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Education Directory


Wadena Schools


Teachers and of graduates from 1906 through 1949


"The first pioneers built a log school house north of the village. School, religious services, shows, and all public meetings of the area were held there. This school was financed by the township.


George W. Fitch was hired to teach the school in the winter of 1865-66. A religious meeting being held at about the time school was to begin was the probable cause of the building burning. In those days a good deal was preached about 'fire and brimstone,' so Fitch said this fire might have been a case of 'spontaneous combustion.' Fitch then organized a commercial school at 'Hageman Hall' and enrolled anyone, young or old in a room about 16 feet square. Some learned to write and keep accounts but more, Fitch said, improved the art of 'sparking,' in which accomplishment none seemed to be deficient.


The burned schoolhouse was replaced by a larger one-room stone structure, 18' x 36' on the site at the west end of the present cemetery. It was erected on contract with Major Harriman for $800.00. The first term, Fitch had 94 enrolled ranging in age from youngsters to young men older than Fitch. Marble slab benches were used, some of which actually had backs on them. An assistant teacher held classes at one end of the room while Fitch taught another at the other end. Wide planks were fastened around the wall on two sides with stationary planks for seats. This is where they studied, but when writing they stepped down and faced the stone wall, using the seat as the desk. The room was heated with a huge 'box stove' in the front of the room.


After the railroad came, and the village grew in population, a two story brick school was built down near the center of town and pupils were graded according to their progress.


On July 22, 1895, when Wadena was incorporated, an independent school district was established. (Also, ten rural 7-month schools were established in Illyria Township, at least two miles beyond city limits.) The central part of the building was built at this time.


In 1909 a two-story addition was constructed on the north of the original brick school building and three teachers were employed. Two women and one man were hired for a term of eight months at $43.50 per month. There were 119 school age pupils in the district, 94 of which were enrolled in school. The average daily attendance was 62. In 1922 a two-story brick addition was added to the south side of the original building.

The average cost of tuition per month for each pupil was $1.23 and the value of the school equipment was $180. The school library boasted 202 volumes.


The four year high school was established in 1923. Wadena then had an educational system of a 12-year school financed by taxes from the Wadena Independent District. Ten rural sub-districts were established in 1909. 168 pupils were enrolled in these country schools. In 1946 the rural districts were consolidated with the town district and the district bought four school buses. The first bus was bought September 23, 1946 and financed by the Wadena Business Men's Club. The first buses were second hand and bought at a cost of $1,204.10 and $1,180.00 and $1,400.00. One new bus was bought - a 1946 Dodge for $3,047.44. Certificates of $100.00, $150.00, and $200.00 were sold and paid back by the school district. Kenneth Baldwin was President of the Business Club at this time and Leallen Knox secretary. Ray Herwig was president of the school board and J. H. Wilson secretary.

This school system continued until 1959 when Wadena voted itself into the already organized system of Clermont and Elgin.


Before this reorganization the Wadena Consolidated district built a gymnasium and connecting hall in the year 1948-1949. This was built with a majority of donated labor.


The new reorganization was called Valley Community School District of Clermont, Elgin, Wadena. The high school is located between Clermont and Elgin. Each town has Kindergarten through sixth grade. The Junior High is located in Clermont.


