- My father, grandfather, and great grandfather
KIDDER all attended the Oakdale
- School through eighth grade, spanning
the years 1864-1935. The school was located about a half mile
from their Fulton township farm homes. The school was (and still
is) situated in the northwest corner of the intersection of County
Hwy. M and Newville road (known formerly as Town Line road),
on the line between Fulton and Milton Townships. Today, it serves
as a private residence.
- The first school meeting was held at
the home of Joel WOOD on October 14, 1845.
- The WOOD farm was later owned
by Governor D., and Paul WIXOM. The WOOD home,
in 1845, was located "a few rods south of the old John ARNOLD
Homestead," which was later owned by Harry ARNOLD.
The home faced what was then known as Town Line road (now Newville
road). An abandoned well marked the spot even as late as 1956.
Joel WOOD was chosen to act as chairman of the first meeting,
Bermit BEARDSLEY as clerk, with Alexander CLINTON,
Joel WOOD, and Warren SWEET as trustees. Nathan
L. GRAVES was named collector.
- It was resolved unanimously that a
tax of $100.00 be raised to build a log school-
- house, the dimensions to be 18 x 20
feet. They further resolved that two thirds of the public money
be used for a winter school, and the other one third for a summer
school. They resolved that the trustees be authorized to receive
one third of the tax money of each person taxed, in labor, in
the erection of the schoolhouse, if performed when called upon
by the trustees. The meeting was adjourned until the first Monday
in November, when they would then meet at the home of Alexander
CLINTON, at three o'clock in the afternoon. No record
survives of that meeting.
- The next meeting of which there is
a record was held at the home of Bernut
who settled the farms later owned by August FIEDLER, Sr.,
and Charlie ARNOLD. The minutes of this meeting were recorded
on the same sheet of paper with the first one so it is supposed
that they did not hold the one planned at the Clinton home. The
minutes show that the voters were called together by order of
the trustees on Saturday, December 20, 1845. Joel WOOD
was again chairman of the meeting, and they resolved to rescind
the vote at the former meeting to build a log school house, and
instead resolved to build a frame building with the following
requirements: "dimensions to be 20 ft. wide, 24 ft. long,
and 9 and a half ft. high in the clear; six windows with 12 panes
of glass 9x12; benches with writing tables to be on three sides
with benches with backs to them in front."
- The land for the school was to be leased,
and consisted of a quarter acre of land in
- the "South East corner of Sec.
24, Town 7, Range 12. The land was purchased from Joel WOOD
for one dollar, and was to be held by the District as long as
it was used for school purposes, when it would then revert to
the heirs of Mr. WOOD with "all improvements and
appurtenances thereon." The lease was signed by Joel WOOD,
John L. KIMBALL, and Charles S. QOALAN (spelling?)
for Rock County Wisconsin Territory. The Notary Public Seal was
by John L. KIMBALL. This original lease was in the possession
of Mrs. David A. ARNOLD of Milton, as of 1925.
- No further meeting minutes were found
until 1910, when Mr. O. G. STRIEGL, then
- of Milton Junction, took up the office
of clerk. The records from then until 1925 were complete. Mrs.
David A. ARNOLD, who wrote a history of the school in
1925, commented: "Judging from the antique appearance of
the little box used for years to keep the school Dist. Papers
in it is perhaps the one used by these early pioneers of 1845
and has perhaps become too crowded so that the intervening records
have been destroyed."
- The first treasurer's bond was given
by Nathan GRAVES for $100.00, with Kish
as his surety, and was given in the presence of Joseph KIDDER
and Hannah GRAVES. It was approved by Joseph B. KIDDER
and Alexander CLINTON. A bond dated April 30, 1858 was
given by Warren SWEET as treasurer, with Joseph B. KIDDER
as his surety, and was signed by Warren SWEET, Sarah KIDDER,
and Joseph KIDDER.
- Warren SWEET resigned the office
of treasurer in 1861, and the Superintendent of
- Schools for Fulton appointed Henry
KIDDER to fill the vacancy until the next annual meeting.
