Pella Chronicle

Days Gone By

July 16, 2010

Looking back at the one room school

Pella — The last location for this school would have been off Carpenter St. on what is now property owned by the De Haai family. In an undated newspaper article which I found in a scrapbook at the Marion County Historical Museum, Edd De Haai details the history of the school building and describes the Oak ridge from which it derives its name.Mr. De Haai begins his story in 1881 when the red Rock Coal and Mining company purchased 4,000 acres of land in Marion county, mostly in Red Rock township. At this same time the railroad line that was to become the Wabash was also being built. Many farmers in the school district then sold their land leaving more in the north portion of the district than in the south. He writes “we were told that the folks of the north moved the schoolhouse (1 and 3/4 miles) about the year 1891 without permission of anyone and it was claimed to be stolen from the ones that were living in the south part of the district.”

In the fall of 1904 the school burned during the night. In the morning he recalls gathering with parents and other students at the school. Teacher Mabel Bush wept because she thought it might have been her fault. In 1905 a new school was built at a different location at a cost of $500 with concrete foundation and two coats of white paint. No well was dug so water had to be carried by the older students.Around 1913 the school house was moved again. Teacher Jennie Hamilton, who later became Edd De Haai’s wife, was the teacher at the time. Drinking water was carried to the school from the McDaniel’s farm where Jennie boarded.

After the 1945-46 term there were not enough students to continue school. The children of the neighborhood then attended the Pleasant Hill school until its consolidation with Monroe. In 1952 Mr. Fred Mohler purchased the building at auction for $512.50 to be razed for its lumber.Teachers were J. Savool 1875, B. F. Hines 1885-86, Miss S. S. Smith 1887, Mrs. Leo Pomeroy 1889, Emma K Hughes, Ona Harp 1899, Laura Balmer 1900, Emma K. Hughes, Pearl Beeman, Paul Brennan 1901, Laura Behner, Alpha Reeves 1902, Maggie Cooper, Maggie Cowman, Lizzie McKinney 1903, Mabel Bush, Elizabeth Templeton, Maggie Cooper 1904, Bess Van Gorp, Hattie Leach 1905, Hattie Leach, Lizzie Snyder 1906, Lizzie Snyder, Minnie Runnels 1907, Virgie L. Shinn, Mammie Buckingham 1908, Kate Alexander 1909, Kate Alexander, Arvilla Hayes 1910, Arvilla Hays, Gertrude Quiener 1911, Mary Entler, Gertrude Quiener 1912, Mabel Watkins, Jennie Hamilton 1913, Nellie Van Rheenan, Mamie Chambers, Jennie Hamilton 1914, Jennie Hamilton, Rhea Clark 1915 Rhea Clark 1916, Violet Bishop, Irma Lemmon 1917, Irma Lemmon 1918, Marie Snider 1919, Mrs. Olive Freeman 1920, Mary Butcher 1921, Eleanor Morgan 1922, Elizabeth Kane 1925, Bessie B. Reeves 1927-28, Margaret Danks 1929, Verona Lawther 1930, Mary Taylor 1931, Ruth Young 1932, Dorothy Waddle 1933-34, Nina Wicker 1935, Pauline Berkenbosch 1927, Freda Stewart 1938, Matilda Jabaai 1939, Kathryn McGreery 1940, Kathryn McGreery Wessels 1941-42, Miss Betty Jones 1943, Mrs. Boyd Perkey 1944, Miss Hazel Simmers 1945.

Do you have nformation or pictures of any of the Marion County country schools? Please contact me at 641-628-4716 or

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Days Gone By
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