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Somerset, Wisconsin: 125 pioneer families and Canadian connection: 125th year

[Rosalie Parnell's book on Somerset, Wisconsin],   pp. 11-64 PDF (24.6 MB)

Page 24

Was discipline a problem?   No, indeed.   On the contrary,
obedience was observed in the home and consequently in the schools
too. The hickory stick so often referred to did not always have to
be used. Just one mean look as a reminder would suffice. Is this
true in this day and age? I am very sorry to say that the repulsive
idea prevalent today is that the school child can do just what his
fancy dictates or suggests.   You may ask why we have to put up
with this. Food for thoughtl All our beautiful school buildings,
equipment and wonderful opportunities were not available to so
many people for so many years, but they probably would have been
more appreciated than they are now.
There was a large enrollment, about 30, for a good many years.
Then a community club was organized and it worked hand in hand with
the school, the influence seeming to work equally well bor both
enterprises. In the Apple River Falls Community Club much credit is
due to the efforts of William Wiehelman, who was the principal here
then. He also organized the 4H clubs and he coached them for a
couple of years. His efforts were recognized by the State Institute
held here for the whole township of Somerset. It was a three-day
session, well attended, and many of its recommendations were put
into practice, as noticed later.
Several of the larger families moved cities(Minneapolis-St Paul)
during the reconstruction program and during the war. Therefore, the
enrollment, reduced to one room, had to be discontinued. To this
day it is still operating but one room--the primary room.
After annexation of the Apple River Falls to our district, the
old school was moved to the center of the district.   So the new
schoolhouse was built about three quarters of a mile further on
towards the falls up on a hill. It can be seen for miles and
miles around the country. It is a two room schoolhouse, with a
full basement well equipped for teaching, cooking hot lunches and
manual training. At the last annual meeting it was voted to put
in the indoor lavatories. Pupils of 6, 7 and 8th grades were
transported to the village graded school."
It was quite an advantage to be allowed to attend the public
graded school in the village as it seemed almost impossible then to
get to some high school. It was quite a distance to neighboring
towns, and to room out or work for your room and board was not
always practical. There were neither trains nor busses, and it was
slow traviling with horses that far. I had the chance of attending
the Somerset school for over two years, graduating in 1906. We
were the first class that had the privilege of having the first
year high. There was much talk of enlarging that schoolhouse
during the vacation as the enrollment was too large; and then
there was the introduction of the first music practice period
besides lessons. Pupils came from great distances on foot through
the hard winters, rain or shine, to attend school.

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