Text Size

Early History

The Schoolhouse By The Pond

Written by the late Glen Parker in a February 1998 letter to Carla S. Post

"In order to tell what I have in store about Pauline School District #8, I have to go back to what I was told about it by generations before me. As a young boy I traveled around our township and even the county quite extensively. I found numerous old landmarks and wondered how they came to be. John McCleery, the man who owned and operated the grain elevator on the Burlington Railroad on Pauline's west side was the best source for answers to so many questions.

"During the summer of 1931-32 and '33 we had permission from the owner to pasture the little six-acre patch where theCloseup of a February, 1998 drawing by the late Glen Parker, showing the location of the first District 8 schoolhouse, west of Pauline. The angular, parallel lines at the top represent the Burlington Railroad. The parallel, squiggly lines show the nearby creek, feeding into the Little Blue River. The drawing may be seen in its entirety at the bottom of this web page.Closeup of a February, 1998 drawing by the late Glen Parker, showing the location of the first District 8 schoolhouse, west of Pauline. The angular, parallel lines at the top represent the Burlington Railroad. The parallel, squiggly lines show the nearby creek, feeding into the Little Blue River. The drawing may be seen in its entirety at the bottom of this web page. "Pauline Ice Pond" is located. We owned a family milk cow and a small horse which grazed the place. Explorer that most children are, I discovered the two springs that fed this pond. The south one was encased in an earthen tile and all of two feet deep. The north spring just bubbled up out of the ground and found its way down to the back waters. I found the lake was home to numerous families of muskrats and bluegill fish. A green, moss-like foliage grew from the pond's depths during the summer, but somehow it seemed to turn dark and go back down to the floor of the pond in winter, leaving plenty of clear water above to freeze into ice to be cut and stored in numerous ice houses over the area.

"Then there was a deep depression in the top of the small rise west of the main pond and in the south bow of this pond. It was about 12 feet square at the surface and tapered down to almost a point at the bottom. It was about 8 foot in depth. After a heavy rain or snow runoff there was always a foot or more of water in the bottom. John told me that pit was the partial basement of the first school house in the Pauline area. Heard a number of other older ones in the community had attended that school."

The 'Right' School

In 1895, six-year-old John H. Post moved with his German-immigrant parents and five siblings to a farm midway between Pauline and another rural school, District 7 Union. The latter was situated three miles south of the "schoolhouse by the pond".

"They didn't know where they were supposed to go to school, so they went to Union." School officials told the newcomers, " 'well, they really weren't supposed to be there,' but they let 'em go there for a year."

"But they had to sit three to a desk, it was so crowded; so the next year they went to the school by the creek."  - J. Rolland Post, son of John H. Post

As a student, one of young John H.'s jobs was to draw water from the natural springs for use by schoolmates and teacher. He left school after the sixth grade to work on the family farm, where he would spend nearly the remainder of his life. Two more generations of the Post family would go on to attend both Pauline and Union Schools, eventually serving as schoolboard members and teachers as well.

'Pre-teen' Studies

Census records for 1886 note that textbooks were not furnished by the district. Two decades later, however, a textbook inventory for the 1908-09 school year shows that 430 volumes were on hand at District 8. These included first through fifth readers, elementary and practical arithmetics, elementary and grammar school geographies, elementary language, higher lessons in English, spelling books, elementary and higher physiology, elementary and higher U.S. history, civil government, elementary and higher algebras, general history, bookkeeping, business forms, rational primers and music readers. A number of these books were listed as being new, while others were listed in fair or poor condition.

A 1910-11 textbook inventory is much the same, with the addition of nine new Geography of Nebraska books and nine elementary agriculture texts.

Leisurely Reading

A library record spanning September of 1910 to April of 1913 shows that books available for checkout included Grimm's Fairy Tales, Hans Anderson Fairy Tales, In the Misty Realm of Fable, Little Women, Little Men, Little Lame Prince, Nature Myths, Pileys Poems, Dog of Flanders and The Three Pigs. Even then, some emphasis on other cultures are evident in such books as Story of an African Boy, Children of Many Lands, Little People of the Snow,  Japanese Fairy Tales, Our Little Germany Cousin, Our Little Philippine Cousin,  Stories of the Red Children, and How the World is Clothed.

An undated  inventory list likely from this time period also includes such classics as Aesop's Fables, Stories from Shakespeare, Christmas Carol, King Arthur and His Court, Robinson Crusoe and Swiss Family Robinson. A total of 78 volumes are listed. It is interesting to note that the cost of library books in the 1909 school library ranged from $.21 to $1.40.

The Price Of An Education

School census records on file at the Adams County Historical Society show that in 1885 $238.78 was paid out to male teachers; $25.50 was spent on building repairs and fuel; $184.69 was spent on "furniture, such as desks, etc."; $.50 was paid for "expence" and $1.10 was paid "for all other purposes". The category of "money in hands of District Treasurer on April 7, 1885" is blank; but $50.52 is entered in a "Total" column.

