Oconto County WIGenWeb Project
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Oconto County, Wisconsin
Mountain Memories
Pages 50 - 51

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School Districts Formed in 1891
The Town of Armstrong formed in 1891, separating from the Town of How and in so doing formed four school districts to be so maintained by the land holders throughout the nine ranges it then encompassed The school built in the town of Mountain which had been maintained as District No. 6 in the Town of How then became the school house for those living in District No. 1.
The Kingston School located at Kingston Station south of the townsite was centered for those living in District No. 2 and the Statler School was centered as District No. 3 for the settlers living in the Boulder Lake area. The Wheeler School District was  . called District No. 4 bordering the area around the towns of Lakewwod and Townsend where the McCaslin School had been built.
By the year 1898 the Mountain School enrollment grew to 73 students so a new school was built to stand atop the hill on the west side of the townsite. This facility was built of brick and its door of education opened in the fall of that year heralding a rapidly growing community within District No.l.
A School at Crooked Lake and a school in the town of Lakewwood added to the number of schools within the Town of Armstrong's borders and by the year 1904 the South Dakota School in Range 31 T 17, the Grimmer School District No. 3, and the Cole School built north of. Townsend created a total of eight schools to be maintained and supervised by the Town.
The Town of Wheeler was set off from the Town of • Armstrong in the year 1905, thus separating the maintenance of the Cole and Wheeler Schools from the districts that had been created, leaving the Town to redistrict the schools in order to provide 'places of learning' within walking distance of the settlers throughout the Township.
Thus in 1905 there were 5 School Districts in operation to be funded by the taixpayers who lived within the borders of the Town of Armstrong. Town Records reveal that the teachers then received $280 per year, the yearly supply of wood for heating was
50
set at $25, and funding for new books called for be-tween $20 and $25 per school each year.
These schools ere the nucleus of the surrounding communities in each district, for here people gathered for numerous activities; P.T.A. meetings, Christmas Programs, homespun talent entertainments, and yes, even religious meetings.
The daily program of study and recitation included arithmetic, reading, geography, physiology, penmanship, drawing, language, history and spelling - for each grade!
To teach in these one room school houses that first dotted our countryside must naive been a real chall-ange.for the young teachers of that era. The teacher, most often a young girl between the ages of nineteen or twenty, came to school on winter mornings and had to build the fire before the children began arriving. She also had full responsibilities in the janitorial duties, but the older students were assigned daily chores in which to help her, such as filling the water fountain and carrying in the wood supply.
The teacher generally stayed with a local family near the school and either walked, or if fortunate was escorted by horse and buggy or on a large farm sleigh pulled by the farmer's team of work horses on the cold winter mornings.
The letter sent to us by Mrs. Harvey Dobratz told us of the teacher's role in the country school when May Anderson wrote of her routine from Pine Stump, and in the year 1908 the school there became the central school for those living in that area, now to be called the Tar Dam School of sub-district No. 1 in the Town of Armstrong.
Mrs. Clifford Missall sent us a memento of the 1908 to 1909 School year when her father, Thomas Wright attended this school. Thomas had lust completed his first year of grade school with Daisy R. Hudson as his teacher. His classmates in Grades 1 through 8 are also listed, compliments of his teacher. The momento which Thomas received is on page 54.