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Belmont Township

Source: Warren County Historical Library
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        This information on District No. 1, later called Warren, McMillan, and finally Motor, came largely from Earl Smith who had access to the secretary's minutes and from old newspapers.         

          The first minutes we have are for March 5, 1870. It was known as sub-district No.1, Belmont Township, Warren County, State of Iowa later known as the Warren School. It was located on the northwest corner of Sec. 12-75-22 Belmont Township.

          In that election C.C. Blair was elected director, Oliver Trueblood, president and Eli Townsend, secretary. Following is a list of the voters: Isaac Kelley, Nathan Adamson, J. L. White, Edward Williams, G. Huez. L. M. Trueblood, G.F. Quaintance, Henry Beaman, Samuel Moore, Geo. Hagan, G. W. Hagan, Elijah Hagan, Nathan McDole, C.C. Blair, Alfred Newsome, Oliver Trueblood, William Hicks, Reason Winnings, Eli Townsend, Francis Trueblood.

          At the meeting held on March 10, 1873, the board officially declared the name to be the Warren Independent District. At the same meeting the board agreed to rent the building to members of the Grange at 50 cents per day or night used. That year it was decided to hold a three month summer school. Malissa O. was paid $60 for the three month session. In 1876 she was paid $106 for three months.

          The controversy of church vs. state came early in the township. The Indianola paper for May 25, 1877 states that Eli Townsend and John Good entered suit against sub-districts in Belmont Township praying for an injunction by the judge of the district court to prevent religious services from being held in school houses. Their contention was that religion should be taught in the home. Excitement ran high and the trial lasted at least three days. The judge's decision was in a later paper which has not been located.

The district enumeration for the school in 1886 was as follows:

                   Parent                   Children
                   Fred Smith            Arthur and William
                   L.H. Gibbons          Florence
                   J.W. Ellis              Richard, Dias, Ella
                   W.A. Wright         Warren, Walter, Fred,
                                                 Daisy,Grace, Dove
                  N.C. McDole          Thomas, William, James,
                                                 Dora, Cora, Emma, Alma
                   Stephen Mosher     S. Gurney and Ella
                   E.W. Townsend       Clarence and Fred
                   W. Batton              Lemuel
                   Cyrus Trueblood    Arthur and Stella
                   B.F. Townsend        Auther, Alfred, Rosie,
                                                  Ida, and Dora
                   Mart Stoner          Myrtle
                   J. McGraw             Frank and Roscoe
                   David Crew            Effie
                   A. Trueblood          Samuel, Curtis, Earnest,
                                                   and Clara
                   A. Davis                 Jessie

                   John Sams             Ira, Arch, Etta, and Willie
                   - Reeves                Pearl, Clarence, Clara,
                                                  Albert, Josiah, Verna
                   Nelson Hall            Wesley, Nora Breedon
                   Elbert Hall            Oliver Thompson
                   James Freel           Maggie, Cecil, Warren,

        At the board meeting held March 12, 1888, it was decided to have nine months of school per year six in the winter and three in the summer. At a later meeting held on June 11, 1888 that same board adopted "Street's Phsiology and to teach the effects of stimulants and narcotics on the human system as follows: all those from 4th reader up, book in hand, all below 4th reader taught orally." This shows the interest of the Quaker community in temperance. In November of the same year the board adopted the following textbooks: Ray's Arithmetic; Monthuth Geography; Swinton's History; McGuffey Readers; Reed and Kellogg Grammar.

          By 1889 it was decided that algebra should be taught in the school. In 1891 it was decided to have 8 months of school 3 months in the spring, 2 in the fall, and 3 in the winter. By 1898 there began to be interest in building a new schoolhouse, but it was not until 19013 that the vote carried. The new schoolhouse was to be 26' X 34' with cloak rooms 6' X 8', cost $910, to be built by Mr. Motherhead.

          In 1892 the board voted to change the name from McMillan to Motor.

          School population decreased as the years went by so finally during the 1940's the children were sent to Milo several years before the enforced consolidation. This must have seemed strange to the community that had had a school of 42 pupils in 1905 and 44 pupils a few years later.                      

          There were several interesting County Superintendent's school notes in the old Indianola Papers. 

          1880. McMillan school is taught by B. F. Woodyard---enrollment 48. Mr. Woodyard is another teacher retained from last year. A case of absence or tardiness is rarely known in this school. Parent's and director's visits are frequent, and the pupils are wide awake and happy. 

          March 22, 1900. The Moor district had experience with the woman suffrage question. The bulding of a new schoolhouse was the issue. Motor has the poorest school house in the township, but there were too many women who could not vote, and the proposition was defeated. nbsp;

          Advocate Tribune, January, 1910 Report of the Motor School for the month ending Dec. 24, 1909. Enrollment 32, average daily attendance 28. Names of those who were neither absent nor tardy: Sibyl Randolph, Eunice Flanagan, Leola, Inis, Earl, and Fred Smith, Fay Batten, Ivan Hildabolt, Dave Wright, Ora Reinds,Ruby and Lester Markert, Estella Sams, Ruby and Stella Parkinson. Those absent one day: Lee Gibson, Olin and Ray Mosher, Earl Stoner, Oral Bassett. ---Ada Baugh, teacher.

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