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

Newton,   pp. 169-180 PDF (5.2 MB)


Page 171


NEWTON 2o-ELM GROVE
Eleanore Knipp
    Newton school district No.
2 became known as the Elm
Grove school in 1918 because of
the large number of elm trees
growing along each side of the
old Green Bay road which pass-
ed by this schoolyard, The large
number of elm trees made a
sort of grove near which the
school was located. To old-
timers it is usually referred to
as the Gallagher school because
the site was purchased from the
Gallaghers and because it is
situated next to the Gallagher
homestead.
    The early school records
nave been lost so me exact date
of the district formation is unknown. Perry Smith, in 1849, received a 53
acre tract
of land in section 30, Newton, from the government. That was the tract on
which
the school is now located. In 1853, Smith sold this land to Michael and Catherine
Gallagher for $135. These transactions seem to indicate that the school district
was
organized in the early 1850's, for with the coming of settlers, schools were
set up.
It. was not until August 17, 1897, that the one-half acre school site was
sold to the
district for $35.
     It is supposed that the first schoolhouse was a log structure, but where
it was
 located and something about its size are unknown. It was abandoned in 1870
for
 county records show that a new school was built that year.
     A frame school, was built in 1870 for $550, and followed the general
pattern of
 schools of that period. It was about 24,x 32 feet with windows on the long
sides and
 it was painted red, making it truly a "little red school". An
entrance door facing
 the east opened into a hallway extending across the back of the schoolroom
proper.
 The wraps, lunch pails, and school supplies were stored in this hallway.
From the
 cloakroom, a door at each end of the cloakroom opened into the classroom
in which
 the girls sat on plank seats and desks on the north side of the room and
the boys on
 the south side facing the west wall. There were three rows of seats and
desks, with
 the teacher's platform across the west end of the building. A box stove
in the center
 of the room provided inadequate heat to those along the outer walls. Water
was car-
 ried 'to the -school from Gallaghers and dispensed by a tin dipper from
an open pail.
 Wooden blackboards were placed on the west wall. These were cleaned with
rags
 until erasers became common in 1890. The school was located on the present
site
 along the old Green Bay road. When it had served its usefulness, it was
sold to Dan
 Gallagher for $50. He moved it to his farm and used it for an animal shed.
     The present frame school building for Newton No. 2 was erected in 1903
at a
 cost of $1,500. The building is 36 x 36 feet, with the schoolroom itself
27 x 35 feet.
 The district residents agreed to haul the building materials upon a three
day notice.
 If he failed to do so, he would be charged $3 a day. The school was to be
built any-
 time except during harvest time. The building has no basement. It has. two
porches
 which lead into cloakrooms. The boys' cloakroom is in the northeast corner
and the
 girls' hall in the southeast corner. Between the two entries there is a
large library
 with well built cupboards. This room is lighted by three windows built in
a bay
 room effect with the whole surmounted by a cupola type bell tower. The class
room
 at first had double desks but these have since been replaced by chair-type
desks.
 The room has three windows on each of the north, west, and south walls which
give
adequate and proper lighting. A floor furnace in the northeast corner of
the school-
room provides the heating and ventilating. The school is now modernly equipped
with all necessary teaching and learning aids.
    The, large schoolyard for which an additional one-half acre was purchased
on
August 15, 1924, from Ed. and Nellie Gallagher for $200, has in addition
to the school,
a combination fuel shed and garage and the tWo outdoor toilets. A few pieces
of
<playground equipment are provided. In 1906 a man was hired, to watch
the grounds
so that no one would walk or drive over it. Offenders would be fined $5,
of which
one half would go to the watchman.' A well was drilled-on the grounds in
1914.
171


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