Buena Vista County, IA
USGenWeb Project


History of Hayes Consolidated School
1916 - 1961

Hayes Consolidated School was located just south of beautiful Storm Lake, Iowa, and was known as one of the most scenic spots in the country.

Education was important to the families of the pioneers. In the fall of 1869, J. A. Harlan organized a school in the west part of the township with Mrs. W. S. Harlan as the first teacher. Later, as more schools were needed, seven districts were established with schools two miles apart. These served the grades one through eight. High school students were sent to Storm Lake. Some of the country schoolteachers were:  Alfred Renshaw, Margaret Moore, Mildred Benedict, Beatrice Mack, Kathleen Meinhard, Mae Moore, and Ethel Van Cleve.

In 1914, organization began for the Hayes Consolidated School.  The rural school district directors were the organization board.  They were: W.E. Gaffey, president; S. I. Edwards, secretary; Mrs. T. M. Renshaw, treasurer; William Mauser, C. C. McConkey, T. M. Renshaw, J. A. Chindlund, A. O. Meinhard, and Frank Echardt. The district included Hayes Township and six sections of Eden Township of Sac County. The Center School was selected as the site of the Consolidated Schools. The first High School class of Hayes was sent to this center school for their freshman year during the 1915-1916 school year . Professor Fritz was the instructor. Incidentally, he taught the other grades at the Center School also. The new building was constructed during that year.

After school was out in the spring, this one-room school building was moved and the teacherage was built on that location. A few years later, this center school building was re-modeled for the superintendent's home.

School started in the new building in the fall of 1916, with the eight grades, a freshman and sophomore class, under the supervision of Superintendent H. W. Fearing, and a staff of four teachers.

Members of the board of education at that time were William Mauser, Ralph Haines, Harris Ford, J. A. Chindlund, Frank Eckhardt, with S. I. Edwards as secretary and H. E. Thayer as treasurer.

There were six buses purchased to transport the students and of course, these were horse-drawn. These were fine most of the year, but many times during the winter the good old bob-sleds were the only sure means of getting to school and then not always on time. But even with dirt roads and fewer maintainers there were very few days that school was closed because of snow until the blizzard of 1936, which broke all records with blocked roads for five weeks.

The year 1919 saw the first graduating class of four students, namely: Grace Francis (Fleckenstein), Cassie Cannon (Duncan), Helen Renshaw (Cone), and Russell M. Edwards. Russell became 18 years old in June 1918 so he enlisted in the S.A.T.C. (Students Army Training Corps, similar to the current R.O.T.C.) after he had started his senior year. The Armistice was signed on November 11, 1918 and he was discharged in December. He returned to Hayes to graduate with the class in June of 1919. A Mr. Woodruff was Superintendent that year.

In 1923 the first motor buses were used. A record of the school board minutes show that only buses that would fit on Ford Trucks were to be purchased. Hayes has been one of the first consolidated schools to have complete ownership of buses.

It was in 1925 that an air pressurized water tank explosion caused considerable damage to the basement stairs and third and fourth grade rooms. The following year an addition was put on the building to make more class room space.

A Parent-Teacher association was organized in 1924 with Mrs Henry Saathoff as president. Mrs Walter Bork is the president of this organization now, with Mrs Kenneth Foell serving as secretary. (Unsure of when this original article was written).

The first band was organized in 1930 under the direction of F. L. Whaley.

Typing was added to the curriculum in 1939.

On October 8, 1940, fire destroyed the entire building and practically all of the equipment. The fire was discovered about 5 A. M., but flames already had so much headway that Storm Lake firemen concentrated their efforts on saving the home occupied by Superintendent M. F. Christie and his family nearby. Total damage was estimated at $40,000.00 by Robert Gring, secretary of the school board.

For the remainder of the year, the students were transported to Storm Lake where classes were carried on in the Christian Church basement and the primary grades at the West School.

