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RAVALLI COUNTY SCHOOLS
            Click on school name to see the high school graduating classes for each of the schools.  Not all classes have been added, but more will be added as time allows. At the bottom of the page is information about school & class reunions.

 For lists of graduates for each high school and other school news,CLICK on the name of each school

    In the early days, settlers in the Bitter Root valley were not allowed to establish educational facilities for their children, so many home schools were established.
    The first schools were primitive compared with the schools of today.  The first were "parlor" schools where a mother, who was better educated than most, educated her own children and neighbor children. The education was limited to the fundamental three R's and school was in session only during the winter months when the farm chores were light. Even though many of the early settlers could not read or write, they were convinced that education was important and necessary for their children. St. Mary's Mission school was started in 1841 by Father DeSmett. At St. Mary's school, the Jesuits taught the Indians Christianity and agriculture. It isn't known whether they taught reading and writing.
    In 1864, when the first Montana Territorial Assembly met at Bannack, the office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, County Superintendent of Schools, and District Clerk were created. The Assembly also provided for the organization of counties into school districts and the election of school trustees. The first territorial superintendent was Thomas J. Dimsdale.   
    In 1867, the first public school in Missoula County opened at Corvallis and Corvallis offically became School District #1. This school first school was kept by a man named Woods. The first schoolhouse in Corvallis was located near the Slack farm, about 3/4 mile north of the present day Corvallis. It was a 1-room school building made of logs. William Slack, who was only 3 years old, attended the school to make the required 12 students needed for a school. The teacher was Bent Reeder.
    Montana became a state under the Enabling Act of 1889, which required new states to provide for the establishment and maintenance of public schools. As an incentive, the federal government set aside two sections of land per township in new states for elementary education. 
    Schools were allowed to levy a limited amount of money each year to operate and maintain the schools and could not bond themselves beyond the current year. When a new school house was needed, the money had to be raised locally by subscription. Many schools were built on land donated by local farmers and ranchers.   
    School district numbers were assigned when Ravalli County was part of Missoula County, then the numbers were changed when Ravalli County was created in 1893. Through Ravalli County's history, there have been about 40 school districts, but have been consolidated into the present seven.
   
They All Want The High School
Hamilton, Stevensville, Corvallis, and Victor After It
Election To Be Called Soon
Plurality Vote Will Settle It - Appropriation for County Fair - More Saloon Licenses Granted
    Petitions each signed by the required 100 freeholders have been filed by Hamilton and Corvallis asking that a free county high school be established at these prospective points. It is understood that similar petitions are being circulated at Victor and Stevensville, so that it is very probably that at least four candidates will be in the field. An election will no doubt be called in the near future. The election will be held in the several school districts and conducted under the school election laws. No registration is required and a plurality vote is deemed sufficient to determine the location. County high schools are maintained by a property tax that cannot exceed three mills, although this may be increased to 10 mills to pay interest and principal on bonds, that my be levied to erect a high school building. The school is governed by a board of six trustees, appointed by the county superintendent.
    Strong petitions, that have been circulated throughout the county have been presented requesting that the board appropriate $1,000 for agricultural premiums for a county fair and favorable action is anticipated.
    County Treasurer Carter today issued saloon licenses to A.L. Mowatt and Joe Deal of Victor and to Charles Bourne of Corvallis, each paying $165 unto county officers. The board is considering the advisability of granting licenses to applicants in Darby and Florence, which are under jurisdiction of the board, having less than 100 population.
The Western News, March 7, 1906

In 1906, there was an election to establish a county high school in Hamilton. For more on this story, go to  HAMILTON SCHOOLS.

Eighth Grade Examinations
   Not a little misunderstanding has arisin in connection with the exact provisions of the resolution of the state board of education relative to teachers and eighth grade examinations. Therefore, The Western News reproduces it verbatim, as follows:
    "Resolved, That the several county boards of education examiners be authorized to hold eighth grade examinations in their respective counties as provided in house bill 118, Tenth legislative assembly for the purpose of granting eighth grade pupils who show themselves proficient cetificates to enter accredited high schools, such examinations to be optional with local authorities until January 1908. Afther said date all pupils desiring to enter accredited high schools regularly from the eighth grade shall hold certificates granted by the county board of educational examiners. The questions for these examinations shall be prepared by the state superintendent of public instruction and the examinations shall be held under the rules and regulations prescribed by him. The minimum standing for passing shall be 65 percent with an average in all."
The Western News, April 24, 1907, page 1

