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Outagamie County (Wis.) State Centennial Committee / Land of the fox, saga of Outagamie County
([1949])

Mann, John P.
"Readin', 'ritin' and 'rithmetic",   pp. 186-207 PDF (9.3 MB)


Page 186


"READIN', 'RITIN' AND 'RITHMETIC"
                            By J. P. Mann
  Wherever several families established
a community in Outagamie County, ar-
rangements were made for some sort of
education for the children. In many cases,
parents met at one of the homes, elected
school officers and hired a teacher. Often
this teacher was one of the mothers, who
conducted school in her home. When a
town was organized, the first town meet-
ing usually elected a school superintend-
ent and levied a school tax. The town
superintendent divided the territory into
districts, apportioned the school tax mon-
ey, examined and licensed teachers. The
district school was held in a rented room
or log cabin until a school building was
erected.
    DEVELOPMENT OF COUNTY
              SCHOOLS
  Earliest record of a functioning school
was a mission maintained in a log cabin
at Kaukauna in 1823. Miss Electa Quinney
was the teacher under direction of the
Rev. Mr. Cadle, an Episcopal missionary
to the Stockbridge Indians.
  Another mission school was established
at Little Chute in 1835, by Father Theo-
dore Van den Broek. He taught farming,
trades and writing to the Indians. Thus,
vocational education had an early be-
ginning in the valley. His pupils aided
in the building of a log cabin for a school-
house in 1844. In this school there were
only five or six pupils. Two early teachers
were Michael P. Canfield and Constantine
A. Hamer.
  In April, 1842, at the home of Paul
Beaulieu in the Town of Grand Kaukalin,
then in Brown County, "Wiskonsin Terri-
tory," electors met and appointed George
Lawe and Charles A. Grignon school
commissioners. A tax of one-fourth of one
per cent (21/2 mills) was levied for a
school fund. By 1846, there were a num-
ber of schools in the area around Kau-
kauna, mostly old log cabins. Children
learned the alphabet, reading, writing
and a little arithmetic. Geography and
other subjects were sometimes included,
depending upon the teacher's abilities
and interests.
  After Wisconsin became a state and
Outagamie County was organized, the
school superintendent of the Town of
Kaukauna wrote the first school report to
the County Board in 1851. From the re-
186


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