Pauline's Early Educators

One of the earliest teachers was Laura Fouts, daughter of “California Joe” Fouts, one of the first homesteaders in the county. Local folklore has it that Miss Fouts had to pull the window shades so the students would not be distracted by a nearby neighbor, Mrs. Fairbanks, who liked to dance on the roof of her dugout. During 1875-76, Lila K. Loomis taught five children for a little over three months, receiving $15.00 a month.*

 Other teachers, according to census records at the Adams County Historical Society, include:

1877: L.K. Loomis taught three months of school for $25.00 a month
1878: Addie Arnold taught four months of school for $25.00 a month
1879: Jane Aldrich taught four months of school for $25.00 a month
1880: Sarah West, four months at $25.00 a month

1881: Sadie West, three months at $25.00 a month; Mrs. F.P. Olmstead, three months at $30.00 a month.
1882: Mrs. F.T. Olmstead, 25 days at $25.00 a month, for a total of $28.75; Mary Sinclair, two months, at $20.00 a month; F.T. Olmstead taught a little over 2 ½ months for $33.33 1/3 for a total of $87.31
1883: Miss Bosard taught four months at $25.00 a month; W.T. Royce taught three months at $30.00 a month.
1884: Miss Bosard, four months at $30.00 a month; Mr. William Washburn, four months at $35.00 a month.
1885: W. Washburn, three months at $30.00 a month, and just over four months at 35.00 a month; and L. Klingaman, two months at $30.00 a month.
1886: Mr. Bennet Robinson, two months and $35.00 a month; Miss Fannie Green, two months at $35.00 a month;  Laura Klingaman, two months at $30.00 a month.

Teacher Maude CoffmanTeacher Maude Coffman

 

 During the years of 1887-1894, teachers are not listed in school census records. However, the late Luther Logan Goding, Sr., recalled in 1987 the names of some of his teachers during the time he attended Pauline School from 1889-1898: Mr. Pearson, Mrs. Washburn, Miss May Bourne, Mr. David Jones, Mrs. Fitzpatrick, Mr. John Jordan, Miss Grace Fouts and Miss Maude Coffman.*

1895-1913: Teacher names from handwritten notes assembled by the compilers of “Pauline and Community, 1887-1987, ‘A Trail in Time.’ ”; and from attendance registers at the Adams County Historical Society include:

1895: Maud Thompson.                                                            
1896: F.E. Munson.
1897: F.N. Thompson.
1898: Satie Dives(illegible)
1899-1900: Maude Coffman
1900-01: Nettie E. Fitzpatrick
1901-02: D.P. Jones
1902-03: Unknown
1903-04: Unknown
1904-05: Josephine Perry
1906-07: Faustina Forrester
1907-08: Aileen Kress (primary); Nellie Sherman
1908-09: Aileen Kress, Ella McCartney
1909-10: Marie Hansen (primary); Ella McCartney
1910-1911: Ida B. Drollinger (primary); Ernestine Kolberg
1911-12: Ella Decker (primary); H.W. Barker
1912-13: Ella Decker, H.W. Barker

Early Board Member Spurs Family Trend

Jonas Goding, father of Luther Logan Goding, Sr.,  was the first of four generations of the Goding family to be involved with the Pauline School - as scholars, teachers and school board members. The family's involvement spanned nearly a century. Jonas Goding's granddaughter, Sarah Goding Post, attended Pauline School during her early elementary and high school years. She later returned as a teacher during the 1940s. Travel over the mud- and snow-packed country roads was so difficult that her young daughter was compelled to go to Pauline School as well, in order to spare what would have been an extra two miles of winter driving to the child's home district of Union School. Jonas Goding's grandson Luther Goding, Jr., served on the Pauline school board as well. Names of other early schoolboard members found in the census records of the Adams County Historical Society include:

1876: W.S. Moote, director
1877 and 1878: Jonas Goding, director; W.C. Klingaman, moderator; H.W. Olmstead, treasurer
1879-80: Jonas Goding, director; Hartford Livingston, moderator; James McCleery, treasurer
1880-81: M. Livingston, director (beginning in April); Hartford Livingston, moderator; J.B. McCleery, treasurer.
1881-82:  W. Klingaman, director; H. Livingston, moderator; Henry Olmstead, treasurer.
1882-83: W. Klingsman, director; J.M. Bird, moderator; H.W. Olmstead, treasurer.
1883-84: F.P. Olmstead, director; Jessie Bird, moderator; H.W. Olmstead, treasurer.
1884-85: F.P. Olmstead, director; Jonas Goding, moderator; H.W. Olmstead, treasurer.
1885-86: F.P. Olmstead, director; Jonas Goding, moderator; H.W. Olmstead, treasurer.
1886-87: F.P. Olmstead director; Jonas Goding, moderator; H.W. Olmstead, treasurer.

From 1887 onward, only the director of the school board is listed in the census records.

1887: C.F. Warner, director.
1888: Census records missing.
1889-1892: Daniel McCleery, director.
1893-95: P.J. Cronin, director.
1896-1900: Daniel McCleery, director.

*Taken from "Pauline and Community, 1887-1987, 'A Trail in Time' ".

A February, 1998 drawing by the late Glen Parker shows the location of the "schoolhouse by the pond" - located one-half mile west of Pauline amid natural springs and a pond. A February, 1998 drawing by the late Glen Parker shows the location of the "schoolhouse by the pond" - located one-half mile west of Pauline amid natural springs and a pond.