Meroa, Iowa - 1977

by Gertrude Crowell

Part 2 of 7


Transcribed by Deidre Badker



Part 1 || Part 2 || Part 3 || Part 4 || Part 5 || Part 6 || Part 7


1901: Lars Iver Olsen and family moved out from Osage and will stay with Ole Brenden until Mr. Olsen gets his house finished this spring. Adolph Amundson is hauling stone and sand for a new barn in the spring. Everything is new at the creamery now from the butter maker to the buttermilk pump.

Deweyville News: The farmers have put up a telephone between C. Apel and J. Buckmann, Martin Klemesrud and his brother Herman, and their parental home. Mr. Fritz the new butter maker arrived. Nettie Tollefson died at her sisters home in Britt. Lars Iver Olsens have moved into their new house.

1902: S.V. Moen has sold his farm to John Olsen. Fritz, the butter maker, has moved to Osage and Mr. Cady and wife have arrived to be butter maker. Mrs. Nubson has had a new hen house built. A fine fence was put up by the trustees around the new grave yard. Mert Woods has his house newly painted. Mr. Michaelson is visiting at Torblaas. Nick Johnson is building a new barn. Mr. & Mrs. Knut O. Haugen have moved to Clear Lake.

Nick Peterson has had his store painted. We understand the Meroa post office is to be discontinued and mail will be routed from Nora Springs. Herman Klemesrud's new house is nearing completion. Last Sunday was Mission Fest at church and 500 people attended. After services everyone gathered at Ole Torblaas and ladies of the church served dinner. $150 was taken in during the day for missions. Lars Iver Olsen has rented his farm to Pete Christianson. He also sold his team and sulky plow. He and Ole Brenden have exchanged dwellings for the present.


Here is a copy of a public auction, 1903:

Having decided to move to Minnesota, I will sell at public auction at my residence on the old Goplerud place, 7 miles west and 2 miles south of Osage and 2 1/2 miles NW of Rock Creek Creamery on Thursday, October 15, at 10 o'clock a.m. sharp, the following described property to wit: 4 work horses, 1 span 3 year old horses well mated, 3 milk cows fresh, 9 milk cows coming in soon, 1-2year old heifer with calf, one shorthorn bull coming 2 years, 5 calves, 33 shoats, 2 McCormack binders, 1 Deering corn binder, one John Deere pulverizer with seeder, 1 seeder, 1 Rock Island hay loader, 1-3 section lever drag, 3 corn cultivators, 1-14 inch steering plow, 1 Hayes corn planter, 1 Appleton feed grinder, 1 corn sheller self fee, 1-4 horse power, 1 hay rake, 1 lumber wagon, 1- 2 seated buggy, 1 top buggy, 1 pair bob sleighs, one set harness, 2 single harness, one cook stove, 1 heater and other articles too numerous to mention. Good lunch at noon. Terms: Sums of $10 and under, cash. Sums over $10, one year's time on approved notes bearing 7% interest. Ole Brenden. R. Dorsey, auctioneer, K.J. Johnson, clerk.

June, 1903: A new bridge has been built west of Meroa and the road graded up. Groceries: 1 gallon fancy table syrup is 34 cents; Red Heart coffee, 16 cents a pound.

October, 1903: Magnus O. Sponheim is having a big corn crib built.

1904: The Eureka telephone line is being repaired. Corn flakes are 3 packages for 25 cents.

1908: Our butter maker Sig Klemesrud is planning to go to Norway to visit his parents.

1910: Miss Georgia Moe is the new church organist.

1911: L. H. Wamstad sold his farm to Ed Ahrens for $100 an acre. Mr. Crocker, the new butter maker, commenced work at Meroa. H. And S.K. Klemesrud each have a new Overland car. The Chautauqua is now in Osage.

1911: Osage market: fat steers $4.50 to $5.50; packer hogs $4.50 to $5; fat cows $3.50 to $4.50; heifers $3 to $5; barley 75 to 80 cents; flax $2.40 to $2.50; timothy $7; hay $10 to $12; corn, shelled, 47 1/2 to 50 cents; oats 27 1/2 cents; eggs 15 cents; creamery butter 25 cents.

1915: Oysters 40 cents a quart; pineapple 19 cents a can; 17 pounds sugar $1. B. C. Olson killed in runaway. He came to America in 1869 with his brother Martin. Went to Wisconsin. In 1881, he traveled by team to North Dakota where he lived 15 years. Here he married. In 1897, he sold his farm and went with his family back to Norway, and returned in 1898.

1918: Sugar was in short supply, 2 pounds per person a month allotted.

1919: Notes from Andrew Schoger's obituary: In 1864 with the rest of the family, he moved from Wisconsin to Yankton, South Dakota. They did not remain there very long, about one year, because of the hostile attitude of Indians toward the white people at that time. The family came east and settled in Mitchell County. In 1878, he moved to North Dakota and took a claim near Manvel. Later he married Betsy Larson and they returned to Mitchell County. L.L. Sorlie and Lindley Brothers had farm sales, free lunches were served at sales then. Gus Olson sold his farm and bought back Ole Torblaas. Lewis B. Larson purchased a corn picker. Gustav Millard Williams is starting to build a new house. He's going ragamuffin now.

