School: Church


Surnames: Church, Lightfoot, Burrows, West, Furling, Stony, Cole, Sheets, Grave, Elger, Baker, Jansen, Hizer, Ingleby, Decker, Dean, Morgal, Engelspice, Bell, Lubbs, Suscha, Oberle, Van Gorden, Artac

----Source: Family Scrapbook

Church school was built in 1907, in the town of Foster, northeast part Section No. 24. George Church, who now lives in Neillsville, was one of the first pupils to attend that school. At the time, the address was Tioga, as there was a post office there. Today the address is Willard.

In 1907 the town of Foster was part of the town of Mentor and the school was in the Humbird School District. It is not known who really paid for the land, or the school building, but is assumed that the Foster Lumber Company leased the land and had carpenters come out from Humbird or Fairchild and build the school. My folks came here in 1906 and they named the school after them. I attended the school from 1907 to about 1913 or 1914. There were only ten pupils, at the start, but as many as 22 were counted and then it dwindled down to eight the last year, which was 1931. The teachers were Ray Lightfoot, Miss Burrows, May West, Emma Furlong, Gertrude Stony, Bernice Cole, Edna Sheets, Ethel Grave, Miss Elger, Ruth Baker, Lillian Jansen, Gladys Hizer, Miss Ingleby in the term of 1921-22, and were also teachers in the later years. Many of the teachers boarded with my folks. (By George Church).

Some years, the children that were about half-way between Church or Blackberry School went to whatever school had room. Many went to both schools during their eight years and some were quite old when they graduated from eighth grade.

The children from Butler countryside came about seven miles by road or about five miles through the woods. Often times they all came with horse and buggy or wagon. There was an old barn across from the school where they could park their horses until school was out for the day. Children walked many miles and often, in the winter, the banks of snow were so high the horses could not get through. If they did make it, it was in a homemade sleigh. In summer weather, they would ride a lumber wagon now and then. If the weather was bad, some students would be late for school. Those days, they had to stay after school and make up their time. The kids would tell the teacher tall stories about the wolves getting her or them and she would relent and let them go home. The teacher also walked to school. In 1927, the teacher got $65.00 per month in salary. Some of the teachers also stayed or boarded at the Fred Dean home, which at that time was the Tioga Hotel. Some of the later teachers were Esther Decker (1927), Mary Morgal, Goldie Engelspice, Marion Bell, Beulah Lubbs, Ruth Suscha, and the last in 1931 was Gertrude Oberle. One room - one teacher for eight grades - the most was 30 students. When the roll call was too small they discontinued the school and sold the school building to H. Van Gorden & Sons and they used it for a hunting shack for over 20 years. The building is still standing and used by other hunters, as of today.

Submitted by: Jo Artac



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