Dike School History

Dike School Community Center For The Town

On April 5, 1917, the citizens of Dike and vicinity voted favorably for the organization of the Dike Consolidated School. The new school building was erected during the year 1917-18 at a total cost of approximately $100,000. Wm. L. Pedicord of Iowa Falls was the architect, and the construction of the building was under the supervision of the Lauritzen Construction Company of Waterloo.

The building was dedicated October 6, 1919, at which time Governor W. L. Harding and State Superintendent of Public Instruction P. E. McClennahan took part in the exercises. At the time the building was dedicated the following were members of the Board of Education: W. H. Copley, H. J. Knudsen, George W. Boysen, H. F. Rathman, and Hans Kelsen, president. The other officers were: Jeppe J. Schultz, secretary; Chas. E. Thomas, treasurer; and C. A. Morris, superintendent of the school.

When the consolidation was voted the district included only 23 1/4 sections of land, but since that time more territory has been added bringing the total at the present time up to approximately 30 sections. With the beginning of twenty-five pupils in the high school in 1919, the number of high school pupils has increased to one hundred and three, and a total enrollment of three hundred and three in all grades. The tuition received from surrounding rural districts now amounts to considerably more than five thousand dollars annually which partially accounts for the fact that the Dike school district has the lowest school levy of any consolidated school in the county. Mr. W. H. Copley, who has served continuously as a board member since consolidation, is now president of the Board of Education. The other members at present are: P. J. Henningsen, H. J. Knudsen, H. O. Larsen, and E. N. Ove.

--The Grundy Register (Grundy Center, Iowa), 13 November 1931

Dike School Centers Community Life

By County Supt. C. A. Morris

When the town of Dike was founded in 1900 the rural school, Grant township, District No. 3, located on the creek bank near the present Dike cemetery, received the children of families who were the first settlers of this town. After a few years this small school was discontinued, due to insufficient room, and a two story four room frame structure was erected in the northeast part of town and teachers were added as needed to take care of the growing enrollment. During the period from 1910 to 1918 high school subjects were added according to demand of pupils and parents. First, a one year course, then two years, and finally arrangements were made for a limited four year schedule. The parents and pupils however were somewhat disappointed at that time as the credits of the high school graduates were not accepted by the colleges due to insufficient training on the part of some of the high school teachers.

In 1916 the residents of Dike and community felt the need for a bigger and better school, and decided to call for an election to consolidate the surrounding territory. This election turned out favorably resulting in a school district of 24 sections. Bonds to the amount of $90,000 were voted and the present school building was completed early in 1919. At the beginning of the Consolidated School District the following were elected school board members: Hans Kelsen, president; W. H. Copley, George Boysen, Hans Knudsen, Henry Rathman, Jeppe Schultz, secretary; and Charles Thomas, treasurer. Three of the four buses then were horse drawn and one motor bus functioned with much difficulty on account of the unimproved roads of that period.

In 1919, C. A. Morris, now county school superintendent of Grundy county, was employed by the school board to serve as head of the school. Through his efforts a well qualified staff of teachers was secured and the Dike Consolidated School was placed on the accredited list of high schools by the State Department of Public Instruction. In October, 1919, the new school was dedicated. W. L. Harding, then governor of Iowa, and P. E. McClennahan, state superintendent of public instruction, took part in the dedication services.

During the 23 years that C. A. Morris was the school superintendent the high school enrollment grew from a small group of 25 to a total of 115 high school students. Besides the regular high school subjects of that day courses were offered in typing and short-hand, band and orchestra, home economics, and manual arts. The members of the first graduating class consisted of the following: Irene Reisinger, Edna Vought, Martha Bauer, and Paul Bonn.

The Dike school has always been enthusiastic and successful in athletics. Besides winning many county basketball tournaments this school has been represented in two state basketball tournaments, 1928 and 1938, which is a record for Grundy county.

After the resignation of Supt. C. A. Morris in 1942, Mr. Edward Roelofs, then superintendent of the Bristow school, was employed and served successfully until 1949 when Mr. Richard Schuchert of Joice, Iowa, became the superintendent and the school is progressing very satisfactorily under his direction.