1920: Gilbert Andersons moved onto the John G. Olson farm. Ervin Olson moved out last week. Odin Soroses moved to the Maakesatd farm. Is still a garage here in Meroa. Nick Petersons are moving into their new home. Electric light plants installed now by some farmers. Oscar Gratias had farm sale.

1921: Christopher C. Goplerud, son of Christopherson and Guri Goplerud was born on the Goplerud farm in Hedalen, Valder, Norway on the 11th of December 1830. In 1867, he and his wife sailed to America, his wife was Kjersti Omsrud and they settled in Dane County, Wisconsin. In 1868, they moved to Rock Creek. In 1891, they moved to Osage, Iowa. John Forslund advertises a good meal for 45 cents in his lunch room Sam Melson has bread for 8 cents a loaf.

1924: O. C. Christianson had farm sale on G. N. Haugen farm.

1925: Church had stand at fair, serving chicken dinners. I remember my mother telling she fried donuts late at night at the stand. New Ford Tudor sedan advertised $520.

1927: Dairies in Osage sold milk for 12 1/2 cents a quart, cream is a quarter a pint.

1928: Nick Peterson has been very sick, Alfred Olson is attending to the store. Alfred Olson and Knut Klemesrud attended an automobile convention in Rochester, Minn. Alfred Olson started work in May at Deacon’s Garage in Nora Springs.

June, 1928: Carl Norby's moved their house closer to the road. Mathilda Norby's new house is now wired. Knute Klemesrud has a job in a garage in Joice, Iowa.

August, 1928: Alice Schoger and Robert moved to Osage.

September, 1928: Lars Iver Olsen and Clara moved out from Osage to Mathilda Norbys. The church is still having Norwegian services.

1923: In December, the church congregation honored Gabriel Docken for being janitor for 17 years, gave him a purse of money, $131. They also presented the pastor Rev. O.C. Myhre with an electric washing machine and purse of money. Church is having bazaars in the evening.

1929: Pete Christiansen resigned as the butter maker and his brother will take his place, and he will live with Clarence Husets in the creamery house. Husets moved from the Emma Olson farm.

1930: In June, the creamery burned.

August, 1930: Husets will move soon to the Nick Johnson house from the creamery house.

November, 1930: Ingvald Sponheim has built a new milk house, cement tank and remodeled a building into a fine chicken house. Gertie Haugen is now church organist.

1931: Gilles Food Market ad: Hamburger, 2 pounds for a quarter; coffee 19 cents a pound. It was the custom for the church choir members to give newly married members a new clock.

1932: Gilbert Andersons moved to Sorlie’s farm. Sorlies moved to the present Herbert Norby farm, occupied by Curtis Bisbees. Adolph Amundsons moved to Osage. The Rock Creek Creamery picnic was held in June. The young people are going yulebok and ragamuffin in December.




"Mother's Busy Days"

by Alma Nubson

A ten mile ride home about six o’clock in late October from Osage seemed like eternity behind a rickety buggy and a poky old horse. Now and then various shaped buildings loomed in the sudden dusk among groves and cornfields; then came houses and houses, some dimly lighted. Finally there was the long awaited HOME. Our spirits rose, the long ride ended, not just buildings or a house, but Home Sweet Home. Slowly and gently the horse turned at the gate.

Loud voices and much activity met with welcome greetings, Mother's voice, "Welcome home, children," best of all.

Just then sharp lights turned and headed for our yard. Suddenly a loud "Whoo-hoo" broke through the din. Tomorrow the long awaited threshing day here at home. The huge black steam engine came through the gate, puffing followed by the shaky separator, the dancing hayrack, and the water tank wagon, pulled into the cattle yard near the barn. Then a more subdued "Whooo" came as a gentle goodnight and the children turned at Mother's call and disappeared in the house.

The workmen had finished threshing late at the neighbor's farm around the corner and gradually after specific plans for the morrow, dispersed in the darkness, each to his own home.

In the house Mother had been very busy preparing for Pete Christianson and his helpers. Hearty meals were arranged for days, a good supply of homemade foods, hardly ever duplicated in taste. Practically everything came from her garden, orchard or field except a few staples purchased from Nick's local store.

The next day going down the road we passed farmsteads, then came in view of the slow winding Rock Creek. Cattle were coming from the Walnut Grove down the well-worn path to drink the cool creek water.

Next came into view the little white schoolhouse and its playground where we played pump-pull away until the teacher's hand bell called us in to work.

Across the road stands the church with its outstanding stained glass windows and the tall belfry. We could stop and almost hear the church bell ringing on Sunday and saw the creamery where the skimmers were unloading huge cans of cream to be churned into golden butter for market.

