Ellington, Tuscola MI

School Matters

Transcribed by Lila Arroyo, from the History of Tuscola County, MI.

taken from the History of Tuscola County

On September 11, 1856, the school inspectors of the town of Ellington organized a school district consisting of sections 3,4,5,6,7, 8,9,18, township 14, range 10, to be known as district No. 1. At the first annual meeting of the district, Waterman Goodsell offered a site for a school house in the west half of northwest quarter of section 9, township 13, range 10, which was accepted.

It was voted to raise $25 for material for a school house: that a three months school be had, beginning January 1st, and that the school officers employ a woman teacher. Miss Myra Selden, now Mrs. John Johnson, of Vassar, was employed, and the following winter taught the first school in Ellington, in a small log building, near where the village is.

From the annual school report of the town of Ellington for the year ending September 4, 1882, the following facts obtained: Directors for the ensuing year, V. W. Mallory, B.F. Eayrs and Joseph W. Crea. the number of districts is three, on whole and two fractional, with one brick and two frame school houses. Whole number of children of school age, 222: number attending school during the year, 1873.

                                GEORGE  SCHOOL

Special thanks to Donald Price for loaning this information that was written by                    Mrs. Edna Bush  mother of Robert Bush.

This school district, No . 3 Fractional, Ellington and Almer was organized in 1866 or 1867, but the first annual school meeting record we have is September 5, 1870. At this meeting Mr. Hopkins was elected director. They voted  3 months winter and three months summer terms. James Pattison was to deliver by December, 10 cords of wood at 74 cents per cord.              There was a school house 1 1/2 miles north of our present site, where Sutton church now stands, but there was only a blazed trail through the woods. Parents felt that it was too far to send children alone, so this school district was organized. At first it was called the Carpenter school but later the George school.                                       

       The first school was located on the south west corner of Nate George's farm. It was a small frame building. Home made seats and desks were on two sides of the room and a recitation seat was directly in front of desks facing the center of the room. The seats were made long enough for several children to sit in a row. When the center ones had to go to their classes,  those on the outside had to move. There was a large box stove in the center of the room. A home made table, which was the teachers desk, was back of the stove and towards one end of the room. The outside  door was at the other end of the room.    Each pupil put their dinner pail on the floor under their seat. It is needless to say that sometimes these pails caused  confusion.   We are told that during the winter terms of long ago that some of the boys were very hard to manage. It was  very common for young men as old as 21 years to go and  try to perfect themselves in the Three R's along with a lot mischief. There was a large pond back of the school house and the children made good use of it winter times skating. One of the early teachers, Eugene Wilder, was a very fancy skater and would cut the American Eagle in the ice with his skates.     

      On June 1st, 1871 a special meeting was called to move the school site. The  ground was very muddy around the building and some thought it would be better to change the location. According to records, there was some dissension in regard to this matter. Mr. D. Gordon was appointed to get legal information on this matter.    

On  June 10th another meeting was called and Mr. Gordon reported, that if the site was forced , the district would have to pay the cost. They voted that the school site be on the N.E. corner of S. E. quarter of Sec. 24 of Almer Twp. and that the district pay $5 per annum for the use of 1/2 acre for school purposes.                                                                                                At the annual school meeting held September 4, 1871, it was voted to rescind the vote to move the school house and accept the offer of Mr. Jesse Dunn, giving the district the right to lease the present site for five years for school purposes.                                                                   It may be of interest to some to know that this old school house was turned into a store an dwelling house. A curtain separated the store from the home. Her the late Darius Gould was born. His father was the store keeper.

At the annual school meeting held September 4th, 1876 the motion to change the school site to the South part of the N.W. quarter of Section 19, town 13, North, Range 10 East, was carried by acclamation. This site cost $125. Jesse Dunn was authorized to act as purchasing agent for the site. Another small frame building was built.

At the annual school meeting held September 3, 1877, it was voted to build a line fence between the school site and E. J. Carpenters farm. "This fence was to be 5 boards high with a 2 X 4 scantling hemlock nailed on top with 20 penny nails to be not less than 6 inches in diameter and set not less than 30 inches in the ground. The post and boards enclosing the school house now are included in the job. The fence to be done in a workman like manner and to be completed by the first day of November, A.D. 1877." the job was let to Marvin Cookingham at 60 cents per rod.                                                                                                                                     In January 1882, this building was burned. A tramp  stayed in the building one night an about four o'clock in the morning the building burned with all the children's books. there was no place to hold school, so there was none until a new brick building was built, which is the present one.    The district was bonded for $1000 and James Pattison, G. W. VanSycle, and Wm Tomlinson went bondsmen for this sum. E. J. Carpenter, John D. Hayes  and Wm. Schriber were elected as a building committee with full power to make all contracts and direct the work until it was completed and furnished. On September 4, 1882, the building committee was discharged from their obligations, everything being completed.          

