South Bright School, Hixon Twp., Clark Co., Wis.

School: Bright School, Owen, Wisconsin



Surnames: Bright, Klabon, Dresdow, Kangas, Roix, Haemer, Eloranta, Kolpanen,  Mengel,  Bear, Kolpanen, Anderson, Awe


----Source: Greenwood Public Library, original copy owned by Jean Rolstad


History of Bright School District


The Bright School was named after Mr. H. A. Bright, who was a prominent settler in the area. This school school served parts of the townships of Green Grove and Longwood and was located on the corner of County trunks DD and IN, four miles south of Owen. The school opened its doors for the first time the spring term of 1899 welcoming thirteen pupils. As new families moved into the area, enrollment increased until in 1924, a second school was constructed for the pupils on the north side of the district. Thus the old school became "South Bright", and the new school "North Bright. In later years, student population decreased and North Bright was closed and all pupils were transported to South Bright. In 1959, the district was consolidated with Owen-Wither, and the "little red school" closed its doors forever and was torn down "in the name of progress"



South Bright School--1952

Teacher:  Miss June Klabon

The students from left to right are:
Row 1:  Helen Eloranta (daughter of Ed and Elma Eloranta), Bob
Mengel (son of Mr. and Mrs. Rudolph Mengel), Sandra Kangas (daughter of
Bill and Ella Kangas)
Row 2:  Sue Kauchnik (daughter of Vencle and Julia Kauchnik), Henry
Awe (son of Mr. and Mrs. Art Awe), Darlene Roix (daughter of Herb and Vera
Row 3: Ervin Kayhart, Betty Kayhart, Gerald Anderson (son of Mr. and
Mrs. A. J. Anderson), Edwin Eloranta (son of Ed and Elma Eloranta)
Row 4:  Leon Kauchnik (son of Vencle and Julia Kauchnik), Marion
Haemer (daughter of Clyde and Norma Haemer),  Gene Himes (son Art and
Elizabeth Himes), Esther Kangas (daughter of Bill and Ella Kangas), Donna
Anderson (daughter of Mr. and Mrs. A.J. Anderson), Joan Haemer (daughter of
Clyde and Norma Haemer)
Row 5:  Yvonne Himes (daughter of Art and Elizabeth Hilmes), Ken
Kauchnik (son of Vencle and Julia Kauchnik), Geraldine Roix (daughter of
Herb and Vera Roix)


South Bright School, Green Grove Twp., Clark Co., Wis., 1954-55


The attached photo shows Alaire Hallowell and her students of South Bright School (Town of Green Grove, Clark Co., WI) during  the 1954-55 school term.  Students pictured are:  Front row (from left), Russell Dresdow, Sandra Kangas, Bonnie Roix, Jim Haemer, Helen Eloranta, John Kolpanen; Second row, Bob Mengel, Jim Eloranta, Ken Mengel, Douglas Bear (sp?), Bill Kolpanen, Mary Lou Kolpanen; Third Row, Gerald Anderson, Henry Awe, Marion Haemer, Ed Eloranta, Esther Kangas.  Alaire taught at South Bright School in the 1952-53, 1953-54, and 1954-55 school terms.




Judy (Awe) Ackerman remembered that after the first Bright School burned down, school was held at the Laube home until another school was
built.  Lenore Halverson, Judy's mother, (who later married Herman Awe) was the teacher.


Early Photo of students at the South Bright School, courtesy of Helen (Eloranta) Vater Blaha.


History of the First Bright School


Mrs. Norma (Clyde) Haemer (now deceased) said that the first Bright school was named after prominent settler, Mr. H.  A. Bright, and first opened for the spring term of 1894.  At that time it had 13 students.   Located on the southwest corner of Section 19 (on the corner of DD and N, four miles south of Owen), it was a picturesque, one-room, red, brick building with a white, wooden bell tower and an open porch facing west.   After the population of the district increased, a second school, called North Bright, was built in 1924 on the northeast corner of the same section of Green Grove Township.  I believe it was the fall of 1954 when North Bright School was closed, and the students from that part of the district joined us at South Bright, making our enrollment between 30 and 40 students. In 1958 South Bright School consolidated with Owen-Withee.  The building was later torn down.  I think the hand pump is still in the old school yard, and some of the trees remain.  Frank Schroeder, father of Norma Haemer, built the red brick building (in the photograph) to replace the original school.


Henry Awe's grandfather, also Henry Awe, settled in Green Grove Township in 1885.  The family came from southern Wisconsin by train to Colby, and then took an ox cart through the woods to land they had purchased in Section 31.  (2005 will mark the 120th year the land has been in the family!)  He recalled the first Bright school being a wooden building which burned in 1910. 


1899 Class Photos in front of the original Bright School House.

Jensen--Teaching at Bright (1905)

School: Bright Opens (1905)



Helen (Eloranta) Vater Blaha



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