Elvira Consolidated School

This is an article from the Clinton Avertiser, November 1920

(This is the second of a series of special articles on consolidated schools in Clinton county.)

For two years, from July 1, 1917 until April 8, 1919, the consolidated school law in Iowa was in such a confused condition that it was impossible for communities wishing to consolidate their schools to do so. As a result when the law was changed, on April 8, 1919, a great avalanche of consolidation took place all over the state. Petitions for the Consolidated School of Elvira were filed in the office of the county superintendent a few days after the present law was signed by the governor and the election held May 27. the district comprises 31 1/2 section of the best land in Eden, Center and Lincoln townships.

After the school board was chosen their first thought was for the future provision for conducting school. It was decided to call an election for the purpose of authorizing a bond issue to provide money for erecting a building for the community. In the meantime, however, school buildings were moved in from the surrounding territory to Elvira in which the school work was carred on last year. These are still being used while the new building which is about compled is being finished. The new building is located in the northwest part of the town of Elvira on what is commonly known as the Gibson orchard. The site of five acres includes the old school ground.

The arrangement of the grounds has been planned by a landscape architect and devinite provisions for drives and shrubbery have been worked out. The building which is nearly completed at a total cost of between $60,000 and $70,000 provides for all that a modern school requires. The building will be electrically lighted, receiving the current from high tension transmission line which extends from the Ten Mile House to Elvira connecting with the main line between Clinton and Maquoketa. A pressure water system has been installed which will provide an adequate supply of water for all purposes throughout the building. The building has special rooms for the teahing of manual training, domestic science, also a large gymnasium, lunch room, laboratory, assembly room, two recitation rooms and four class rooms. The building will be heated by steam and good ventilation of the entire building is assured by the installation of a motor driven fan which will change the air in each room from four to six times an hour. A special feature of the exterior of the building is the porte-cochere, or covered driveway in which the children enter and leave the busses. This is located at the south entrance of the building and is thus protected from the severe north winds of winter. In addition to the school building proper a superintendent's home has been provided which was made possible by remodeling one of the school buildings which were moved to Elvira last year as temporary quarters for a part of the school. The building is situated on the south side of the school site facing the road and will be modern in every particular including a garage for the superintendent's automobile. Water and light for the home will be available by connecting with the school building.

The transportation for the district is in somewhat of an experimental stage. No definite plan has been adopted, however, the six of the eight routes are now being covered by motor vehicles of some kind, two of these being special motor busses owned by the drivers. The smaller loads are carried in ordinary automobiles and two drivers are using horse drawn busses. One hundred of the one hundred twenty three children attending the school are transported. The longest ride for any child is eight miles. The shortest rout is three and one-half miles.

That the school is destined to increse in attendance is assured by the present enrollment. The enrollment by grades is: First grade 27, Second 17, Third 11, Fourth 11, Fifth 18, Sixth 10, Seventh 15, Eighth 5, Ninth 5 and Tenth 5. The plan is to increase the number of grades taught each year until in 1923 the first class will graduate from the twelfth grade.

But few outside activities have been carried on by the school because of the building conditions. As soon as the new building is ready for occupancy it is planned to make extensive use of it as a community center. The community and school deserve special commendation for the splendid hand work they have done and for the large number of prizes they have received at the DeWitt Fair, also for the number of entries and prizes won by the boys and girls of the district in the Canning, Calf and Pig Clubs.

The organization and operation of a consolidated school requires the time and services of progressive, public spirited men and women. The affairs of the Elvira district have been managed by:
John Smith, president
C. H. Joehuk
S. S. Cromer
Herman Dethmann
Wallace Fatchett
Wm. Seamer, secretary
Wm. Schroeder, treasurer.
The school board have employed as instructors this year:
Mr. C. W. Stevenson, Supt.
Mrs. C. W. Stevenson, Domestic Science and High school assistant
Miss Thea Vosburg, Grammar
Miss Bessie Mulholland, Intermediate
Miss Katherine Knott, Primary.

With this corps of teachers, all of whom have had special training for their work, Superintendent Stevenson being a graduate of the Iowa State college at Ames, the school work is progressing nicely and a high grade of work is being accomplished. The patrons of the Elvira district are to be congratulated upon the splendid accomplishments and future prospects of their school.