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Newspaper Clippings for
August, 1922

from the Kenosha News 31 August 1922
Many Attend Annual Event at Wadsworth
and Hear Details of Old Records
The Browe School held their 21st annual reunion Thursday, August 31, 1922. There was large attendance and all the pastimes of the day were indulged in, baseball, throwing of horseshoes, dancing and best and most of all, a general visiting time by the old pupils and teachers of the school.
Old scholars were in attendance from Kenosha and Evanston, who gave pleasure to those who lived in the old neighborhood as yet. Edson C. Howard of Fox Lake, who taught this school in 1866, was present, as was Miss Mamie Brown, who taught there upwards of thirty years ago. This does not in any way intend to convey the age of these old teachers, as they were as lively as any of them.
After a wholesale and enjoyable visit a program was called by the president, who said that he desired to get rid of the election of officers for next year before anybody realized that there was anything doing. The officers elected were C. T. Heydecker, president; Frank Wells, of Kenosha, vice president, F. G. Dietmeyer, Emma Heydecker and Edgar Ames of Wadsworth, executive committee. The next reunion was set for the last Thursday in August, 1923.
Hon. Perry L. Persons made a hasty visit to the gathering, he being one of the old scholars to that school. It was said by some of them that he did not stay long enough to take seat at the campfire.
Vice President Frank Wells presented to the five ladies who attended school in the old log schoolhouse namely, Sophia Wells, Sarah Wells, Adelaide Conners, Bridget Emerson and Mary Lux, each a $10 gold piece, and to John Strock, Charles Dougherty, C. T. Heydecker and Thomas Strang, each a $5 gold piece. These were the only ones who were in attendance at the time of presentation. Later on several others came who were not presented with this valued and friendly prize.
Aside from the above who attended school in the old log schoolhouse and were present later on in the day, and after the program had been given, there were Mary E. Stauber, Cecilia Shea and F. G. Dietmeyer. Letters were read expressing regrets at being unable to be at the gathering. A letter from Ann Schlund Ganssler, and one from an old schoolmate, Max Schlund, were read. Edson C. Howard and Miss Mamie Browe, former teachers each made a very pleasant address.
Old records discovered
The president, C. T. Heydecker, made a general talk with extracts from a record which has lately been discovered of the proceedings of the Board of Directors of said district from 1850 down to and including 1865. The money which paid the teachers at that time was raised by taxing each family for the number of days attending school at the rate of 2 cents apiece per day. The record disclosed that it was made for families resident of the district, and then the number of days for each member of the family attending school, and on the total of that number of days the bill was rendered for educational purposes. From this record the president was able to name nearly all the old scholars who attended the school. The number of scholars who attended in 1851, as shown by the record, was 47, in the old log schoolhouse. It appeared from this interesting record that Stira Hall taught school there in the winter of 1850, and was paid for such services as teacher, $40 and boarded around the district. In the winter term of 1852, Mr. Lee taught the school for four months at $18 per month and boarded around the district.
In addition to this cost of teaching, the parent of each child who attended was required to deliver to the schoolhouse one quarter of a cord of wood for fuel. There was also in this term a funny record of Charles Heydecker, director, who was to get three pounds of candles for use of spelling school, and charged them to the district. For the winter term of 1853 things had changed somewhat and the tax for scholars was raised from 2 cents to 3 cents per day.
He then submitted the yearly record and came to the most interesting in the history of the old school. On December 28, 1858, a meeting was held looking towards the building of a new schoolhouse, which was thought could be built for $600, and as a result of that meeting it was determined to build such a schoolhouse, which is the present building with recent modifications. The question then arose at a meeting of the directors, held on the 20th day of January, 1859, that the building should be built immediately, so as to be occupied by November, 1859. At that meeting also, William Browe, who was the owner of the present site of the schoolhouse, offered one-half acre of land so long as it was used for a schoolhouse, being the site where the schoolhouse now stands. The construction was let to Lewis Gade on January 27, 1859, for $569. Another bid made by Thomas McKinney was for $800. Of course, Mr. Gade being a resident of the school district, got the contract and it was built in accordance with the specifications.
Then the question arose as to selling the old log schoolhouse. Some declared it ought never to be sold or removed, but the majority insisted on selling. Of course we cannot realize or appreciate the value of a log schoolhouse well built at that time when we compare it with the present-day kind. However, it was not sold or removed, for the history tells us that on the 21st day of April, 1859, the schoolhouse was destroyed by fire and many of the old scholars have told that as one of the saddest moments of their lives, when they were deprived of paying 2 or 3 cents a day for their children to obtain the rudiments of education.
The new schoolhouse was completed and in the month of November the school opened for the winter term with Thomas Moran as teacher who afterwards became a judge of the courts of Illinois, and a very prominent attorney in Chicago. The wood contract for heating the new schoolhouse was let to Martin Sessler, seven cords at $1.85, delivered on the school grounds, and thus began the work of education in the new, and now the old, remodeled schoolhouse, standing as it does in the memory of many a boy and girl as a guiding star in the neighborhood to the hopes and ambitions of the children of nearly seventy years ago.
It must not be forgotten that all who were participants in the prizes given by Frank Wells extended to him their heartfelt thanks for the kind memento and while they cherish him as one of the oldest children if not the oldest child of a parent who attended school before 1860, and the vice president of the association.
As the sun faded away in the western sky, everybody started for their homes with the firm pledge of being there again on the last Thursday of August, 1923.
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