Greenwood, Eaton Township, Clark County, WI
The district rented an acre of land from George Gemmeke. Not having a schoolhouse, they rented the north room of the Gottlieb Meinholdt residence. Rent was $3 a month. The records of 1890 show that Julia Johnson was the first teacher. The first 8th grade graduate was Olga Meinholdt (Mrs. Otto Reineking) In 1891 the district let bids to build a schoolhouse. This building was 18 x 26 feet. In 1895, they built an addition. The original name of this school was the Meinholdt School. The school term was six months. Most of the students went to church school for another 2 months.
In 1918 the district raised a petition of a 2/3 vote to buy property from Alfred Lenherr. The land cost $70. In 1923, they started building the new school and finished it in 1924. The name changed to West Eaton School because of its location on the west side of the township of Eaton. Miss Gates was the teacher. Board members at the time were: Mrs. Ida Meinholdt, President, John Abel, Director and Mrs. Alfred Lenherr, Treasurer. The district borrowed $10,000 from the State Trust Fund for the building project.
In 1942, because of low attendance and World War II, it was more practical to close the school and transport the students to Greenwood. However, in 1948, due to an increase in enrollment and the untiring efforts of P. J. Seliskar, Alta Meinholdt and Stanley Rogus, the school was reopened. Finally consolidation occurred, and West Eaton was one of the first to close in 1954. Harry Liebzeit bought the building and it became a garage on the Liebzeit farm.
Greenwood History (1844- 1993), Rural Schools, West Eaton, page 134.
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Excerpts from the Greenwood Gleaner which mention Gemmeke School
1. C. W. and D. H. Cady, who have been helping their brother-in-law, Geo. Cummings on his place west of the Gemmeke school house, left Tuesday by team for Hixton to get ready to go to Stanley, N. D., where Mr. Cummings and wife will go a little later to begin work on his claim taken up last summer. Source: Greenwood Gleaner 1897.
2. "Miss Ruth Noetzel accompanied the pastors at the Gemmeke School." Source: Greenwood Gleaner 1897.
3. One week from Monday school will begin in Greenwood and surrounding districts for the coming year. Numerous changes and improvements have been and are being made at the school house so that better accommodations will be had this year than ever before. A partition has been put in the physics room up stairs so as to give an extra recitation room. The grammar grade will have the north room upstairs this year and the room heretofore used by that grade will be used by the second primary which the school board found it best to add to the course, thus dividing the work in this department and giving better results all around. The teaching force for the coming year will be made up as follows: Harold Veeder, Mauston, principal Matie A. Patch, Stevens Point, assistant principal Eva Miller, Greenwood, grammar Inez Palms, Greenwood, intermediate Della A. Agreen, Neillsville, second primary Mrs. B. O. Dodge, Mauston, first primary These are all experienced and capable teachers and the patrons of the Greenwood schools are to be congratulated on securing so well recommended teachers as they have for this year. The surrounding schools, so far as we have been able to learn, will be made up as follows: Larson district – Viola Dutcher, Greenwood Beaver (La Tart district) – Effie Andrews, Greenwood Hemlock – L. Jaseph, Neillsville Schwarze district – Abbie Edwards, La Crosse Decker district – Alice Miller, Greenwood Gemmeke district – Clara Helwig, North Branch Braun settlement – Bertha Chamberlin, Greenwood Alton district – Birdine Anderson, Hemlock Huntzicker district – Elmer Oliver, Waupun Christie district – Amelia Deutsch, Neillsville. Source: Greenwood Gleaner, August 24, 1900.
4. Ella Helwig returned from her home in North Branch Saturday ready to take up her school duties Monday in the Gemmeke district. Source: Sept. 20, 1901.
5. Griffith Williams who lived for a time west of the river, south of Gemmeke school house, and for the past two years has lived at Disco, has moved to Iowa county where they expect to live from this on. Source: Mar. 1, 1906.
6. Jessie Thompson has taken the Gemmeke school which has been taught by Mrs. Forest Shanks, the latter resigning to conduct her school of one. Source: Greenwood Gleaner, Mar. 8, 1906.
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