Recollections of Columbia, Wisconsin

by Mabel Schlender Jonkel

Contributed by Sarah Poertner

transcribed by Crystal Wendt & Michelle Harder.

Columbia was the first town to have busses for transporting their children. There were five horse drawn busses and many educators came to see how it was working out.

School busses lined up in from of Dad Schlenderís store in 1908. Rigs were driven by: Frank Lockman, Roy Iverson, Ivar Christofferson, and Fritz Moser.

In January 1945 the state closed the school. The building was sold at auction to Art and Jane Ehelers in 1952. It has been well built and some very fine building material was in it.

Ruby Poertner Yndogliato bought the 500 pound school bell which had graced the belfry of Columbia School. Thus remains the tangible evidence with memories of those who attended its sessions.


The Columbia School was a busy place with two rooms for many years. The first 8th

graders were graduated with proper ceremony with pearl inlay announcements and

a program honoring the seven graduates.


Students seated from left to right are Helenda Varney, Martha Bornholdt, Maraquilt McKinney Laura Ehlert, Margaret Langusch, Loyd Varney, Emil Horak, Mikie Horak, Ernest Sollberger, Willie Sollberger, and Arvin Varney.


Numbered are - 1. Charlie Malek, 2. Willie Langusch, 3. Frankie Moravec,

4. Glen Christmas, 5. Grant Rotleff, 6. Albert McKinney, 7. Tony Putz,

8. Earl Schmidt, 9. John Larson, 10. Fredrick Walport, 11. Leo Schwedland,

12. Ruth Iverson, 13. Bernita Winton, 14. Ethel Varney, 15. Josie Horak,

16, Bernice Winton, 17. Frankie Tykac, 18. Theodore Tykac, 19. Louise Ehlert,

20. Emil Tykac, 21. Vivian Achenbach, 22. Carl Ehlert, 23. Mabel Tyler (Teacher in "big room"),

24. Erich Ehlert, 25. Albert Sollberger,

26. John Martens, 27. John Varney, 28. Edna Klopf (Teacher in "lower room").



Dewhurst School was about a mile and a half south of Columbia. It was known as the Primmer School. Leon Canfield, Alice Head and Nettie Bara Primmer were the teachers. There is a possibility that Susan Metcalf Haenel also taught there.

When the larger school in Columbia was built Dewhurst and Columbia consolidated. Busses picked up the Dewhurst children. Their school building was sold to Robert Lawrence of Elgin, Illinois. He moved it to the main road a mile south of Columbia and made it into a very nice farm house.

Alice head married Fred Lockman of Columbia. They move to the state of Washington. In 1971 Leon Canfield was still active in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Nettie Primmer passed on in January 1970 in the state of Washington. Mrs. Haenel passed on and is buried in Columbiaís first cemetery.




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