In 1971 the Chase County Historical Society published Volume IV of their Chase County History series in which they included information on early schools in Chase County. I am grateful for their permission in providing the following information which they had gathered from people who had attended the schools or lived in the locality of the schools. Many Chase County residents gave valuable help on gathering information for this history. The Chase County Historical Society maintains a file on each school district in their museum in Champion, Nebraska.
School in this district began in a sod school house and was held there until range cattle rubbed it down on the corners. The second school was a small frame school building. Those who organized the district were George Banks, Sr., Fred Bremer, Jimmy Gardner, John Gardner, Henry Brill, Henry Reedman, Ned Edwards, Oscar Browning, John Jaeger, Sr., and Ike Clark.
The sod school was built on the homestead of Tom Tenit. Other settlers were Doug McCauley, ALbert McGaughey, George Lytle, Bill Weiss, George Kramer, Sr., Charley Montjoy, M. F. Abitz, and John Banks, Sr.
The second school house was built one mile south around 1905 in order that the Angelo Hill and Adam Jaeger children could attend the school.
Some of the teachers at the school were Charles Willis, who rode a bicycle to school, Bertha Wirsig, Ed Getzendaner and Martha Watkins, who lived in a sod house and drove a 2-wheeled cart. Ms. Watkins brought gunny sacks to the school with her and the children helped her collect cow chips for her to take home and burn in her fire. Grace Davidson, Colleen Davidson, Sylvia Sales and May Sales are others that Andrew Banks remembered from the school. When Lota Mayo (who later married Carl Statz) taught at the school she moved a shack to the property to live in.
By 1914 there was a new and larger school building which was the third school facility for the District. When consolidation between Districts began, other Districts joined 22 and a new school was built. Two teachers were hired to teach the reorganized school. It was built over the same plans as no. 66, according to resident Mrs. William Hayes. A kitchen had been planned for the building but was never completed.
This District had a frame building from it's inception. Former student Mrs. Emil Molzahn remembered that the school had as many as 29 pupils when she was there. An early atless shows the school was located on Sec. 18-7-38. Pat Kramer also remembers attending school in the District and that Jennie Hoffmeister was one of the early teachers. The District was dissolved in the spring of 1966.
District 24 (Lone Star)
Joe Malcolm told the Historical Society that when his family came to the county in 1888 they attended school in the sod home of Mrs. Cass and she was the teacher. The following year was a very good year for crops and there was money for a frame school house to be built. The wood frame building was used until around 1929 when school was discontinued in the District. Mrs. A. O. Stenger helped with research on District 24.
District 25 (Crete)
K. S. Douglass said that the first Crete School was sod and was used as a center of community gatherings in addition to being a school. The District received the name of Crete because four families from Crete, Nebraska settled in the four corners where the school was located. The families were William Thomas, Hugh Hill, Theodore Molin and WIlliam o. Higby, according to Mrs. Leon Kimberling. The sod school was eventually replaced by a fame building moved to the school site. The building had originally been used by C. O. Mead in Chamption, Nebraska as a bank building. The school added on to the south of the building at one point, according to Mort Mead. When consolidation began the school from District 44 was moved to the school site and two teachers were hired. The District was dissolved July 1, 1964.
The school building in District 27 was one of the later built schools and was made of wood frame from the beginning. It was built in the vacinity of the former Truman Kitt farm. According to existing records, the District did not have school in 1914, at which time students were sent to District 68 Dundy County and District 31 Chase County. Research on District 27 was done by Eva Maddux.
The District 29 school was located on the NE 1/4 30-8-41. Another sod school was built northeast of the first school. The first school was held in March 1888 in a sod school with a dirt floor. The students had new desks. Records show that Lillian Bourne taught in this District at the rate of $25.00 per month. A frame school house was constructed in 1909 on the south side of Section 11-8-41. Harold Hughes told researcher George Smith that a new entry was added to the school in 1926 or 1927 by Lex Elder.
