Rural Township School Histories
1890 Summary of the Country Schools of Plymouth County
An 1890 Summary of the Country Schools of Plymouth County
The first term of school was taught in a log building on the line between sections seventeen and twenty, in 1867. It was a fall school, taught by J.H. Betsworth. The first frame school building was a two-story house erected on the plat of Le Mars, and is still used for school purposes. It was built of pine and cottonwood lumber, and was considered too large by some citizens. B.O. Foster, an early settler, remarked that, “We will never fill that school building in the world.” He was mistaken, for the city of Le Mars has already erected two spacious public school buildings, and is about to erect a third.
The first school-house was erected in 1871 on section twenty-four. The first term of school taught was private, and kept by the seventeen-year-old daughter of Pioneer Stephen Reeves, Miss Elsie, now the estimable wife of George Darville. This term was taught in 1870, with only a few children, but the teacher was good and faithful—even as she is to-day—a model woman, who has since that time seen many hardships.
Schools.—The first term of school was taught in 1868, at the Higday school-house by Al. Higday. The first school-houses were erected on section thirty-two and section six—both built the same year. As the settlers increased, new sub-districts were made, and provided with good frame buildings, until to-day the township has six sub-districts, each having a good school edifice. The total enrollment of pupils in 1889 was 142. The schools are in an excellent condition, and keep pace with new educational methods in all respects.
The first voting done by citizens from this township (when it was yet included in America), was at the special election in February, 1870. It was held at the log school-house, known as the Redmon school-house, located two miles south of Le Mars…
Early Events.—The first school was taught in 1881 in a building erected on section fourteen.
The first school-house in Grant township is what is now styled No. 9. It was erected in 1872 on the southwest quarter of section twenty-nine. The first term taught in this school-house was in 1873, by James A. Harroun.
Early Events.—The first election in what is now Hancock township was held in the school-house on section ten, known as the “Massey school” in 1883.
The first school-house was erected in 1883, on the northwest quarter of section eight; it is termed “Hawkins” school-house, and the first teacher was Miss Mary A. McCartney, of Union township.
Schools.—The first settlers believed in education as well as the people living in Hungerford to-day, for early during the Civil War, when but a handful of settlers were battling against the hardships of a new and altogether wild prairie country, we find that a school was maintained on section sixteen. With the passing years educational matters have never been left to lag, but always keeping pace with the march of progress of the more modern, improved methods. In 1889 the county school superintendent’s report shows that Hungerford township had seven sub-districts, each provided with a good-sized frame school building, and the average enrollment of scholars was, at that time, 160.
The First School was taught very early in the history of the township, probably about the winter of 1871-72. Two school-houses were provided about that date, one on section thirty-four and the other on section thirty-two, and then one very soon on section fourteen.
The first school was taught in a shanty built by settlers in the fall of 1870. The first township election was held in the fall of 1879, at the McAllister school-house.
Schools and Churches.—The earliest public school was held near Mr. Barrett’s, on section eight, about 1870. Much attention has been paid to school matters, and by the school superintendent’s report of October 1889, it is found that Lincoln township had six sub-districts, each provided with a suitable school-house. The total scholarship, at that time, was 168. The number of shade trees about school grounds (planted out) was seventy-five.
Schools.—The first school-house was erected on section seven. Much attention has been paid to the schools of this part of the county, and now, 1890, the township is provided with four good frame public-school buildings, each within a sub-district. The total number of pupils according to the county superintendent’s last annual report was 200. While this township is purely one of agriculture, yet is citizens see the necessity of a good common-school education for their children, hence the taxes paid in that direction are freely given.
Schools.—The educational matters of Meadow township have ever kept pace with those of other townships in Plymouth county. In 1879 the township took its present bounds, and a school-house was erected on section twenty-eight. Miss Mary Malory taught the first term of school there. A private school was taught the same year, on section eight, by Aggie Klein.
Early Events.—The first election was held (for the present township) at the Brill school-house, in the spring of 1870.
Schools and Churches.—The first term of school was taught at Melbourne before the court-house was erected at that point….As evinced by the many churches and schools in this portion of Plymouth county, one can easily infer that the first settlers were a God-fearing and intelligent class of people. At a very early day they commenced to lay well the foundation for the present school and church privileges—second to none in the county.
Schools.—The first term of school was taught by Mrs. E.B. Donalson at her own residence, in 1873. A school building was erected on section thirty-one, in 1873. It was the two-story frame house at Akron now used for post-office purposes. Much attention has been paid to the education of the rising young in this part of the county. The reports show that in 1889 Portland township was divided into seven sub-districts, with a good frame building in six, and a substantial brick in one of that number. The number of pupils at that date was 300. Fifty shade trees grace the school grounds, and are monuments of beauty, and also bespeak the refinement and taste of the patrons of the various schools.
The first election was held at the Wingett school-house…
Schools.—The first school was taught at the residence of R.E. McCourtland, on section thirty-four, about 1880. At this date, 1890, the county school records show that this township has five sub-districts, which are provided with four good school-houses. The total enrollment of scholars is ninety-three.
The first school term was opened in 1868-69. One school was kept near William Hunter’s place, on section thirty-two, and another near Mr. Mills, on section fourteen. Mr. Hunter was teacher in his district for some time. The first election was held at his school-house, too…There are now four good school buildings in the township, and an enrollment of fifty scholars. It should be remembered that much of the land in this section of the county is quite rough and hilly, in consequence of which it has not become thickly settled yet. The best lands are confined to the valley portion of the territory.
The first term of school in the township was taught at the house of Carlos Little in 1870. The first school building was erected the same year, 1870, on section twenty-three, and the first term of school in it was taught be William Asbury.
Schools, Etc.—Very early in the township’s history the public schools were commenced and carefully fostered by the homestead settlers. In 1871 Jane Crostein (now Mrs. Robert Steele) taught a term of school at Mr. Rathburn’s place, on the southwest quarter of section twenty. There was one taught the same summer, or perhaps a year earlier, at Mr. Reynold’s. There was a school building erected in 1871, known as the Walrath, or district No. 1 school. The building in No. 2, on the west half of the southeast quarter of section seventeen, was built in 1873. As shown by the county superintendent’s report, of October, 1889, Union township had, at that date, six sub-districts and six good frame buildings. The enrollment of scholars was 140. Much care is taken of the school ground and buildings, and the forty-five shade trees planted out in some of the school yards add much to the beauty of the premises.
Schools, Etc.—The first term of school was taught about 1870, in a school-house erected on section twenty-four; it was moved from place to place, and is now situated on the northwest quarter of the same section.
The first school in the township was held at Westfield in 1878.
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