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

Cooperstown,   pp. 46-55 PDF (4.8 MB)


Page 55


niture consisted at first of crude homemade desks and benches, "black"
boards and a
teacher's desk . A tin dipper used by all to get water from an open bucket
was placed
conveniently in the room. At each annual meeting, the voters decided who
was to
furnish the fuel for the year. The successful bidder had to deliver this
fuel according
to definite specifications, at a specified time, and usually specified as
to how it was
to be piled or delivered at the school. A small woodshed housed the kindling
and
firewood.
    The schoolyard, purchased in 1851 was added to in 1910 when Fred Mathias
donated a strip of land along the west side of the original schoolgrounds.
He gave this
strip to the district because at that time a new road was built west of the
school. The
donated strip of land was between the road and the old schoolyard, so Mr.
Mathias
gave it to the district as an addition to the site. From time to time, the
schoolyard was
fenced according to the school records. Since these records were for years
written in
German and Bohemian, it was difficult to translate all of the transactions
recorded.
    The old log schoolhouse was repaired from time to time. The logs were
covered
with siding, the roof re-shingled, the floor replaced, and the broken window
panes
replaced as the need arose. The building painted a gray color became older
and more
delapidated. Finally in 1915, it was abandoned and sold to Matt Sladkey for
$43.25.
The old woodshed was sold to Frank Kozlovsky for $5. In 1916, the stone walls
of
the old school were removed and the remaining corner stones covered with
dirt.
    On February 20, 1915, a special school meeting was called to decide the
question
of building a new school. The vote was favorable for a frame building 36
x 34 feet,
with the schoolroom itself 22 x 28 feet, at a cost of $2,750. The building
was to have
a stone basement. At first the voters decided that the district residents
would do the
building and the hauling of the building material and that they were to be
paid 20 cents
an hour. This decision was later rescinded and the contract was let to architect
Leo J.
Lee and contractor Ferdinand Schultz.
    The fine frame schoolhouse has an entrance which blends into the general
archi-
tecture of the building. Double doors open into a hall from which a door
at the north-
east corner opens to stairs leading to the basement. From the hall, steps
lead up to
double doors opening into a cloakroom across the front of the building. This
room is
lighted by two windows at each corner. From this cloakroom a doorway takes
one
into a small washroom in the northwest corner of the entrance addition. Two
doors,
one at each end of the long cloakroom, open into a class room which at first
was
furnished with double patented desks. These have been replaced with single,
bench-
type seats and desks. A large enclosed library cupboard along the north wall
houses
the many library and text books. The room is well lighted by many windows
on the
south and west sides. The front of the schoolroom is to the north. Electric
lights
were installed in 1946. The school is equipped with the best. of learning
and teaching
needs. It is modern except for indoor lavatories and running water. The basement
houses a large fuel, play, and furnace room.
    There is no evidence that summer and winter terms were ever held in this
dis-
trict. The annual enrollment was always below that of other cgunty schools.
In 1880,
for instance, only 30 pupils out of a school census of 136 children were
listed as at-
tending. The highest enrollment o~curred in the 1890's when about 60 pupils
were
in attendance. During the past 20 years, the yearly enrollment has averaged
between
15 and 20. The German parochial school at Maribel has some effect on the
attendance
in Cooperstown No. 6.
    The pioneer settlers of this district were farmers. Certain family names
appear
several times in the list of names of residents serving on the school board.
The county
records show that these taxpayers served the district as clerk of the schoolboard
be-
fore 1906: John Chavert 1872-74, Herman Radue 1874-96, Matt Sladkey 1896-1940.
Others serving, as recorded in the county records, were August Gauger and
John
Kvitek.
    The first teacher's name on record is Ella..Burns who received a salary
of $240 for
the term. Names of other teachers as recorded in the county office were:
Leopold
Kellner 1872, Thos. Burke 1873, Mary Ross 1874-5, Jessie Ross 1876, E. N.
Sartell 1877,
Allan Ransom 1878, Bert Johnson 1879, Robert Shambeau 1894, Susan Kane 1895,
John Elmer 1896-7, Martin Kvitek 1898, Irene M. Hall 1904, and Mabel Richards
1905.
The records show also that short terms were common as was the average salary
for teachers. Those factors may be the reason why yearly changes of teachers
resulted.
    Cooperstown No. 6 has no places of scenic or historical interest. Devils
river, a
branch of the West Twin River, winds through the district, providing fishing
grounds
for the residents. Rich deposits of gravel are being used by road builders
and con-
tractors. Today this farming community has provided a modern school house
for its
communty, but the low enrollment and the high cost of operating a one room
school
are problems to be faced.
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