me school and learning were things for which I have been forever grateful.
Each Christmas a school program was given for the entire district. We always enjoyed the practice days.
Heat for the building was provided by a pot-bellied stove that never seemed to get the heat very far into the room. Many mornings we left our coats on to keep warm until the stove could produce enough heat to let us sit in our seats.
Sometimes "box socials" were held in the evening at the school as a way of making a little money. All girls and women decorated their boxes with lace, fancy paper and pretty ribbons. The box contained lunch for two that the men and boys bid on. The highest bidder got the box, the lunch, and the girl for the evening.
Usually on Fridays all students participated in a spelling bee. If you misspelled a word you were out. Sometimes there were spelling bees between schools.
The County Fair was always held at Wahoo, Nebraska, with entries of art work from most of the schools. Going to the fair was quite an experience. All those people! Some of the rides looked quite scary. The merry-go-round was enough to satisfy us. One ride, of course, was the limit. A picnic lunch was taken along to help satisfy growing children's appetites.
During the winter months after a good snowstorm "Fisher's Hill" by the school was the ideal place for sleigh riding. Many lunches carried in an empty syrup bucket, were eaten by gulps so we could spend more time on the hill. Occasionally, a car came by and we had to clear the road.
Seventh and eighth grade examinations were given in the spring at Carey High, a 9th and l0th grade country high school. Written examinations in some subjects were given to the 7th graders and the rest to 8th graders. There were about 14 different subjects that one had to pass for graduation. Eighth grade graduation exercises were held each May in Wahoo at the courthouse. That stage looked awfully big to me.
All of the five children of John and Emma Johnson attended Otoe Creek School -- District 46, in due time. The picture of the School Memories of 1910 lists Charles, Christena and Augusta Johnson as pupils. Walter and Violet attended later. The Souvenir of our School for 1926 lists three of Augusta Johnson McDuffee's children -- Roma, Harold and Merle. Most of the children were descendants of the pupils listed in the 1900 booklet. Twenty nine pupils for one teacher and all grades was not uncommon. Miss Orpha Adams was our teacher for several years. Others were Miss Gorman, Verna Spoonhour and Grace Ritthaler. County Superintendent E.A. Odam visited us many times.
Recesses (a fifteen minute break) at school were varied in entertainment. Baseball, pom-pom pull away, steal sticks, marbles, mumble peg (played with a pocket knife), jacks, ante over and always fox and geese plus snow forts in winter. Boys and girls each had their own outside toilet. No one needed to go too often in the winter time but when spring came it was a good excuse to get outside for a few minutes.
After graduation I attended Carey High for the 9th and l0th grades. Miss Marie Andersen was the teacher. Again walking was the mode of transportation -- a full two miles each way.
To me the rural school experience was most rewarding and a big help later when I taught in rural schools in another county.
Fisher's Hill has no Otoe Creek School building any longer.
During the depression years of the 30's I remember picking out poor ears of corn to carry to the house to burn in the pot belly stove at home for heat. Also old tires were cut up and burned. They produced fast, hot heat but needed to be watched carefully. One could smell the hot rubber if you were outside.
Each season the family clothes were checked over to see who had grown enough to wear what. Hand me downs, as they were known, was a way of life. I had no older sister so I had to wear my clothes longer because there was no need for replacements.
All five of us children, Roma, Harold, Merle, Lloyd and Glendora were baptized at Pohocco Lutheran Church. Harold and I were also confirmed there. Farmers Union meetings were held in the homes of the community. Often my brother, Harold, and I were asked to give readings. Usually we chose a poem by Edgar Guest. Even if we forgot our lines and needed prompting the audience was always nice and clapped. Other children played piano solos or other instruments. Some sang. The lunch that was served afterwards was a highlight of the evening, especially if there was jello served. That was something new to us.
The Ladies Aid of Pohocco Lutheran Church had their meetings in the afternoons, probably to be free of the kids for a while. But we were allowed to walk to the place after school and have lunch and to play.
The days when corn was being shelled at our place we made it home from school twice as fast as any other time. We didn't want to miss seeing the work being done if we could help it. Usually Aunt Violet would be there helping Mom to fix lunch for the men.
We were very fortunate to have our Johnson grandparents, Uncle Walter and Aunt Violet live so close by. Submitted by Roma (McDuffee) Vanicek
Woodcliff development was platted and surveyed June 6, 1969, by John G. Poehling, owner and developer. It covers approximately 860 acres and had originally planned for 450 seasonal homes. Presently, 350 homes are completed and 50 families are full-time residents.
There are 2 lakes: Lake Tirawa -- for fishing and swimming, and Lake Ski-Di -- 260 acres of water for water skiing and boats.
The entire development is entirely in Saunders County, located approximately 3 miles south of Fremont, and is only 40 minutes from Omaha or Lincoln.
Woodcliff Corral is the recently remodeled restaurant and lounge. There is a brand new Woodcliff Marina which sells boats, equipment, gas, and services boats.
District #105 was organized October 5, 1880. It consisted of the North half of Sections 16 and 17, all of Sections 4, 5, 8, 9, Township 16, Range 8. It was known as the Staats School. Boundaries have since been modified.
One of the first school boards was A.M. Maxwell, George T. Staats, and W.J. Harmon. Some of the first teachers were Alice Samison, Grace Peche, Rose Rand, Josie Carey, Marie Mills (later Dr. Stuart's wife), Effie and Herman Engle.
