The above photo is of the students of Pontiac School which was very near the Mt. Olive Baptist Church, east of Chandlerville, Illinois. There are 32 students with their teacher who was Margaret Crawford. The teacher's name is marked on the back of the photo along with a few of the studen names, mostly from the Gerdes family.

Back Row: The first person is said to be Otis Gerdes, 5th is Ethel Gerdes (my grandmother) and 6th is Lon Gerdes.
3rd Row: The first person is said to be Harriet Cooper and the 5th person is a Gerdes (maybe Charles .... it looks like the name starts with a C.)
2nd Row: The second person is said to be Glenn Gerdes and the 3rd is Bessie Gerdes.
Front Row: The third person is Ernest Gerdes (father of Pastor Verne Gerdes who recently died) and the fourth person is Bill Maaket or Market and the 5th person is Alva Gerdes. This leaves a lot of unidentified people. I would say this picture was taken around the 1909-1910 time frame.

An article about the school, in 2002, said the present building was erected about 1871 and the first board of directors consisted of W. D. Lucas, J. R. Griffin, and Folker Gerdes. The school was located 7 miles east of Chandlerville in the Richmond Precinct.

Submitted by Betty Kehl Richardson

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