Outagamie County (Wis.) State Centennial Committee / Land of the fox, saga of Outagamie County
Mann, John P.
"Readin', 'ritin' and 'rithmetic", pp. 186-207 PDF (9.3 MB)
"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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