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HISTORIC OCONTO COUNTY SCHOOLS

Sunny Brook School
Oconto County, Wisconsin


 

Sunny Brook School
c: 1905
This photograph was taken a few years after the one below and shows the same teacher. The rapid population growth is seen in the large increase of the student numbers. The one room building was replaced in 1913 with two classrooms.

contributed by: Jilaine


 
Sunny Brook School
original building from 1900
Now Lena Historical Museum
Photo contributed by:
Jill Gondek
Taken 2010

Historian Ms. Norma Kramer Collection
contributed by: Michael Dionne

SUNNY BROOK SCHOOL

One example of these early rural schools was SUNNY BROOK district No. 4. The first building was a wooden, one-room replaced in 1913. The wooden building was removed to the comer of Sunny Brook Road and the Belgian Road, remodeled into a cheese factory, later used as a slaughter house, a store, then moved from the premises to be remodeled into a home.

In 1913 the cement block building having two rooms was built by Nick Neuer who owned a cement block factory where he made decorative blocks. Similar ones can be seen in the construction of the old Mathey building, now Lyle's Red Owl.

The name Sunny Brook was selected by vote of the student body as were the school colors of maroon and gold.

The two room school with two teachers had an average of 60 students in grades 1-4 and 5-8.

Many social and community events were held at the school. Christmas programs were performed by students for the parents on lemonade and homemade fee cream. School meetings always brought large crowds with community interest and cooperation. Four-H Club meetings, card games, ice cream socials and box lunch actions were all part of the fun at the Sunny Brook country school.

These rural schools were actually districts of their own with their own school board.ool in the State of Wisconsin in 1914 were very sample by today's standards:

contributed by:
Larry Grady

(transcribed from the 1953 news article below)

This is the 16th in a series of articles sponsored by the Oconto County Teachers Association to promote better public relations in the schools of our county.

SUNNY BROOK SCHOOL

Sunny Brook School District Number 4. is located in the Town of Lena. The first district meeting was held on September 1st, 1900, at two o'clock for the purpose of electing school officers. Levi Hale was chairman of the meeting. The first school board consisted of George Adams, clerk - John Loberger, director - Frank Wickenberg, treasurer. At this meeting it was decided to buy a piece of land for $50.00 to build a school. The first school was 24'x30" and built of wood. A tax of $250.00 was to be levied against properly of the district.
On September 11th, 1900, application was made for a loan of $500.00 from the State Trust Fund for the purpose of building a new schoolhouse. This first school was located on the site of the present school.

The first annual meeting was called to order on July 1st, 1901, by John Logerger. At this meeting it was decided to purchase only 3/4 of an acre for the school site. The school was made of clapboard on three sides and a bell was purchased for the sum of $25.00

The first teacher was hired for a term of seven months, and free text books were used. Jules Hallet furnished wood at  50cents a cord for the purpose of heating school. He was hired to clean and wash the school house for the sum of $1.50.

There were fifty children in the first school. The first teacher was Belle Wright, who was hired for the sum of $24.00 per month. Some early teachers included Laura Burbey, Elsie Pel key, Laura Palm, Jennie Fleussus, and Clara Buckberger. During this time the salary was raised from S24.00 to $32.00 a month. The school term was changed from 7 to 9 months.

Other early teachers were Julia Walsh, Cecile Murphy, Stella Ragen, and Sadie Masson. Salaries were raised to $40 per month.

In 1913 it was voted to change to a State Graded School. N. C. Netzer built the new cement block school for the sum of $3,000. It had double desks and was heated by a box stove.

The first teachers in the new school were Myrtle Grey and Ethel Corty. Ethey Corey resigned and Anna   Maloney took her place.

The first board received a salary of $10.00 for clerk. $8.00 for treasurer and $5.00 for director. The board received the right to suspend school at which time the teacher would recieve no pay. The board also reserved the right to stop school for floods or lay off teacher whenever the board thought necessary without drawing pay. Early contracts stated there was to be no vacation.

Electric lights were installed in present school by R.E.A. in 1938. In 1947 an oil furnace was installed.

Running water was installed in 1950, and in 1952 the lavatories were installed. Both rooms were redecorated at this time. Some modem desks have been purchased. Both rooms have a radio. This year a cement walk was built around the school.

Playground equipment includes: Merry-go-round, Basketball, volley ball, football, baseballs and large primary balls. Physical Education and Conservation are being taught. Students living more than two miles from school are being transported by bus. The present enrollment includes 24 pupils in the primary room and 26 pupils in the upper room. Mrs. Lucille Cisler is the principal and Mrs. Marie Brown is the primary teacher.

A 4H club has been organized in the district. They meet at the school house once a month.

The present school board members are Clerk - Ed Zeismer, Director - Henry Conrad, Treasurer - Mrs. Christine Ausloos. Mr. Zeismer has been school clerk for nineteen years.

 
 Historian Ms. Norman Kramer Collection
contributed by: Michael Dionne
 Historian Ms. Norman Kramer Collection
contributed by: Michael Dionne

Article contributed by:
Larry Grady




 

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