At last we came to Nick's grocery store, very conveniently located, to provide us with our needs.

At home again, Mother, the chief, efficient farm homemaker, was serving at a long extension table covered with white oilcloth, every place occupied by a hungry thresher. Huge platters of potatoes, beef and ham decorated with dumpling gravy, creamed or buttered vegetables and canned fruit were being passed around.

A search had previously been made through all available cookbooks to produce the luscious cake, cookies and puddings which were served. The big black coffeepot replenished cup after cup of Mother's Arbuckle coffee. The big white pitchers filled glass after glass with cold milk.

A choice bit of popular food was the lefse, a favorite among all. It is made of potatoes, flour and other ingredients. It is a huge circular-shaped flat food baked on top of the kitchen range, buttered, sweetened, and rolled up tight and enjoyed by everyone.

If anyone in the vicinity was in difficulty, friendly help came without hesitation, regardless of distance. "I'm glad to help" was the usual offer, which still holds among Meroa folks.

Things are constantly changing whether over a span of 50 or 100 years. As we travel through life each of us see changes with hardships, failures or depressions or good times. We have seen that even in our Meroa vicinity.




The following items of interest were taken from Alma Nubson's scrap book. The first is a copy of an ad appearing in a newspaper maybe as a sale bill:


"Home Ties"

Home Talent Play - Red Cross Benefit - Meroa Branch

Monday, June 17, 1918, 8:30 p.m.

at Palace Theatre, Nora Springs, Iowa

The Meroa Branch which is composed of farmers to the north of Nora Springs will give a home talent play at Palace Theatre in Nora Springs. These young people have given this play at their homes. All speak very highly of it. Everybody should attend and help boost the Red Cross work of our neighbors on the north. There will be no delay between curtains as special numbers have been arranged.

Reserved Seats - 35 cents, Children - 25 cents. Seats on sale at Harr's.



"Home Ties Score Big"

"Home Ties" the home talent play given by the Meroa young people at the Palace Theatre last Monday night was well attended. Practically every seat in the theatre was taken and all were highly entertained and more than pleased with the presentation of the play. Miss Lillie Klemesrud, the popular and energetic Meroa teacher, not only acted the part of Mrs. Poplin perfectly but to her goes the credit of training the boys and girls.

The men folks all were especially adapted to the role they played and the ladies likewise made a great hit.

The light, airy part played by Clarice Williams was especially hard to put on natural and careless like, but she did it to perfection, but what's the use, what you say of one, you can say of all. They surely should try the game again, and they may be assured that should they come this way the next time, they will need all outdoors to hold their audience. The singers and speakers all were heartily encored and responded again and again to the clapping of the audience.

We did not learn just the amount of the receipts but understood that it was near $70. As there was not much expense the proceeds will be quite an addition to their Red Cross treasury.




Meroa School Graduation Exercises - May 1908

The following newspaper clipping tells about graduation exercises at Meroa School:

Last Friday evening, May 1st, graduation exercises were held in the Walnut Grove schoolhouse at Meroa. This being the first program of this kind in that community, made it of special interest, though the cool evening kept a number from attending. The school room was tastily decorated in light blue and gold, the colors chosen by the graduates.

The motto, "More Beyond," had a prominent place in the decorations. The program, was excellent, consisting of music, drills, monologues, a farce, etc. besides the essays of the Misses Alma Nubson and Gertrude Maakestad, who were awarded the diplomas from eighth grade, by Superintendent LaRue.

The titles of the farmer's essay was "The Cotton Fields of Our South" and of the latter, "The Value of Our Forests." Miss Clara Hanson of St. Ansgar, has taught the past two terms, and met with fine success. It is the wish of all interested in education that more of our young boys and girls may take advantage of the opportunity offered to finish eighth grade work.

After the program a large number of boxes, and ice cream were sold, the proceeds going to pay for a new teacher's desk and other school supplies. [According to records Clara Hanson was the teacher from Dec. 30, 1907 to June 19, 1908.]




The following is copied from a program printed for a musical recital given by Miss Hilda Wamstad. As Alma remembers her, Hilda was an accomplished musician, she studied music away from this area. Her father was Lars Wamstad and they had five children: Hilda, Olga, Gina, Ruth and Oscar. They lived on the farm now occupied by Joseph Schultz, two miles west of the church, where she gave lessons. She played the organ at the church and was instrumental in many people in the area buying organs.


