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History of Franklin Public School

FRANKLIN County, Nebraska

Courtesy of the Franklin Alumni Association 2001

The Franklin School district was created in 1871 when the board of supervisors of the newly organized county decided that the three voting precincts should also serve as school districts. The Franklin precinct became District No. 2. The first classes in this district were held in a dugout-log structure on what was then the R. B. Dunlap farm and what is now the site of the Franklin County Club. Miss Cornelia Cook served as teacher for 17 of more pupils during that three-month term.

Five years later, on June 19, 18876, this school district was divided. The North part remained District No.2 and the south part was designated as District No. 33. It was under this number that the Franklin Public School operated until 1955 when it became R-6 after a reorganization joined several rural schools with the Franklin School to form the new district.

The first school in District No. 33 was held on the Ernest Arnold farm, one mile southwest of the present fairgrounds, in the fall of 1877 and spring of 1878. This was a three-month term taught by John Herberson who was paid $20 a month. Sixteen pupils attended during that term.

Formal classes were not held in the district again until the fall of 1880. This was a four-month term that extended into the early months of 1881. These classes were held in a sod house near the dugout-log structure that served as Franklinís first school. C. W. Van Lanningham taught 39 students for a salary of $25 a month. Prior to this time, Mr. Van Lanningham gave private lessons, going from house to house, using large letters cut from newspapers to teach the children how to read.

Before the close of this term, it was evident to the community that a larger building was needed. With no money in the district treasury, $5 shares were sold, enabling the district to build a small schoolhouse out of cottonwood lumber with donated labor. In this flimsy structure, possessing neither a foundation nor plastered walls, a three-month term was held in 1881. It stood northwest of the brick school that was built in 1917 and which served the district until 1966. The cotton wood schoolhouse was used only one year. Bonds were voted in 1881 to buy a site and build a two-room schoolhouse. Seventy-five dollars was paid for the site, which was to serve as the location for all subsequent school buildings until 1966. A contract for $985 was awarded to Thomas Sturgeon. Until the structure was completed in June 1, 1882, school was held in a building that was later to become known as the A. T. Ready home. It was located just west of the future site of the Lincoln Hotel.

Within two years more rooms were needed. A duplicate of the first building was constructed and joined to the original with a structure that tripled the available space, resulting in a handsome frame schoolhouse that was completed in September 1884. Four teachers were required to teach in this school. Textbooks were adopted in 1886, and a two-year high school course was added.

The number of students continued to out grow the provided space. In 1894 the second grade was moved to an old creamery building on Main Street. In 1895 the intermediate department was taught for a short time in the Lutheran Church until that building was declared unsafe. Classes were then moved to the Baptist Church.

The Franklin Public School was designated as a County Normal School in 1907 Ė 08 and began training students to be teacher. For the first time, the school term ran for nine months and included eleven grades. A year later a twelfth grade was added. The school was now offering Manual Training, Normal Training, YMCA, YWCA, baseball, football, and basketball.

A description of this school appeared in the Franklin County News in December 1911.

The School ground in the west central part of the city embraces nearly two full blocks. It is finely set with vigorous elm, maple, olive trees and shrubs. Except the west half which is reserved as an athletic field, well graded for track, baseball, and football. Good cement walks lead to the school from all parts of the city.

The school building, a beautiful one of eleven rooms, has five large rooms for the grades; and for the high school, and assembly room, two recitation rooms, one laboratory, one library and reading room, and a superintendentís room, besides an abundance of store and stock room. It is well lighted and ventilated and provided with roomy halls, cloak and toilet rooms. More that $15,000 has been spent for building and furnishing. Electric bells call classes throughout the building. It is supplied with city water on both floors and in the laboratory.

This schoolhouse served District # 33 until 1917 when a $50.000 brick building was erected in front of it. Home Economics, Science Laboratory, and Commercial departments were added to the Curriculum. An addition to this brick building was built on the south side in 1925. The frame schoolhouse that has served the district since 1882 was torn down. In 1939 a splendid auditorium, designed by alumnus Doyt Naden (class of 1929), was built on the campus by the Works Progress Administration.

By 1966 a larger, more modern school was needed to replace the aging brick building. With a twenty-year bond program in the amount of $446,000, with interest rates varying from 3 to 3.5 percent, a new elementary school, gymnasium/auditorium, locker rooms, and a multi-purpose room was built.

The old school continued to be used as a junior and senior high school until it was condemned by the State Fire Marshall in 1973. A special election was held in April of that year and a $500,000 bond was approved with which to add 27,400 square feet of space to the elementary school for a junior and senior high school. The wing was completed in 1974. The old brick schoolhouse was razed that same year. Only the auditorium remained on the campus and is presently being used by the school and the community for various activities.

