Sioux Township
School News --covering the entire township

Newspaper Articles in chronological date order--also note the speech/history given by Supt. Miss Petersen in 1958

LeMars Sentinel, May 1, 1893

MILLNERVILLE: (Special Correspondence)

We understand Miss Minnie Bauerly will teach the Millnerville school, to
commence as soon as her present term closes in the Mansfield district, about
May 12.

LeMars Sentinel, May 23, 1930

The Parent Teacher Association of the Ridge View and Ridge schools in Sioux
Township will give a joint program at 8:00 p.m., Tuesday evening, May 27, in
the Bethel Church. The program will consist of three one-act plays and
several musical readings will be given by the PTA members. These districts
are fortunate in having many talented people in their group. The program
will be well worth the admission of $.25 for adults and $.15 for children.
The public is cordially invited to attend.

Miss Katherine Stenger, public health nurse, visited schools in Perry,
Hancock and Sioux Townships last week.


In 1873 there were five ungraded schools which held school for 6 months in Sioux Township.  The 1878 record states that there were 90 pupils enrolled in these five ungraded schools.  From 1873 to 1878, the term lengthened from 6 months to 8 4/5 months.

A more personal glimpse into the early history of the Sioux township schools is given to us by Mr. Dale Hunter in an article he wrote in March, 1954.  Mr. Dale Hunter, who was born on May 19, 1867, in Sioux Township, Plymouth County, Iowa, is still living on his farm in Section 32, Sioux Township, where he has resided all of his life.  I herewith quote excerpts from that March 1954 article:

“The Independent School District of Sioux Township was organized December 17, 1867, by the direction of three school directors.  The first school board was composed of the following men: Joseph LaBerge, president; B. B. Sutton and William H. Pinckney.  Among their first acts was to authorize the building of two schoolhouses in the township, one near the mouth of Rock Creek and the other not far from the mouth of the Broken Kettle Creek. At a meeting held a short time later, the act to build a house near the mouth of the Broken Kettle Creek was rescinded and the school board rented a room from B. B. Sutton at the rate of $1 per month to hold school in for three months.”


“In 1868 Isaac Horsington was given a contract to build a log schoolhouse near the mouth of Rock Creek for the sum of $120.  The house was to be 18 feet long and 16 feet in width.  This was the first schoolhouse built in western Plymouth County.

The seats were homemade benches with foot-wide seat and 16 inches high, with a high desk in from for books and slates.  Boys sat on one side of the house with girls on the other.  Twenty-six pupils attended this school.

Where public roads seldom followed section lines, it was hard to build houses where the children could all get to them. The majority of the school board members lived along the river; people farther back from the river thought sometimes they were not getting justice.

This, and the selection of teachers made the election of school directors, which by law came on the first Monday in March, the most important election of the year.  This keen interest continued through all of the early years until about 1893, when better roads had been established and things became more settled.”

$230 Ran School for Year

From 1868 on for many years, six months school would be as much as one district would have for one year.  The average teacher’s wage was $30 per month for six months.  Fuel was wood, at $5 per cord and amounted to about $30 per year.  The total expense for each country school would run about $230 per year.

Among those who were most active in Sioux township school affairs during early years were D. M. Mills, Dr. J. M. Jenkins, William Hunter, B. B. Sutton, and Joseph LaBerge.  Later school records give the names of Alfred Fry, C. C. Pike, D. Hunter, Pat Gant, F. H. Weber, Arch Lilly, G. A. and C. L. Knapp, F. H. and Thomas Nason, J. F. Banks, W. H. and O. L. Weber, and George Milner.

Among teachers’ names frequently listed were Lavilla Kimball, Elizabeth Dennison, Dolly Hunter, Gertrude Pike, Bernice Walsh and Gladys Fry.


When children completed the elementary schools in Sioux township, many of them pursued High School work in the Sunnyside High School, located in Section 32, Sioux Township.  Florence Main Knapp, Evelyn Lilly Banks, Cloyce Hasbrook Knapp, and Pearl McKellar Fry were among the teachers who taught in the Sunnyside High School.

~Part of the history/speech presented by Keynote Speaker, Miss Christine Petersen, Westfield Community School Dedication, May 2, 1958~~as reprinted in the LeMars Sentinel, May 15, 1988.




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