock, Michael Freking, Karla Honkomp, Steve Huss, Ray Klein, Chad Koedman, Dan Kolbeck, Kerri Krogram. Wendy Krull, Trisha Marnach, Jon Morley, Joel Niemeyer, Rich Pomrenke, Kory Roos, Jean Roth, Tony Schaa, Brenda Trie
1991 Vickie Bruns, Paul Corbett, Thad Dykstra, Brian Honkomp, Damion Honkomp, Kristal Krogman, Dean Marnach, Connie Redinius, Lori Vander Pol, Michele Wallrich