Musical Recital

Given by Miss Hilda Wamstad and her pupils
at her home
Thursday afternoon, September 25, 1902


Vocal Duet: "On the Banks of the Cedar Far Away" - 
Miss Christianson & Miss Wamstad

Music:   Christmas Bells   -   Alma Nubson

Piano Solo:  -  Mrs. Ed Jeffries

Vocal Duet:  -  Gertie Maakestad and Alma Nubson

"Villager's Waltz"   -  Lena Sponheim, Olga Wamstad

"Black Hawk Waltz" (piano duet) -  Misses Christianson and Wamstad

Piano Solo: "Nearer My God to Thee" -  Hilda Wamstad

"Orvetta Waltz"  -  Olga Lundene

Piano Solo: "Woodland Whispers"   - Hilda Wamstad

"Butterfly Waltz"   - Georgia Moe

"Evergreen Waltz"   - Mabel Erbe

Reading: "About Music"  -  Gena Wamstad

Piano solo: "Ben Hur's Chariot Race March"  - Cassie Ashmore


Music Selections: Matilda Olsen, Mena Field and Olga Odden

Other Performers Were: Stella Haug, Lizzie Rossum, Karoline Olson, Lotta Hartwig.




Notes of Interest

There was a two stall barn for the minister's horse straight east of the church, across the road. The school pupils used to jump out of the hay mow onto the ground during recess.

The church barn originally stood east and west close to the church. The members of the congregation bought their stalls - some had paved stalls.

Gabriel Docken was church janitor and grave digger for many years and Hans Erickson would pump the organ.

Ted Christianson always liked to tease and joke and Clara Olsen remembers one time he came after them from school in the skimming rig because the water was running across the road by the bridge by Docken's driveway and he told the kids to throw out their dinner pails because they were too heavy for the horses.

Clara also remembers they danced in the hall in Meroa school during the noon hours. Martin Johnson played the mouth organ when they danced.

Also one time Ted Chistianson was trying to crawl out the window and the teacher pulled on him, trying to pull him back inside and the kids were outside pulling him outdoors.

One time in school, Elvin Docken was to be punished for something and the teacher wanted him to put his hands out flat on her lap so she could hit his hands but he was too quick, he always pulled his hands away so she didn't hit them.

Harvey Norby remembers one time he and Carmen Huset got on an ice cake back o the schoolhouse and it started downstream and they couldn't get off until they got down to the Moe bridge, about a mile and a quarter downstream.

Another time the water was running across the road just north of the store by the bridge and the wagon box would float on top of the water, entirely leaving the wagon.

Clara remembers Nick had an ice house west of the store and would sell ice. He also would cool his food in a natural spring, east of the store. Clara remembers going to Ladies Aid meetings when Olava lived above the store.

Beatrice Gast remembers her mother telling when Nick broke his leg, the Johnson brothers were so good to him, they would give him a ride in their coaster wagon from the house to the store.




Parsonage Families

Rev. S. O. Sorlein:

The Rev. and Mrs. S. O. Sorlien (Selma Burreson) and family moved to the parsonage on Chase St., Osage, in Dec. 1945. They became Rock Creek campers May 1, 1947 when the family moved to Meroa to live in the building that had been remodeled from stable to Parish House. Snow fell on Memorial Day, 1947, so the family was glad the heater was still in the temporary parsonage. The spirea bushes were laden with snow.

In Nov. 1947, the move was made into the new parsonage built by Herman Dieterichs of St. Ansgar. After the "stable or old parish house’ was purchased and moved by Kalmar Klemesrud to Nora Springs, the Sunday School lacked facilities especially for kindergarten classes. Borghild Sorlie was teacher and Frances Johnson, Supt. Of Sunday School. Thus the basement of the new parsonage heated by oil provided the needed space available for kindergarten classes.

The church furnace was coal and wood burning, so often in very cold weather the church would be heated only on Saturday and Sunday. John Johanson, the janitor, would come Saturday morning, start the furnace, clean the church, stoke the furnace and come back Sunday morning. In very cold weather the choir and quartette (Vernon Larson, Ernest Ryner, Kalmar Klemesrud and S. O. Sorlien) would meet at the parsonage. Many committee meetings were held at the parsonage and the church office was in the parsonage until the addition to the church provided space for that.

For the landscaping of the church ground, Lawrence A. Olsen donated the land, Brede Wamstad donated the trees and men of the congregation came to plant the trees.

The Sorlien's lived at Meroa until March 1951, when they accepted a call to Hayward, Minnesota. The Sorlien children were: John, Naomi, Grace, Ruth, Paul, Lois and Eunice.


Rev. M. G. Berg:

The Rev. Merlen George and Luella Evelyn (Clauson) Berg and their family moved from New Ulm, Minnesota to serve RCLC Luther church in June 1951. They remained until 1956. Their children were: David, Miriam, and Meredith.


Rev. I. Z. Hyland:

In June of 1956, Pastor and Mrs. Irwin Z. (Mildred) Hyland and five children moved into the spacious colonial style parsonage. The cheese factory was still operating, as was a garage, but the store which had but a few years before been quite a hub of activity at certain times, was no more. Their children were Solveig, David, Paul, Mark and John. The family enjoyed their time at Rock Creek but by the fall of 1958, it became apparent that Pastor Hyland had a health problem, and the Lord took him home on September 13, 1959. Mrs. Hyland located a house in Forest City and moved the family into that new home on November 28, 1959.