New territory was added to the school district in 1924 and in 1948 with the result that this school now includes 57 sections, making Dike the largest school territory in Grundy county.

Mr. W. H. Copley, now a retired farmer in Reinbeck, perhaps served on the Dike school board longer than any other member. He was first elected in 1916, and with the exception of one year, served continuously until 1943. Most of this time he was president of the board. One of the most active members of the board who pioneered in school consolidation from 1915 to 1925 not only in Grundy county but throughout Iowa was Mr. Hans Kelsen who was board president when Dike organized as a consolidated school. Mr. Kelsen is still a merchant at this time.

The enrollment in 1948-49 for this school was 232 grade pupils and 111 in the high school. There are eight motor buses covering the 57 sections as well as much outlying territory where the residents are interested in sending their children to Dike. The taxable valuation of this district is over $3,000,000.

The present school board members are as follows:
William Conradi president
C. M. Gregory
C. J. Clauson
Edward Andersen 
Joe Graves
Marvin Graves secretary
E. P. Tobias treasurer

Most people not connected with a school probably do not realize that the school in our communities is probably the most important and largest institution. The proper education of our youngsters is of prime importance. The modern trend is to provide bus transportation to and from school for the rural students, and one of the most recent additions to the schools is the establishment of a hot lunch program to provide a good noonday meal for all the students. The Dike school covers the largest area of any school in Grundy county. It also has the distinction of having one of the lowest tax levies for school purposes of any of the town schools in the county. It has been a progressive school in every respect, and it will continue to be such in the year ahead.

The Dike school has always excelled in both basketball and baseball. Currently, this is the baseball season. Members of the team, with their coach, Ted G. VanZandbergen are: Verne VanLengen, Charles Juel, Raymond Kruger, Richard Gerke, Wayne Paige, Irven Jungling, Laurence Graves, Don Andersen, Lester Meewes, Lyle Albert, Vernon Petersen and Daryl Andersen.

--The Grundy Register (Grundy Center, Iowa), 25 May 1950, Dike Golden Jubilee Section of the Grundy Register

First Graduating Class In Dike, 1911

The first commencement exercises of the Dike public school were held Friday evening, June 2, 1911, at the Dike school. Under banners of purple and orange, the class colors, the principal, Miss Dorothy Elrod presented diplomas to the five graduates of the class of 1911. They were Alma Theimer, Almeda Vought, Arthur Theimer, Harry Thomas, and James Campbell.

All members of the class with the exception of Arther Theimer, began work in the Dike school in the third grade. Their first teacher was Miss Clara Johnson. Arthur Theimer started in the fifth grade under Prof. Danskin, having spent two years attending German school in Black Hawk.

A program including some of the pupils of the intermediate grade, was presented before a large audience. The room was crowded, more than could comfortably be accommodated. (The paper states the school board was criticized for not arranging use of the opera house for the occasion.)

As this was the initial commencement exercises of the Dike school it is not to be wondered at, that the entire enrollment of the three rooms together with teachers and parents awaited with intense interest for the beginning of the program that would round out the elementary step in the life work of the five graduates.

Rev. Homer Green gave the invocation and benediction. Orations given by the graduates were "The Panama Canal," by Arthur Theimer; "Illustrious America," by Harry Thomas; "When War Shall Be No More," by James Campbell; a monologue, "The Bazaar," by Almeda Vought; and the class prophecy was given by Alma Theimer.

At the close of the program as a token of respect to their principal, the pupils of the high school presented Miss Elrod with a lovely set of sterling silver tea spoons. The other teachers on the staff were Miss Iva Bolton and Miss Jeanette Fackle. Members of the school board were C. D. Vought, president; D. H. Hagerman, secretary; C. E. Thomas, treasurer; and J. B. Theimer, W. H. Philpot, H. J. Knudsen and I. S. Porter. The board members of 1950 are Wm. Conradi, president; Marvin Graves, secretary; E. P. Tobias, treasurer; and C. M. Gregory, Calvin Clauson, Ed Andersen and Joe Graves.

--The Grundy Register (Grundy Center, Iowa), 25 May 1950, Dike Golden Jubilee Section of the Grundy Register