Visit the USGenWeb Project Website Visit the IAGenWeb Project Website

 What's New

Coordinator Contact

About Us

Return to the Home Page
Contact the Ringgold Cemeteries
Census the Ringgold Counties
 Ringgold County Churches
family pages links to family
Ringgold County IAGenWeb Copyright Statement
History Ringgold County
Ringgold County IAGenWeb History-Biographies Project
Ringgold County IAGenWeb Lookups
Ringgold County IAGenWeb Mailing Lists
Ringgold County Maps IAGenWeb Project
Ringgold County IAGenWeb Messageboards
Ringgold County IAGenWeb Military
Ringgold County IAGenWeb News Clippings
Ringgold County IAGenWeb Obituaries
Ringgold County IAGenWeb Penny Post Cards
Ringgold County IAGenWeb Photographs
Ringgold County IAGenWeb Queries
Ringgold County IAGenWeb Resources
Ringgold County IAGenWeb Resources
Ringgold County IAGenWeb Site Map
Ringgold County IAGenWeb Surnames
Ringgold County IAGenWeb Front Porch

This site is supported by
Friends of IAGenWeb

powered by FreeFind


Foland School circa 1960 Prior to move to Kellerton
Photograph by Norma G. (Foland) Becker

(a.k.a. Grand Valley Community School Music Room, a.k.a. GV Musuem

Founder & Trustees

Michael and Elizabeth (Sowerwine) Foland arrived in a covered wagon at Decatur County, Iowa from Muncie, Indiana in 1856. They made it as far as Dekalb before they and their six children were forced to stop and spend the winter. In the spring, after the birth of their seventh child, the Folands proceeded on to their homestead in Richland Township, approximately 3 miles east of the town of Westerville. They would add three more children to the family.

Besides farming, Michael owned and operated a hardware store and a harness shop in Westerville. He also owned and operated a sorghum mill.

Interested in the education of his growing number of grandchildren, Michael Foland established the Foland School on the southeastern corner of his pasture where the north road intersected with the east-west road going into Westerville. Michael was the first trustee of the school.

Michael was born January 14, 1820 in Rockingham County, Virginia, and died April 18, 1904. Elizabeth was born November 23, 1822, Timberville, Virginia, and died August 25, 1896. They were interred at the Wheelis/Tennessee Cemetery located north of their homestead, Richland Township of Decatur County, Iowa.

Samuel "Sam" Foland, the sixth child of Michael and Elizabeth (Sowerwine) Foland, was born April 10, 1854 in Muncie, Delaware County, Indiana. He owned and farmed a homestead located directly east across the road from his father's farm and the Foland School. He later purchased 80 acres located directly south across the road from the Foland School.

Samuel married Sarah Belle Emley on February 2, 1879. Sarah Belle, the daughter of Thomas John and Mahulda "Hulda" (Moss) Emley, was born in Richland Township, Decatur County, Iowa, on September 11, 1860. Her father, Thomas John, established the Brick School, which was located directly west of the Wheelis/Tennessee Cemetery, and served as trustee of that school.

Upon Michael Foland's death, Sam assumed his position as trustee of the Foland School. Albert "Ab" Foland, Michael and Elizabeth's grandson, assumed ownership of the original homestead upon which the Foland School was located.

Sarah Belle died December 17, 1910. Sam served as treasurer and trustee of the Foland School for 27 years. He died on October 24, 1932. Sam and Sarah Belle were interred at the Wheelis/Tennessee Cemetery.

Homer Lowell Foland, youngest of Samuel "Sam" and Sarah Belle (Emley) Foland's four sons, was born on May 20, 1898, Richland Township, Decatur County, Iowa. He remained on the Sam Foland homestead and farmed the land with his father. After Sam's death in 1932, Homer continued to farm the homestead.

Homer served his county and community well as director of the Foland School for fifteen years and later as treasurer. He held the office of Clerk for Richland Township and served on many farm committees and organizations, the A.A.A., Farmer’s Home Administration, Decatur County Tax Board of Review, and as a member of Decatur County’s Board of Soil Conservation. Homer was the first farmer in the area, if not southern Iowa, to plant Pioneer hybrid corn.

On February 1, 1920, Homer married Pearle Velva Bramon, the daughter of Fred B. and Luella (Young) Bramon. Pearle was born on November 7, 1898, in rural Delphos, Ringgold County, Iowa.

Several Foland School teachers boarded with Homer and Pearle during the school term over the years. In 1962 Homer and Pearle retired from farming and moved to Grand River.