Pupils Who Passed In Physiology
    The pupils who secured a passing mark in physiology at the examination last week are:
District No. 3, Hamilton: Willis Roberts, William Rooney, Ester Nelson, Edith Melton, Ruth Kleinoeder, Pearl Wright, MabelMcConnell, Marie Pettis, John Tyler, Edna Edwards, Earl Christensen, Hamilton Robertson, Eva King, Stasia Holstrom, Henry Bishop, Earl Howard, Claude LaFrance, Anna May Higgins, Mildred Holstrom, Arthur Peterson, George Phillips, Charles Crutchfield, Herman Stalford, and Chris Hoffman
District No. 2, Stevensville: Florence Harrington, George May, Helena Beyer, Claude Johnson, Lois Showell, Buford Buck, Anna Shea, Lucy Dawson, Marcus Drew, Eva Dowling, Tom Miser, Verna Cowell, Maxford Yandt, Gladys Lyons, Dade Carter, Buna Turner, Ras Woods, and Leroy Stratton
District No. 1, Corvallis: Margaret Bohler, Avery Heron, Dean Chaffin, Guy Hall, John McLeod, Mary Odell, Milburn Hawker, and Irene Smith
District No. 2, Grantsdale: Ollie Forrest, Harold Taylor, Ethel Carlson, Mary Hollibaugh, and Richard Carlson
District No. 11, Fairplay: George Rummell, Edna Lyle, Lola Wing, Hazel Severns, Clara Shulta, John Lockwood, Edith Malone, and Edwin Neilson
District No. 14, Cama: Irving Gilmore and Ester Warner
District No. 16, Connor: Lottie Helvick, Carroll Thompson, Orval Ward, and Susie Greenup
District No. 17, Three Mile: Ardelia Jenkins and Blanche Standley
District No. 19, Pleasant View: Jay Briggs and Russell Hickey
District No. 20, Como: George Elderkin and Marjorie Hanault
District No. 21, West Fork: Calvin McDaniels and Barron Fuller
District No, 29, Roll School: Clara Johnson and Jesse Waylett
District No. 32, Sleeping Child: Lottie Leavitt
District No. 10, Fairview: James Sestak
The Western News, January 26, 1912

Students Who Passed Examination
But 81 out of 159 who took the eighth grade test were successful
    Out of 159 pupils who last week took the eighth grade examination required by the state but 81 were successful. These are not eligible to enter the high school, while those who failed must take the eighth grade work over.
    The students from the various school districts of the county who passed the eighth grade examination are as follows:
Hamilton: Viola Granke, Howard Marr, Willie Roberts, William Rooney, Esther Nelson, Edith Melton, Mable McConnell, Amelia Wolpert, John Tyler, Earle Christensen, Hamilton Robertson, Stasia Holstrom, Claude LeFrance, Mildred Holstrom, George Phillips, Charles Crutchfield, Herman Stalford, Christ Hoffman, Lois Law, Gertrude Powers, Richard Sullivan, and Hazel Loveland
Corvallis: John McLeod, Paul Everly, and Hazel Whitesitt
Stevensville: Florence Harrington, George May, Helen Beyer, Claude Johnson, Lois Showell, Anna Shea, Lucy Dawson, Eva Dowling, Marcus Drew, Thomas Miser, Vernie Cowell, Maxford Yandt, Gladys Lyons, Dade Carter, Buna Turner, Ras Woods, Ruth Drew
Victor (consolidated) - Gladys Keirns, Dewey Poindexter, James Woffard, Pearl Collins, Lillian Goddard, Gladys Wason, Bland Treece, Edgar Puyear, Howard McVey, Mildren Wasson
Grantsdale - Otto Forrest, Harold Taylor, Ethel Carlson, Mary Hollibaugh, Richard Carlson
Holden, District 8 - John Wimitt
Fairplay, District 11 - Fay Burrell, Ruth Moore, Arthur Hauf, Edna Luall, John Lockwood
Eight Mile, District 12 - Belle Walkup, Melvin Price
Florence, District 15 - Dwight Carver, Inez Shaffer, Roy Tillman, Morgana Tilman, Hannah Bentham, Helen Klair, Hildred Gleason
Conner, District 16 - Carrol Thompson
Canyon Creek, District 18 - Harry Creek, Helen Little
Robertson, District 22 - Frances Rees
Roll, District 29 - Stanley Waylett, Clara Johnson, Edith Brown
Sleeping Child, District 32 - Rose Oertli, Lottie Leavitt
The Western News,  June 11, 1912