In 1991, more space was needed in the elementary wing and new regulations regarding the handicapped had to be met. In early May 1991, construction began on an additional 2,000 sq.ft. to the elementary wing of the present building. This addition was needed to house one elementary classroom, one elementary computer lab, a Chapter I room, and a girls and boys restroom suitable for the handicapped. This project extended the elementary wing at the northeast corner of the building in an easterly direction. The cost of the addition was approximately $165,000.00 and was funded by the school-building fund.

After a few years, the smaller elementary schools in the county, such as Naponee, Riverton and Bloomington, were closed and those students were absorbed into the district, thus creating the need for additional classrooms. In March of 1995, plans began for an addition to include three elementary classrooms, one music room, a speech therapy room, an art/secondary classroom and two restrooms. This was an additional 8,000 sq.ft.and was located south and parallel to the elementary wing in an easterly direction. This projectís cost was approximately $415,000.00 and was paid by the special building fund. The new addition was ready for occupancy by the Christmas holidays, December 1995. Neither of the two projects raised the personal property tax for the district taxpayers.

The following are graduates from the Franklin High School

Class of 1891
Name Date of Death
Conkling, Fannie Mar 10, 1929
Furry, Verna Miller Aug 21, 1970
Peck, Maurice April 21, 1960
Thompson, Edwin Nov 4, 1937
Townsend, Grace Spencer Oct 25, 1949

Class of 1892
Fletcher, Mable Slusher Feb 19, 1942
Furry, Ross July 8, 1958
Gorham, Nellie Devine July 19, 1960

Class of 1893
Buck, James Nov 11, 1944
Greenwood, Grace Kylander Nov. 1961

Class of 1894

Conkling, Alice Sept. 1968
Conkling, Norah Feb 5, 1900
Furry, Cameron Aug 1962
Greenwood, Jennie Gorr 1962
Hayes, Rosa Martin Aug 10, 1926
Larrington, Mate Williamson Apr 14, 1921
Thompson, Emma Dec 19, 1899

Class of 1895
Byerly, Matilda Bowen Jan 1, 1958
Carpenter, Margaret Pardue Aug 1,1966
Davis, Harry Jan 21, 1946
Fager, Mary Short Aug 28, 1904
Hayes, Daisy Pearson May 8, 1916
Humphreys, William Francis May 24, 1939
Hutchins, Cora Trumbell Jun 3, 1962
Peak, Mary Buster Mar 28, 1961
Spencer, Ella Garrett July 12, 1961
Townsend, Raymond Berton Mar 1, 1972

Class of 1896
Buck, Cora Wohlenberger Mar 28, 1951
Byerly, Mattie Wilson Oct 13, 1949
Garrett, Henry June 30, 1961
Hussong, Grace Berdine Apr 1, 1967
Parker, Belle Ayers Mar 27, 1972
Peck, Ruth Burbaker Apr 19, 1961
Reams, Emma Pierce unknown
Thompson, Newton Feb 2, 1952
Towns, Mamie Gross Dec 13, 1950

Class of 1897
Byerly, Lucille Miller Oct 6, 1914
Byerly, Virginia Jun 28, 1948
Conkling, Leila Marstellar Apr 9, 1919
Fletcher, Esther Stouffer Jun 13, 1956
Hayden, Fern Shields Feb 19, 1960
Hayden, Leo Murray Aug 5, 1973
Hayes, Katherine Feb 28, 1959
Hussong, Nellie Griffin Mar 3, 1942
Jones, Arthur Nov 11, 1939
Owen, Carrie Cross Sep 2, 1970
Peck, Josephine Sep 1, 1969
White, Pearl Kelso Mar 1, 1968
Williams, Elias 1963

Class of 1898
Burton, Mattie Hunderup Aug 9, 1982
Arnold, Ernst Aug 8, 1952
Garrett, Delilah Davis Feb 13, 1973
Gettle, Ada Robinson Apr 23, 1977
Kimberling, Arthur Jul 8, 1949
Maser, Rosa Beyer Feb 20, 1957
Porter, Kessie Brande Jan 12, 1929
Sturgeon, Fannie Shoemaker May 22 1942

Class of 1899
Austin, Earl May 29, 1953
Beck, Anna Reams Mar 3, 1958
Davis, Ada Bannister May 15, 1960
Ewing, Lewis Jun 22, 1943
Gregory, Martin Nov 21, 1954
Lange, Ethel Moore Feb 5, 1948
Snee, Fred Sep 20, 1942

