Here's yet another example of the surprising stuff you find at the museum. While I was searching through boxes of newspapers searching for missing issues of the Glacier, I encountered a metal box labeled "OLD OLD RECORDS-- SAVE!" That was hard to pass up, so I put on gloves and carefully started removing items from the box. It was mostly receipts and letters relating to school business in the late 1800's, but at the bottom was a simple book labelled "School District No. 14." The first date I saw when I opened it looked like 1866, but I didn't think that could be correct. Then I saw this page. These are the first records from Hood River's school district, documenting its creation on October 28th, 1865 and the first meeting of the school board at Nathaniel Coe's house on November 11, 1865.
Hood River had been settled just 11 years before, and Oregon had only been a state for 6 years when these men met to form a school district. It would be 17 years before a school building was built at the current location of the county courthouse.
This box was rediscovered just in time, as this year will be the sesquicentennial of this event.
The book is full of wonderful detail of school operations and finances in the earliest days. The first annual report is worth sharing:
- Yearly Report School District No 14.
- Hood River Wasco Co. Oregon
- No. legal voters: 18
- No. persons over 4 & under 20 years age: 25
- No. male scholars: 10
- No. female scholars: 7
- No. quarters school taught: 1
- No. scholars average attendance: 8
- Amt. to be paid teacher out of County funds: $90.00
- Amt. incidental expenses: $9.87
- Kind Books used:
- Monteiths & McNallys Geographics
- Websters Spelling Book
- Rai's Practical Arithmetic
- Colburns Intellectual Arithmetic
- Sanders, Wilson's and McGuffies Readers
- Name of teacher employed was Wm. B. Stillwell
- February 28th 1866
- Chas. C. Coe, District Clerk
Category: [Downtown Hood River]
A special find! And I find it a bit ironic.
I don't know about Oregon schools, but in Washington schools, cursive writing is no longer being taught. Which means there will be a generation of people who won't be able to read this letter. Good thing you learned your cursive Arthur!
I wonder if a quarter of school meant 3 months? I would think $90.00 would have made a sizable dent in the county funds.
l.e. on 12th February 2015 @ 7:29am
Me thinks, quarters might = locations?
Ralph on 12th February 2015 @ 7:59am
GREAT find! Another very interesting piece of HR's education history. Many of us remember well the high school split with Wy'East being built by the county district. Closing of Parkdale HS, etc. Has anyone written the history of education in greater HR county?
Arlen Sheldrake on 12th February 2015 @ 8:24am
I am so glad that my 7 yr old granddaughter can read cursive. What are these people thinking? I know with computers, etc. they do not write, but print. Guess we older people can get jobs reading cursive to the new generation of "non cursive"
judy on 12th February 2015 @ 9:21am
After many hours, days, months and years practicing cursive writing, I am still a lousy writer. And now that I only have to sign my name on a few checks a month and letter writing is a lost art, guess it is not that important. Has gone the same place as all that time we spent in school learning math and other subjects through rote and memorization. Maybe we are becoming more intelligent, albeit less civilized.
Buzz on 12th February 2015 @ 11:01am
A bit of history about the Stillwell family:
l.e. on 12th February 2015 @ 12:47pm
"Quarters school taught" definitely refers to 3 months of classes. The records show a few attempts to increase taxes to fund 6 months of school before they were finally successful.
There are many more treasures in the same box that holds this record. For example, I found the full specification for construction of the original schoolhouse on State Street. I am working with the school district to figure out how to study these records. I think this will be a good opportunity for students to study primary sources that aren't indexed in search engines.
The museum and the school district are both considering appropriate ways to celebrate 150 years of education in the Hood River valley. Stay tuned!
Arthur on 12th February 2015 @ 1:02pm
150th celebration is a great idea......while recent history, father John L. was always proud to have his name on the Cascade Locks and Wy'East schools builders plaques as the County School District Deputy Clerk. He always noted that he had life long enemies in Parkdale because of the closing of that high school while he was employed by the District. The split of the county high school students to Wy'East was a also pretty painful period for the county. Brother John W. was a member of the first four year class to graduate from Wy'East in 1955.
Arlen Sheldrake on 12th February 2015 @ 9:13pm
Colburns Intellectual Arithmetic
l.e. on 12th February 2015 @ 10:30pm