Rev. John L. Quam:

The Quam family lived in the RCLC parsonage from October 1959 until May 1964. Their family consisted of Rev. John L. Quam, his wife, Marjorie (Kleven), Steven, Virginia, and Susan. They, too, enjoyed the years living in Meroa as their children were attending school in Osage.


Rev. Donald L. Berg:

Rev. Berg served the church from 1964 to 1973. He described the home as one of the most beautiful places they had ever seen. He felt that the church and the parsonage in the woodland setting was truly one in the picture book category. Their son, John, literally "grew up" while living in Meroa. While there Mrs. Berg recalled the tornado that hit the area in 1965 (sparing the church and the parsonage) and the many snowstorms that might last up to three days.


Rev. Paul Metzger:

The Rev. Paul and Marie (Behle) Metzger and their children: Nancy, Paul, Beth, Dan and Tim arrived at Rock Creek in August of 1973. He is presently pastor. [in 1977]




Walnut Grove School, Cedar No. 7 in Meroa, Iowa

School enrollments and teachers' stories:

In the story of Mitchell County 1851- 1973, it says the Meroa school was started in 1857 and Miss Gould was the first teacher. The following is taken from the register of parents and guardians and lists persons between ages 5 and 21 in the district. The writing is very faint in some books, so I am not sure all the spelling is correct. In the following, the parent's name is listed first, then their children's' (student's) name and age if available. The student's names are not always repeated the years following their introduction. (Note: There were incidences where not all students enrolled and stayed in school until they graduated. Field work might keep them home, their family moved away, or they just decided to stop going. The various ages of the students shows how adaptable the teacher had to be to keep all their interest.)

1866: William Lewis, director. Maggie Stewart and Helen Barnes, Teachers. Each hired for 12 weeks for $18 per month. Students: John Peterson: Peter 11, Anna M. 7, Julia, 6. Elijah Hutchins: William 16, Elizabeth 8, Edward 6. Ole F. Oleson: Ole 6, Anna M. 8. Paul Michaels: Michael 13, Johanna 11. William Lewis: Joseph W. 19, Silas S. 16, Mary #. 14, Spear K. 12, Francis A. 10, Robert H. 8, J. Wilbur 6. Tidemand Thompson: Guri 7. Ole Moe: Ole 7. R. Isaacs: Cornelias 5, Maria 6. Hans Halverson: John 6. Ole O. Skuttle: Matthias 6.

These are minutes of a directors' meeting. As they appear in the book on March 20, 1867:

Election of sub district # 6 of the District Township of Cedar in the County of Mitchell and State of Iowa, Ole O. Haugerud was appointed chairman and John N. Johnson secretary. Paul Michelson was elected director for the ensuing year. Mr. Johnson offered the following resolution: that the township be requested to levy a tax on the taxable property of the district township sufficient to raise the sum of $50 in addition to the amount voted at the last district meeting for repairs on schoolhouse in this sub district. Resolution adopted. [Haugerud owned LaVerne Olsen's farm in 1879 when he sold it to Knud O. Haugen. John N. Johnson is Merrill's great-grandfather.]


1872: Mary E. Lewis teacher for 14 weeks at $25 a month. Ole O. Field: Maria O. 15, Ole O. 14, Bertha O. 9, Louisa O. 6. Peder Olsen: Berte 15, Edward 12, Endre 10, Lars 6. Levi Olsen: Laurits 11, Gerhard 8, Oscar 5. Ole O. Moen: (The following names all have Olsen after them). Ole 13, Gulbrand 11, Gunnild 8, Martin 5. William Oleson: Helleck Benson 11 (stepson), Laura 5. Widow Haren Rustemel: Gabriel Olsen 19. John Olsen: Carrie 11, Toneta 5. Ole M. Johnson: Marth 9, Isabel 6. T. Thompson: Julia 12, Ole 10, Carrie 7, Metia 5. John N. Johnson: Nicolai 8. Ole O.

Haugerud: Erik O. 17, Harald 10, Laura 5, Martin 13. G. Olsen Grove: Andrew O. 10, Bert O. 12.

1873: F. B. Dewitt, teacher 12 weeks, $30 a month.

1875: (no teacher given) Levi Olsen: Thorina 6. Knud Olson: Olaus Knudson 5. Gulbrand Johnson: Johann Gulbranson 15, Anton 12, Julia 9. Ole O. Fjelde: Inger 5. T. Thompson: Anna Thonete 5. Ole O. Haugerud: George 6. Ole Johnson: Ingeborg 9, Syver 7. Johanes Pederson: Gurina 14, Lydia 7. William Oleson: George 6. John N. Johnson: Edward 6. Ole A. Fjeld: Erik Olsen 20, Martine 16, Harald 14. Hans Pederson: Theodore 5. John Olson: Johan 5. Ole O. Moen: George 5.