Class of 1900
Arnold, Elsie Boles Nov 18, 1981
Barber, Mable Callard Oct 23, 1942
Bullock, Grace Vroman 1960
Carpenter, Roy Apr 28, 1943
Gregory, Minnie Ferrier Aug 20, 1951
Heath, Lula Teel 1962
Jenkinson, Mae Schwartz Mar 17, 1950
Peck, David Mar 19, 1956
Thompson, Hattie Palmer Dec 2, 1979

Class of 1901
Bullock, Leanna Hicks 1964
Byerly, Joseph Jan 9, 1952
Carpenter, Daisy Berlin unknown
Davis, Sybell Tuers Sep 1, 1954
Edwards, Mae Wilson Aug, 1955
Francisco, Nona Leadbetter Aug 28, 1973
Fager, Pearl Jan 18, 1970
Garrett, Bird Apr 27, 1960
Gettle, Bea Bain Oct 19, 1967
Gettle, Emma Burton Apr 17, 1973
Greenwood, Joseph Apr 20, 1978
James, Otis Oct 19, 1968
Maser, Kathryn Vick Jun 1, 1959
McElwee, Grace Rose Jul 13, 1971
Sturdevant, Leila Groves Feb 21, 1976

Class of 1902
Anderson, Margaret Carpenter Feb 26, 1981
Clute, Ray Unknown
Davis, Grace Jun 5, 1960
Davis, Jessie Kessler Nov 17, 1954
Fay, Rowena Yoxall Nov 3, 1954
Heldman, Blanche Unknown
Maser, Gretchen Lusby May 1, 1958
Nelson, Austin Sep 15, 1924 Shoemaker, Oscar Jan 5, 1943
VanDyke, Bertha Pendall Mar 31, 1968
Warriner, Blanche Owen Nov 20, 1973
White, Ruby Coggins Jan 28, 1980

Class of 1903
Crawford, Lula Trumbull Apr 10, 1963
Ewing, Loula Ball Feb 13, 1952
Heldman, Bernice Hutchinson Feb 24, 1977

Class of 1904
Gettle, Vera Bietrel Aug 28, 1948
Heldman, Agnes Coltherp Sep 1, 1964
King, Irvin Dec 2, 1969
Nelson, George unknown
Peck, Lucy Davis Mar 7, 1966
Short, Leslie 1962

Class of 1905
Bain, Beatrice Twiss Apr 24, 1977
Benedict, Sadie Morrison unknown
Blake, John Aug 13, 1913
Coltrin, Sarah Laux Apr 11, 1961
Jameson, Flora Wilson Feb 8, 1969
Kellam, Merton Jan 1969
Kelso, Martha Linder May 23, 1992
Lange, Vera Hertzog unknown

Class of 1906
Robertson, Julia LaSalle 1968
Carper, Verna Ottaway May 2, 1970
Cass, Vesta Nott unknown
Dill, Fairy Strunk unknown
Ewing, Ella Sprout Nov 11, 1956
George, Arthur unknown
Heldman, Lake Sep 8, 1909
Morris, Edith Meikle Apr 1, 1962
Nelson, Lena unknown
Silvey, Ernest Feb 2, 1920
Warriner, Roy Dec 20, 1955

Class of 1907 - 1908
Ayer, Stephen Apr 24, 1949
Coltrin, Charles Jan 26, 1939
Crawford, Irvin Oct 11, 1961
Francisco, Blanche Anderson Oct 29, 1962
Ouderkirk, Jay Sep 1, 1947
Reams, A. I. Apr 11, 1974

Class of 1909
Auman, Arthur Nov 30, 1972
Goetz, Clare Nov 22, 1972
Robinson, Presley 1977
Robinson, Verna Dec 17, 1971
Starr, Glenn Apr 9, 1970
Story, Grace Ayer Jul 9, 1991

Class of 1910
Arnold, Alma Lauer Feb 29, 1976
Britt, Emmett Dec 29, 1983
Crittenden, Leon Jan 27, 1969
Davis, Edna Sterrett Jul 31, 1981
Doher, Thomas Sep 1, 1980
Garrett, George May 8, 1963
Ingles, Ervine Jul 29, 1962
Jones, Alma Francisco unknown
Robinson, W. Ivan May 18, 1979
Rogers, Floyd Jan 20,1973
Versaw, Paul Feb 16, 1987
Walker, Hubert Jun 25, 1945
Wilson, Lula Mitchell Nov 8, 1973