Homer died on February 4, 1963. Pearle died on November 15, 1969. They were interred at Grand River Cemetery.

In January of 1960, teacher Mable DAILY wrote, "I became acquainted with the Foland School and its patrons during the Spring term of 1905. It was one of the few schools at that time that had spring terms. Most rural schools had just a fall and winter term. I taught our home school during the fall and winter and looked elsewhere for a spring term. My Guardian Angel must have been looking after me when I was employed by the Foland School Board. I taught the spring terms of 1905, 1906, 1909, 1911, and 1912. At that time, the schoolhouse was new, large and well lighted. There was plenty of room for all the little folks and there were many. The spring term was especially for the little folks who could not attend during the cold weather. The patrons were friendly and appreciative. They did all they could to make their school a success. Our only accident during my sojourn in the district was when Opal Foland* fell at school and broke her collarbone. It was a sad time and were all so glad when she was well again. After 1912, I taught in rural schools in Ringgold County, at Tingley, Iowa, one year in Missouri and on year in Arkansas. In 1922, I went to Nevada to teach and my first school there was a ranch school where all my pupils were Indians but one."

* Opal Foland married Mason Snethen who drove a school bus for Grand Valley Community Schools for several years.


Foland School Teachers

Early teachers unknown

1905-12 Mable Daily   1909 Abbie Palmer
1912-13 Hettie Euritt   1919 Elmer Dunn
1920-23 unknown   1923 Reah Robinson
1924 Mrs. Helen Scott   1924-25 Edith (Beers) Ball
1925-26 Ada Crees   1927-28 Hilda Hughes
1928-32 Rosamond Ramsey   1932-34 Irene (Buell) Schwalbe
1934-37 Etola Grimm/Hazel Grimm   1937-38 LaVonne Smith
1939-39 Vera (West) Boles   1939-41 Hazel Ramsey
1940-42 Bernice Fullerton   1942-46 Eileen (Jackson) Miller
1947-49 Louise Thomas   1949-50 Rosalie Deemer
1950-52 Louise Thomas   1952-55 Mrs. Edith (Beers) Ball
1955-57 Mrs. Elvera Mullen 

A Few of the Teachers

  • Mable Daily was born in 1881, and died in 1964. She was a school teacher for 47 years. Mable was interred at Westerville Cemetery, Richland Township, Decatur County, Iowa.

  • Hettie Ermal Euritt was born in 1893. She married Clair Sherman Palmer in 1917, and died in 1980. Hettie and Clair were interred at Van Wert Cemetery, Van Wert, Decatur County, Iowa.

  • Edith (Beers) Ball, daughter of Frank Beers, was born in 1901 near Decatur City. Edith taught at the Foland School during the school term of 1924-25 and from 1952 to 1955. She resided in a travel trailer set up in Sam Foland's timber directly south of the schoolhouse during the school term. Edith, the wife of Eldon Ball, died in 1984. She was buried at Grand River Cemetery, Grand River, Decatur County, Iowa.

  • Ada Estella “Ada” Crees, born September 18, 1899, the daughter of Willis W. and Anna C. Crees. She graduated from Leon High School, Leon, Decatur County, Iowa, with the class of 1918, and taught at the Foland School from 1925 to 1926. She married Dwight L. Akers on June 2, 1937 and continued teaching in the rural schools of Decatur County, Iowa. She died March 13, 1993, and was interred at Decatur Cemetery, Decatur, Iowa.

  • Rosamond Ruth Ramsey was born January 19, 1907 on a farm near Grand River, Iowa, the daughter of John Thomas Ramsey (1878-1949) and Lefa Alvira (Brammer) Ramsey (1878-1954). She began a life-long teaching career shortly after graduating from Grand River High School with the Class of 1926. Rosamond taught for two years at Westerville School, four years at the Foland School (fall of 1928 - spring of 1932), four years at Woodard School, four years at Garden Grove School, all in Decatur County, and six years at Clarinda School. She moved to Des Moines in 1946 where she taught at Sabin Hills, Longfellow and Brooks Elementary Schools. After 46 years of teaching elementary classes, Rosamond retired. She obtained her bachelor’s degree at Cedar Falls Teachers College and her masters degree by going to summer school from Drake University. Rosamond was truly a remarkable woman, pursuing her goals and dreams in an era when most doors were closed to women. She was an unassuming pioneer and heroine of her time. Rosamond died of a respiratory ailment Monday, March 5, 1990, at the Indianola Good Samaritan Center West, aged 83 years and 45 days. Burial was made at Grand River Cemetery, Decatur County, Iowa.

