History of Gray No. 5

View Location on 1915 Map

Through the united efforts of the students of years ago, this paper has been made possible. I wish to take this opportunity to thank all those, who, in any way contributed to the writer any help. Those to whom I especially wish to extend a word of appreciation for their interest and assistance are S.C. Hogue, John and Emma Arnold, Sam Warner, Hattie Hillis, Ira Chaplin, Nettie Smith, Mrs. Essex and Mrs. Hodges.

On November 18, 1863, the authorities of the Van Buren township school board purchased the site of the present school building from Chapel Bonner for a consideration of $25. At once the building that has housed our children for the past 63 years, was erected. The carpenters were Godown, Leneger and Smith. The building was located in the SW corner of the NW 1-4 NE 1-4 [the latter “NE 1-4” appears to be crossed out] of Sec. 5, Des Moines township, Van Buren County, State of Iowa. This school has since been known as Gray No. 5, because Mr. Gray, the nearest resident to this school, was the first director, and it was through his influence that their new school house was built.

This building replaced the one formerly located 100 rods NW of here and on a site included in the farm presently owned by Wm. Mort. This was a log building and was not used in the new building.

The teacher during the term of 1863-64 was Adda Briggs, holding the distinction of being the first teacher in the new building. Among those pupils answering to roll call that first year were: Will and Alvin Arnold, Eliza Brent, Jane Bruce, Mary, Ira and Quintilla Chaplin, Jerry Gibson, Nettie Godown, Arch and Mollie Hogue, Allie, Mary and Martha Holmes, Lute Parker, Tennie and Lib Smith, and Sam and Hattie Warner. Other families in the district were the Groomes, Grays, Godowns, Russells, Roberts, Thomas, Murrays, Combs and Normands. At that time there were about sixty pupils in the district.

Due to a fire in the County Superintendent’s office January 10, 1906, one is unable to get a complete record before that time. An incomplete list of the teachers before 1896 includes Mr. Tolman, Ellen Mize, Jane Bruce, Minnie Vinson, Tennie Smith, Sam Clark, Bob Dunlap, Harry Duffield, Emma Bonner, Minnie Fait, Kate Warner, Sarah Peacock, Jim Mort, Frank Gray, John Lowe, John Wells, Kate Ricketts, Laura Price, Minnie Pickett, John Smith, Maggie McArthur, Stewart Sample, Bill Steele, Frame Groome, Eliza Groome, Lib Smith, Wilson Russell, Mary Frazee, Ruth Warner, Bill Guernsey, Vi Lee, George Cole, Belle Titus, Mary Barker, Emma Helsel, Maggie Peacock, May Peacock, Nellie Sevier, Will Young, James P. Starr and Edna Bell.

A more complete list since 1896 includes Vina L. Brenneman, Amanda Groves, Lavinna Thompson, Fred Ramsey, Charles Whiteanack, Iva Pettit, Lydia Shull, Marie Else, Clara Chaplin, Lee Cunningham, Ellis Williams, Sophia Clark, Lucy M. Morrison, Mabel D. Farwell, Carl Hoskin, Addie Leech, Nellie Seaman, Hannah M. Kritzman, Affie Hoskin, Jennie Thomas, Robert Luce, Inez M. Wells, Innist Hoskin, Icell McCollum, Jennie Cox, Nellie Edwards, and Helen Craig.

The largest enrollment since 1896 was in the fall of 1901 when Lydia Shull taught with 57 pupils and received a salary of $25 a month. The smallest enrollment was in the spring of 1909 when Nellie Seaman had 25 pupils and received $37.50 a month. Charles Whitcanack received the lowest salary since 1896 when he got $22 and had 38 pupils. The highest salary went to Inez M. Wells in 1921 when she got $95 and had 39 pupils.

One can readily see that at no time has there been what we would term a small school. During the term of 1902, when Lydia Shull taught here, she graduated the first eighth grade class that ever came from this school, and perhaps from the county. In this eighth grade class were Edna Chaplin, Edna Hogue, Maud Potter, Abile Wells, Grace Arnold, Cliff Warner, Grover Thomas, Sophia and Nellie Seaman and Will Fosnot.