      Frank Richards was the contractor and Mr. Hopkins and Wm. Leider were the carpenters. The building began to spread in in 1899 and in 1900, Mr. J. L. Palmer made rods which were put lengthwise and crosswise in the building.  These rods cost $4 time, Henry Drake dug a drain on the two sides of the building , so the water could run away from the foundation.                          In 1891, the new porch was built and in 1915 the cement floor and steps were put in. In 1905 a drilled well, 214 feet deep, was put down, by Mr. Glover at the cost of $250. It may be interesting to know that in early days, there was a spring on the south east side of the grounds. Here teamsters from Saginaw and points north of us depended on this good cold water for themselves and teams.

    In 1906, George M. Proctor shingled the present school house for $60.50.

   In 1923, a new hard wood floor was laid costing $85.

   In 1930, a new floor furnace was installed by F. A. Riley, at the cost of $165.

   In 1931, a new fire proof roof was put on the building at the cost of $126.56.

      It was customary in the early schools to have a winter term which began late in the fall and lasted for four or five months. The summer term began in May or June and lasted for three months. Usually a man taught the winter term and received from $30 to $35 per month. A lady teacher taught summers and received from $18 to $25 per month.

  The first teacher of this district was Mrs. Burnett and in 1870 Ella Jewett taught. The following teachers taught up to 1882, some dates are not exact. : Almeda Hopkins, Eugene Wilder - 1871, DeWayne Blakely 1874, Nydia Stone - 1875, E. J. Darbee - 1875-1876, Alice Wood - 1876, Otis Leonard - 1877, Preston Cooley - 1878, Annie Hunter - 1878, Almelia Albers - 1878, Ransom Cooper - 1879, Jessie Van Geisen - 1879, Ella Kinyon - 1880, Siebel Bady - 1880, Lottie Orr - 1880, Georgia Moore - 1881.  Lissie Hunter was the first teacher to teach in the new brick school house. This summer term began July 10, 1882 and Homer E. Gordon taught the winter term beginning Nov 6, 1882. Others were: Mrs. Mary J. Pattison - 1883, Chas. E. Mudge - 1883, Lizzie Hunter - 1884, Lucy Butler - 1884, Clara Adams - 1885-86, Luella Bradley - 1886, Carrie Dunn - 1887, Elmer E. Preston - 1887, Carrie E. Stoner - 1888, R. P. Reavey - 1888, Helen McDonald, 1889, R. P. Reavey was the first teacher who taught the school continuously for a period of 8 months, others from 1890 to closing were Maude LaZelle, Lilian Weldon,  Flora Cadwell. Maud Marsaw, Eva Hatch, A. J. hall, Ella Wean, Lina Cole, A. J. bush, Ida Ross, Edna McCrea, Belle  Ross, Mamie Millikin, Norton Young, Janie Philip, Mamie Millikin , Mable Dailey, Winifred McTavish, Evelyne Banghart, Nina Donaldson, Myrtle Depew, Lia Jones, Lelia Dean, Iva Hanna, Laura Vickers, Iva Hanna Wilsie, Neva Cones, Flossie Hazen, Ruth Darbee, Dora Schrader, Sophia Emmons, Alice Coler Culbert, Edith Wright Bishop, Dessie Kimmer. Mrs Dessie Kimmel Davidson, Mary Alice Gibbs, Veva Bradley, Eunice Black, Mabel Surine, Marjary Sage, Twila Bardwell, Oreanna Highsmith, Charlotte  Albraut, Irevline Benfield , Hattie M. Klea, Joyce Barber, Mrs Marian Rickwett, Mrs. Leath Wisenbach, Lillian Southworth, Mrs Iva Smith, Nrs Leatha Wisenbach.

   The school was consolidated with the Caro School District, so it was closed. In september of 1965, it was opened for a first grade that was bused out from Caro. Stephania Miklovis, sept 1965 to Feb 1966.

   Then it was permanently closed. Eventually it was sold. First to Jack LaFave, then to the Eagles club. Later it was sold to Mark Kish, who remodeled it into a house . He then sold it to Derrick Deen, who at this time  in 1992 still lives there.



Copyright Lila Arroyo, 2000

This page updated 11/2003

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