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

Eaton,   pp. 56-65 PDF (4.8 MB)


Page 57


e
    The Niles School has always been a one-room rural school. The enrollment
dur-
ing the later 1800's was said to be large. It is reported that Martin Johnson,
Wells
Tyler, Frank Tyler, Charles Huntley, and the two Niles girls were among the
first
pupils. During the 1900's, the highest enrollment was 39 pupils in 1916.
The lowest
enrollment of eight pupils occurred in 1944.
    Eaton District No. 1 is a farming community, but during the early history
of the
district some business places were established. In 1865, N. K. Johnson built
a sawmill.
Later on he erected a store, a cheese factory, and a saloon in a little settlement
called
Slab City which was located a short distance northwest of the present school
site. The
place was called Slab-City because of the slabs of wood that were piled along
side of
the road. Slab City also included Good Templar Hall, a blacksmith shop, a
carpenter
shop, and several dwelling houses. All of these are no longer in existence.
    Many pupils have wended their way to and from school since the first
log school
was erected. Among the graduates who have won recognition are Jacob Wilbersheid,
a former teacher and now a prominent Racine Lawyer; Ben Krueger, a Manitowoc
business man; Merritt Johnson, a former county teacher; Elwood Haberman,
a min-
ister; and the Knutsons, who have a family of teachers. In addition to these
the Swen-
sons, Kruegers, Tyler, aild Schwalbes have made names for themselves in farming
and in business.
    Since there are no early records, the names of people serving on the
school board
are difficult to obtain. The records in the County Superintendent's office
show that
J. M. Tyler served as clerk from 1872 to 1874 and again from 1876 to 1898.
R. Thrond-
son was clerk from 1874 to 1876. In 1904 Grant Tyler became clerk.
    When the school was first built, summer and winter terms prevailed. In
later
bears night school was held for a few terms. Names of some teachers from
1872 to
1915 were: Herman Tyler, Win. Tifts, Mary Knapp, Mark Waldo, Katie E. Dempsey,
H. L. Markham who later became a prominent Manitowoc lawyer, G. A. Nagel,
Cath-
erine and Anthony. Taugher, Dora Clausen, Mae Brady, Margaret Wiltgen, Helen
Rein-
holdt, Ella Qualley, Celia, Inez, and Frances McCarthy. District records
kept since
1894 show that teachers received about $400 during the 1890's.
    Places of interest in the district include the Presbyterian Church established
in
1858. At first the services were held in the school house. The church was
active till
about 1865 when interest lagged. In 1895, the church was revived and the
present
structure was erected. Today the church is known as the Niles Community Presby-
terian Church and has services every Sunday, but has no resident pastor.
Another old
time building was the Niles post office erected in 1856. A part of this structure
is
still standing on the Donovan farm. It was the first post office in the town
of Eaton
at which the stage from Manitowoc to Kiel stopped. With the institution of
he rural
free delivery, the office was discontinued. In connection with the post office
was the
Tyler grocery store. Records reveal the fact that court trials were held
in the post
office building.
                   EATON JT. 1 -GEORGE WASHINGTON
                               Norman Wernecke
I The name George Washing-
ton school was given to the Ea-
ton joint 1 school in honor of
our first American president.
Residents in this and nearby
communities refer to it as the
St. Nazianz public school.
    The Eaton assessment roll
for 1857 shows that a school
district No. 6 was already in
existence. This Eaton school
district No. 6 was an area of
land extending across sections
22, 23, 24, and the north halves
of sections 25, 26, and 27. It em-
braced the area owned by the
Roman Catholic Religious As-
according to the assessment roll of that year, this area became Eaton district
No. 5.
About 1870, several pieces of land in Liberty were attached to the district
and then it
became Eaton joint district No. 1, joint with Liberty. When Eaton school
district No. 4
57


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