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

Rockland,   pp. 181-192 PDF (5.1 MB)


Page 182


ROCKLAND 2--POPLAR GROVE
Eva B. Helgeson
     Rockland  district No. 2
school was given the name of
Poplar Grove because the school
is surrounded   by   numerous
poplar trees. Many of the older
residents of this and nearby
cbmmunities have known this
as the Deffke school because
the first log schoolhouse was
located on the Ernest Deffke
farm. Others in the vicinity of
Collins refer to it as the "school
on the hill" because. it is locat-
ed on a higher elevation of
land.
    No definite records can be
found as to the exact date when
L,, VU_ C          1, Ac 4--~t  U
semble for the purpose of organizing a school. Town assessment records on
file in
the county treasurer's office indicate that district No. 2 was in existence
before 1856.
It then consisted of sections 19, 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, 29, 30. In 1912, District
No. 3 was
formally organized which detached sections 27-28 and those parts of sections
33 and
34 lying north of the Manit9woc river from this district.
    Just when the first school .was erected is officially unknown, but one
of the
early settlers of this district relates that about the year 1855, the residents
of the
present Collins, Wells, and Poplar Grove districts banded together and laid
plans for
the erection of a school building. This first schoolhouse was of logs and
was con-
structed by John McCoy on a plot of land which was a part of the Ernest Deffke
farm which is now owned by Roy Lau. No record is given as to its size. Ella
Hage-
now of Reedsville was the first teacher at a salary of $20 per month. She
taught
reading and some arithmetic to the 40 pupils enrolled. The school furniture
consist-
ed of a teacher's table and plank benches constructed by Miss Hagenow's father
who
was an early day cabinet maker.
    When the Wells group decided to form a district of their own and to build
a
schoolhouse for their own community in 1873, the log school was moved from
the
Deffke farm to a corner at the intersection of the present Louis Krueger
and the
Henry Klann farms, one-half mile west of the present school site. The formation
of
the Wells district detached most of sections 19 and 30 from this district,
further
limiting its areal extent. The Wells district is now known as joint district
No, 5,
Rantoul, in Calumet county, joint with Rockland in Manitowoc county.
    In 1884, the voters decided to erect a frame school building at a cost
of $734.
The site chosen was the present one located two miles northwest of Collins
on county
trunk J. The site was a part of the Louis Krueger farm. In payment for this
plot of
ground Mr. Krueger was given the old log building which he remodeled into
a cow
barn. The new frame schoolhouse was about 24 x 36 feet, one story high. Three
win-
dows on each of the long sides as well as windows at the front provided natural
lighting. The crude plank benches were replaced by patented double desks
but the
equipment was still meager according to present day standards.
    By 1898, the enrollment of over 80 pupils necessitated additional schoolroom
space. Accordingly, at a special meeting called on September 15, 1898, the
voters
authorized a 12 foot addition to the north end of the school building costing
$300.
The growth of the village of Collins and the increased number of farmers
in this
area caused the school population to rise continuously. The state had by
1905 set up
enrollment limits for one teacher. The district residents, too, realized
the need for
reorganizing their school system. At the annual meeting held July 6, 1909,
a mo-
tion was adopted "that the school should be graded". Another motion
authorized the
schoolboard to go to the Grimms school to inspect their arrangement for changing
over to a graded school. At a special meeting called for July 23, 1909, further
plans
were considered to remodel the school into a two room building. After several
mo-
182


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