Mr. Hughes relayed a story about his sister, Mrs. E. Ourada, who taught in the school. He said that on a winter day in 1928 there was a large storm coming, so during the noon hour she and the students brought in a good supply of coal. She and her 15 - 20 students had to remain at the school all night because of the storm. Around noon the next day the students were called for and taken home in wagons drawn by horses.
When consolidation of the Districts began, District 29 joined District 65, VVenango.
District 30 (Hillcrest)
Records show that this was well attended most of the years it was in existence. Blanche Wine Van Dyke said that when she attended the school they used to sit 2 or 3 in a seat and had to share their books. Leta Ditton Bauerle said that when they wanted a Christmas tree for a school program they brough in a dead tree and wrapped the branches with crepe paper and strung cranberries and popcorn for decorations. She also remembered the ink wells sunk in a hole in the top of the desks and mischievous classmates sitting behind you who sometimes stuck your lon hair brade in the ink. In 1917 or 1918 Hillcrest built a large frame building with a full basement. They expected to add the ninth grade at the school but never did, according to Eva Maddux.
District 30 was dissolved in 1957 but Mrs. Charlotte Wine says that in 1971 the building was still standing.
School District 31 (Wauneta)
About 1887 a small building was moved to higher ground to be used as a school. At that time, Miss Geddie Madaraiz of Beverly was hired to teach. The district was formerly organized in 1888. W. S. Fisher and The Lincoln Land Company donated the land. The original building was soon too small and was used for many purposes. A two-story building was constructed on Main Street by J. J. Doty in 1887, and at one point school was held on the second floor of his building until a brick building was constructed from bricks made in the James A. Dick kiln. Resident Chester Stock said that he remembered attending school in the Doty building in 1889-1890, 1891 and 1892. A new brick building was constructed in 1917 and a new gymnasium was added to it in the 1950's.
School District 33
Resident Carl Statz told researchers that the first school in the district was sod, followed by a frame building which was built in the same location. According to him, another frame building was built between 1905 and 1911 to replace the first one. This second school building was built one and one-half mile west of the other site. Evea Yaw Mead, daughter of Milton Yaw, said, "In the fall the whole family helped with the harvest of the pinto beans, potatoes and popcorn. This was done usually before starting to a three or four month term of school. A walk of about 1 1/2 miles north and west to school was sometimes cold and the road was sandy." The Gus Statz family also attended the school, and the boys told of walking on stilts over a prairie dog town one noon hour and killing rattlesnakes. They had a string of rattles from the top of the window to the floor. Mrs. Mead also said, "Our desks were home-made and most of the time three pupils sat at one desk and read from one book."
The district had the unusual distinction of having three sets of twins attending the school at the same time. Mrs. Mead furnished a photo showing the following pupils at the school: Vestana Brady, Joseph Kilpatrick, Victor Kilpatrick, Evea Yaw and Elva Yaw, twins, James Brady, Belle Heady, Charlotte Kilpatrick, Dorothy Yaw, Lois Yaw, Lucy Pierce, Mary Pierce, Eva Pierce, Genevieve Kilpatrick, Louise Kilpatrick, Calvin Kelly and Kenneth Kelly, twins, Mary Heady, Earl Pierce and Pearl Pierce, Twins, Alice Heady and Frank Pierce. Ethel Humphrey was teacher at the time.
District 34 was called the Fulk School. In addition to the Fulk children attending, Pearl, Lee and Walter Stutheit, the Fred Tuxhorn children, Margaret Hayes, Robert Reynolds and some of the Alonzo Cunningham children also attending the school. Lillie Cook recalled that the children who lived two or more miles from the school would get there on horseback. There was no barn at the school, so they would put a rope under the window in order that the horses would have the shelter of the school building in cold weather. ometimes the impatient animals would kick and break a window, or break the rope and return home, causing the student to walk home that day. The records show that District 34 was merged with District 14 on July 24, 1953.