In 1941 a beautiful new modern building was completed and ready for occupancy at a cost of $60,000.00. It provides an excellent gymnasium-auditorium, lunchroom equipment, Home Economics and Industrial Arts facilities, locker and shower rooms and many fine classrooms. Classes started in the new building 15 September 1941 and the new building was dedicated 22 October 1941.

Members of the Board of Education when the new building was erected in 1941 included: M. M. Mandeville, President, L. W. Chindlund, Vernon Martin, Ted Krause, Henry Saathoff, Robert Gring, Secretary and Conrad Peters, Treasurer.

The present members of the Board of Directors are: Paul Diehl, President, Hobart Pewsey, Ed Mauser, Verne Peterson, Raymond Mueller, Leonard Cone, Secretary and Laurence Otto, Treasurer.

The grade school enrollment has an average of 136 pupils. Each grade has one teacher except grades 4, 5, & 6 which are departmentalized by two teachers. Grades 7 and 8 are on the 6 - 6 plan with the high school.

The high school curriculum offers courses preparatory for college work, general education and business education. The Hayes High School is fully approved by the Department of Public Instruction of the State of Iowa. Subjects offered to the High School:

Ninth Grade: English, Algebra, Home Economics, General Science and Industrial Arts.
Tenth Grade: English, Geometry, World History, Industrial Arts and Home Economics.
Eleventh Grade: English, U. S. History, Biology, Bookkeeping, Typing and Latin.
Twelfth Grade: Speech, Government, World Problems, Advanced Algebra, General Business and Typing II.

Extra curricular activities consist of Boys and Girls Athletics, Music, and Dramatics. A school year book called "Beaver Chips" is published once a year by the seniors.

In Athletics, the Hayes Girls engage in inter-scholastic competition in basketball while the boys participate in Fall and Spring Baseball and Basketball. There have been some outstanding participants in both Boys and Girls sports down through the years but unfortunately records are not available. Records go back just to 1941 when the school building burned and all trophies and records were destroyed.

From the year 1941 through 1953 the Hayes athletic teams were in the Pop Corn Loop conference participating in basketball and baseball. During those years in Boys Basketball they were the champions in 1943, co-champions in 1944 and runners-up in the 1949 - 1950 season. In Baseball Hayes was co-champion in 1948 and champions in 1950, 1951, and 1952 in the Pop Corn Loop.

In 1953 the Buena Vista County conference was organized and Hayes became a member dropping out of the Pop Corn Loop. In Basketball Hayes was Runner-Up in 1947, 1950 and 1951.

In Sectional Tournament play the Hayes Baseball Team has won nine sectional tournaments since 1946 and had one Iowa State High School District crown in the Spring of 1947 held at Mason City, Iowa.

Left to right, front row: Robert Bumann, Melvin Cleveland, Jim Thayer, Dean Stille, Marvin Stille, Harris "Bill" Ford
Left to right , top row: Supt Ed Wixon, Russell Stille, Richard Stille, Don Burhop, Victor Otto, Coach Jay Beckman.

In Girls Basketball Hayes has always been well represented. Although we have only been in the B V. County conference two years, both of which we were runners-up. In Buena Vista County Tournament the Hayes Girls have been Runners-up in 1943 and 1955. In Sectional Tournament play Hayes has been Runner-up 3 times: 1946, 1951, and 1954.

The Music department of the Hayes School embraces the following activities: concert band of 28 members, girls glee club of 21 members, girls sextet, girls trio, two instrumental soloists and three vocal soloists. The above mentioned groups and solos will appear at the music contests this spring.

The department also carries on work throughout the grades including music classes twice each week and instrumental lessons on band instruments starting in the fourth grade.

In 1961 the Hayes Consolidated School became a part of the Storm Lake school district. For the 1961 - 1962 school year, seventh and eighth grade classes were held at the country school, then for following years transported in to Storm Lake. It was used by the district as an elementary school, grades one through six, until 1973.

For six years following, the building was used by the Iowa Central Community College. Finally it was sold for private use in 1980. Through the years the school had been a gathering place for many events of the township and everyone felt the loss of the community center.

Submitted by Ray Staples.