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Pages 56 - 57
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loses its School to Fire
struck the town in the early part of the school year in 1904 when the
that had been recently built in 1898, was totally destroyed in a fire.
The fire,-apparently stemming from an over heated wood furnace, left
school lying in a smoldering heap of brick, wood, and ashes by sunrise.
recollections of those who attended the school at the time of the fire,
they had no way of knowing about the fire and had walked into town as
but certainly did not expect to see this sight of utter ruin upon their
arrival. They all began to wonder whether 'this1 was to be the end of
school Mays in Mountain?
the Town of Armstrong Record Books we find that in April of 1904, $1800
is funded toward the cost of replacing the school, but in order to
the school year, various sites had to be chosen throughout the townsite
enabling the children to receive their lessons while being without a
old school house, which had been sold to the Modern' Woodman Lodge 6396
of the Oconto Company was then called back into use, but since the
had outgrown this structure already years ago, class rooms for
were also set up in the old H.M. Baldwin store and in the Town Hall.
the year 1905 the newly completed Mountain School opened its doors to
community and was enlagred to provide for eight years of elementary
plus two years of high school level courses as well. In this
structure the motto of the first school was renewed and enhanced upon
the Town of Armstrong and its settlers had proven that 'What Is Worth
- Is Worth Doing Well'.
education received top priority in the Towns spending, many of the
especially the boys, were sporadic in attendance, being present when
weather was too bad to do anything else ! Many of the children living
the farms throughout the area were not able to attend school until the
harvesting of the crops was finished in the fall, for they were needed
at home to help with the work.
also called them away from their schooling for there were stones to
and crops again to be planted, especially potatoes and sugar beets, the
cash crops on many farms which supplemented their families livelihood.
Visions of a high school education remained unfulfilled for them, it
necessary to help provide for the wherewithal of their siblings at home.
in the schools can be recalled with this item as Rusty related to us in
one of our weekly columns, an incident told to him by his father when
attended the school atop the hill in Mountain.
the year 1905, the teacher in charge of the classroom was a young lady
and was having difficulty in keeping her group disciplined, so she was
either dismissed or quit, because in November a male teacher was then
to replace her.
I guess this fellow laid down the law as ordered, and for a few weeks
was more involved in discipline than teaching ! One day he gave a firm
licking to one of the older recalcitrants, who after his chastisment,
the teacher, "I'm going to get my dad up here !"
ahead," the teacher said, "bring him up here and I'll lick him too."
is what he did ! He gave the boy's father a thrashing right there in
of the school house, and from then on my dad told me, there was no
with discipline ! Can you imagine such a happening in this day and age
rap upon the knuckles by the teacher's ruler, or a firm yank of the ear
lobe was justly served in the country schools of yesteryear when the
maintained such authority in the classroom. Schooling was considered as
a 'gift' from the community, the school house was their pride in
the children that gift of a free and fair education. If a
was to discipline the children while instructing a classroom of eight
then these measures of 'disciplinarian action* were upheld by the
This teacher gained everyone's respect and became regarded to as a
teacher and a treasure to the community in which she served.