Among those who received a large part of their education here and are now out of school are Lib and Tennie Smith, George, Sam, Kate and Hattie Warner, Will, Alvin, Elias, Frank, John, Emma and Hattie Arnold, Nellie, Clara and Edna Chaplin, Daisy, Della, Charley and Walter Godown, Ruth, Marion and Lawrence Workman, Sam, Sophia, John and Lizzie Clark, Vesta and Charley Ricketts, Ella and Cornelia Holmes, Frank, Sam, Jennie, Belle, Rose and Cornelia Brill, Cora and Clarence Workman, Lizzie, Sarah, Perry, Wilson, Aaron, Simon and Allen Russell, Will, John, Lewis, Symantha, Elias and George Thomas, John Brent, Nellie and Lizzie Sevier, Jennie, Ralph, Arthur, Edna, Lee, Catheryne and George Hogue, Dan, Hettie, and Will Cooksey, Cleve Edgington, Eddie Baird, Alfred, Laura, Charley, Otto, Harvey and Annie Thomas, Albert, Robert, Lee, Vance, Grover, Walter, Jesse, Mary and Jennie Thomas, Elmer Floy, Carl, Edna and Mabel Mort, Sophia, Jack, Anna and Nellie Seaman, Will, Newsam, Henrietta and Birdie Guernsey, Lemmie, Arthur, Lizzie, Eva and Zetta Arnold, Selma Clemens, Lena Walters, Bert Spencer, Walter, Hattie, Ada, Wesley, Will, Ora and Jesse Gipson, Will, Elmer, Ada and May Bishop, Lena, Anna, Grace, Edith, Edna, Newt, Lee, June and Vern Arnold, Darrell, Gus, Cliff, Carl, Willie and Bruce Warner, Ethel, Willie, Dewey, Lyda and Fern Hawbaker, Sam, Bess, Chloe, Mame, Fred, Letha, Harold and Sarah Else, Cora, Laura, Charley, Clara, Hazel, Ray and Marie Arnold, Julius, John, Maurice and Clara Roush, Virginia, Minella and Bertha Logan, Harold, Lester, Earl and Lila Wells, Elsie, John and Martin Jackson, Nick, Tena and Johanna Helmhout, Floyd, Fern, Alma and Neva Arnold, Veda, Theone and Catherine Bartholomew, Irena Ellis, and Irena, Opal, and Chancie Davidson. Nearly all of these have descendents or are descendents of people who, at some time during this school’s history, were closely connected to it either as teacher or student.

During the past year the building proved itself entirely inadequate to accommodate the 48 pupils enrolled. In February, 1927, the district petitioned the board to build an additional room and thus provide a more convenient school room. The board, composed of Wm. Beatty, Curtis Miller, Sam Kerr, Albert Rider and Sam Clark, immediately took action. M. A. Clemens, secretary of the board, spent many hours, day and night, with them while they were in deep deliberation. They worked faithfully through day and night, that the requirements might be fulfilled to the greatest extent. Perhaps more credit is due Wm. Beatty, the president, than any other person, for it was through his faithful efforts that the building was ever gotten under way. Arthur Christensen was the architect, and W.A. Craig and Sons built the new, two-room, frame structure which now graces our district, and so adequately provides ample room. The east room of the present building is the original building, and the west room is an entirely new structure, under which has been placed a basement.

Now, with the new building the property of the district, last year’s term stands out in distinction of being the last term in the old building. Helen Craig was the teacher and those enrolled included Carl, Marguerite, Henrietta and Joe Brill, Bruce Brown, Ruth, Sophia and Norma Bartholomew, Dorothy and John Boyer, Virgil Davidson, Minnie Godown, Paul, Thaine and Richard Hogue, Joe, Marie, Emma and Ila May Keller, Vergil, Harold, and Edith Orterry, Sylvia and Alice Patten, Stanley, Roy, Sherman, Lena and Josephine Thomas, Henry Thomas, Richard, Roland and Carlyle Thomas, Cecil, Mary and Ruby Thomas, Francis Warrington, and Tom, Jim, Kitty and Betty Warner.

And now, 63 years later, with the present new building being opened, with a probability of an enrollment of fifty, and Helen Craig and Grave Munson receiving the distinction of being the first teachers in this new building, the old building goes into history, and with it fond memories of hours spent within its door.

Written and read by Ruth Clark at the Dedication October 7, 1927.