Class of 1911
Benson, Leonard Sep 14, 1989
Davis, Cyle Jun 27, 1947
Davis, Jane Smith Jun 20, 1920
Dunlap, Harry Apr 7, 1970
Ewing, Edward Dec 2, 1934
Lohr, Inez Shoemaker May 14, 1982
Mason, Clinton Dec 2, 1978
Reed, Orville Sep 13, 1970
Robinet, Grace Stitzel Sep 23, 1977
Walker, Raymond Sep 13, 1969

Class of 1912
Anderson, Anna Mong Oct 26, 1988
Averhoff, George 1963
Bickett, Ruth Eliopulas Mar 1, 1984
Borland, Rena Berlie Aug 9, 1939
Carpenter, Ivan Nov 24, 1912
Cyr, Ruth Sep 27, 1988
Dewey, Carrol Unknown
Ewing, Charles Feb 21, 1955
Fierke, Grace Aug 1968
Fierke, William Nov 11, 1974
Gorham, Robert Apr 5, 1989
Hussong, Margaret Wolff Feb 15, 1984
Lohr, Lola Coe May 4, 1979
Mason, Maud 1961

Class of 1913
Behrends, Mary Oct 1978
Benson, Clarence Aug 28, 1961
Doher, Paul Sep 13, 1956
Hussong, Marston Feb 18, 1960
Mason, Della Travis Apr 26, 1984
Upton, Nellie Hunt Aug 19, 1981
Vedder, Roy Feb 24, 1968
Versaw, Willie Jun 19, 1983
Weston, Bertha Dec 30, 1981

Class of 1914
Aiken, Cressie Young Nov 8, 1977
Barker, Bernice Averhoff unknown
Braden, Paul unknown
Dunlap, Louella Lanning Aug 5, 1966
Dunlap, Marion Mendenhall unknown
Garrett, Elizabeth Prusia Nov 19, 1969
Goodwin, Elfie Mulkey Jun 25, 1986
Hayes, Ella Williams Mar 17, 1976
Hussong, Herbert unknown
Mulkey, Lester May 20, 1972
Prusia, Clarence Nov 19, 1969
Prusia, Florence Platt Dec 25, 1969

Class of 1915
Bartleson, Ella Barnes Jul 1, 1983
Bartlett, Hazel Burton Nov 29, 1983
Bonahm, Fay Feb 28, 1935
Cummings, Cleo May 26, 1958
Cyr, Lois Nov 2, 1931
Davis, Frank Jun 13, 1952
Goings, Paris Allen Aug 17, 1983
Inglis, Mary Farries Jan 27, 1987
Jones, Orpha Davis-due May 10, 1996
Lewis, Very McCombs Dec 1, 1946
Mabon, Geneva Aug 15, 1976
Mason, Gerald E. Apr 28, 1977
Mulkey, Emmett Oct 16, 1976
Palmer, Jay Jan 22, 1972
Phinney, William Oct 15, 1960
Story, Roy Jul 26, 1996
Tippetts, Irene Larraway Oct 10,1980
Tippetts, Josie Jacobs Jan 9, 1985
Versaw, Earl Feb 21, 1984

Class of 1916
Ayer, Miriam Phinney Sep20, 1935
Carpenter, Mae Mason Jan 12, 1972
Clow, Marie Palmer May 24, 1967
Coltrin, Dolly Feb 6, 1920
Ewing, Alice Johnson Feb 16, 1946
Haines, Gladys Romtvedt Nov 16, 1979
Lewis, Grace Baetz Jun 13, 1958
Lynch, Lura Leonard Mar 29, 1969
Reams, Max Jun 4, 1955
Shuck, Hazel Whitney Aug 6, 1978
Thompson, Harold Aug 1963
Versaw, Mary Jensby May 8, 1995
Wright, Minnie Gray Nov 11, 1984

Class of 1917
Baker, Calvin Nov 20, 1879
Barker, J. Milton Jan 7, 1971
Billups, Verna Sergeant Dec 20, 1971
Clow, Orville Jul 13, 1959
Haith, Elva Lutcavish Jul 19, 1986
Henton, Beth Blair Aug 20, 1968
Jastram, Glenn Nov, 1977
Jastram, Mernitz Feb 12, 1973
Kirkpatrick, Newton unknown
Maxfelt, Louella Gorham Mar 26, 1973
Prusia, Elmer May 26, 1921
Sargent, Lila Blank May 21, 1978
Tupper, Hattie Jones unknown

