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  Flowing Spring School
County D
1 3/4 miles east of Sampson

Oconto County, Wisconsin

Contibuted by: Nancy

The back of the photo just reads:

Flowing Spring School

Abrams Wisconsin

Taken December 1945

Left there January 18 1946

D. Jean Smith is the Teacher

D. Jean Smith (1924 - 2007) was the daughter of Gwynne and Alice (Meles) Smith and taught in country schools in Oconto County after she graduated from Marinette County Normal School.  After a few years she then went on to Stevens Point to continue her education, ending up teaching in Edgerton, Gillett, Merrill and finally Kaukauna. Jean married her classmate in the 1950s, Art Gandt (1923 - 2014) from Gillett in Oconto County. He was born in the Gillett Hospital on June 26, 1923, son of the late Otto and Bertha (Kasten) Gandt. They are buried together in St. Johns Lutheran Cemetery, Gillett, Oconto County, Wisconsin.

He was born in the Gillett Hospital on June 26, 1923, son of the late Otto and Bertha (Kasten) Gandt. - See more at:


He was born in the Gillett Hospital on June 26, 1923, son of the late Otto and Bertha (Kasten) Gandt. - See more at:
He was born in the Gillett Hospital on June 26, 1923, son of the late Otto and Bertha (Kasten) Gandt. - See more at:

Memories of Rural School Stories Told By D. Jean Smith Gandt

  "My memories of Jean's experiences teaching in country schools just consists of a couple of stories ---- One, of course,  she and a student helping her, bringing in wood to get the pot belly stove going.  Then one time she was fixing her lunch and put it on top of the stove to heat it up.  The next thing she heard was a huge "bang" ... Seems it was an unopened can of soup she had put on the stove.  She never liked cooking right up to the end of her days! 


 Another story was when she had prepared a Christmas program, and one of the 5th grade students (an older boy) played the accordion, and offered to play for the program. She knew he played well, and she asked him if he had the music to play at the program.  He assured her he did.  On the day of the Christmas program, with all the students and their friends and relatives  there, the event was going well, and the young man with the accordion was asked to play his piece --- and he did--- the Beer Barrel Polka! I remember in later years, when she retired, she met him and they joked about that day! 


I wish I could associate those events with the Flowing Spring class ... Maybe someone will remember the accordionist's name --- and the school!" Nancy

Flowing Spring School
now a private home
Above photos 2010
 contributed by:Jill Gondek
7693 County Road D

This is the 28th in a series of articles sponsored by the Oconto County Teacher's Association to promote better public relations in the schools of our county.

Article contributed by:
Larry Grady

(transcribed from the 1953 news article below)
Lightning, Fire Sped Changes In Morgan and BrooksideSchools


The South Morgan School Dt. Dist. No. 7, located about one mile north of Sampson on County Trunk C, is a joint district made up of the towns of Morgan and Abrams.

This district was organized about 1903. Up until this time they had been attending school at Morgan, but due to the crowded conditions changes had to be made. According to information from some earlier settlers, Hiram Gilcrece donated one acre of land for the schoolground. The first school board composed of Levi Cleveland. Frank Havlik, Sr.. and Charles Benning together with the residents of the district erected the first wooden structure.

The interior furnishings were typical of all the first schools, namely, few textbooks and maps, an old fashioned stove that would be either too hot or too cold, the kerosene lamp, and few if any library books.

Some of the first teachers were Mary Volk, Nellie Couillard and Nellie Brewer, who taught for about $35 a month.

Due to the increasing enrollment. which reached 57 to 60 at times, an addition was made to the original structure in 1919. The tuition for non-resident students was one dollar, but in 1923 it was voted not to accept any more tuition pupils due to the enlarging enrollment. They also voted at this meeting to "bank the school" in the fall to help keep the building warm (putting soil and/or straw up against the foundation for insulation in winter).

A well was drilled in 1924 which eliminated the carrying of water from Hugo Delzer's, a nearby neighbor. In 1829-30 a metal roof replaced the worn shingle roof and a fence was erected to maintain the sides of the school yard. About 1937 the old woodshed was razed and a concrete one replaced it. A stall was included to "house" the teacher's car, which was greatly appreciated by all the future teachers.

In l941 the school ground was leveled and seeded and in 1943 electric lights were installed.

In the spring of 1948, the school was struck by lightning, luckily on a Sunday while classes weren't in session, and as a result the interior walls were covered with wallboard, which greatly improved its appearance. In the fall an oil burner was installed and other improvements added since that time are: a radio which brings us many good school programs, some new desks, table and chairs, an electric clock, new shades, balls for the playground, a film strip projector, "and a fine new screen.

Only one child in the school has to be transported, but during the winter and on any other inclement days fathers and mothers of all the children, anxious to keep them healthy and comfortable, transport their children themselves. The rest of the year they ride to school on bicycles. The present enrollment is 18.

Some of the former teachers were Agatha Leonard, Estelle Peot, Irene Ama, Marie McDermid, Theresa Steffeck, Harvey Wetzel, Ruby Kingston, Lyllas Gilligan, Mildred Beissell, Edith Drews, Arnita Schroeder and Ruth Fuller.

In 1944, the Flowing Springs School Dt. 7, towns of Chase and Abrams. located about 1 3/4 miles east of Sampson on County Trunk D, was annexed to the South Morgan District. This school was built about 1916, when the need for a school in the vicinity was felt. The first board members were Walter Stazsek, clerk; John Oljeski, director; Mr. Rowell, treasurer. The first teacher was Miss Elsie Werry and she taught a nine month term for $40 a month.

Some of the improvements made in this school are: an oil burner, a radio, an electric clock, a movie screen, and a strip projector used with the other school, which was acquired with the money raised at a dance sponsored by the teachers and the school board.

The present school board members are Mrs. Oscar Belongia, clerk; Mrs. Norman Birr, treasurer; and Mrs. Neil Rymer, director. The teachers are Mrs. Myrtle Volk and Mrs. Laura Berken.