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Perry Historical Center (Wis.) / The historic Perry Norwegian settlement

Chapter 7: The Meadow View School District,   pp. 117-132 PDF (6.2 MB)

Page 117

Chapter 7: The Meadow View School District
The first school in the Perry Norwegian settlement
appears to have been in what became the Meadow
View School District. Organized in 1850, the 18' x
18' log school house, 34, was located on the Torger
Skartum farm, 36, and, thus, was called the Skartum
School. The teacher was Sarah Wildeman.
In addition to school, religious services were held at
the building. So, it was natural that when someone
in the neighborhood died, they were buried in the
small, adjoining cemetery (35), which was, at that
pre-Lee Valley Road time, also on Torger Skartum's
farm. The names of three of the adults buried here
are known, but the names of the 15 or 16 children
buried here have been lost. Because there were no
vaccinations and other health care in those days,
many children died young. Markers were put up in
1987 when Stanley Kittleson, who grew up on farm
26, and Norman Jeglum, who grew up on farm 34
and worked farm 33 as an adult, thought it was
important to commemorate this cemetery in some
way. In 1930, the township was going to straighten
the road past this burial site. Otto Jeglum of farm 36
learned about this and told them there was a
cemetery there which they should not disturb. We
have Otto to thank for the preservation of this site.
The second school, 32, in what became the Meadow
View School District was built on a knoll about 200
yards south of Helge Jeglum's barn on farm, 33, in
about 1876. It was called the Jeglum School. Helge
Jeglum was Torger Skartum's nephew and had come
to America in 1859 with his widowed mother, Kari
Helgesdtr Skartum, who was Torger's sister. This
large, early arriving, family group which eventually
operated farms 2, 17, 33 and 36 and the neighboring
Ansteinson-Staulen-Kittlesons at 17, 23, 24, 26 and 28
are some of the best examples in the Perry
Norwegian Settlement of the fact that American
pioneer communities were built by families and long
term friends in association, not by lone individuals or
nuclear families immigrating and living alone -- as
much of our frontier mythology tries to suggest.
This second school building wasn't very large and
there were as many as 50 or 60 pupils attending at
times. It had double seats and desks and often three
would sit at each desk. Most families had many
children - as many as five in some and 12 in others.
So, it didn't take many families in the district to have
this large enrollment.
Not all pupils finished eighth grade because some
were needed at home to help with the farm work.
They were taught the basics: reading, writing, and
arithmetic. They also learned how to get along with
each other. Conditions were crowded, but they
learned to adjust. Much credit must go to the
parents who taught them respect for other people
and for others' property. Helge and Bergit Jeglum
must have been very tolerant people to put up with
all those children in their farmyard all those years.
The last classes in the Jeglum school were held in the
spring of 1901. Alma Holsten taught there the last 4
The third school (14), a brick building, was much
larger than the two previous ones. It was located on
the next adjoining farm north, the Andrew Jeglum
farm, 17. Andrew was Helge's son. Sometime after
the Jeglums left farm 17, the school was renamed
Meadow View.
The first classes in this third school were held in the
fall of 1906 with Anna Paulson as teacher. Stanley
Kittleson recalls attending Meadow View School with
his brothers and sister. It was a mile walk along the
road, so most of the time the Kittleson and Kellesvig
children, from farms 23, 26 and 28, would walk across
the fields, to school right between the barn and house
of the Jeglums at farm 17. They did this especially in
winter, when they could ski down the hills. At noon
and recesses the children would ride their sleds and
play Pump, Pump, Pull Away and Fox and Geese. In
spring and fall, baseball and Handy Over in which
they threw a rubber ball over the schoolhouse roof
and the children on the other side caught it.
There were about 40 pupils between the ages of 7
and 14 at Meadow View in the 1920s. There was no
kindergarten at that time, so children were older
when they started school. Some could not speak
English when they started.
The children eagerly awaited "Play Day." It was
usually held at the Daleyville or Forward schools as
they were centrally located. All the schools in the
area would get together and have games and races
such as sack races, baseball, etc., with everyone trying
to win for their school.
The last classes at Meadow View were held in the
spring of 1961 with Margaret (Einerson) Lee as
teacher. It was later made into living quarters.
Steven and Pat Jeglum live there now.

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