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Denton Community
Historical Society


Prairie Flower School


According to newspaper accounts from write-ups at the time of the celebration of the 1888 blizzard in 1940 District #71 was located 1 miles west of later where the school was located. This probably would have been on what is now SW 84th. The school district was organized in 1874, the grasshopper years. I found no listing of when the building was moved or a new one built. The new location was on what now is SW 72nd between West Bennet and West Wittstruck roads in Lancaster County, Nebraska. It was on the west side of the road. In 1888 it is shown Sullivan's, Miller's, Meier's, Strelow's, Spellman's, Schwenke's, Clouse's, Lowney's and others attended this school. 

Sometimes 50 to 100 children were enrolled. An account from the Lincoln Star newspaper told: "Many entertainments were held in this schoolhouse, besides Sunday School, grange meetings and the celebration of the Fourth of July with a picnic. There were school meetings, the entertainments and the spelling schools." One of the most vivid recollection was the blizzard of 1888 when the children were faced with a blizzard raging as school was dismissed in the afternoon. Twenty four were in attendance that day. Most stayed at the school but the girls (the clipping said just 2 girls attended that day) went to a nearby farmhouse, a short distance from the school. 

Five walked home, a mile and a half distance. The news clipping said John F. Sullivan suffer badly frozen feet. Fifty two years later, 1940, the survivors had a reunion at the school to recall the blizzard. There were 11 survivors attending. The program we broadcasted on KFAB and the Mutual Broadcasting System. John Sieck was listed as director in 1889 and the school was listed as being District #130. I was told the school became to large so a new one was built a few miles southwest of #130. 

The new building kept the old number #71. J. T. Sullivan became director in 1900. School board members in later years were Henry Beck, Clarence Livingstone, and Henry Sieck. They held these positions many years. I believe the last board members were Vera Sittler, Marie Sieck and Vera Douglass. The school was closed in 1960, having only four pupils. The building was sold and moved into Crete. 

By:  Violet Peterson, Henry Luers
, Genevieve Spellman, Loren Miller, Mary Livingstone, Richard Spellman 

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Denton Community Historical Society of Nebraska