History of
Monroe School,
Organized in 1873

Lincoln Sentinel-Republican, 14 April 1996

One of the older landmarks in Lincoln County is the old Monroe school house which stands 2½ miles southwest of Beverly.
As the county was gradually being settled by new owners coming into the valley from other states, the need for a school house became acute.
One of the first schools to Lincoln County was held in a small cabin south of Beverly near the Saline river in 1870, which was a subscription school. The teacher was Mrs. Mary Skinner, grandmother of the late H.E. Skinner.
Later Monroe was the first school district organized in the county early in 1873, but they neglected to get it registered so Colorado School, now the Beverly School District on the north side of the river, registered their school district first and obtained No. 1 while Monroe district had to take No. 2.
Just a few of the early settlers were: Geo. Ingham, J.P. Webb, T.E. Skinner, the Gilmers, the Notherns, the Crosbys, the Cullums, the Reeds, the Powells, and others.
The first school house built in the district was a poorly constructed, long and narrow, uncomfortable building.
In the early summer of 1883 a severe wind storm blew the school house and its contents away. Miss Carrie Matson, a 16-year-old girl, was the teacher at that time.
This event necessitated building a new school house which was finished in time to open school by Nov. 1, the usual time for starting the four- or five-month term.
Mr. N.M. Billings taught the first term in the new building with an enrollment of 45 pupils.
In the early days the Monroe School was a place of many activities – church services, Lyceum, debates, spelling bees, and box suppers.
Just a few of the early day teachers were Henry Earl, Viola Booton, John Wilson, B.C. McClelland, Bing Skinner, Eugene Perkins, Lulu Painter and others.
Teacher salaries were from $25 to $50 per month.
On Oct. 7, 1902, the late Mr. and Mrs. Fred Harr deeded one acre of their land to the Monroe School District for the sun of $25.
As the enrolment became smaller and smaller it was decided to send the children to Beverly.
The Monroe School was closed in the spring of 1939 with Mr. Eldon Van Meter as teacher.
The last school board was Mr. Lloyd Morton, Mr. Art Ramel and Mr. W.E. Powell.
The school ground and school house was sold at public auction June 13, 1950 to Mr. W.E. Powell.
During the time that the school was organized there were two families that were in attendance through three generations.
Mrs. Nora Skinner Morton attended school in 1874 and then returned to teach the school in 1894-1895.
Mrs. Morton has seven children, six of which attended this school and one son, Lloyd, had three children and they also attended.
Mr. Merritte Powell Sr. attended this school in 1894-95. All of his six children attended. Also his son Willard’s daughter Lois attended several years before the school was closed.

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