Two long term teachers in the Wadena School: Miss Ella Foxwell and Miss Cecil Flanagan."

~~~ *** ~~~

Graduates of Wadena High School
(1906 - 1949)

(If a year is not in the list there was no information in the book.)



Olive (Starr) Boston    



Emma (Poor) Jennings    



Dawson Clark    



Eva (Heiden) Aeschliman

Sophia (Frey) Wenger

Ellen (Poor) Weyant



Francis Corkery Xanta (Talcott) Finch  



Walter Cook Grace (Voshell) Popenhagen Lulu (Minger) Hunsburger



Mary B. (Livingston) Gilchrist Lola (Whittenbaugh) Gell  



Harvet Aeschliman William Corkery Bertha Gernand



Clair Kelly Ella Kieger Lillian Flanagan



Loretta Mattocks Richard Corkery Alice (Bigler) Geer



Milo Oldfather Lawretta (Corbin) Popenhagen William Probert,
Elsie McCoy Dr. Henry C. Gernand  



Zella (King) Strong    



Leo Page Alice (Poor) Bennington  



Lester Gehring    



Arthur Herrling Robert Whittenbaugh William Vayle Leonart
Madge (Cline) Murray Gayle Whittenbaugh Milo Whittenbaugh
Harold Luenberger Blanche (Aeschliman) Fuller Cecil Flanagan
Ester Roys    



Ruth Hall    




Jeanette (Flannagan) Egan Elizabeth (Leonhart) Stockwell  LaZadia (Whittenbaugh) Moran
Charles Wilson Kathleen (Corkery) Duffy Erma Corkery
Edna Corkery Albert Cook  




Bessie (Whittenbaugh) Gilbert Florence (Gehring) Heyer Georgianna Probert
Laurel (Davis) Welch Grace (Foxwell) Landon Gladys Jennings
Paul Voshell Eunice (Page) Davenbaugh Edith (Fox) Doudney
Cora (Fox) Trusty Lyle Corbin Frank Tschantz




Nica (Fay) Corkery

Madeline (Pierce) Kuhens

Thelma (Davis) Herman

Georgia (Kuhens) Leonhart

Donald Leonhart

Paul Kuhens

LaVerle Popenhagen

Kenneth Green

Bernadette Corkery

Cleo Whittenbaugh

James Clair Davis

Mertyle (Smith) Mudd,

Donna (Mattocks) Clothier





Mary (Maxfield) Walker Herman Peterman Lavon (Voshell) Kuhens
Elizabeth (Herrling) Tynan Joy (Jennings) Stanley Kenneth Frey
Bertha (Johnson) Randall Viola Foxwell Leona (Zuercher)
Robert Klingman Floyd Ernst  




Virgin Shaffer

Lucille (Voshell)

J. J. Kennedy

Leona (Voshell) Cunningham

Leona (Popenhagen) Medberry

Ena Ruth (Mattocks) Wilson

Thelma (Green) Baugous

Zita (Raftis) Meskel

Wilma McBride




Wilder Mattocks

Ella (Peters) Jacobson

Fred Klingman

John Fay

Matt Dwyer

Kenneth Baldwin

Lucille (Raftis) Weigel

Gertrude Kelly

Ivan Moore

Ruth (Smith) Nordhus

Marjorie (Ernst) Philips

Mervyn Schroeder

Gladys (Voshell) Frieden

Francis Whittenbaugh

Orvin Thompson

Woodrow Leonhart

Dale Broughton

Osta (Anderson) Westbrook

Bessie (Voshell) Hofer

Richard Jones

Tillman Thompson

Homer Kuhens    




Faye Whittenbaugh

Dorothy (Wood) Loving

Clay Keefer

Blanche (Whitcher) Feller

Francis Baldwin

Alice Corkery

Elwood Aeschliman

Glen Stannard

Evelyn (Thompson) Rogness

James Davis

Rita (Kennedy) Kuhens

Kathryn Tschantz

Alfred Cline    




Ethel (Fay) Crandall

Leona (Welch) Halford

Grace (Cline) Davis

Helen Stannard

Frances (Raftis) Horan

Forrest Moore

Eileen (Raftis) Baldwin 

Aulden Wilson





James Probert

Keith Jennings

J. D. Raftis

Marvel Crawford

Clarkie Voshell

John Wood

Russell Frey

Bertha Crawford

Max Jennings

Parker Mattocks George Crawford  




Gerald Everett

Floyd Thompson

Russell Jones

Earl Stannard

Russell Jennings

Frances (Jones) Wood

Florence Felder

Wanda (Everett) Jones

Bernice (Sniffin) Woodson




Genevieve (Leonhart) Probert Ella Nora (Patterson) Whittenbaugh Gertrude (Frey) Witt
Eleanor (Domke) Bowles Mabel (Young) Kneesdern Marjorie (Whittenbaugh) Knox
Helen Peterman Kathryn (Baldwin) Huber Frank Wetzel
Lois (Mathys) Voshell    




Mary (Whittenbaugh) Krivanek

Veva (Voshell) Thyer

Florence (Cline)

Ameila Fay (Moore) Lindaman

John Wood

Dale Minger

John Hinkel

Francis Walters

Merl Bond

Thomas Sniffin    




Clement Messerli Lucille (Welch) Hasbrook Elizabeth (Aeschliman) Notbohm
Ivan Flower Torvald Thompson Betty (Minihan) Nagel
Glen Thompson Jeanne (Jones) Muench Iva Crawford
Earl Runge Adrian Lockard Mary (Keefer) Oelberg
Gladys (Shaffer) Maurer    



Vera (Voshell) Evans Irene (Kennedy) Flower Junior Sniffin
Marcia Knutson John Longmuier Raymond Felder
Freemont Marbel Marie (Corkery) Fagan Everett H. Elliott
Alo (Hinkel) Church Dora (Frey) Medberry Frances (Miller) Cousins
Faye (Corbin) Patterson    




Russell Shaffer Virginia (Herwig) Lambert Arlene (Welch) Cole
Belma Crawford Mary Sniffin Nellie Whittenbaugh
