Pella Chronicle

May 20, 2011

Looking back at the one room school

By Helen Boertje
The Chronicle

Pella — According to the official teacher records, Black Oak was located in the south east corner of sec. 6 of Liberty township.  It  was consolidated into the Attica school district before 1920.

The Marion County Historical Society has the souveneir booklet which a very young looking J. W. Van Benthuysen distributed to his pupils on March 14, 1902.  This would have been at the close of the 2nd (or winter term) of that year.  His pupils inlcuded Abraham, Gustavis and Edward Allen; Lynford Cade; Anna, Nora, Cora, May, Carroll, and Horace Davis; Jessi and John Ellis; Lottie, Mary and Ralph Hart; Lena, Beth, and Dwite Rose.

MCHS has another souvenir booklet given by Mrs. Rosa Smith to her pupils who attended during the 3rd (spring) term from April 10 to June 2, 1905.  Many of the same surnames appear and added to the list are those of Butterfield, Coop, Carter, King, Marshall, McGruder, Rhodes, and Simmons.

In the picture to the right we find teacher Cora B. Davis, who was listed as a student in the souvenir booklets of 1902 and 1905,  has now become the teacher. Note that the little girls  legs are well covered with  black stockings and high top shoes while the two little boys in the front row are casually bare foot.   

Teachers were Clara Davidson 1886, C. D. Applegate 1895, P. Edgar Adams 1896, C. W. Conrey, T. L. Conrey 1898, L. D. Bane, Art Betterton 1899, W. H. Leamime  1900, J. W. Van Benthuysen, Nina Pringle 1902, Lizzie Snyder, S. M. Rogers, Rosa Smith 1903, Rosa Smith 1904, Merle Brownfield, Helen McConahey 1905, Mrs. Rosa Smith 1906, Myrtle L. McArthur, Anna Ridnouer 1907, Anna Ridnouer, Dora Rice 1908, Cora B. Davis 1909, Ve Lola Blair, Eva Marshall 1910, Bertha Brenniman, Bessie Williams, Eva B. Marshall 1911, Alice Holden, Eva Hutchings 1912, Christina Moffatt, Cora Rankin, Maude Martin 1913, Marjorie Cooper 1914.

Please continue to contact me with information/pictures about the remaining country schools of Marion County at  641-628-4716 or