Enrolled during the first term, 1927-28, were Marguerite, Henrietta and Joe Brill, Ruth, Sophia, Norma and Jessie Bartholomew, Virgil Davidson, Paul, Thaine and Richard Hogue, Joe, Marie, Emma and Ila May Keller, Ruth, Richard, Edna and Edward Shappell, Stanley, Roy, Sherman, Lena and Josephine Thomas, Mary and Dorothy Craig, Carol, Lee and Marion Rupe, Omal Brady, Roland and Carlyle Thomas, Cecil, Mary and Ruby Thomas, Dorothy and John Boyer, James, Kitty and Betty Warner, Minnie Godown, Francis and Lela Bell Warrington, Bruce Brown, Henry and Opal Thomas, Orpha Burchett and Adabelle Workman.

The teachers during the term of 1928-29 were Mrs. Lydia Shull and Ruth Clark. There were 33 enrolled during the year.

Added March 8, 1929.
Presented to the District by the Township April 23, 1929.

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[Handwritten on back of plaque was the following:]

Additional pupils attending school at Gray are:

Frank Morse
Kate Morse
Ola Phillips
Turner King
Harry Warner
May Calvin?
Anna Calvin?
Eddie Calvin?
Io Umphrey
Hugh Elder
Aarum Elder
Maggie Elder
Howe Elder
Ike Elder
Winnie Elder
Clyde Frazee
Emmet Frazee
Dal Landers
Edna Whittlesley
Gifford Channell
Jackson Channell
Dewey Channell
Lewey Channell
Sarah Channell
Herschel Channell
Roosevelt Channell
Lela Channell
Emmet Channell
Letha Arnold
Ray or Roy Godown
Edna Fasnot
Harry Fasnot
Lonnie Fasnot
Catherine Daughrity
Selman Daughrity
Nannie Shull
Mary Shull
Dora Stout
Mabel Stout
Frank Stout
Lina Lane
Sadie Lane
Minnie Lane
Harry Lane
Lottie Roush
Nellie Roush
Dan Roush
Gail Roush
Dot Roush
Bates Roush
June Roush
Vera Roush
Goldie Spencer
Iva Spencer
Rosa Thomas
Lester Thomas
Jesse Thomas
Vern Thomas
Mabel Thomas
Paul Thomas
Blanch Thomas
Alma Walters
Pearl Russell
Earl Russell
Harry Russell
Will Carr
Emma Carr
Ada Barnes
Ethel Brewington
Ruby Brewington
Boyd Brewington
Leon Shreckengast
Ruth Shreckengast
Charlotte Shreckengast
Lizzie James
Sylvia Cochran
Ray Fickle
Maud Hull
Zula Hull
Sophrania Hull
Goldie Hull
James Metcalf
Wilda McMickle
Luther McMickle
Amy McMickle
Mildred McMickle
Florence Craft
Agnes Craft
Edna Craft
Elory Craft
Earl Craft
Jennings Craft
Gordon Bishop
Glen Loamis
Stanley Loamis
Will Walters
Maud Morrison
Bertha Pruett
Buelah Walters
Leona Walters
Ralph Walters
Berdena Walters
Sarah Winters
Jeanette Winters
Pearl Winters
Austin Brill
Clyde Brill
Hollis Mathias
William Miller
Merle Miller
Dan Elbert
Merle Strait
Merne Strait
Grace Miller
Earnest Miller
Annabelle Miller
Bessie Bartholomew
Frances Warner
Ruth Clark
Grace Clark
Junior Clark
Neal Lane
Mae Lane
Richard Lane
Charles Akey
Fred Akey
Dorothy Witt
Nellie Witt
Clarence Witt
Ruth Witt
Letha Robbins
Marian Warner
Thomas Forsythe
LeRoy Tedrow
Floyd Keller
Emma Keller
Evelyn Wire
Edward Wire
James Griffiths
Charles Griffiths
Thomas Bartholomew
Wilma Boyer
Carl Craig
Mary Bartholomew
Everett Vineyard
Josephine Workman
Glen Hogue
Wilma Boyer
Harold Boyer
Olive Boyer
Wayne Boyer

[Note: handwriting was at times difficult to interpret. Please advise of known errors.]

The above framed document made available for transcription to Van Buren Co IAGenWeb courtesy of Bill and Deb Connor. Transcribed by Rich Lowe exclusively for the IAGenWeb Project.