Pella Chronicle

Days Gone By

August 29, 2011

Looking back at the one room school

Pella — The Valley school (Perry #1) was located near the town of Percy. An 1875 map shows it in the same location as it was when the school closed.

Marjorie Kane Fee, who began teaching there in 1934, contributed a story to the Percy Fair Book of 1995. She said Bennington was closed that year and the children were sent to Valley.  She had 30 pupils and was paid $50 per month with a $5 a month raise for two years. Her certificate was a first grade certificate which meant she had good grades plus one year of experience.  Some country schools, she wrote, hired those with 3rd grade certificates to save on costs.

The building stood on one half acre of land.  Skinned knees were common because of the cinder paths leading to the “necessary little buildings”.  On muddy spring days she sometimes used the coal shovel to get the mud out of the cloakrooms.

The school was usually warm but in the winter of 1936 when the roads drifted and the temperature was below zero for many days, the directors closed the school for three weeks.  She had chilblains and her feet itched terribly.  She took off her shoes and stockings and stood in the snow to cool off.

Teachers included:  Ida Putnam 1882,  Mede B. Brous 1886, Miss Dora Ruckman, Miss Mary Vaughn 1889, Miss Gertrude Reed 1892, L. H. McKinney, Cora Henry, Hiram Curtis 1893, Nellie McBride, Nellie Brockett 1895, J. L. Cochrane, Nellie Wassenaar 1896, Emma K. Hughes, J. L. Cochrane, R. N. London 1898, J. L. Cochrane, Mary C. Clark, Nellie Rogers 1899, Emma K. Hughes, J. L. Cochrane  1900, J. L. Cochrane, Pearl Beeman  1902, Lizzie Gifford 1903, Walter E. Wellons, Lizzie Clifford, Maggie Cowman 1904, Walter E. Wellons, M. L. Wilson 1905, Emma Smith 1906, Claudia Henry, Elva Helm, Emma Hughes 1907, J. L. Cochrane, Mabel Fouts. Alice McRae 1908, Olivia Hollester, Cecil Way, Fay Cummings 1909, Cecil Way, Maude Wilson, Bertha Harvey 1910, D. Butcher, Alta Rowland 1911, Dean Butcher, Viola Hamilton 1912, Hazel Nell Failor, Peter Danks 1913, Peter B. Danks, Mamie Chambers 1914, Dora Rice, W. D. Campbell, Mabel Leuty 1915, Florence Jones, Eva James, Flossie Hamilton 1917, Mrs. Mabel Johnson, Lee Goodenough 1918, Jennie Leuty 1919, W. D. Campbell 1920, Lena Park 1923, Betty Jean Colyn, Lena Park 1924, Gertrude Taylor 1925, Miss Fern Brause 1926, Mrs. Fonda Fawcett  1928-32, Clifford A. Holt 1933, Marjorie Kane 1934-36, Ernest Klinker 1937-38, Miss Wald 1939, Lavonne Walker 1940, Betty Louise Kool 1943, Mrs. Norma McDaniel 1944, Mrs. Norma McDaniel, Wanda Recktenwald 1945, Gertrude Thornton 1947,  Ina L. Umble 1948, Mrs. Lavonne Walker 1949, Mrs. Russell De Haai 1951, Hazel De Haai 1953-56.

Please contact me with information about any Marion County country school at 641-628-4716 or

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Days Gone By
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