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Kadlec/Spruce School 
corner of County M & B
town of Spruce
Oconto County, Wisconsin

Contributed by
Bill Fonferek

contributed by:
 Larry Grady

Please click on the photo for a larger view.

contributed by: Larry Grady
(transcribed from the 1953 news article below)

This is the 26th in a series of articles sponsored by the Oconto County Teacher's Association to promote better public relations in the schools of our county.
Physical Education and Conservation
Among Subjects at Kadlec School
Sunshine Grade School Boasts Large Playground, Water System, Indoor Plumbing, New Floor


Researched and contributed by:
Kristi Fogtman

( 1992 additions to the 1953 article at left )
It continued  as a one room rural school until 1961 when a meeting was called and it was voted to send children to Oconto Falls and sell the building to the Town of Spruce for one dollar with the condition that the back room was to be used by the Homemakers and 4-H Clubs.

John Rabas, 92 years old, and Jim Prausa 91, still reside in the district.
The Kadleck School is located I miles North of Spruce on count y Trunk B.This district was set off as a school district in the year 1885. The first school was located on be Southwest Corner of Section about one-half mile North of the present location. At that time the school was in the Town of Maple Valley, as Spruce was not yet set off as a town.

The first school was a small,
rough, log-hewed building.  The furniture consisted of a few hand made benches and tables.  The school was heated by a wood stove. Water had to be carried from a spring, a distance of a quarter mile from school.

The first school was composed of two terms. The first spring term extended from May 1, 1885 to July 24, 1885. The fall term extended from November 9th, 1885, to March 25th, 1886.

Attendance was poor, as many of the pupils had to help
with he planting and harvesting of crops. This was Bohemian Settlement and some of the first pupils could not speak English.

A large chart was used to each the alphabet to these students. There were no slate blackboards until the school was moved to its present location. There were no library books and few textbooks.

The first pupils attending the first term were: Annie and Joe Housner; Jimmy, Annie, Josephine, and Joe Kadlec of the Adam Kadlec Family; Frank and Annie Kadlec of the James Kadlec Family; George, Joe, Jack, and Jimmy Teche; John and Joe Checota; Frank Showers; Carrie, Joe and Antone Kobes; Joe Blazek; Louise and Delose Dairy.

In 1892, the school was moved to its present location. In 1907, with an enrollment of about 100, and crowded conditions, the school was made into a two room room  school until 1912,  when, it was converted back into a one room school. It has continued as a one-room rural school ever since.

Many improvements have been made in the ensuing vears to make the Kadlec School one of the fine schools in the county.

With the help of a W.P.A. Project, a full basement was put in in 1934. Chemical toilets were installed in 1935, which were replaced by flush toilets and running water in 1952. Electric lights were installed in 1941. A furnace in the basement was the next improvement, installed in 1943. In the summer of 1953, the school was completely painted, and is very attractive. A well equipped library is used by all Ihe pupils for reference work and enjoyment.

A Physical Education Program was introduced into the school program this year, for the purpose of promoting good sportsmanship, and physical activity. The children greatly enjoy this period, for it teaches them to play well together.

Many radio programs are participated in, and enjoyed by the students. The children especially like the "Let's Write" (a creative writing) Program, "Let's Draw", and "Journeys in Music Land".

A Conservation Corner is another activity which the pupils enjoy. All the pupils of the school contribute to this corner, and it is growing steadily.

An active Homemakers Club, which regularly meets in one room of the school, is interested, and has helped in school activities. This room is equipped with a stove and furniture for use by the Homemakers.

A 4-H Club is also actively organized under the leadership of Mrs. Alvin Kozlovsky.

Transportation for seven of the twenty-two pupils is provided by Earl Boldt.

The present school board is: Mrs. Delia Steffel, clerk; Mrs. John Rabas, treasurer; Mrs. Victor Steffick. director. Mrs. Robert Hyland is the present teacher.

Contributed by
Bill Fonferek

Please click on the photo to go to a larger view.

Cover and gold roping of a Kadlec School Souvener Program - year 1904-1905

Fred Steffeck photograph from the cover of Kadlec School Program.
1904 - 1905
Identified by the research of
Kristi Fogtman

Names of 82 pupils in Kadlec School were printed within the program. 1904-1905.