Eighth Grade Graduates are Announced
    County Superintendent Katherine Drayton today gave out the list of pupils who passed the eighth grade examinations and who are eligible to enter high school this fall.  It was necessary to give two examinations as the lower valley schools closed nearly a month after the upper valley shoools and the names of the first lot of graduates was held until the list could be completed. The graduates are:
Ambrose - Dorothy Fares, Helen Strebel
Sula - Paul Wetzsteon
Rye Creek - Dwight Ward, Louise Thorning
Upperburn Fork - Logan Sherris
Hanilton Heights - William Schaedl
LoneRock - Mabel Rehberg
Charlos - George Hayes, Gail Holbrook
Como - Joe Henault, Cecil Algie, Clarence Platt, Edith Lawrence, Grace Lowman
Lower Burnt Fork - Elmer Bosse, George Taylor, Jane Rees, George Schaertl
Birch Creek - Anna Jackman
Saw Tooth - Mary Decker, Winifred Greenup
Canyon Creek - David Carpenter, Mildred Gerer, Rudolph Gerer
Grantsdale - John Sheehan, George McLean, Mary Miller, Fannie Gliebe
Darby - Catherine Miller, Clarence Kerlee, Rudolph Rismann, Margery Laird, Una Briggs
Victor - Orville Buker, Edward  Blair, Verna Schrantz, Herbert Owings, Alberta Kaa, Celia Perry, AnnaRoark, Martha Waylett
Florence - Lester Shivel, Helen Heresford, Clarence Wemple
Stevensville - Olive Roark, Sherman Burgoyne, Agnes Marks, Silva Briner, Alice Fausett, Marjorie Forkner, Maude McNett, Guy Dawson, Elsie Ashworth, Anna Ellis, Merle Smith, Ruth Faust, Myron Davis, Norman Drew
Hamilton - Charles James, Dick Southwick, Harold Stanton, Teddy Edwards, Margery Jones, George Stewart, Melvin Lord, Lenore McCulloch, Sara McDaniel, Bell Putnam, Irene Haigh, Agnes Getty, James Coulter, John Craddock, Edwin Ash, Irene Hagaman, Hazel Peterson, Archie Strange, Eleanor Roberts.
The Western News, June 20, 1918

Ravalli County Schools may Favor Later Starting time This Winter
Hamilton, August 29 - A general sentiment for opening the schools as usual at 9 o’clock, with the coming of winter is indicated in reports of Ravalli county districts County Superintendent Mabel Liudsladt said Wednesday. Darby and Florence, the latest to be heard from, plan such a time standard, she said,
    At Darby, A.B. Cole begins his 21st year as instructor,a nd most of the time has been superintendent. The teachers are Lorena Greenfield, Neva Schoenhals, Ada Miller, elizabeth Johnson, Agnes Hannon, elementary; Jessie Murphey, Ruth J. Clonninger, Melvin L. Schneider and Bessie B. Marble, high school. A Sixth grade teacher an instructor for the music and home economics work remain to be hired. Mrs. Xca Doughery, teacher of sixth and music for several years, has resigned to take a post at Dixon.
    Florence-Carlton again has Arthur J. Olsen as superintendent and the teachers are Evelyn McVey, Leon Nelson, Lillian Cebull and Elda McLaughlin with the post of commercial teacher still to be filler.
    George Blakeslee is again at the head of Corvallis schools and teachers are Emma Quast, Beatrice Berland, Marjorie Arnold Bowen, Howard March, Marvin Tilden, Willie Brisbin, Ruth Horn, LeRea Cobb, Clarine Moore, Katherine Weber, and Margaret Thompson, with a coach position yet to fill, due to a late resignation.
    Victor has had more positions to fill accordingly than any school in the county and so far there are but two of last year’s teachers returning, Ethel Graham and Rose Conwell. William R Evans is superintendent and other teachers are E.K. Wright, Jean Campbell, Grace Rykels, Mayme Clark and Helen Prochnow. The latter was substitute teacher last year.
Montana Standard, August 30, 1942

FLORENCE CARLTON SCHOOLS  in Florence, Montana


STEVENSVILLE SCHOOL
    The first Stevensville school was established at St. Mary's Mission by the Jesuits who followed the pattern of their order and held classes for the Indians. Then, John Owen hired a tutor, P. MacDonald, to teach the Indian and half-breed children at Fort Owen from December 1858 until April 1859.
    The home of Henry Buck was the first school in the town of Stevensville. At first, it was a just a school for his children, but then became Stevensville's official grammar school. Records show that 26 pupils attended the school in 1872 and three of the early teachers were Mrs. Sara Lent, Rosa Knapp (later Mrs. Amos Buck), and Mrs. Nellie Haynes Buck.   
    In 1890, 152 students attended the Stevensville school during the 7-month term. They had a total of 10 library books and the one teacher who was paid $75 a month during the winter months and $65 a month during the spring. The next year, the school had 116 students and two teachers. A man who received $65 a month and a woman who received $50 a month. The school term was 10 months. The town population and the number of students continued to increase. By1905 there were 324 students, one man and three women teachers, 880 library books, and two school buildings.
Teachers for hired for the 1909-1910 school year: Highschool: Prof. C.C. Williamson and Mrs. Ruth Smith
    Public school: Prof. J.F. Sharp, principal; Miss Ida L. Crossman, 6th and 7th grades; Caroline Wells, 4th and 5th grades; Josie Robb, 3rd and half of 2nd grades; Miss Debora Wagy, 1st and half of second grades.
   