Mr. KIDDER gave his bond, which was signed by William
JANES, in the presence of A. C. DODGE.
- The District boundaries changed over
the years. In 1858, 57 acres of land to the
- west, belonging to Mary KIDDER,
which was at that time a part of District No. 5 in Fulton, was
added to District No. 2. According to a paper dated 1862, "the
south half of Sec. 13 and the South East ¼ of Sec. No.
14 of town 4 north of Range 12 east," was taken from the
District and added to a new district being formed at that time
which was to be known as Joint Dist. No. 6 - Milton and Fulton.
This district is the one that was located to the north on which
the Merrifield school was erected. The property consisted of
what would later be the Otter VIEN, John McCULLOCH,
and Ulysses Grant MILLER farms. The papers outlining the
alterations to the district were signed by J. D. SLOCUM,
Superintendent of Schools in the town of Fulton, and by L. B.
HUDSON, Superintendent of Schools for Milton. Later, the
LACKNER property was also detached from the district,
and became a part of newly created District No. 9, to be called
the Rex KIDDER District.
- My father, Warren KIDDER (born
in 1922), would talk of the days when he and his
- brothers and sisters would cut cross-country
from their farm on KIDDER road on their way to and from
Oakdale. They had to be careful not to catch their clothes on
the barbed wire fences that framed the various fields of neighboring
farms along the way. This was often not a problem in the winter,
as the snow drifts created a natural bridge across the fences.
The problem then was to keep warm.
- Grandfather Earl KIDDER (born
in 1893) spoke of how he hated to wear knee
- socks to school. His first teacher
was Anna Jean PLUMB, and he had fond memories of her.
He earned the dubious nickname of "Skunk KIDDER,"
due to the fact that he insisted on running his trap line on
the way to school each morning. Skunks, especially pure black
ones, devoid of their white stripes, were fetching a whopping
eight dollars apiece, which was a sizable sum in those days.
Earl also noted: "I went eight years there. I hated Geography,
but I loved Arithmetic and Spelling."
- One of the first teachers, R. W. McHENRY,
was hired in 1857 at the rate of $26
- per month for three months, and was
responsible for his own board. Later teachers included Anna Jean
PLUMB (Earl Dane KIDDER's teacher, circa about-1906),
Ethel and Jessie STRIEGL, Mrs. DAHONEY (spelling?
- a resident of Milton), Mrs. MONOGUE, Mrs. ARNOLD,
Mrs. SCHAFER, Mildred KIDDER (1933-1936), Ethel
BECKER (Richard Clark KIDDER's teacher, about 1940-1948),
Katherine GODFREY (1954-about 1964). Mildred KIDDER
had her siblings, Warren and Marian, as pupils.
- The WPA funded a basement for the school
in the 1930s, and Earl KIDDER helped
- with construction of it. Arthur ALBRECHT
served on the school board for many years. He resided on the
old MIZO farm, located immediately across the road and
to the south of Oakdale. His home burned in about 1935, and he
and his wife, Mary, resided in the new basement of the Oakdale
School until their house could be rebuilt. Oakdale was known
as the Mizo School perhaps even prior to being called Oakdale.
- Oakdale closed its doors in 1961 after
115 years of service to the community. It
- joining the majority of one-room schools
deemed obsolete by a thing called "progress." Some
of these schools, such as Oakdale, took on new lives as homes
for people. Some were moved to nearby farms where they were used
as granaries. Others were destroyed, or fell into decay. The
men and women that attended these one-room schools all look back
with fond memories of their days spent at the old one-room country
- 1. Oakdale Rural School Marks
110 Years of Educating Citizens by Gladys Waterman, Milton and
- Milton Junction Courier,
August 2, 1956.
- 2. History of Jt. Dist. #2
Milton and Fulton - Oakdale. Unpublished manuscript by Mrs. David
- Arnold of Milton, Wisconsin
consisting of six typed pages, 1925.