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

School buildings, equipment, and school terms,   pp. 4-5 PDF (1008.6 KB)


Page 5


   One of the pioneer industries of Manitowoc county was lumbering. Sawmills
7ere built along the many streams of our county where water power could be
har-
essed. These sawmills cut the logs into lumber. Some of this lumber was used
to
onstruct frame houses for the progressive settlers who were becoming dissatisfied
7ith the pioneer log houses. The growing school population by 1870 crowded
the
ttle log schoolhouse so that new quarters were imperative. The pioneer school
was
,placed by frame and brick schoolhouses from 1870 to 1900, many of them still
in
se today.
       M..in~r..÷.  o4     bowthat+ whnnl on-nllmpnt. of ro to 100
nunils per
vere quite common. In 1905, the state legislature passed a law requiring
dis-
ith more than 65 pupils enrolled to provide an additional room and teacher
it its share of the seven mill tax then in effect. Manitowoc county, upon
pas-
this law, experienced a mild boom in erecting two room buildings or in adding
a room on the school building then in use. These two-room schools became
as "graded" schools. Over twenty districts in Manitowoc county
at one time
maintained a graded school, although today only ten of such districts, in-
those in the three cities, remain.
schools uilt in me late i.otn century were sxn us ue  ,   -. y
1 the school buildings outside of Manitowoc and Two Rivers in 1948
vo school buildings in the county are over 90 years old, four are 80
'e 70 years, twenty are 60 yeart, nineteen are 50 years, nineteen are
are 30 years, nine are 20 years, one is 10 years, and three are over
neer log school house was scantily furnished with crude, home-made
sks and seats were made by someone in the district and were usual-
t in length. They were all of one size, with the result that the young
Led on a high bench with their legs dangling off the floor. It was not
hem curled up on the bench fast asleep. The over-grown boy found
ks too small, so his 'feet were sprawled out in the aisles. The long
s were separated by an aisle down the middle of the room. The boys
the room and the girls on the other side. A box stove, long enough
t four foot cordwood, was placed in the center of the room. This had
ting those sitting nearby but having no effect on those sitting -near
or three windows along each long side of the schoolroom gave the
g. These windows were often equipped with shutters which were
ght. The drinking water was dispensed by a common dipper from
ail. A teacher's desk, with the inevitable switch nearby, .was placed
orm across the front of the room. Boards painted black were the
nap or two of the state and nation, a variety of texts brought from
es, and individual slates for the pupils completed the learning and
nt of the nineteenth century schools in our county.
h century witnessed the setting up of school building and equipment
stAte and educational leaders. Heating plants had to have approved
ns. The open water pail was replaced by sanitary covered jars and
nts. The hand-made desks and seats were replaced in the later nine-
ydouble desks and seats. Those in turn were replaced by single, ad-
he wooden blackboards were discarded and slate and composition
niform text books, references, library books, and modern school fur-
s visual aids teaching and learning equipment became common to
)Is. By 1948, about thirty rural districts were maintaining modern
with indoor toilets, running water, electric service, and conveniences
urban schools. About sixty districts were maintaining semi-modern
1 buildings.
school term was often limited to three month terms of twenty-two
In many schools a five or six month school term was maintained but
into a summer and winter term. The winter term began in November
ruary or March. The summer term began in April or May and closed
st. The winter session was usually in charge of a male teacher be-
nd girls from 15 to 21 years attended. The wages paid teachers for
were always higher than for the spring or summer session teachers.
ater or fall and spring terms were in vogue until about 1900. It was
at the state prescribed at least an eight months school term in order
te and county aid. A minimum term of nine monhs was specified by
islature in 1937.
5
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4411 ý'   11 1 aAQ 9'1, .


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