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Rappel, Joseph J. / A centennial history of the Manitowoc County school districts and its public school system, 1848-1948
([1948])

Introduction and acknowledgments,   p. 3 PDF (501.9 KB)


Organization of school districts and systems Manitowoc County,   pp. 3-4 PDF (1003.0 KB)


Page 3


INTRODUCTION AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    Wisconsin, this year of 1948, celebrates its 100 years of statehood.
Centennial
activities are being carried on to give due recognition to its 100th birth
date. We, in
Wisconsin, have been making and living educational history during this first
century
of our statehood. Much of this history is unrecorded, or if it was recorded
at one time
those records have been discarded as useless "junk". This is all
too true in the field
of public education! The record books of school district clerks and of school
treasurers'
recorded community history which can be obtained from no other one source.
The
teachers' Daily Register in which the school records of children were recorded
are re-
vealing and of tremendous historical value. Too many of-these district records
and the
teachers' Registers have been thoughtlessly destroyed, leaving little except
the remi-
The second century of Wisconsin's statehood will, no doubt, bring about a
tremen-
s change in public school organization. The small district system, so effective
and
sfactory during the first one-hundred years of Wisconsin's settlement, may
be re-
ed by units which will be able to meet the second century's problems in rural
and
an education. It is with this thought in mind, that the Manitowoc county
teachers,
ol board members, and town and county officials deemed it of historical impor-
        PJ     - a 14111L o the laLUtowo county SCvnoO histories as possibie
inrougn
the publication of this book. Many of the histories are incomplete but they
are as
  anu aUlLnIenIC as avaiable records can make them. The histories of about
five schools are abbreviated records taken from the record books kept since
Ć½rict was organized. This, very likely, is the first historical record
ever com-
the schools of one county in Wisconsin. Its importance and value will increase
,enturies pass.
publication of the Histories of Manitowoc County Schools has been made pos-
rough the active and whole-hearted cooperation of the teachers, school board
s, school administrators, interested county citizens, town and county officials,
Manitowoc County Board. Without their enthusiastic personal and financial
this publication would not have been possible. To all of the above named
and groups, Manitowoc county is indebted for this historical record of Mani-
ounty schools.
ORGANIZATION OF SCHOOL DISTRICTS AND SYSTEMS
                     MANITOWOC COUNTY
 Manitowoc county school system began soon after the first settlers arrived.
st settlements were concentrated at or near the mouths of the two principal
with the result that the first schools were established at those places,
Before
elopment of the public school system, the educational needs of the three
com-
s were cared for by private schools. Dr. Louis lralge in his History of Manilo-
anty names some of the early settlers who conducted private schools at Rapids,
voc, and in the Two Rivers area.
er Manitowoe county became a part of the Wisconsin territory in 1836. terri-
torial schools were set up. These territorial schools were administered by
county school
commissioners. The first law relating to the organization of common or elementary
schools was passed by the Wisconsin territorial legislative assembly in 1839.
The act
to create county, town, or school districts was passed in 1841. The three
commissioners
of common schools were elected by the electors of the county. One of the
duties of
these commissioners was to divide the county or towns into convenient school
districts.
The school law of 1841 creating districts delegated much flower in re~ard
to thm
nization, maintenance, and the administration of these schools. The district
be-
e the unit for the administration and control of schools. The town and county
rnments were authorized to make a tax levy, but they rarely did so. These
dis-
schools, as they'developed under the laws of 1841 and 1843, were not free
schools.
money needed to maintain these so-called public schools was obtained nartlv
from
district taxes, partly from per capita tax, and partly from gifts and contributions.
Only the children of the more prosperous could afford to attend in some cases.
The
children of the poor struggling settlers often could not attend because of
the per
capita tax.
    On January 3, 1842, a petition by several inhabitants of Manitowoc Rapids,
was
presented to the county school commissioners praying that they allow the
use of the
first county court house at Manitowoc Rapids for a schoolhouse. This the
commis-
sioners granted "provided no avoidable injury shall be done to said
building, and that
by guaranteeing of said liberty, the inhabitants of the school districts
of .Manitowoc
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