Some of the early pupils were Minnie, Sadie, Ralph, Clarence, George, Harry and Jennie Scott; Will, Lou, George, Lulu, Anna, Lena, Max and Jake Warner; and Emma and Hattie Staats.
The small wooden school was heated in the winter with a huge pot-bellied stove with high legs. The pupils kept their lunch pails under the stove to keep them from freezing. Times were hard and some students had only cold pancakes and molasses for their lunches.
Many of the big boys came to school just in the winter after the crops were harvested. They were quite a handful for the teacher.
There was no well at the school so "passing the water" was an important event. One or two of the boys would go to the nearest place and get a pail of water. They would pass it around with a dipper in it. If you didn't drink all the water, it was poured back into the pail. No one worried about germs then, and no water was to be wasted. "What we didn't know didn't hurt us."
School work was done on slates with slate pencil. There was usually a "spell down" on Friday. Happy was the pupil to be last to go down.
Pupils raised a hand to ask a question. If they raised a hand with one finger up it meant, "May I leave the room?" The toilets were little wooden houses outside, one for boys and one for girls.
During recess they played various sorts of ball
games, mainly ante-i-over. They made their own balls from cloth and string tightly wound to form a ball. They also played Pump-Pump-Pull Away and Run-Sheep-Run. If it was raining or snowing they played Pussy Wants the Corner or Blind Man's Bluff in the school house.
Early in the Roosevelt Administration a new brick school house was built, probably about 1931 or 32. It was the first WPA school built in the county.
One student, Jamie Lindgren, is a 4th-generation family attending this school -- Nettie (Maxwell) McClean, James A. McClean, Patti (McClean) Lindgren, Jamie Lindgren.
DISTRICT 82 CAREY HIGH
|Northern National Gas Line crosses Platte River|
|Assistant Scout leader J.K. Murphy and Mike Murphy of Troop #104 who are helping clean and restore this cemetery which is located within Boy Scout Camp Eagle|
The Pioneer or Chritton Cemetery lies just south of the Platte River in Pohocco Precinct on the present-day site of the Boy Scouts Camp northeast of Cedar Bluffs. It came into existence when homesteader, Enoch Chritton, set aside two acres of his land for a family burial place in the late 1860's. It was at the edge of the timber on a sunny hillside sloping west.
He buried his wife, two daughters, and several grandchildren there, and later joined them himself in 1883. As the need arose, the ground became a community burial place and was used as such until 1898 when the new Maple Grove Cemetery was platted near Cedar Bluffs.
The cemetery became a jungle of briars, brambles and scrub oak, as years went by. It became almost impenetrable with dense undergrowth. The iron fence enclosing the Chritton burial plot became covered with brambles. Vandals, over the years, have carried away many headstones. Monuments have been overturned and some markers have been found on the banks of the Platte River far below. There have been several attempts at grave robbing.
Through the efforts of the Boy Scouts, the cemetery has been cleaned and tended until it looks much like it did many years ago. Rimmed by majestic pine and cedar trees, planted over 100 years ago, a fitting resting place is created for this hearty group of pioneers. Compiled by stories written by descendants of Enoch Chritton -- submitted by Terrilee Freeman Roberts.
|Boy Scout Camp Cedars, the largest in this area, located in North Cedar Precinct|
Calvin Crest is a year-round camp-conference retreat center located on a 250 acre site overlooking the Platte river two miles west of Highway 77. The center is designed and operated for religious and educational programming. When the facilities are not being used for religious or educational purposes, other events are scheduled. Calvin Crest is open to churches, community, civic and private groups. The camp can accommodate up to 90 persons in the winter and up to 180 persons during the summer months.
|Calvin Crest -- Lodge Hall|
|Swimming Pool at Camp Calvin Crest|
Rev. Don Proett of Wahoo was a member of the special committee appointed to search for a camp site.
In October, 1958, 170 acres of the Jurgen's farm near Fremont was purchased and development began. Two Saunders County residents, Fritz Lichtenberg and Rev. Walter Millett, both of Cedar Bluffs were members of the original development committee.
In 1970, 80 acres of the Barrett property to the west was added to the camp site.
Development has continued over the years and the following facilities are now available: Eppley Lodge includes an adult housing and office facility, six winterized cabins, 2 summer A-frame cabins, twelve covered wagons, the Dining Hall (housing 2 dining halls and the kitchen), a swimming pool, tennis and basketball court; the Area Lodge -- meeting space on two levels, two residences for site staff, and an area for tent and trailer camping.
The camp serves over 200 different groups each year, involving over six thousand people.
On July 10, 1983, Camp Calvin Crest will be celebrating its 25th Anniversary with a special day of activities. Submitted by Russell Napier
The Rivercrest Bible Camp had its beginning in the year 1958 when the Western District of the Christian & Missionary Alliance purchased a 30-acre plot of ground from John Harold and Iva M. Bouer, for the sum of $4,500.
It was established and is maintained as a site for Christian activities such as Youth Bible Camps, Family Bible Conferences, Retreats, etc. Alliance groups are given preference in the use of the facilities but many Non-Alliance groups also use the camp for Christian enrichment.
It is a relatively small camp, but can accommodate up to 125 or more in the summer and 30-40 in the winterized area.
The early camping experiences were on the primitive side for a few years, with tents being used until the different buildings were added year after year. There are now 15 buildings, which include in part the beautiful Ken Steel Memorial Chapel and