Pella Chronicle

February 6, 2012

Looking back at the one room school

By Helen Boertje
The Chronicle

Pella — This school, which was close to St. Paul’s Evangelical Church in the hamlet of Germantown, was sometimes called Germantown. The frame church was built in 1872 on two acres given by Henry and Hannah Horstman.

In her story about her days as a school teacher, Fern Welch Jones writes that in 1925-26 she was teaching in a new school building at Horstman.  “Teachers did their own custodial work.  The room was heated by a large coal stove in the middle of the room.  They usually boarded with someone in the community. Board and room was $20 per month.  Teachers salaries were from $40 and up.  My lowest salary was $70 per month and my highest was $140.  Since all grades were taught in the rural school primary (kindergarten) through eighth, I had as many as 65 classes daily.  In the rural schools, each was divided into three terms: fall term--3 months, winter term--3 months and spring term--2 months, total 8 months of school.”

Darlene Gehring, who provided the pictures of the students, wrote a letter to me which began “School was fun! The children were exceptionally well behaved.” She said the school board always provided a good supply of corn cobs for starting the fire in the big stove. The stove was fired up on Sunday evening making a comfortable Monday morning. The water supply came from the Victor Maechen farm which was across the road.  A favorite memory for her was the bouquets of wild plum blossoms the children gathered for her on the way to school.  

Teachers at Horstman included C. A. Smith 1882; Cordia McCorkel, Aramarta Ingles 1886; Fannie Presser 1890; Annie Quante 1895; Ella Collins, Fanny D. Eberhardt 1898; Leota Tice, Fannie Eberhardt 1899; Loveda Van Doren, Fannie Eberhardt 1900; Loveda Van Doren 1901; Myrtle McDonnell; Mattie Gray 1903; Rena Riggs 1904; Olive Hunnerdosse 1905; Emma Smith, Minna L. Heinke, Anna Ridenour 1906; Emma Smith 1907; Dora Rice, Clara Mason 1908; Marjorie Cooper, Rev. Wm. Schrieber 1909; Rev. Schrieber, Minnie McDowell 1910; Florence Marble, Beulah Marquis 1911; Minna Heinke, Fannie L. Crowley 1912; Margie Shives 1913; Belva Marquis, Grace Conway 1914; Ariel Wright, Ethel McGinnis 1915; Ethel McGinnis 1916; Florence Willis, Marie McDonald 1917; Joye Black 1918; Mabel Fergison 1919; Iscel Boswell 1920; Lavere White 1921; Nellie Woodyard 1922; Juanita Brown, Etha Mason 1924; Anna Carson, Fern Welch 1925; Fern Welch 1926; Doris Feight 1928; Elsie Frobosa 1929; Ruby Penland 1930; Esther Brown 1931; Mrs. Gladys J. Culbertson 1932; Henry Albertson 1933; Henry Culbertson 1934-35; Glen Hunnerdosse 1936; Glen Hunnerdosse 1938; Oscar Hunnerdosse 1939-40; Esther Burt 1944; Darlene Staley 1945-46; Nora Marsh 1947; Clinna Duncan 1948; Mrs. Nora Marsh 1949-53; Darlene Gehring 1954;  Edna Johnson 1955; (school closes and records sent to Melcher-Dallas).