Plymouth County Fairgrounds --
Country Schools

Any photos of these schools is much welcomed. Email Plymouth Co. Coordinator

~ Photos from the book "Iowa's Country Schools Landmarks of Learning" except Elgin No. 2 (this photo taken by this site coordinator, Linda Ziemann Summer 2007)


America #5  or “The Steele School”  
America Township

The Steele school is now the Toy Store in Pioneer Village at the Plymouth County Fair.  It used to be on the main street of the village, but was moved in 1991 from the spot next to the saloon so they could move in the Winter Store (Sportsman Club). The Steele school was moved to the former location at the fairgrounds in 1984.

The original location was on K-49, approximately one mile south of Le Mars on the northwest corner. It was known as the Steele School House because it was built on land belonging to the Steele family. After the school was closed, it was used for elections.

Mrs. Betty Deiterman, who was a student through 7th grade in 1934, and her husband, Vincent, who attended through 1935, recalled the following students: Earline Britton, Dorothy, Gladys and Margaret Laux-Adler; Dwight and Dwayne Sampson, Maxine Remer, Shirley Kennedy, Mildred Matron, Margery Deiterman Stance, and  Robert and Dorothy Clause/Clausen.  She also recalled Miss Woods as a teacher there and Miss Ales, who later became Mrs. Franz Brown. 

Submitted by Mrs. Ruth E. Peters, Le Mars, Iowa
Transcribed by Linda Mohning

Country Schools at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds

~Elgin No. 2 photo taken by Linda Ziemann, June 2007

Elgin #2

Also known as “The Schlesser School”, “The Groetken School”
 and “The Deegan School”

The first pioneer building to be moved to the fairgrounds was the school house in 1961. Officially, Elgin No. 2, this school was later known as “the Schlesser School”, the “Groetken school”, and the “Deegan School”.

It was built in 1885, two miles east of Struble, Iowa, on a one-acre site in the north-east quarter of Section 9, Elgin Township. The site was part of a 120-acre farm purchased by Philip Boever in 1882 for $600 from the Iowa Falls and Sioux City Railroad Company.

The first teacher was Miss Amy Allen (later became Mrs. George Mills). The salary was reported to be $20 per month. Other teachers were Mr. Nemmers, Rose Greenen and Grace Potter. The last teacher was Mrs. Clara Dobbert when the school closed in 1956.

The school house contains the original pot bellied stove, chalk boards, desks and crock water jar. The school was originally built at a cost of $400.

The first year the Plymouth County Fair Board committee conducted a clarification of Birth and Death Records in the school house and the committee asked people to look up birth records of family members born between1871-1891 and confirm spelling. The records were sent to Des Moines for microfilming as part of the bicentennial project.

In 1976 Helen Schulz, with the help of many teachers, opened the building with school material donated by many interested people.  In 1978 Shirley Woehler and her family helped to start coordination of all the memorabilia and antiques in the school and brought a new theme to the school each year. 

Submitted by Mrs. Ruth E. Peters, Le Mars, Iowa
Transcribed by Linda Mohning

Stanton #5

Stanton School No. 5 was moved to the fairgrounds in June of 1981 from six miles south of Le Mars at the junction of county roads K-49 and C-44.

It is not known exactly when the school was built but the property was deeded to the school district in 1883 by John and Mary Gosting. The building was donated by Mr. and Mrs. Ron Carley.

Classes were held until the last class of 1957-58 which was taught by Mrs. Edward Kehrberg of Le Mars. Students included Don Denniston, Donald Kounkel, Jackie Powell, Donald Niehus, Ronald Ruden, Gerald Hodgson, Kenneth Ruden, Steve Fishcher, John Lippke, Patricia Ruden Staab, Betty Foscher Schenzel, Rodney Hodgson, Becky Murphy Stadlman and Peggy Ruden Wurth in grades K through 6.

In 1981 the wood carvers were in the building.

The Le Mars Wasmer Post, American Legion 241 decorated the saloon in 1982 with sections of the bar being donated by Doc Utesch and the back section came from Brunsville. The old piano was donated by Gerald  Hoss. Pictures of soldiers and many other items were donated by Legion members.  The first committee was Bob Lubben, Jim Rolfes, Doc Utesch and Leonard Slice.

They serve soft drinks such as  Shirley Temples, Roy Rogers, Doc Holidays and Duke Waynes. Peanuts are furnished and chess, cards, checkers and sing-a-longs make for entertainment in the saloon.

They were first to fly a flag and donated flags for the village in 1984.

Money earned is used for Scholarships for Kids and other youth organizations.

This building became in bad repair and had to be torn down and was replaced with a new building by a Remsen group. 

Submitted by Mrs. Ruth E. Peters, Le Mars, Iowa
Transcribed by Linda Mohning






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