  • Etola (Grimm) Thielmann was born on November 30, 1914, on a farm near Grand River, Iowa, the daughter of Thomas Jefferson and Annabelle (Kirkpatrick) Grimm. She graduated from Iowa State Teachers College in Cedar Falls and taught elementary school for 36 years at several different Iowa locations which included rural schools in Decatur and Clarke Counties (1934 – 1937 at the Foland School), Beaman, Des Moines and Newton. She retired from teaching in 1980. She married Dr. C. J. Thielmann on February 2, 1946. Dr. Thielmann immigrated from Germany in 1923. Etola maintained active correspondence with her former pupils even after she succumbed to blindness and eventually moved to Nelson Manor Nursing Home in Newton, Iowa, where she died at the age of 99 years on Tuesday, March 25, 2014. Burial was made at Newton Union Cemetery.

  • Margaret “Irene” (Buell) Schwalbe was born in Decatur County, Iowa, on May 27, 1914, the daughter of Home and Amy Ellen (Daughton) Buell. A 1932 graduate of Grand River High School, she devoted her entire life to teaching school and to her beloved cattle. Irene attended Normal Training in Creston and later took classes at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls. She taught at the Foland School 1932 – 1934 prior to her marriage to Henry “Hank” Schwalbe on April 24, 1935.
    Widowed in 1947, Irene nurtured many new-born calves through frigid Iowa storms and every child who passed through her class at Grand Valley Elementary School. Often, she not only taught the children of her prior pupils but their grandchildren as well. She was the teacher sought out by those who came back to visit long after their elementary days were mere faint memories.
    Irene died at the age of 81 years on August 19, 1996 at
    Mount Ayr Heath Care Center in Mount Ayr. Burial was made at Grand River Cemetery.



  • Eldest daughter of Mervyn G. and Katheryn (Webb) Jackson, Marjorie “Eileen” (Jackson) Miller was born near Kellerton on April 7, 1921. She attended grade school at Jackson Hill rural school located northwest of Kellerton and was a 1927 graduate of Kellerton High School. She taught at the Foland School from 1942 to 1946. While school was in session, Eileen boarded with Homer and Pearle (Bramon) Foland.
    Eileen married Walter James Miller on June 10 1945. Eileen died on March 25, 2003 at Springfield, Missouri on March 25, 2003. Burial was made at Munyon Cemetery, rural Grand River, Iowa.





  • Hazel I. (Grimm) Cushman was born on March 31, 1916, the daughter of E. Floyd and Sylvia (Brand) Grimm. She taught at the Foland School as a young woman. She married Max Cushman on April 3, 1939. They resided in Missouri for a while before moving to the Chicago area in 1950, residing for many years in Park Ridge. Hazel died at the age of 95 years on Saturday, January 7, 2012. Burial was made at Dexter Cemetery, Dexter, Iowa






  • Elvera V. (Johnson) Mullen was born in 1909, the daughter of Elijah Benjamin “Lidge” and Nettie Anne (Strubhar) Johnson. Elvera Mullen taught at the Foland School from 1955 to 1957. She then taught remedial reading at Grand River and Grand Valley Community School in Grand River. Elvera married Clinton E. Mullen on February 19, 1930. Elvera died on November 9, 1968. Burial was made at Hopeville Cemetery, Hopeville, Iowa.



    The Students
    Click on photograph or caption to view enlargement of photograph and names of the pupils.
    Click on 'back' button to return to this page.

    Foland School, 1909

    Interior of Foland School


    Spring Term, 1912

    Souvenir, 1912-13*

    Fall Term, 1919

    Foland School, 1924
    * The souvenir is for Liberty School No. 7, which is the Foland School.

    Foland School, 1928

    Foland School, 1933-34

    Foland School, 1936

    Fall Term, 1941

    Spring Term, 1943

    Winter Term, 1943

    With the closing of Iowa's rural school system the Foland and Brick Schools closed around the year 1958. Better roads helped with the transporation of rural children in the vicinity to attend classes at Grand River. Both schools were acquired by the Grand Valley Community School District. The Brick School was moved into Grand River and located east of the gymnasium. The Foland School was moved to Kellerton and located on the southeast corner of the school grounds. Both buildings were utilized as music rooms.

    A Little Bit O' Music at the Former Foland School
    Click on photograph or caption to view enlargement of photograph.
    Click on 'back' button to return to this page.

