Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

October 18, 1995, Page 28

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 



Good Old Days


By Dee Zimmerman


The rural schools played an important role in education during the late 1800’s and first half of the 1900’s.


Clark County’s first rural school is believed to have been located on Neillsville’s south side, on the east side of Highways 73-95, at Geo. Crothers farm site.  It was referred to as the “Little Blue School.”


The first rural school teachers were those who had some grade school education.  As time went on, requirements changed, with more training necessary to qualify as a teacher in the rural school system.


In 1915, the state legislature enacted provisions of teacher’s training courses for those wanting to be grade school teachers.


Neillsville high school was one of thirty in the state designated to offer the course.  The first class to graduate students as qualified teachers under the new program at Neillsville was in 1916.


Students contemplating becoming rural teachers were encouraged to become familiar with the course requirements so as to prepare themselves in their early high school work.  The object of the course was to prepare those by giving reviews of the common branches, study of school management, psychology, manual observation work, practice teaching, etc during their senior years.


The work met the requirements of a year’s professional training then demanded of all teachers.  Graduates of the course could teach five years without further examination.  The state department then issued certificates to those who had successfully completed the course in the senior year.  Some, in addition to the high school course could attend one summer session at a State Normal before receiving the teaching certificate.


In 1917, teacher’s training graduating class at Neillsville high school placed seven students in rural schools south and east of the city.  At that time, the first year teachers were told which school each could work at.  Supervisor Julia Servaty and Miss Hammond, the training course instructor, designated the placements.


Mary Carl, one of those graduates, related the assignments of her and her classmates in the Sherwood-Shortville community schools: Mabel Keller, near Sherwood; Grace Turville in Sherwood; Mary Carl, Audubon; Mary Huckstead, (school between Audubon and Cannonville); Eva Counsell, Cannonville and Mary Slocomb, Shortville.  Each of the above schools was located two miles apart, from Sherwood area to Shortville. 


A supervisory teacher visited the new teachers, assisting each on their first day of teaching, which Mary Carl felt was a very important factor in her teaching career.


In 1917, each of those teachers received $45.00 per month, of which three dollars was paid for room and board.  They boarded in a home near the school that they were teaching in.


Belle Mazola (Hansen) taught the Globe school in 1937-38, after completing the teacher’s training course at Neillsville High School.  Miss Baker was the course instructor during that time.  While attending the county fair in August of 1947, Eric Schoenherr approached Belle Mazola asking her to teach the Globe School that year as they hadn’t been able to find a teacher.  She returned, teaching the school term of 1947-48.


A rural school teacher’s duties were many, such as starting the wood heater, carrying wood, some had to carry drinking water if the school grounds didn’t have a well, etc.  However, they enjoyed their chosen profession.  The children whom they taught relayed an appreciation for their efforts.


The teachers saw their former students go on to various professions and walks of life adequately prepared by the rural school background.


Thank you to Pauline (Schoenherr) Payne for the photos.  Also, thank you to Mary Carl and Belle Mazola-Imig for their input for this article.


The Globe School, circa 1900, had an enrollment of 49 students with eight grades.  Pauline (Steinberg) Schoenherr was a member of that year’s enrollment.  The school was located about one-eighth mile east of the Globe store, intersection of Highways “O”, “G” and “H”.

There were 42 students who attended the Globe school in 1921.  Eric and Pauline Schoenherr’s three oldest daughters, Rose, Ruth and Ottillie were scholars at that time.

1947-48 Globe school was attended by: back row, left to right: George Ormond, Wilbur Kalsow, Fred Grap, Helene Kalsow, Florence Mitte, Clarabelle Henchen and teacher, Belle Mazola.  Second row: Douglas Ormond, John Damgaard, Melvin Hoffman, Arthur Henchen, Ruth Schultz, Edna Kalsow, Eileen Hoffman, Catherine Hein and Mathilda Ormond.  Front row: Maynard Klueckmann, two Strangfeld boys (white shirts), Clarence Henchen, Hein, Byrl Strangfeld, Louis Grap and Joan (JoAnn) Grap (standing behind Louis).



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