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

Histories of Cato Township,   pp. 21-35 PDF (7.3 MB)

Page 21

                      HISTORIES OF CATO TOWNSHIP
    Cato township was a part of Manitowoc Rapids from 1848 to 1850. From
1850 to
1854, it was a part of Maple Grove township. From 1854 to 1856, it was a
part of
Franklin. In 1857, Cato township was organized as a separate municipality.
Cato was a part -of these various townships, school districts were set up
in these areas.
As these districts were set up, they- were numbered in accordance with the
ity in which the present townships were then affiliated. The Cato school
were numbered as they are in this manneP. Cato 1, Cato 2 (now a part of Cato
Jt. 9), Cato Jt. 3, Maple Grove Jt. 4 with Cato (now Rockland Jt. 4), Cato
Jt. 5 (now
a part of Cato No. Jt. 9), Franklin No. 6 (now a part of Franklin Jt. 2),
Cato Jt. 7,
Franklin No. 8, the first Cato Jt. 9 with Rockland (now a part of Cato Jt.
8), Cato 10,
Cato 11, and Cato 12. All of the school histories were written during. 1946-1947
terms by the teachers then employed in those districts. Cato No. 2 and Jt.
5 histories
were written from county records.
                          CATO 1 -CATO HEIGHTS
                               By Audrey O'Neil
the township of Cato, district
No. 1, is located on the heights
of Cato hill. In the past this
hill was popularly, known as
"Nettle Hill", possibly' due to
the fact that many nettle plants
grew on it. Accordingly, the
school was sometimes called the
Nettle Hill school, but it is now
commonly referred to as the
Cato school.
    Cato district No. 1 was or-
ganized early in the 1850's ac-
cording to the township assess-
ment rolls on file in the county
treasurer's office. In 1855, Cato
township was a part of Frank-
iln vwwusilp So wIUS district was
then designated as Franklin school district No. 1 and consisted of sections
3, 4, 9, 10;
15, and 16 in the present Cato township. In 1857, Cato township was separated
Franklin and this district then became Cato No. 1. Since its organization,
changes have been made in the boundaries of the original district.
    The written records of Cato 1 date back to 1876, so there is little-
about the first school. There seems to be some evidence that the first schoolhouse
was erected about 1850. Very likely, too, the site was the same as the present
and that the building was constructed of logs. Old-timers of the community
do not
remember any facts about the first school and old records are lost.
    On September 12, 1870, the school district purchased the school site
from Nelson
and Louise Harris. The land originally was the property of James Burns. An
esting fact is that N. A. Harris was the town superintendent of schools for
township in 1856-7, when Cato township was a part of Franklin. The school
er's record book shows that repair bills for the school were incurred as
early as 1876.
That fact seems to indicate that the present school building was some years
old by
that date. It is estimated that the present school building is over 90 years
old -one
of the oldest schoolhouses in Manitowoc county.
    During the first year of the present school, the furniture consisted
of crude
benches for it was not until 1886 that $106.85 was paid to the Union School
Co. for double desks and seats and John Reddin was paid $10 to set up these
In 1882, D. F. Robinson was paid $105 for laying a foundation wall under
the building.
The old scarred teacher's desk was retained until 1911 when a new one was
The treasurer's record book indicates that the Killens, the local merchants,
had year-
ly bills for school supplies up until 1922 wherf A. H. Huinker purchased
the store.
Payments were made every few years for whitewashing or kalsomining the school
walls and ceiling. In 1900, a new floor was laid, while re-shingling costs
were listed
for 1888 and in 1904. The school has always been heated by stoves set up
in the middle
of the room. Cost records indicate that after 1909 a great deal of heating
trouble oc-

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