    Dennis Phipps
    Instrumental Music

    Jim Thaden
    Vocal Music

    Wesley Schiable
    Instrumental Music

    Orley Kilburn
    Instrumental Music

    Alice Grosser
    Vocal Music

    Tom Ashbaugh
    Vocal Music

    In Concert, 1966-67

    Grand Valley Band, 1966-67

    Grand Valley Band, 1968-69

    Grand Valley Band, 1974-5

    Elbert McAlister
    Instrumental &
    Vocal Music

    Dale Duke
    Instrumental &
    Vocal Music

    Joseph "Alex" Baer
    Instrumental &
    Vocal Music

    Bonner Davis II
    Instrumental &
    Vocal Music

    Gloria Palmer
    Elementary Music

    Myron Swan
    Instrumental Music
    & Vocal Music

    Vicki King
    Instrumental &
    Vocal Music

    Shannon Tritten
    Elementary Music

    Mike Tritten
    Instrumental &
    Vocal Music

    Katie Sue Lockwood
    Instrumental &
    Vocal Music

    Christa Miller
    Instrumental &
    Vocal Music

    1984 - 1985 Marching Band

    1991 - 1992 Jazz Band

    1991 - 1992 Chorus

    Going Uptown

    When Grand Valley Community School dissolved in 1992, the school board gave the former Brick School to the town of Grand River. It was moved across the street west of the schoolgrounds and into the town park where it was restored as The School House Museum. The GV School Board gave the former Foland School to the town of Kellerton and it was moved uptown and placed in the lot beside city hall. Grand Valley alumni Billy Fifer was in charge of this move, ca. 1995/96.

    Click on photograph or caption to view enlargement of photograph.
    Click on 'back' button to return to this page.

    Billy Fifer Prepares To Move

    Foland School on the Move

    Foland School Arrives Uptown





    Placement of Foland School Sign at Original Site
    Richland Township, Decatur County, May 9, 2009






    After Daniel Borntrager and his crew from Promise City & Seymour, Iowa, did some preservation and restoration work beneath the building, The Foland School/GV Museum was moved once again on June 29, 2011 back to the former GV School Grounds. Daniel and his able crew supervised and completed the move with assistance from Dick Jackson, Myron and Shirley Ingram, Harley Cooper, Rex Jackson, John and Dee Euritt. Medicom and Alliant Engery donated their services in moving power lines and fiberoptic cables out of the way for this journey. Funding for this portion of the project came from Friends of GV Museum and a REAP grant from the State Historical Society of Iowa.

    Repair & Restoration Work Under the Building

    Click on thumbnail photo or the link to see an enlarged view of the photograph.
    Click on "back button" to return to this webpage.

    Where Did The Museum Go?

    Headed Up Decatur St.

    Tricky Curve Ahead

    Tree Limb in the Way

    Got It!

    Made It!

    Mediacom On The Job

    Going. . . .

    Going. . . .


    Comin' Down Home Stretch

    Home Stretch

    Goal In Sight!

    Comin' Up The Drive


    Gettin' In Position

    Tree In The Way

    To Save A Tree

    Ready? Set. . . .

    Squeezin' By

    To Quote Dee,
    "The Building Has Landed"

    And A Tree Was Saved

    Foundation Venting & Drainage

    Venting & Drainage

    All Artists Sign Their Work

    Photographs courtesy of Dee Euritt and Sharon R. Becker

    The Foland School/GV Museum currently is located west of the gymnasium on the former Grand Valley Community School grounds. It is being restored as a museum for Grand Valley School and the town by the Kellerton Restoration Committee.

  • GV'S Final Bell
  • Museum Awarded 11th-Hour Grant
  • Move Back to Schoolgrounds
  • July, 2014 Newsletter
    Foland School 1960 photograph by Norma G. (Foland) Becker
    Foland School student photographs courtesy of Normal G. (Foland) Becker
    Additional photographs by Dee Euritt, Sharon BECKER & Norma G. (FOLAND) BECKER
    Mount Ayr Record-News, Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa, February 10, 2007
    AVITT, Mike. Pages and Pictures from the Past. . .Ringgold County, Iowa 1855-2005 p. 17. Paragon Publications, Inc. Mount Ayr. 2009.

    Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, June of 2009; updated May of 2015

  • You are our visitor!
    Thank You for stopping by!

    © Copyright 1996-
    Ringgold Co. IAGenWeb Project
    All rights Reserved.