University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The State of Wisconsin Collection

Page View

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 187


'RITIN'  AND  'RITHMETIC ''
port, we learn that in 1850 there were
five districts in the town. Only three
maintained schools that year. There was
an average of four months of school for
each district, taught by 'qualified'' and
,unqualified" men teachers. The average
every town in the county. One of the
earliest was erected in 1850 in Medina,
by Harvey Greenfield and Peter Garret.
The building, which was large enough for
30 pupils, stood in a forest of very large
oaks. Mrs. Greenfield was the first teacher.
Classroomf of Y sterday
pay was $20 per month. Two districts, in
which there were 109 children, had no
school. In the schools~which were main-
tained attendance was irregular. The total
cost of all schools for the year was $214,
including four dollars for fuel. Books
commonly used included the famous Mc-
Guffy's Readers, Webster's Grammar, Bent-
ley's Spelling Book, Murray's Arithmetic
and Goldsmith's Geography.
  A typical building of early days was
built of logs, with a "shake" roof, a pun-
cheon floor, a fireplace of mud and sticks,
and crude home-made furniture. Benches
were made by driving pegs into basswood
puncheons. Some desks along the wall
were made of similar puncheons and at
times there were no desks. Rough planks
served for the teacher's desk. Pioneer
records mention such buildings in nearly
  The first school in the Town of Center,
likewise, represents the common pattern.
When seven electors met in 1851 at the
home of Peter Hephner, they elected offi-
cers and voted to have a school. A Mrs.
Leith taught in her house for three
months and she was paid $25. Philo Root,
who attended this school afterward re-
called, "At Mrs. Leith's school, the chil-
dren sat on chairs. They wrote on slates.
The subjects studied were writing, reading
and arithmetic. There were eight or nine
pupils. Mrs. Leith was kind and kept the
hickory stick out of sight, behind the
door. ''
  Later, Philo Root became a teacher
and then a county superintendent. The
town superintendent, who gave him his
first teacher's examination, remarked, "I
have no doubt you know a great deal
I 'READIN'
187


Go up to Top of Page