Allamakee co. IAGenWeb Project - School Records
updated 10/10/11

The Red School
Franklin twp. No. 3

A Landmark of Northeastern Iowa

One of the few one-room, one-teacher public schools still operating in Iowa is pictured on today's cover. This is also one of Iowa's most interesting schools. It is in Allamakee County in the Yellow River Valley some 12 miles north of Monona, 12 miles south of Waukon and 12 miles northeast of Postville. The school is a landmark, constructed in 1874. Though it has been improved and repaired over the years, the original building is still in use, and it has always been painted red. In fact, the official name is "The Red School," and all records are sent to the superintendent that way.

The Red School is part of the Allamakee Community School District, but is operated as a rural school under that system. Its enrollment of 18 boys and girls represents all eight grades. The teacher is the Rev. Curtis Webster, who is also pastor of The Forest Mills Evangelical United Brethren Church about two miles from the school. There is no connection between the church and the school. The Rev. Mr. Webster has taught The Red School for the last nine years and has taught in the area for 28 years. Many of his present students are children of parents he taught.

All the children in the school, now concluding its 87th year, are from farm families. They, like their teacher, enjoy the scenic beauty surrounding their school, which stands at the bottom of a long hill. In winter they ski and toboggan on the hill, and in spring and fall they join in softball, football and volleyball games in the schoolyard. When the photograph on today's cover was taken by Gordon Lord of McGregor, the teacher was catching a softball game. Children who were playing but are not in the picture are Sandra Brainard, Nancy Clark, Sandra May, Raymond Winters, Diane Clark, Ronald May, Dean Engelhardt and Gregory Courtney.


Little Red School House

The children in the photograph are, from left, Leslie Winters, Cheryl Brainard, waiting to bat; Gilbert Brainard batting; Pitcher Norman Borcherding, Patricia Doeppke, Mary Lou Borcherding, Stephen Smith, Donna Smith, Carold Borcherding and Jane Clark.

~The source & date of this story and photo are unknown. Estimated to be c1961. The article most likely appeared in a local or regional newspaper, and had been clipped and saved in a scrapbook I made in junior-high. The Red Schoolhouse has been restored. It's present location is at the Waukon, Allamakee Co. Iowa fairgrounds.
~contributed by Sharyl Ferrall


Red School, Franklin No. 3
Red School, Franklin No. 3

~photo is from the Waukon Democrat, November 20, 1986
~contributed by Connie Ellis



Franklin twp. No. 3 school teachers

This list of the Red School teachers is incomplete ... can you add to it?

Nona Hansmeier, unknown dates
Ann Oelberg, 1933
Vera Steiber, 1942
Rev. Curtis Webster, 1950's & 1960's


Return to School Index