1877: (no teacher given.) Ole M. Johnson: Lina 5. John Olson: Johan, Olaus, Gulbrand Johnson: Albert 5. Levor Olsen: Levi Oscar, Peder Olaus 6. Widow Martha E. Mikkelson: Eliana 8. Lars Olson: Johanna 11, Arne 16. T. Tidemandson: Olava 5. Widow Ingeborg Fredricksen: R. 19. Hans Pederson: Nicholai 6. Ole O. Moen: Oline 5. Halstein Iverson: Iver 18, Olaus 16, Anne Maria 12, Edward 10, Henry 6. Widow Peterson: Martin 6. John N. Johnson: Edward, Isabella 6.

1880: Vinnie Rowley teacher, $20 a month. Ole Johnson: Lena 8, Anna 5. John Olsen: Anna, Peter. Knut Haugen: Olaves 11, Oscar 8. Mary Olsen 9. Laura Williams 13. Anna Johnson 5. Louisa Field 14. Lena Moe 8. Nettie Thompson 10. Olava Finsand 8.

1881: Sigurd Olsen, teacher, $25 per month. Emma Eliason 9. Edward 12, Syver 12, Ingeborg 15, Gina 8, Nicolai 16, Tonnis 19 and Isabelle Johnson 9. Ole 9, Anne 13, John 12, and Peder Johnsrud 8. Olava 8 and Nettie Thompson 12. Ole Finsand. George 12 and Gustave Millard Williams 9. Oscar Olson 14. Andrew Gilbertson 20. Mary and Andrew Halstensen 9. Andrew Goplerud. Alvin Roehr 13.

In 1881, they started listing the subjects studied and they were: Orthography, Reading, Writing, Mental Arithmetic, Geography, Grammar, U.S. History, Physiology.

1881, 2nd semester: Ole O. Field, teacher, $20. Martin & Jane Petersen. Carrie Moe 6. Hans Finsand 6. Peter Williams 6. Gabriel Thompson 6. Oline 8 & Rachel Nubson 6.

1882: Ole J. Maakestad, director. James M. Hawthorne, teacher, $30 per month. George, Lena and Martin Moe. Oscar Haugen.

1882, 2nd semester: Ole O. Field, teacher, $20. H. Eliason 5. Carl Haugen 10. Caroline 6, Albert and Bernt Johnson 7. S. Kleven 8. Nettie Peterson, Henry 11 and Louis Iverson 9. Lars Larson 21.

1883: Julia T. Moe, teacher. Mary Nubson 6. Anna 7 and Lena Maakestad. Mary 5, Olava, Gabriel and Nettie Docken. Mary Moe 6. Edward Johnson. Matilda Thompson 6. Peter Finsand 6. Ida Olsen 6.

1884: J. M. Hawthorne, teacher, $30 a month. Gilbert Moe 22. Anna Anderson, 25. Olava Finsand. Carl Haugen 7.

1884, 2nd Semester: Hans Pederson, director. Alice E. Crowther, teacher, $22.50 per month. Peder Johnson 11. Oline, Mary and Nels Nubson 5. Gust Olson 14. Anna Olsen 5. C. Peterson 6.

1885: Lizzie Sweet, teacher, $30 per month. Syver 16 and Christina Maakestad 12. Ingeborg Hagrstad. Peter Oleson 10. Nelson Thompson 6.

1886: J. M. Hawthorne, teacher. Lena Thompson 9. Sever Moe 21. Christian Finsand 7. Emma Eliason 14. Oscar Olsen 19. Hans Nelson 27. Ole Levin 30. Nicholai 14 and Christian Pederson 7.

1887: Levi Olsen, director. Martha Maakestad, teacher, $22.50 per month. (Martha married Peter Motland, a daughter, Alida, lives in Osage.) Oliver Haugen 5. Isabel 13 and T. Johnson 18. Anna Olsen 6. Nettie 10 and C. Peterson. Carl and Millard Williams. Helge Haugerud.

1889: M. Maakestad, teacher. Olava 16, Gabriel 13, Mary 11, Christine 8 and Thea Docken 5. L. & A. Maakestad. C.12 and Oliver Haugen 8. P. Johnsrud 16. P. 17, A. 10 and Ida Olsen 12. Peter and Carl Williams. Carrie and Mary Moe. Belle, Caroline, Carl, Martin and Bernt Johnson. Oline 15, Rachel 13, Mary 11, Nels 10 and Martha Nubson 5. Nettie Brenden 13. Maria Fjeld 35. Hans, Peter Christian, Martin and Mary Finsand 6. Christian 11 and Peter Peterson 9. Leonard Torblaa 8. Ingeborg 15 and Amalia Hegrestad 8. Caroline Euger 5. Caroline Iverson 6. Carl E. Olson 20. Edwin Schulze 19.

1891: Nellie Johnson, teacher, $25 month. Gunia Nubson 5. Ida Docken 13. Ida 7 and Clara Olsen 4. John 14, Eddie 12, Theodore 9 and Anna Christianson 5. Cornel 10, Peter 9, John 7 and Harry Boresen 6.

