From the History of Cass County, Iowa Together With Brief Mention of Old Settlers
by Lafe Young, Atlantic, Iowa: Telegraph Steam Printing House, 1877, pg. 68-69.
The brick school house in Lewis, was built in 1868, and cost $12,000. K.W. Macomber was president of the Board of Directors at that time. S.R. Manning and wife taught the first school in the new house in the spring of 1869.
Transcribed for Cass County by Brenda Magee, November 2009.
In the year 1854, according to the report of James D. Eads, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, the county had ninety-seven children between the ages of five and twenty-one years. The reports of the same officer show that in 1856 our county had one hundred and fifty-eight children of the school age, and seven organized districts.
In 1854 the whole amount of money expended for school purposes in the county was less than $200. Then there was not a school house in the county. In the year 1875 the public school houses in the county numbered one hundred and one, and cost a grand total of $79,995. In the year 1875, there was expended $14,897.56 for new school houses and school house sites; paid to teachers $44,683.89; expended of contingent fund for fuel, repairs, etc., $13,879.54. Total expenditures for school purposes, in the county in the year 1875, $73,460.99. Number of children between the ages of five and twenty-one years in 1875, 4,061. Average number of months taught in each school in the county in 1875, seven and a quarter. The highest salary paid to a teacher was $120 per month; the lowest $25 per month. Average price per month, about $35. At this time there is not a neighborhood in the county, but what is supplied with a good school, for from six to nine months each year. From the annual report of James W. Brown, County Superintendent, filed October 1st, 1858, it is learned that at that time the county had one school house, and that one was in district No. 3, Turkey Grove township, being the school house in Grove City which was destroyed by fire in 1874. The house cost $700 and was a frame structure. There were no schools in Lura and Pymosa townships. In Turkey Grove there were three; in Brighton 1; Cass, 2; Edna, 1. Total number of children in the county over five and under twenty-one years of age 376. The two schools in Cass township were taught 60 days each during the year, while the others were taught from 45 to 65 days each.
The first school houses in Pymosa were built in 1858 or 1859. Four were built the same year. The old settlers disagree as to who taught the first school. One says Miss Ellen Lorah (now Mrs. Peter D. Ankeny, of Des Moines) taught it, and another ascribes the credit to Miss Hannah Goodale, (now Mrs. H.C. Johnson).
At an early day school was taught in Wm. S. Townsend's house at Edna Grove, by Reed Donahough, who is now dead. Mary Dickerson and Gertrude Hopley were also among the early teachers.