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Page 46
Page 47

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Until 1916 those wishing to secure a secondary education were forced to attend high school in Gillett, Oconto or Oconto Falls. In that year, the progressive citizens decided to extend the course of study to include the ninth grade, seven pupils taking advantage of this opportunity. By 1920 the high school course was complete with the enrollment of twenty-six. Miss Natalie Boucher was the first principal of the high school. At the end of the 1920 school year, the Suring High School held its first graduation exercises in Groninger's Hall. The following graduated at that time: Harold Buchberger, Wilhelmina Schimmel, Earl Waterman and Edward Zingler.

Prof. J.J. Heynen introduced instrumental music into the curriculum in 1927. Elmer Anderson, a Suring musician, convinced Mr. George Glass to come to Suring in 1928. Mr. Glass organized the first Suring High School Marching Band which consisted of 12 members but soon grew to 48 members. It was George Glass who originated the idea of the annual Suring Labor Day parade and homecoming, which before that time had been a picnic sponsored by the American Legion.

In 1936 Harold Muehl contracted with the school to provide bus service for the students in the outlying areas. In 1947 the school district purchased a bus and hired John Kitzman as driver.

The school lunch program was first started in 1948 with Mrs. Emma Alien and Mrs. Mabel Madison in charge of food preparation.

A paved track, bleachers and a lighted scoreboard was included in the new athletic field built in 1967.

The school has continued to grow and progress in its offerings and service to the youth of this community until today it serves an area of eight townships in addition to the Village of Suring. The present enrollment is 290 in the high school and 286 in the grades.

A school district was established in Hickory in October of 1870. It was District No. 5 Town of Gillett. The first school board was Lorenzo Lord, Clerk: Tom McMahon, Director; George Trecartin, Treasurer. At the first meeting it was voted that $150 should be raised for a schoolhouse.

While the schoolhouse was being built, Mrs. Lorenzo Lord taught the children in a building owned by Stephen May, one mile south of Hickory. The teacher rode horse back through the woods.

Issac Post built the school on land owned by Al Johnson, later owned by Milton Christensen. Mrs. Nellie Trecartin taught here.

In 1872, Hickory School became known as the Maple Valley School. Miss Hawthorne was engaged to teach a term of five months at $40 a month. The county superintendent was H. Allers.

In 1887 the voters authorized a new school at the corner. $800 was raised. H.W, Gilkey was trie first teacher in the new school which was used until 1914 when the present building was erected.

The following is a list of all the teachers employed at the Hickory School: Log School - Mrs. Lorenzo Lord, Ms. Hawthorne, Ms. Dillon, Bessie Bermingham, Mary Ann Traverse, Susan Taylor, Clara Woodmansie, Dellia Waters, J. Burbank, Mary Miller, Miss Corey and Emma Treacartin. The second school - Mr. H.W. Gilkey, Maggie Appleby, Cora Raymond, Joe Sterling, P.F. Reynolds. Nettie Valk, Ed Wescott, Will Lesch, Will Winkler. Sadie Owens, Ella Tomas, Stella Caldwell, Erminna Plant, Pheibie Grundy, Stella Perigo, Lilly Mills, Tom Reirdon, Grace Hannam, Jennie Stewart. Ruby Wells and Myrtle McClachlin. The present building: Jenette Western, Berdie Cheffingo, Elenore Christensen, Martha Delota, Edna Zerothe, Katheran McHaugh, Emily Vaulk, Myrtle Anderson, Emma Gallager, Lester Luebeck, Allan Stewart. Clarence McMahon, Blenda Olson, Martha Cook, Mary Shores, Evelyn Winters, Kathleen Benz, Birdie Stewart, Lucille Schmidt, Mr. Otradovec and Shirley Oleck.

The school closed at the end of the 1960-61 school year, when the building was purchased by the Oconto County Historical Society. The school was consolidated into the Suring School District. The building is presently maintained as a Historical site.


St. John's Lutheran School first started with no school building. In the late 1800's, children went to the Pastor's home for religious education and German study for two or three days a week. In 1906 we find records of a regularly-hired teacher, Miss Lydia Markworth who taught for two years, each term being only 3 months long. The teachers' salary at that time amounted to the sum of money the pastor could collect from the congregation. Miss Markworth was paid $133 for the first term. She taught in the old log church which had been removed from its original site to the spot where the school is now.

In 1913 a new brick, one room school house was built. The school term expanded from a 3 month period to a 6 month period until 1926 when it became a full 9 month school term. Each teacher was obligated to furnish instruction in Bible readings, catechism and teach reading, writing and speaking in German. The teachings at that time were based entirely on German theories of education up to this point. Most children discontinued their education after the eighth grade.

In 1926 the German school became a Christian Day School with both religious and secular subjects being taught and which met all state requirements like any public school. Miss Emma Donath was hired to teach for a full term of nine months, all grades from first to eighth and to teach not only religion and German, but all standard public school subjects as well.