School: History of Steele Benjamine School (1937)

Contact: Tiffiney Hill


Joint District--Warner & Mead

By Chas, A Varney 22 Apr. 1937

In 1871, the families of Thos, Steele, Chas. Patterson, Larry Drinkwine, Morria Markham, Curtis Markham and Mr. Baldwin being in need of school privileges for their children proceeded to build a house of logs 16 by 20 feet in dimension, made furniture of lumber, chinked the crack in the building, nicely pointed it up outside with mud and on the inside with lime. A big box stove stood in the center of the room. There were two windows in each side, (north and south side). The teacher had the west end and the outside door was in the east end.

Thos. Steele’s oldest daughter Charlotte was hired as the first teacher, from 1871 - 1873, two years of seven months each.

In 1873 three more families came Aug. Bielke, Ludwic Noah and H. W. Varney.

Teachers following were: Julia Endmonds, (Walter Hubble’s Mother), Mrs. H. W. Varney, Anna Andrews (Mrs. Wm. Johnson), Edith Finney, Bell Ackerman, Libbie Andrews (Mrs. E. Bowen), Mrs. Dellis McCalvy Gray, Sofrona McGalvy (Mrs. Bass, Neillsville), Thomas Malady (cousin of Mrs. Shanks), Madge Ferguron, Belle Ferris Bradley, Martha Cawley, Mary Mason & Eina Salisbury,

In 1884 a new frame schoolhouse was built by B.R. Montromery, Chas. Rabenau and C. Alton.

The Teacher in the new building were as follows:

Eva Arms (Mrs. Frank Andrews), Jennie Robinson, Kate Miller, Chas. E. Brooks (now in California), Ella Livingston, Chas. E. Brooks, Lizzie Spencer (Mrs. P.E. Peterson), Carrie Sanford, Clara Ditton (Mrs. Oscar Fricke, Neillsville), E. Andrews, Archie Stewart (doctor, Portland), Ralph Varney (Great Falls, Mont.), Hixon Mead (Thorp, Wis.), Ingebor Peterson (Mrs. Wm Hogue), Effie Andrews (Mrs. Art Cadman, Fairchild), Alby G. Edwards & Nellie Anderson (Mrs. Elmer Binning, Salem, Oregon), James Fradette (Neillsville, Wis.), Florence Snyder (Mrs. Roy Cota, Madison, Wis.), Ella Larson (Mrs. Orin Crum), Olive Rand (Mrs. Dixon, Neillsville), Malcolm Pfunder (Minneapolis), Malcolm Pfunder & Olive Rand, Laura Hamre (Racine), Bessie Fradette (Mrs. Burch, Chicago, Ill), Hilda Kippenhan, Alice Gries (Mrs. Robt. Stiefvater, Manitowoc), Lura Grashor (Mrs. Dormeyer, California), Fern Sloniker (Mrs. Arnold Beyer, Alma Center, Wis), Helen Davis, Myrtle Zafke (Kenya, East Africa), Emma Vollrath (Mrs. Wm. Gerlach, Oeseo, Wis.), Sarah Cole (Mrs. Henry Dittner), Martha Pingel, Agnes Hattlested, Evangeline Sheets (Greenwood), Lois Cole (Mrs. Leonard Johnson), Siama Peterson, Eva Gretzner, Martha Stark, Bertha Putzel (Mrs. Jack Holt), Mabel Portz, Mabel Gallagher, Gertrude Liebzeit (now teaching the school),

The salary from 1871 to 1884 was $28.00 per month. From 1884 to 1910 it varied from $30.00 to $45.00. From 1910 to 1920 from $50.00 to $60.00. 1920-22 it was $99 and $100. 1923-25 it was $90, 25-26 $80, 26-27 $105, 27-29 $85, 29-32 $90-$100, 1932-33 $75, 1933-37 $75 to $80.

Anyone knowing the whereabouts of any of the teachers listed, Mr. Varney would appreciate hearing from them, Address Chas. A Varney, Greenwood Wis.



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