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Sylvan Grove

From chapter: "Education: Pathway To The Future" from "Honoring Our Heritage," by Marge Lawson. Pg. 30. Used with Permission. Transcribed by Tonya Peck.

As soon as enough people had settled near the milldam to make it feasible, a school was organized. On June 3, 1878, Miss Leila Pease, began her duties as teacher of the first school in Sylvan Grove. The school was a little one-room school house located near the place where Sally Kohler lives. For the 1927 anniversary issue of the "Sylvan Grove News," Miss Pease, then Mrs. Frank Shank, wrote a letter to the editor describing the first school.

"Dear Miss Shreck:

Your letter just received and I hasten to comply with your request. As to the school, there were just the number of children in the district, and with two children to send to school, insisted that I take the examination. I passed, receiving a second grade certificate, and taught the term of three months in a small school house standing on the western side of town.
The scholars were as follows: Nanna Merriman, Jimmy Merriman, Ida Creighton, Chester Creighton, Rose Richards, Jimmy Shannon, Ida Shannon, and one boy of the Creighton family whose name I cannot recall. All the children were bright and pleasant. The parents too, were pleasing and my stay among them is a pleasant picture on memories' wall, and the western hospitality was exemplified in their several homes.
It has been many years since I have seen Sylvan Grove, but I remember it was a very pretty town. My small brothers did not go to Sylvan Grove school, as it was determined that my fathers' home was in the other district, and Miss Viola Denboice taught the three months school as the same time that I taught No. 28. My salary was fifteen dollars a school month, and board myself. I am sending the teacher's contract, and hope that you will excuse my lines for running uphill, and I believe you will when you add the years that have gone since 1878."

Mrs. Shank's contract was signed by W.F. Morgan, director and J.R. Creighton, clerk. It is believed that Miss Eula Harmon (later Mrs. Eula Morgan), was employed as the second teacher.
During the years from the time Sylvan Grove had its first school on through the 1930's, in order to become a teacher it was necessary to obtain a county certificate. For many years it was required to attend Normal or Teaching Institute for four weeks. An examining board consisting of the county superintendent and two other teachers from the county would then give an examination. Certificates were 1st, 2nd, or 3rd grade and determined how long a teacher could teach without being reexamined. Many students graduated from the eighth grade and then took the training and an examination.
Later it was necessary to graduate from high school and then gradually college requirements were added.
Edith Peck, currently one of the eldest citizens of Sylvan Grove, who was for many years a teacher and then County Superintendent, describes what the examination for a county certificate was like, "You'd study your head off. It was in July or August and it was always so hot. If you failed you could take it again the next time it was given."

Some of the first teachers in Sylvan Grove were:
Florence Baker, 1882
Soretta Waterman, 1883
Anna Farnsworth, 1884
Ella Fenney, 1885
M.E. Lewis, 1886
J.P. Grim, 1891
A. Ford, 1888
Parmelia Ford, 1889
E. Berger, 1890
E.D. Smith, 1890
J.P. Grim, 1891
J.W. Stalions, 1892
S.D. Brumbaugh, 1893
Orpheus Spencer, 1894
J.P. Grim, 1894
H. V. Jeffers, 1895
Etta Kistler, 1895
Arthur Artman, 1896
J.P. Grim, 1896
F. P. Fouts, 1897
O. Spencer, 1897
W.E. Peck, 1898
Ola Thompson, 1898
H.C. Smith, 1899
Mella Nulton, 1899
Nettie Stone, 1901
H.C. Smith, 1901
Mella Nulton, 1901

In 1905, five teachers were on the payroll at Sylvan Grove, District No. 28:
John A. Henning
Lula Roach
Lulu Porter
Anna Biggs
Mella Nulton

During the term of 1892 to 1893 when J.W. Stalions taught, there were fifty-seven pupils in school. In the Grammar grades were:
May Berkley
Minnie Stine
Arthur Bell

The Intermediate grades consisted of:
Emil Wohler
Fred Kohler
Daisy Richardson
Lizzie Botlz
Albert Hillmer
Lee Smith
Lex Morgan
Ivy Morgan
Maud Bowen
Maud Richardson
Willie Bowen
Lewis Gilipin
Henry Buzick
Mildred Bell
Bernace Bell
Mary Bowen
Willie Kohler
Frank Kohler
Ollie Berger
Ernest Holway
Jay Morgan
Ada Seirer
Sam Seirer
Willie Sigley
Alvina Thrun
Willie Thrun
Harry Pilcher
Ray Norris
Fay Norris
Hugh Botlz

In the Primary grades:
Clarence Stine
Bennie Sellman
Guzzie Sellman
Hattie Sigley
Malla Sigley
Pearl Bell
Henry Osterfund
Maud Frazier
Willie Botlz
Charlie Botlz
Dora Blythe
Charlie Sellman
Gladys Richardson
Albert Thrun
Lida Osterfund
Eddie Decker
Charlie Bowen
Clyde Norris
Ella Sigley
Henry Thrun
Ernest Osterfund
Herley Kistler
Kattie Botlz
Otto Botlz

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