Pella Chronicle

Days Gone By

September 10, 2010

Looking back at the one room school

Pella — Maple Grove School  was on the southwest corner of  what was known for many years as the county “poor farm”, now the Marion County Care Facility.

Robert J. Mulky refers to this school, which, he attended in a article written for the 1930 souvenir addition of the Knoxville Journal. He writes that the school was organized in 1860.  A log building was erected and the students were taught that winter by Henry Sherman. Other early teachers were Mr. Vance, Miss Blair, Miss Esther Kelly, Mr. Abe Updegraff, and J. R. Young.  This was Mr. Young’s first school.  He later became a teacher and principal in Knoxville.  He also refers to Mr. Ben Kirk,  “a most excellent teacher” , who taught one term while the Civil War was in progress.

Text books used were McGuffy Readers and Spellers, and Ray’s Arithmetic.  Some of the older pupils brought history or geography books from home which often meant that no two were alike.

The Knoxville Journal of May 9, 1896 reports that Maple Grove is closed because the teacher had the measles. Such unscheduled vacations occurred often before vaccinations for common diseases were available. Substitutes were scarce and sometimes the teacher would ask a sibling or friend to fill in for them during an absence.

Teachers  include:  Henry Sherman 1860,  Nannie Harding 1877, Alice Williams 1886,  Miss Ellie Taylor 1887, Miss Liza Croft 1889, Miss Hannah Spence  1892, Miss Cora Snyder 1893, Will Bye 1894, D. O. Bye and Alice Crosby 1895, Alice Crosby and Miss Mable Reynolds 1896, Miss Daisy McAtee 1897, Ella McKinney 1898, Ella McKinney and Katie Jones 1899, Estella Reins and Lulu Crosby 1900, Laura Ghrist 1901, Minnie Tysseling, L. Bess Wright, Mary Matthews 1903, Edna Black 1904, Florence Fee 1905, Velta D. Karns 1906, Aleta Cunningham 1907, Herman Browne  1908, Arvilla Hayes and Eunice Kutz 1909, Lizzie McKinney 1910-11, Eva Worstell 1912-13, Anna King 1914, Eva Worstell and Fern Collins 1915, Angeline Stentz 1916, Vida Davis 1917-18, Virgie Shinn 1919, Virgie Shinn Anderson 1920, Joye Black  1921-24, Blanche Borden 1925, Mary Crouch 1926, Malvina Neely 1928, Rena Fee 1929-30, Rena Fee Welch 1933-36, Maxine Moneysmith 1938, Frances Van Donselaar 1939-40 , Frances Thompson 1941, Lorraine Roff  1942-43, Dorothy Cleair 1944, Mrs. Ruth Kenney 1945, Betty Hollngshead 1947, Jean Goltry 1948, Mrs. Jean Cooper 1949.

I need your stories, pictures, and other school memorabilia to complete the records for the country schools of Marion county.  641-628-4716 or

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