Class of 1918
Borland, Clema Mar 11, 1974
Brooks, Floyd Jun 4, 1929
Burton, Edan Boyd May 6, 1967
Burton, Veda Delaney Mar 12, 1989
Cockrane, Ruth unknown
Dohper, Margaret Catron Mar 28, 1982
Fager, LeRoy Jun 1, 1976
Freeman, Nellie Ahrens unknown
Fruhling, Esther Naden Sep 30, 1985
Fruhling, Fred Aug 2, 1970
Gorham, Van Dec 9, 1928
Haines, Edna Petrequin Oct 1, 1929
Ingles, Robert Sep 29, 1991
Lynch, Rena Trambly Nov 3, 1997
Martin, Paul Jul 31, 1974
Mason, Sybel Whitney Feb 22, 1998
Rogers, Josephine Chitwood May 24, 1949
Sargent, Carolyn Mitchell Dec 4, 1956
Sprout, Verne Apr 6, 1977
Tippetts, Erma Sprout Apr 13, 1957
Wessels, Clara Soaulding Jul 4, 1975

Class of 1919
Baker, Alice White unknown
Brooks Fern Banks unknown
Brooks, Florence Best Oct 1978
Campbell, Mildred Liberman unknown
Davis, Harold Apr 29, 1993
Dunlap, Jessie Gessford Apr 1, 1965
Janssen, Katie Ebke Jan 31, 1970
Lewis, Gladys Arvitt Sept 31, 1970
Marick, Ethel Gorham Aug 4, 1997
McClimans, Blanche Dowing Oct 19, 1921
Morris, David Sep 28, 1982
Pierce, Gertrude Adams May 2, 1984
Sargent, Jay Apr 8, 1929
Thompson, Howard Jun 1, 1973
Tippetts, Erva Carey Mar 9, 1986
Watson, George Aug 2, 1966
Williamson, Bernice Boner Nov, 19987

Class of 1920
Austin, Estle Sep 7, 1985
Benedict, Nathaniel 1970
Chitwood, Earl Aug 28, 1935
Creighton, Ray Jun 22, 1982
Eberhart, Imogene Eisle Mar 11, 1954
Fruhling, Ehme Dec 6, 1949
Goetz, Carl Sept 17, 1949
Kemper, Anna Nov 9, 1983
Kirkpatrick, Nita Dree unknown
Martin, Lois Versaw Nov 12, 1994
Row, Fay Sprout Jul 28, 1995
Sprout, Mary Gettle Apr 18, 1935
Vedder, Harry Oct 29, 1977
Yates, Eva Austin Nov 9, 1997

The following people taught school at the Franklin High School during the years from 1891 to 1920:

J.T.McKinnon
Miss Linda Thompson
Miss Flora Brown
Mrs. Ella James
Ed M. Hussong
Mary Englke
Mae Pearce
Miss Lou Graves
C. P. Miller
Heman Platt
Maggie Perry
Louise Bedford
Kate B. Hiatt
Riley, E. Divine
Della M. Smith
Lottie M. Fay
Ed Smith
Miss Nellie Hussong
Verna Furry
Matilda Byerly
Fannie Conkling
Amy Smith
Bertha Gail
Carrie Owen
Jenny Robertson
Virginia Byerly
Elsie Arnold
Pearl White
F. M. Richard
Mae Chitwood
Mrs. Carrie Douglas
Katherine Hayes
Grace Davis
Mae George
J.R. Lane
Pearl Pettit
Carrie Bayard
Elsie Robertson
Viola Jones
Lena Oberkotter
Mrs. W. F. Humphreys
Vera Gettle
Mrs. Nettie Morris
Gertrude Briggs
Amelia Oberkotter
J.I. Burwell
Mary L. Murphy
Maude E. Mooney
Leona Beitel
Edna Watson
A.E. Stevenson
Nellie Aker
Edna Weston
Mrs. Emily Buerkle
Walter Nead
Emma Leingruber
Gertrude Lafferty
Annie Mogensen,
Clara Sawyer
Inez Kent
Lena Morgan
Lucille Frazell
Rynta Vedder
Inez Lohr
Leila Kent
G. H. Bonner
L. W. Redfern
Pearl OíNeil
Ruth Morgan
Janet Mackie
P. L. Graves
Louise Upson
George Hansen
Reynold LaRue
Ada Hester
Adrian Woods
Esther Freeman
Edith Peterson
Roy Vedder
Margeruite Davis
L. W. Burby
Ella Fortna
Lola Lohr
Edna Francis
Morris George
Freda Bishom
Gertrude Langheive
Minnie Wright
Ruth Cockrane
Elsie Tecker
Geulah Betts


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