1892: Gunnil B. Johnson, teacher.

1893: Olava Docken, teacher. C. Nubson, director. Elvin Docken 6. Oscar Finsand 5.

1894: Jessie Thornburg, teacher.

1895: Clara Hallingby, teacher. S. J. Maakestad, chairman. J. G. Olsen, secretary. Lars Iver Olsen elected director. Motion made and carried that the schoolhouse be painted inside and outside, and new seats and curtains be provided, also the walls painted up and a new privy built during the years.

1898: Lars Iver Olsen, director. Olava Docken, teacher, $25 a month. Alfred 6, & Alma Nubson 5. Olga Johnson 7. Theodore Finsand 5. Mathilda Olsen 5. Oliver 6 & Ingvald Iverson 5. Clara 6 & Inga Sorlie 6. Alfred 10 & Melvin Hegrestad 8. Anders V. Moen 23. Alma Olsen 7. Oliver 6 & Gertie Maakestad 5. Inga Haug 5. Maud Brown 12. Harold Norbyhaugen 21. Charlie Flenn 19.

March 7, 1898: Walnut Grove Schoolhouse, # 7: Anton Iverson, chairman, N. Peterson, secretary. S. J. Maakestad resigned as director and Anton Iverson was elected. Moved and carried that the director be instructed to repair the porch, provide a flagstaff, repair the wall, put up a fence and do such other repairing as he sees necessary.

1900: Caroline Johnson, teacher, $30 per month. (Caroline married Eugene Smalley, Hazel and Clifford were her children.) Oscar Olsen 6. Peter Iverson 6. Mina Field 6. Homer Williams.

1900, 2nd Semester: Martin Field director. Helen Johnson, teacher. (She married Peter B. Larson, daughter was Mary, Mrs. Art Hollatz.) Laura Oleson, Oscar Field. Stanley Williams 5. Note: Proceeds of sociable held in the schoolhouse May 26, 1900, $11 to be used for the purchase of a bell. Money left with G. Docken.

1901: Nettie Haugen, teacher. Ludwig Andersen 13. Oscar Iverson 6. Clara 14, Lawrence 8 & Mathilda Olsen 11. Iris Fritz 7. Note: Proceeds of picnic and sociable during spring term $21.04 to be used for library purposes.

1902: Nettie Haugen, teacher. Wilfred Sorlie 18. Note: Proceeds of sociable $4.27 to be used for the purchase of an organ. Money left with Gustav Millard Williams.

1902, 2nd Semester: Gustave Millard Williams, director. Helen Johnson, teacher. Gunia 16, Alma and Alfred Nubson. Clara, Mathilda & Lawrence Olsen. Mina, Oscar & Gea Field 6. Gertie, Oliver & Theodore Maakestad. Clara & Inga Sorlie 14. Elvin Docken 15. Oliver, Ingvald, Peter & Oscar Iverson. Theodore & Oscar Finsand 14. Homer & Stanley Williams. Esther 6 & Johnny Maakestad 5. Note: $7 proceeds made towards organ purchase. Proceeds of sociable held at Iverson Blacksmith shop $9.45.

1903-04: Belle Harrold, teacher. Cora Olsen 5. Carl Iverson 5.

1904: Blanche Rapp, teacher. Note: School closed some because of Scarlet Fever.

1905: Christine G. Docken, teacher $35 per month. Nettie Larson 18. Thelma Johnson 6. Lars Sorensen 17. Note: teacher and pupils cleaned the schoolhouse for $2, the money was used to invest in pictures for the schoolhouse.

1906: Students added: Esther 10, Johnnie 7 & Edwin Maakestad 5. Olga Field 6 & Rosella Klemesrud 5. Hazel Smalley 6 & Emma Iversrud 9. Note: Myron Maakestad received a diploma of honor for 2 years regular attendance.

1907: Allene DeFord, teacher, $28 per month.

1908: Clara Hanson, teacher, $38 per month. (She married Herman Halvorson.) Iver Iversrud 5. Alma Nubson and Gertie Maakestad graduated this term.

Nov. 1908-March 1909: Pansy Linder, teacher. Esther 13, John 11 & Eddie Maakestad 8. Gea 12, Oscar 14, & Olga Field 9. T. 14 & M. Maakestad 10. H. 10 & Thelma Johnson 8. Peter 16, Oscar 13 and Carl Iverson 11. Clarice 10, Stanley 13, Homer 14, and Chester Williams 7 (Had changed their last name to Williams from Oleson, their grandfather was William Oleson.) R. Klemesrud 8. Karen 9 & Peter Thompson 14. Emma 11 and Andrew Iversrud 8. Alfred Nubson 19. Theodore Finsand 18.

1909-10: Gunia Nubson, teacher, $34 a month. (She married Rudolph Ask) Gladys Maakestad 6. Stella Maakestad 6. Borghild Sorlie 6. Note: Herbert & Thelma Johnson were awarded diplomas of honor for 2 years' perfect attendance.