VICTOR SCHOOLS
    Victor's first school teacher, Eva Liter, quit teaching after her husband, Nehemiah, died in 1881. In the spring of 1881, Joel J. Bond, accompanied by his wife Elizabeth and their children, came to Victor to farm and teach school. He initiated a 6-month school term beginning May 1, 1881 for the 64 children who would attend school in the Sweat House School District. Within a year, the number of students had increased to 89 (50 boys and 39 girls). The end of the 6-month term qualified Victor for territorial school funds provided by an 1877 law.
    The Montana Territory's first compulsory education law caused the number of students to increase which prompted Joel Bond to initate the building of a new school on the land doanted by Frank Woody for school purposes. The school house was built by donations and volunteer labor and a barn was built nearby to stable the students' saddle horses.    
    In 1882, the Missoula County Commissioners separated the southern part of the Sweat House District to form the Fair View School District. The people in this new district built their own log school house a mile west of Tucker Crossing. 
    During the next several years, more school districts were formed: the Pleasant View District in 1888, the Curlew School District in 1891, and the Roll School District. By 1890, there were 85 children attending the Victor school, 27 at Fair View, and 48 at Pleasant View.
    Joel J. Bond taught school for many years and served as Ravalli County's first Superintendent of Schools from 1893 to 1895. His daughter, Anna Bond Herbert, was elected as his replacement in 1895.  (see Joel Bond biography)   
    Early teachers at the Victor School include Miss Nannie Dowd in 1884; Mr. Tuxbury in 1886; Miss Mary Williams in 1888; "Professor" Fouch in1890; Sue Anderson and Miss Maggie McCarty in 1891; and P.J. Anderson in 1892.
   
CORVALLIS SCHOOLS
       The first school in the Corvallis area was located near the old Slack farm, which was about one-half mile northwest of the current town of Corvallis. Bent Reeder was the teacher. The second school was located in the town of Corvallis, near the present Corvallis High School. During the early 1900's, there were a number of small schools in the Corvallis area. Through the efforts of Winfield Scott Bailey, the Corvallis School  consolidated with the Willow Creek, Mountain View and Woodside school in 1914. Later, the Hamilton Heights, Birch Creek, and Dominic Schools joined the Corvallis school. This consolidation gave the community an accredited high school that was housed in a new brick school building in 1915. The previous school building, located where the present primary school building is located on the East side highway,  was destroyed by fire in 1914. The new high school building was erected at the north end of Main Street in Corvallis.
 W.S. Bailey was a 1904 graduate of Plattville Teachers College in Plattville, Wisconsin, and became the first superintendent of Corvallis schools in 1912.
    The Corvallis High School building was destroyed by fire on a cold January 14, 1930 day. There was a 9-day vacation for the students. School resumed on Monday, January 29 with the high school and grades 5 through 8 meeting in temporary facilities. The 98 high school students and their 4 teachers met in the Masonic building. The 25 eighth graders and their teacher, Sam Cappious, were established in the Community Hall, the seventh grade of 35 pupils and their teacher, Miss Fern Lee, assembled at the Methodist Church annex. The fifth and sixth graders joined the four lower grades at the primary school building.
    When school resumed, school supply stores did a rushing business with many students needing to replace their personal supplied destroyed in the fire. Basketball practice was held in the Odd Fellows' Hall, but the ceiling was not high enough to permit regulation-height baskets. Because of that, Corvallis played all of their games away from home.    
    Because W.S. wanted good teachers working at the school, he convinced several young teachers from the Platteville Teachers College, including his sister Loretta Bailey (later married Ernest Scott), to come to Corvallis to teach.

DARBY SCHOOLS
   The Darby School District #9 is made up of Darby Elementary, Darby Junior High, and Darby High School.

HAMILTON SCHOOLS
    The first teacher in Hamilton was Anna O'Hara. She taught in a 1-room school located on the Main Street in Hamilton, where Roberts Books store was located in later years.

SCHOOL & CLASS REUNION INFORMATION

CORVALLIS

    The first annual all-classes reunion was held at the Corvallis High School July 19, 2003. There were about 300 in attendance. Reunions were held each year with the last and final reunion on June 25, 2016 at the Corvallis High school. The all-school reunions have been discontinued due to decreasing attendance and the exhaustion of the reunion committee.  Any future reunions will be the responsibility of individual classes.
    We are putting together a book or books of the history of Corvallis schools, students and their families. Copies of obituaries are needed for those students who died out-of state and those whose obituary was not published in the local newspapers, Ravalli Republic, Missoulian or Bitter Root Star. If you have information about individuals who attended Corvallis schools that you would like to contribute, e-mail Me.