Sioux County -- Christian Schools
Perkins Christian School - Perkins, Iowa
Perkins School Photo - Teacher appears to be Jacob Bajema
Notes from the Alton Democrat about the Perkins Academy School.
~The above old news copy was typed for posting by Joan Van Peursem.
History of the Perkins Christian School
The Society for Christian Instruction at Perkins, Iowa, was organized on June 7, 1912.
At this time it was decided to buy an acre of land from Mr. Ralph Kooiker for the school’s site at the price of $200.
The next day, June 8, the members of the society came together again for the purpose of choosing the most suitable acre for their school premises and to make a plan of the building they were about to erect.
Without much argumentation it was agreed upon to build on the plot running ten rods north and south and sixteen rods east and west on the east end of the village exactly in front of main street of Perkins.
On the west end of these grounds the building was to be placed. A structure 26’ x 32’ x 10’ in dimensions under an A shaped roof with a double outside door at the front or west end. A six-foot hall was to span the breadth of the school on the west end with a door on either end for admittance into the school room.
The foundation was to be concrete covered by a double floor the upper one of which was to be made of hard pine. Five windows on both the north and south sides. The outside to be finished with siding and the walls within to be well plastered and painted in a soft shade of blue.
On June 18th the society members met again—this time for the purpose of electing school board officers. The following six men were chosen:
At this meeting it was decided to let the job to J. Gooris and his helper, and to buy the lumber at Rock Valley. The farmers agreed to dray all the material from there free of charge.
Three days later, before the hammer clangs began to resound through the peaceful village, the Board held its first meeting, and that for the purpose of appointing the first teacher. Miss Della Vanden Hoek was appointed for a term of ten months. Every Friday was to be devoted to Holland language. Every subject was taught in the Holland and I can well remember that on those days we were constantly reminded to speak Holland, even in our play on the school ground.
The enrollment was 42 children. The school opened during the first week in September 1912. It might be interesting to note here that our school was in operation one year before our neighboring school in Hull.
The next year the school was again opened under the leadership of one instructor, namely, Jacob Bajema. The enrollment being too large for one teacher, a meeting was held to get the opinion of the society about enlarging the building and hiring a second teacher. They decided to pay off the debt on the present building first. So for two more years, we managed to get along. In June 1915, the first graduation class received their diplomas.
In July of that year the society agreed to double the size of the building. During the course of the summer another room was built onto the east end of the old structure.
The wall in between consisted of large folding doors which could be folded flat against the north and south walls for programs, meetings, etc.
In September the school opened with two teachers—Miss Mamie Scholten for grades one to three inclusive and Miss Jennie Rikkers for grades four to eight inclusive. Catechism classes were held every Friday afternoon at 3 o’clock for all the grades. From then on things were carried on without much change except for the teaching staff which changed in either one or both rooms every year—until the outbreak of the World War when it became necessary for patriotic reasons to drop the instruction in the Holland language. However, after September 1919 this instruction was again resumed as before except for a half day instead of a whole day. This was of short duration for in January 1920, it was dropped altogether because it was found to be illegitimate.
Perkins Christian School & Pupils 1919-1920
Now means were sought to “break the news gently” of forthcoming expansion. So the five-stable horse barn was enlarged for rumors were that the next school term would bring an enrollment of twelve horses. Whether all these four-footed creatures ever attended the daily meetings held in this department, I do not know.
After not many days it dawned upon some of our good folks that these seven additional horses would at all events bring their little comrades with them. So after another meeting the atmosphere was buzzing with happy children’s voices, “We’re getting a new school. We’re getting a new school,” and before the school year closed the old building was sold at auction on the 29th of May. John Hubers, being the highest bidder, bought the building, wrecked and rebuilt it into a modern house, now known as the “Prince home” located one and a half blocks north west from the school premises.
During the summer of 1920, the new building was erected and in Sept. the school opened with three teachers, namely—Mrs. Geo. Van Wesep for the lower, Mr. Herbert Husselman for the intermediate and Mr. Geo. Van Wesep for the upper grades. The enrollment was a little over 100 pupils at 107. Because of the omission of the Holland instruction, the school year was embraced in a term of nine and one half months. This was gradually filed off to a nine month school in later years.
On November 24, 1920 the new school was dedicated with two programs, one in the afternoon and one in the evening.
At the opening of the next school term, the enrollment had dwindled down to seventy-two pupils again.
So, due to financial circumstances, the society was forced to go back to the two-teacher system. Thus the work was carried on for six years. After September 1926 the society was constantly on a teeter-totter, jumping from one to two teachers and then back to one again. And at the present day we find the school under the leadership of one teacher and 23 pupils.
Twenty-three teachers have been thus far legally employed and seventy-four graduates have been awarded diplomas.
Written by Mrs. Fred (Della) Krommendyk (former Perkins pupil & later a Perkins Christian School teacher 1929)
* * *More Perkins Christian School photographs provided by Mrs. Krommendyk:
Perkins Christian School 1925-1926, Grades 5-8, Harold Verhulst, Principal
Perkins Christian School - 8th Grade Graduates - Unidentified Year
Perkins Christian School - Class Graduates 1924/1925
~Transcription done for posting by Sioux Co. Coordinator, L. Ziemann. Text and Photos supplied by the GSCGS, Sept 2019