Grove Township Schools
At first. as shown in the 1876 records, there were only six school districts. By 1884, the township was divided into the usual nine districts. The schoolhouses used the period after 1915 were those built in the 1870 and 1880s. In the 1920s and years following, under a new law, schools no having a registration of seven or an average attendance of five could be closed by the County Superintendent and Board. One after another was closed, student attending adjoining schools, later riding the high school bus to town. Greenfield sent out two buses in 1946 and six in 1954. These attendance areas helped as a guide at the time of reorganization studies in 1955. In the decades before the school buses, high school students either drove horses or cars, or stayed in town, with expense borne by the parents. Tuition was paid by the townships except in the early years, when sometimes all or a small part was charged to the parents. At the time of reorganization in 1956, four Grove schools were still open—1, 2, 5, and 7. Grove is divided between Stuart-Menlo and Greenfield, most being in the Greenfield district. Until the elementary building was ready, these four schools were under the supervision of the elementary principal at Greenfield. For lack of pupils, Number 5 at the center was also closed. Reorganization had passed on the second vote for the Greenfield area.
In the years preceding reorganization, when many schools had the support of local P.T.A organization, Grove Township was not a leader. But the first fifteen years of the century, one school had inspiration from a sort of alumni tradition. Pleasant Valley, at Grove No. 8, held a New Year’s Day event that was unique. In the morning the school presented a program, which was followed by a basket dinner. Tables were made by laying boards—stored at Luther Snyder’s—on the tops of the two rows of desks. Children stood to eat, but the parents, or at least the wives, sat on wooden boxes in which they had brought their dishes and food. In the afternoon the visitors presented a program. Former residents attended from some distance, considering that they came with horses. Remembered are songs and readings, short playlets, and entertainment by Chas. Sackett with his phonograph. Cars made other entertainment more available, and the teacher in 1915-1816 did not consider preparation of a program a desirable use of the school’s time. There was an end to the pleasant social get-togethers.
School supplies such as books, special furnishings and art materials were not furnished by either the township or county until past the first quarter of this century. So each school gave programs and held box or pie socials in order to buy library books, a globe, playground equipment, and such. The teacher bought construction paper and art materials out of her own pocket. This is illustrated by these items from the Free Press:
Grove School No. 2 entertained parents at a Hollowe’en masquerade party the evening of October 30. Relay races, contest, fortune teller’s booth, fish pond, and a beauty parlor were attractions. Refreshments were served, consisting of apples, rolls and coffee. The attending were the families of Newbury, Fagan, LaRue, Burkheimer, Geesman, and Carly Tyson.
Nov. 5,1942—Howe School: Ruth Leeper, teacher—School Programme and 5c Social. Nov. 26, 1942—Grove No. 4: Teacher, Mrs. Thelma Carlson and pupils had a successful 5c social and program. Proceeds were $20.33. Ten dollars went into War Stamps and were given as prizes to the three who held lucky numbers. (The balance would have been used by the school.)
For a number of years, Greenfield merchants sponsored a Christmas contest that involved all the schools of the county. The County Superintendent, Edna Barnes, sent the rules and invitations to the teachers. On a certain Saturday before Christmas, teachers and their schools came to Greenfield, each with a banner which was carried by the children in a big parade. Cash prizes were given for the school from the greatest distance, those with 100% attendance, and for the best banners. The parade was followed by a free ticket to the movie and treats. The accompanying picture shows the Howe school with its banner in the 1940s.
Howe School, Grove. No. 1 Florence Sheeder Lawrence, teacher; Betty Chambers, Merle Dean Glasscock, Donnell Chambers, Larrie Johnston, Larry Benton, Beverly Chambers, Merle Zene Chambers. Darlene Chambers, and Phyllis White.
Grove No. 8 in 1914. A Junior High teacher from Ohio had six beginners.
Grove No. 3 in 1918
Howe School, 1920-21. Bessie Rigg was the teacher. Raymond Glaspell, Daisy Draman (Christensen), Viola Lynch, Don Glaspell, Nettie Lyons, Dorthy Draman (Glover), Johnnie Putney, Ted Perry. Carl Chambers, Tom, Perry, Sarah Putney, John Lyons, Dorothy Jones. Wilbur Low, Alfred Chambers, Mamie Lyons, Hazel Glaspell, Marie Jones, Evelyn Lyons, Elsie Lyons
OBSERVE ARBOR DAY—APRIL, 1950
Patrons and parents of students of Grove Center school spent Arbor Day, 1950, at the school.
The men in the group planted trees on the school grounds. The others prepared the dinner at noon which took the form of a wiener roast. Mrs. Ila Kelley was teacher of the school. The trees were supplied by the Iowa State College nursery and were planted according to a plan furnished by the college
Grove No. 8, Pleasant Valley, in 1957was empty and overgrown with weeds.
Thelma Clark Hall, and Veda Clark Sackett were eighth grade graduates, 1925. They were horseshoe-pitching champions in the competition at Howe in 1925.
transcribed by Mary Cochrane, Adair County History, 1976