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Clinton County Schools

I thought it would be nice to have a page that has information about the schools that are/were in Clinton County.  

Eliza Ann Thomas RootThis photo is from Mike Tassano who writes "Attached is a small photo of Ann Eliza Thomas Root, according to the Clinton Herald, the first school teacher in the county, in 1838.

"Eliza is my GGG-GrandMother. I have yet to find a date of death for her, but I have pictures of her and husband Horace Root (also of Camanche Twp.) apparently in their sixties, so they seem to have survived the tornado of 1860.

The letters they exchanged while Horace was in California 1849-52 reveal a few little glimpses of life then; as I get further confirmation, I would be happy to send them to you."

School Statistics

The following is from an 1876 gazeteer as reported from the Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1875:

Number of district townships 18
Number of independent townships 35
Number of ungraded schools 160
Number of graded schools 6
Average number of months taught 7.5
Number of teachers employed - male 102
Number of teachers employed - female 226
Average compensation per month - males $41.82
Average compensation per month - females $27.43
Whole number of scholars 13,153
Whole number enrolled in public schools 9,438
Total average attendance 5,549
There are of Libraries 105
Total expenditures for school purposes $119,942
Number of private schools 6
Number of teachers employed 15
Average attendance 416


Some history on Clinton County Schools

The following is from Wolfe's History of Clinton County Iowa, 1911


Earliest schools were subscription schools at Camanche, in private houses. "The first of which history has given us a record was taught in 1838, by Ann Eliza Thomas, who married Horace Root ... She was succeeded by Mrs. Jane Mobbs, a sister of the last-named teacher. Then followed Mrs. Sarah Root and Hannah Marks, who became the wife of Robert Hogle, of Lyons"

The first public school was taught by Mr. Banker, of Troy, NY. Was about log house about half mile northwest of Camanche, later became the Bovard farm. In 1849-50 was taught by D W Millard. The summer of 1851 a school house was erected in Camanche.

At DeWitt in 1842 a Mr. Edgar taught a dozen pupils, but in 1867 the town built a twenty-five thousand dollar school building and had an excellent graded school, attended by more than two hundred students.

The first school in Elk River twp was near the Almont church. The first teacher was Julia Carpenter, of Fulton, Illinois, who taught there in the summer of 1842. In 1878 there were 13 school districts in the township.

In Deep Creek twp, early teachers 1843-1844 were Philo Hunter, Marietta Rhodes and Mrs. Rodman. Teachers boarded around from house to house. This township was one of the first to renew its school houses and the outlay was about ninety-three dollars each.

Early Lyons school records seem to have been lost to fire. Some early teachers were Daniel Gordon, John S Stowes (1847) and William C. Harrington (1851).

The Fourth street brick school house was built in 1847 in Lyons. The Lyons grammar school on West Main street was built in 1885. In 1905, the high school on East Main was built.

Superintendent 1869-1870 C C Snyder.

There was a paper circulated Feb 1, 1841 in which the undersigned wanted a school in Lyons and were willing to help get one. It is signed: Oliver P Aikman $5.00 (in produce); John Aikman $5.00 (in team work); John R. Boyd $3.00 (in plastering); Phillip Deeds $3.00 (in work); James Boyd, $5.00 (in team work); Joseph Boyd $1.50 (in team work); Alex Aikman $5.00 (in produce); Shubael Coy $15.00 (in produce, labor or timber).

School Photos

If you have stories and/or photos to share, I would be glad to add them.

Ginger Rhodes sent us a photo is of a High School class, ca 1898-1899, probably from Delmar as in the 1900 census of Delmar, Herbert James Kane, age 17 is listed as a student.  Herbert is in the back row.  Visit Herbert's outline page for more info.

From Bob Chada: School photo labeled on the back as South School, April 23, 1918.  I think that would have had mother in about the 3rd grade.

South School

From Bob Chada: Photo of the 5th grade, South School, dated January 1920.  I think that would have been mothers class, but I cannot identify her.  Photo of Miss Jackson, dated January 1920.  I assume she might have been the 5th grade teacher.

 Miss Jackson

Don Thomas tells us this about South School:  "Yes, I know where the South School was, It was at 16th Ave North between 3rd and 5th streets where 4th street ends.  The corner where 3rd street begins to go one way was where the school stood.  All the ground behind to 5th street was play ground.  Clinton High Manual arts classes build all those houses that now occupy that land as class projects."

From:   Here is a picture (now missing) of the 1936 graduating class of OLA.  My mother is the very pretty lady in the middle of the bottom row, Grace Hagge Crowley.  Mom, who died in 1996, wrote the names of all of her classmates under their pictures.  I know some additional information.