1911: Adeline McGrane, teacher, $35 month. (She married Will Markham, son Glen) Social proceeds were $26.90 to be used for improvements. Note: Moved and carried to instruct director to work in favor of not more than seven months school. Lars & Hilmer Sorlie 5. Iva Haugen 5.

1912: Nellie J. Hovelson, teacher, $40 a month. Mabel Field 15.

1912, 2nd Semester: Clara L. Fods, teacher, $35 a month. Leonard Maakestad.

1913, March to June 1914 (3 terms): Vera Coon, teacher. Iva & Mildred Haugen 5. Monica 8, Lucile 10 & Francis McCaffrey 6. C.W. Bond Superintendent. Owen 5 & Harold McCaffrey 12. Inga Linstead 12. Rosella Norby 6.

1914/1915: Hazel Voaklander, teacher $34 per month. (She married Albert Hultman) Nora Maakestad 5. Harry Forbes 5.

1915/16: Ruby Barker, teacher, $52.50 per month. (She married Lester McCauley) Marie 6 and H. McCaffrey 15. E. Maakestad. Herbert Norby 6. Louise Sorlie 6. Note: in 1917 the teacher's summary reported boys and girls outbuildings very poor; in 1918 there was an imposed vacation due to the Spanish Influenza outbreak.

1917: Olive Ione Stevenson, teacher. (She married Homer Heater) Helen McCaffrey 5.

1917, April to June: Alma O. Nubson, teacher. Ethel Wamstad 9. Graduates were: Gladys and Stella Maakestad and Borghild Sorlie.


Teacher Recollections
by Alma Nubson

"School Days, Dear Old Golden Fun Days" In 1918, years ago, I was a teacher in Meroa, Iowa at the Walnut Grove District #7 School. I got out my Record Book with its tattered, dilapidated loose pages, hardly readable, scribbled with pencil or faded ink. I was to reminisce with you about happenings long ago. Memories of bygone days floated by and I could picture the many groups of pupils - some teenagers tall and manly, others younger and the little cherubs with happy smiling faces wondering what it's all about.

I turned page after page in my brown book, found nothing of interest, only names, attendance and grades. Finally I came to March 18, 1918, during WW 1, a patriotic program given in the evening to the parents and others. This was a Jr. Red Cross benefit. The program consisted of serious and humorous entertainment - organ music, recitations, dialogues, plays, tableaus and songs. Throughout the evening, war-time conditions were noted now and then.

There was much patriotic activity through the Red Cross. The County Superintendent sent out many ideas for projects, both for home and school work. Both boys and girls knit wool squares. One of our girls, Rosella Norby, made 18 blocks and was given special recognition through the office. Buying Thrift Stamps at 25 cents each, money sent to Osage. Small Red Cross lapel pins with a Red Cross insignia on were distributed to all who took part.

One assignment in Language Class was to make up rhymes or verses using the Red Cross suggestion for "Put a Tag on the Coal Shovel" Day. Stella Maakestad's verse was written January 30, 1918. Entitled: "The Coal Shovel Jingle", it went as follows:

To save a shovelful of coal a day,
Will help win the War in the USA.
Which will help the Nation
And everyone all over creation.

Much true patriotism was shown everywhere during WW 1. We were asked to conserve food; sugar, flour, even staple foods. Flour like some scarcities was rationed. Barley flour, rice flour, even corn meal was scarce. Housewives made a study of menus and were asked to economize.

President Wilson's motto was "This is the War to End All Wars." The proceeds from the evening program were $28.56 which went to the Junior Red Cross, Osage.

1917, October to 1918, May: Alma Nubson, teacher. Stella 14, Leonard 11 & Nora Maakestad 8. Borghild 14, Hilmar 11 & Louise Sorlie 7. Lucile 14, Monica 12, Francis 11, Owen 9, Marie 7 and Helen McCaffery 6. Nora Johnson 11. Rosella 9 and Herbert Norby 7.
[Note: in 2003, when this was transcribed, Borghild Sorlie and Herbert Norby are still living in Osage, Iowa]

1919: Ethelle Moran, teacher, $48.40 per month. Harry 10, Melvin 7, Edward 5 & Earl Forbes 5.

1920-1922: Blanche McLaughlin, County Superintendent. Adeline Lasting, teacher. Ruth Schoonover, county school nurse, Ruth Gillis, assistant. Charles Peterson 5, Kenneth 6 & Gertrude Norby 5. [Note: Gertrude Norby married Glen Crowell and wrote this booklet 55 years later.] Teacher reports complain about poor maps and globe, coal house in need of repair.

1922-1923: Cordelia Ahrens, teacher, $65 a month. Nora Johnson, Rosella, Herbert, Kenneth and Gertrude Norby. Nora Maakestad. Harry Melvin, Earl and Edward Forbes. Howard Tingelstad, Charles Peterson.