Frank Selner
Emma Pelnar
Antone Foral
Kate Selner
Willie Pashek
Emil Pashek
Alvina Knop
George Blazek
Ella Blazek
Rose Poradek
Odeal LaClair
Joseph Rodebradsky
Maggie Konkle
John Chesniak
Arthur Wood
Annie Soukup
Willie Wood
Joseph Zak
Annie Hynek
Frank Hynek
Joseph Prausa
Annie Pelnar
Angella Pelnar
Albert Foral
Mary Selner
Antone Pashek
Antone Konop
Eddie Blazek
Annie Blazek
Alvina Poradek
Mayme LeClair
John Podebradsky
Mike Konkle
Simon Markiewicz
Peter Chesniak
Frank Wood
Eddie Foral
Leslie Wood
Eddie Urbanek
Agnes Hynek
Emma Hynek
Margaret Kadlec
John LeClair
Jacob Kople
John Pelnar
Willie Steffel
Charlie Zipper
Bessie Kadlec
Charlie Prausa
Matt Poradeck
Leona LeClair
Matt Fait
Joseph Hyland
Rose Prausa
Emma Svoboda
Thomas Hoffman
Katie Levash
John Levash
Joseph Soukup
Fanny Soukup
Joseph Selner
Willie J. Kadlec
Frank Grzywna
Myles Kople
Tillie Pelnar
Tillie Zipper
Alhart Kadlec
George Prausa
Ralph Poradeck
Stella LeClair
Mamie Foral
Annie Fait
Mamie Fait
Charles Prausa
Mamie Prausa
Clara Svoboda
Charlie Hoffman
Barbara Levash
Willie Kobes
James Soukup
Joseph Zoubek

Student body of Kadlec School with another teacher, at right. Year and names unknown.

(Note:) Regarding the picture, above, of the Kadlec School, with no names and teacher not known, on left.  She is my grandmother Margaret Kadlec.  She married Frank Peterson and they owned a hardware store in Oconto Falls.  My father was born there in 1916.  His name was Milton Franklin Peterson.
Contributed by Kadlec descendant:
Patricia Peterson


Please click on the photo to go to a larger view.

Mystery Solved

Kadlek School Teacher and Student Body
about 1912

This newspaper clipping is part of my grandmother, student Mildred Kershek (Prausa)'s collection.

This was a post card that my grandfather sent to one of his brothers. My grandfather (James F. Prausa 1901-2003) is identified by the blue line and writing - James F. (Third row, far left hand side: wearing cardigan sweater with his hand in his pocket).

Researched, transcribed and contributed by:
Kristi Fogtman

1912 Photo
"First row from left to right (Starting at the TOP): John Levash, Frank Hyland, Ella Blazek, Bessie Kadlec, Alvina Konop, Barbra Levash and Emma Hynek.
Second row left to right: Joe Fait, Niel Taylor, Anna Soukup, unknown, Mary Selner, Anna Vetek, Laura Compe.
Third row left to right: James Prausa, unknown, Joe Urbanek, Ed Foral, Ed Soukup, Joe Hynek and Margret Kadlec, teacher.
Fourth row left to right: first pupil unknown, Alhart Urbanek, James Selner, unknown, Fred Soukup, Jim Fait.

Fifth row: Alhart Nemechek, Lena Compe, Elsie Compe, Wilon Foral, Emma Prausa, Florence Steffel, Rose Fait and Edith Taylor."
Please click on the photo to go to a larger view.

Researched, transcribed and contributed by:
Kristi Fogtman

Kadlec School 1945
Back row - Miss Pashouer, Francis Poradek, Duane Nelson. Second row - Dean Nelson, Audrey Nelson-Zoromski, Dale Rabas, Betty Prausa, Mary Jane Everard-Mortier.
Front row - Norman Sladky, Cleone Prausa-Kosnar, Ronald Poradek, Anthony (Ike) Kadlec, Marlene Hoffman-Rosner, David Everard, Barnard Poradek.
Back row, third from right (standing between two boys) is Betty Prausa. Far left: the teacher - unsure of her identity. My mother's teacher at Kadlec School, from grades 4-8 was Theresa "Tessie" Steffeck (1908-2005). This photo might have been taken when my mother was in the 2nd or 3rd grade. My mother, Cleone Prausa (1937-2009), is in the front row, second from the left, in a dark print dress. Betty and Cleone Prausa were the daughters of James F. Prausa and Mildred Kershek. The young man in the front row, center, was Anthony "Ike" Kadlec (1937-2010).

Kadlec School Building
Now Spruce Town Hall

Photos by:
Jill Gondeck 2010
contributed by: Larry Grady