Richard Kennedy Leo Baldwin Dawson Clark, Jr.
Herman Larson, Jr.    




Warren Frey

Dicy (Leonhart) Reisner

Byrdena (Moore) Schuneman

Robert Minger

Edgar Dunn

Arthur Weber

William Erickson

Virginia (Messerli) Coke

Duane Raftis

George Davis





Darrel Johnson Ilo Mae (Johnson) Rau Earl Thompson
John Erickson Richard Hinkel Robert Young
Margaret (Cline) Gibson Floyd Patterson, Jr. Ray Herwig, Jr.
Harley Frey Janice Nelson Neoma (Weber) Guenther
Nellie (Crawford) Adams    



Bernadine Raftis Donna (Johnson) Halverson Derryl Leonhart
Daryle Fox Daryle Voshell <ed. note: seems unlikely that the last three listed have such similar first names but that is as written in the source book>
Robert Longmuier Marjorie Shaffer William Sylsworth
Ona Hinkel John Frey Mary (Kennedy) Quinn




Betty Ruth (Johnson) Goodenbour

Lee Aeschliman

Hazel (Thomas) Marquette

Daniel Messerli

Keith Messerli

Alice (Rechtenwald) Faith

Donald Livingston

James Fennell

John Murray




Maxine (Bond) Petsche Anna (Aylsworth) Newton Alice (Sniffen) Johnson
Dale Domke Wayne Larson Leslie Dean
Delmar Hinkel    




Deloris (DeWald) Clark Vera (Cline) Konicheck Vida (Fox) Faust
Donald Nelson Charles Corbin Lindy Frey



Paul Crandall Robert Clark Virginia (Cline) Zahn




Emogene (Bond) Shea Ella Aylsworth Dixie Lee (Leonhart) Davis
James Messerli Frank Probert John Phillips




Darlene (Patterson) Halverson Jean (Hall) Leonhart Audrey (Murphy) Hofer
Robert Crandall Viola (Homewood) Messerli Dorothy Aylsworth
Erla Jeanne (Corkery) Singer Arla Joanna (Corkery) Vontalge Stella (Whittenbaugh) Hoewing




Duane Jellings William Corkery, Jr. Leo Domke
Lavern Gilson Frederick Humphrey Ilo Mae (Pritchard) Corbin
Mary (Gage) Reed Kathryn (Fox) Karsten Lillian (Livingston) McTagger
Beverly (Kuhens) Shaffer    



Francis Winter

Mildred (Fox) Voshell

Cora (Larson) Orton


Milton L. Thomas

Verda (Bond) Shimka, 

Marilyn (Murphy) Bolte

Norma Jean (Fox) Bartels

William Hianton






Arthur Gould Donald Jellings Lauren Everett
Joe Shimka, Jr. Charles Corkery Robert Bond
Dale Patterson    




Eddie Gage Mary (Fennell) Justice Rosaltha (Humphrey) Keefer
Robert Ainsworth Gary Jellings Kathryn (Winter) Whaley
Paul Oldfather Corrine (Kuhens) Thomas Joan (Davis) Nutting
Carl Cousins Jack Lane Francile (Moore) Cummings




Barbara Corkery Janet Gould Jere Probert
James Davis James Gage Charlene (Voshell) Seedorf
Lyle Thomas George "Mick" Leonhart Helen (Pritchard) Berns
Ruth (Gehring) Baumgartner Robert DeCook David Jones



Sara (Larson) Brause, Ilon Ann (Boji) Patterson Jane (Corkery) Wheeler
Joyce (Erickson) Norbeck Mary (Cousins) Hofer Mary (Messerli) Belden
Robert Whittenbaugh    



Lois (Gage) Nelson Sidney Corbin Martha (Messerli) Smith
James Crandall Wanda (Fox) Holden Mary (Smock) Benner
Charles DeCook Keith Gage Donna (Murphy) Lane
June (Herriman) Caley David Stetson Donna (Hinkel) Candee,

James Kauzlarich

John Kauzlarich




Patricia (Jones) Baumler Elwood Kuhens Arthur Livingston

 Byron Murray

Stanley Yearous




Gregory Everett Raymond Pritchard James Murphy
Della (Davis) Weber Joyce (DeCook) Hammer Arlene (Voshell) Corbin
Leigh Roger Erickson Larry Spencer James Kuhens,

Gene Aylsworth

Terry Whittenbaugh

Keith Everett



(The class of 1958 class was the last to graduate from Wadena High School.)

Ellis Corkery Jerry Livingston Max Crandall
Gene Ficken Dean Corbin Gloria (Shippy) DeCook
Patricia (Aeschliman) Doocy Annola (Aeschliman) Rathbun Patricia (Hinkel) Yearous
Roger Oldfather Lorraine (Shippy) Livingston Sheila (Messerli) Clark



Early teachers in the Wadena School

Mr. Fitch, 1892 Minnie Fennell, 1892/93 A. J. Toomey, 1893

Guy Rawson, 1895

R. R. Fussell, 1896

Margaret Mockin, 1897


Former Superintendents of the Wadena School

Lester Meyer,  1923 - 1926 Ross Miller,  1927 - 1929 Lee Lowenberg,  1930 - 1935

Reed Doughty, 1936 - 1938

H. T. Holt, 1939 - 1940

J. W. Freeman, 1941 - 1942

Conrad Rectenwald, 1943 - 1944

Richard Benish, 1945 - 1949

J. S. Telecky, 1950 - 1952

M. V. Kauzlarich, 1953 - 1955

Richard Ott, 1956 - 1958




~source: The above information has been excerpted from "Permanent Record of History of Wadena"

a project of the Wadena Public Library and sold at the 75th anniversary of the Incorporated Town of Wadena, June 24, 1972.

Linnie Hoover Howell





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