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

Newton,   pp. 169-180 PDF (5.2 MB)


Page 175


who recommended a division of the district. All of this agitation for two
districts
came as the result of some sentiment for a new schoolhouse.
    The first log schoolhouse for the original district was erected about
1853 and
was valued at $89.79. It was located a short distance north of the village
of Clover.
No record of its size is available, but it very likely was small and meagerly
fur-
nished. It served the original Newton district No. 7 until 1866 when the
district
records show that in October; 1866, the following described parcel of land
was leased
by Johann Schneider and wife Caroline to district No. 7, Newton, the N.W.
corner of
section 23, 8 rds. E., 5 rds. S., 8 rds W., thence 5 rds. N. to place of
beginning. That
is the present location of the schoolhouse. It was not until.1882 that this
quarter
acre of land .was sold to the district by G. Degenhart and his wife for $75.
In 1917,
another quarter acre of land was purchased from L. Groelle for $50 to enlarge
the
schoolyard to the east.
    District records written in German until nearly 1900 give an interesting
history
of the formation of the present district No. 7. At a meeting called on the
12th day
of December, 1863, the question of alteration of district boundaries and
detaching
this area from the original Newton No. 7 was considered. Finally on September
18,
1866, the -voters decided to build a log schoolhouse, 20 x 26 feet. The voters
of the
district were to have the necessary l6gs for $15. It was to be located on
the present
site leased from Johann Schneider. It was voted-that six months of school
was to
be held commencing on October 1st. Only English was to be taught in this
school,
although that provision was later rescinded. The inside of the school was
whitewash-
ed yearly for sums like 2 dollars, 5 shillings, and six cents. Someone in
the district
was hired one year to rnake the fire and clean the room each morning for
the sum of
$4150. No record is given as to the disposal of this school.
    The second and present brick schoolhouse was erected in 1879. Money for
this
building was raised by taxes and by loans from 'district residents. The district
pur-
chased 8,000 bricks from the Zelinski brickyard at Northeim. The cost of
lumber,
foundatiom work, and front door stones totaled about $185. The cost of the
completed
structure was $275 according to county records. Wooden boards painted black
with
two quarts of black paint were the first blackboards. Some of these blackboards
are still in use today. The first hand-made desks were later replaced with
patented
double desks, and in turn replaced by modern, single, adjustable seats and
desks. The
small teacher's platform is still in use - a reminder of the days when the
master kept
a watchful eye on his pupils. The first geography case of maps was installed
in 1893
for $42.65. Bookcases stored the few library books available in the later
1800's. School
records show that as early as 1861, the district boasted of an eleven volume
library,
Four of these early library books were California Illustrations, Pictorial
History of
the American Revolution, History of England, and Expedition to Borneo. Yearly
expenditures recorded were "lite" glass, pail and cup, and brooms.
Yagg's Anatomi-
cal Study and reading charts were used before 1900.
    The brick school, still in use after almost 70 years of service, is about
24 x 32 feet.
An entrance door leads into a small narrow hallway. On each side of this
hallway
there is a cloakroom in which the outer clothing of the children, as well
as their lunch
pails, is stored. A door from each cloakroom leads into a classroom lit by
three win-
dows on each side, and heated by' a floor furnace located at the northwest
corner of
the room. Blackboards are placed along the front of room and in between the
win-
dows. Electric lights were installed in 1934. A large, well-constructed bookcase
was
built between the two entrance doors along the west wall irn 1929. A belltower
was
erected In 1892 and a bell acquired for $28.
    The large schoolyard is well drained but barren except for the usual
outbuildings.
The stone slab at the doorway has been worn down by the thousands of pairs
of feet
that have trod it. The present combination woodshed, garage, and storage
room was
built in 1934. Outdoor toilets are located to the rear of the schoolyard.
A well was
drilled in 1926 for $295. Up to that time the water supply was gotten from
a neigh-
boring farmer.
    The town clerk's reports to the County Superintendent from 1870 on show
that
the yearly enrollment averaged between 50 and 60 from 1870 to 1906. The highest
enrollment occurred in the 1890's when about 65 pupils were in attendance.
The
yearly enrollment averaged about fifty percent of the pupils of school age.
By the
1940's, this school had been affected by the decrease in the -number of children
to a
family just like other districts had, for by then the yearly enrollment was
only be-
tween 15 and 20 children out of a school census of 50.
175


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