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OCONTO COUNTY SCHOOLS
8092 Elm Lane Road
Little River District
by Eckberg descendant:
McDowell Graded School
Teacher: Edna Bridger - far right with dark hair
All Dressed Up
For Picture Day
Erik Eckberg and his sister
Winnie Eckberg are among the 34 students and teacher pictured. The photograph is
slightly blurred because natural light was used in a relatively dark
room, which required a timed exposure. The subjects were crowded
together in the desks, asked to sit so that all faces could be seen in
the camera and asked to hold their breaths during the process.
Considering all that, the students managed to stay still admirably
well, while the photographer slowly counted seconds.
Other surnames of students in the picture included several Lindgren
children, Cisar, Fiferek, Belongia, Amore, Grady, Trapania, Kazde,
LaFortune, Noack, McDowell, Richardson and Presl.
A portrait of current President Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt sits along
the chalk rail behind the students.
took a bit of census and old plat map research to identify which school
this picture was taken in, with only the year and one student name to
on the photo, below, for a larger view.
is a picture from
the McDowell school. I think it is sometime
during the 40's. Jack, Lavern and Margaret Ann
are in the picture. This school house was on a corner of my
grandfather, Felix Carriveau's farm
and after it closed it reverted back to Earl (Curley) Carriveau. Contributed
by R.C. Bork
by: Larry Grady
|A tribute to
teacher Mrs. Carl Grady
3 photos, below, for a larger view.
School in the 1950's.
at the McDowell School with Teacher Mrs. Grady in 1965.
School, right, attached to the Maple Grove School in 2010.
For a larger type
version please scroll
There’s a history of the school that my mother wrote for the
newspaper article in 1969 (below).
The separate picture is from 1996 (above).
Carl Grady stands behind her class of first and second graders who will
all be attending school in town when the fall term opens.
stundents romp on the playground while waiting for the bus to
take them home.
WHOM THE BELL TOLLS
- It will toll next week for McDowell country school whose doors will
close Mau 29. The tousle head pulling the bell rope is James Ybanez.
End of the Little White Schoolhouse
"Still sits the schoolhouse by
A ragged beggar sunning;
Around it still the sumacs grow,
And blackberry vines are running.
The charcoal frescoes on its wall;
Its door's worn sill, betraying
The feet that, creeping slow to school,
Went storming out to playing."
wrote his poem
well over a century ago, the rural
schoolhouses like those he described continued to open their doors to
returning pupils long after other things of that earlier era gave way
week, however, with the ending
of the spring term, the last three
country schools in the Oconto school district -McDowell, Pensaukee and
Brookside - will close. Conceding the advantages of the larger schools,
it is still difficult not to feel a certain nostalgia in the demise of
the "little red schoolhouse". So many things we associate with the good
old days revolved around these one and two-room schools perched on the
schools were built before the
end of the 1900's (1800's)
have been somewhat rennovated over the years, the evidence of their
beginnings are everywhere about them. The outdoor plumbing may have
disappeared, along with the wooden benches and the bucket and dipper,
but there is much that is just as it always has been.
Children bearing a marked
resemblance through ancestry to the
19th century scholars still hang their coats on hooks stuck in the
wainscoting where their grandparents hung visored caps and hand-knit
sweaters. The bell, sounded by pulling a rope extending from the cupola
into the classroom,
still calls the children in from the playground, and the scarred doors
and worn treads of the steps all speak of generations of youngsters
coming and going.
they are pliable and
resilient, the children will probably
recover from the closings sooner than their more rigid elders who feel
that something undefinable goes out of the community with the vacating
of the country schoolhouse.
LITTLE RIVER DISTRICT
By MRS. CARL GRADY
Little River school
settled in 1870 and 12 years later
a school was built on land leased from Joseph Amore. Amore, Charles
Quirt, Francis Carriveau, J. Racine and Samuel McDowell were the
pioneer settlers of Little River.
first teacher at McDowell was
Viola Pierce of Wild Rose and she
hadn't been there very long when Sam McDowell began courting her and
eventually married the young school mistress. My husband, Carl Grady,
is Sam's grandson and we now operate the old McDowell farm. As the
present school teacher, it appears that I will also be the last.
school got its name from the six
McDowell families who lived in
school was the first in this
area to have individual desks and
chairs for the pupils. They were installed in 1895 at the time the
were still making do with
"built along the wall" desks and
1907 the enrollment had passed
the hundred mark and a new addition
was built, making it into a two-room graded schoolhouse.
were made over the years, including electrical wiring put in in 1936
and the drilling of a new well in 1948.
number of students fluctuated
over the years, but by the end of the
spring term in 1942 it was down to a point where the primary room could
be eliminated and we went back to being a one-room rural school. In
1946 that room became a kitchen and hot lunches were served from it
until 1961 when they began bringing the lunch from Oconto.
the school district integrated
with the Oconto district, a need
for more space again arose, so the Maple Grove school was moved and
joined onto McDowell. It remained a two-room school until the upper
grades, five through eight, were transferred to Oconto. Our present
enrollment is 26.
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