About six weeks have passed since we discussed the schools of years gone by.
In the last article on Oct. 20, we mentioned schools that we had no contacts for or volunteering contributors to share their story. We still need four of these but William Hoban, now of Kiel, did grow up in the Osman area and attended St. Isidore School in Osman. Bill attended Kiel High School and became a career grade school teacher in the Fox Valley. The following are Bill’s memories of the St. Isidore School in Osman.

St. Isidore School, Osman
The school and attached church were built in 1926. The public school that is nearby was founded much earlier. My ancestors went to the public school. My father, who was the youngest in his family, went his first seven years there. He finished his eighth year as the first class to graduate from St. Isidore in 1927. There were four graduates that first year. I went all eight years here. In 1958, we had nine graduates. There was no kindergarten at that time.
Our school had two rooms. Grades one to four were in one room and grades five to eight in the other room. We had two Franciscan sisters from Bay Settlement for our teachers and a third who was the housekeeper. They lived above the school.
We had three recesses during the day. We played many types of games depending on the time of year. Baseball, football, and kickball games were favorites if we had a ball to play with. We did not have all the equipment we needed and many times children would bring their own from home. In winter, we played king on the hill, tag in tracks that we made in the snow, and we tried to get away with snowball fights. There was a merry-go-round and two or three swings on the playground. One of my favorite days was when the whole school would visit St. Fidelis School in the spring for a rival baseball game.
With four grades in a classroom, often two grades studied together. For example, the fifth and sixth grade would study sixth grade classes one year, and the next year they would do fifth grade classes. So, you would still have the whole curriculum in your two years. There was also Wisconsin Public Radio, which taught us about music and talks on nature and science. Those who graduated from St. Isidore School went to Kiel High School or Valders High School, depending upon where you lived.
I also remember fire drills, goiter pills every Friday, and going under our desks to practice in case there was a nuclear bomb.
St. Fideles School in Spring Valley closed in May 1960. These students then went to St. Isidore where the two-room school was replaced by a separate school with four classrooms. The new school closed in 1987.
               —William Hoban

Although I still hope to get a contributor to tell their memories about Osman Public School, George Washington in St. Nazianz, St. Gregory in St. Nazianz and Elm Grove on STH 42, I also learned in re-reading Ed Majkrzak’s story that there were schools in the town of Russell whose students attended Kiel High School. From what I have learned, there were at least two schools, one on CTH H near St. Anna, which closed maybe in the late ‘40s and another near the Russell Church. It would be interesting to learn more about these schools. I believe that Lucille Dickrell and Joyce Wordell Palm taught at the school near St. Paul Christian Church on CTH J. Through a bit of networking I connected with Rheiny Palm in Sheboygan. It was coincidental that my wife had worked with Rheiny at Hayssen in the early 1960s and that we later had a business relationship with Rheiny and Joyce for several decades as they owned and operated Sheboygan Auto Supply; however, through all these years of contact, I never knew that Joyce was a teacher. Rheiny advised me that Joyce attended Sheboygan County Normal and taught at Russell from 1951 to 1953 (small world).
If anyone would like to write more about these two schools, we would like to hear from you.
In addition, I have also heard from other students and former teachers. Daniel Koenig of the School Hill area sent his memories to Mark Sherry. This is what he shared:

My grade school experiences
Father Baum first, then Father Loehr—I attended first and second grade there. Sister Rosalie was my teacher, grade one through four. Sister Bernadette was the cook sister and housekeeper. Sister Julianna taught fifth through eighth grades.
I made my First Communion at St. Fideles with my brother Kenneth.
We moved after my second grade and I attended Holy Trinity Catholic School in School Hill. I went there for third through seventh grade. We had a bus to pick us up for that school. Our driver was Harry Kirsh.
When I attended St. Fideles School, my brother Ken and I walked to school almost every day. We sometimes got a ride from the Hauch family. Their son Jim was in my class. Their family had a farm a half-mile from where we lived on CTH XX near Mineral Springs Road. Now Siemers Farms are straight behind the house I lived in. There is a Lensmire family living there now.
I finished grade school for my eighth grade at Woodland Park on STH 67. Gary and Ann Hei live there now. I had Mrs. Esther Kuester as my eighth grade teacher. She taught grades third through eighth at that school. Grades one and two went to Hillside Grove School on Lax Chapel Road that year. I lived right below where that school was located. Art and Margaret Joas lived across the road from Hillside Grove and when it closed, Art purchased it and remodeled it into a home for their youngest son William and his family.
In eighth grade, along with my brother Ken and I were DuWayne Retlich, Karen Gierke, Marilyn Schreiber, and Kathy Goebel.
When I attended St. Fideles School, there was a public school on the corner of CTH XX and Mineral Springs Road. I think it was called Mineral Springs Public School. We were Catholic so my parents sent us to St. Fideles. We only lived about 100 yards from that Mineral Springs School. One nice thing about the smaller rural school was that you knew everyone you went to school with. When I went to Kiel High School I had over 100 classmates in my freshman class. It was a new and rewarding experience having separate rooms for each subject and lockers to put your books and things in.
I always remember my experiences in grade one through eight.
I thoroughly enjoyed the articles in the Kiel paper and can’t wait to share it with my own children and their families too.
The Fountain Park School was located on Uecker Point Creek Road and was purchased by Joe and Marilyn Joas and moved to Lax Chapel Road. I know the school was in Rockville and is now sitting on Uecker Point Creek Road near Lax Chapel Road. Another public school was on CTH XX and the corner of Cedar Lake Road. I forget the name of that one, Pine Grove? The other one I can think of was located just north of School Hill about a quarter of a mile. I think it was called Woodland. It was purchased by Dean and Sandy Hei, if I am not mistaken. It was raised sometime later and a new home was built there. Sandy was a classmate of mine and she still lives on that property.
We did not have hot lunch at any of my schools in grades one through eight. I do remember the glass bottles with a paper cap at St. Fideles. White milk cost .01 cent and chocolate milk was .02 cents. Later they changed to paper cartons.
I also remember the special holidays like Valentine’s Day and the parties that were held for them. When my brother Ken and I walked to school in the winter months, there were snow banks as high as the telephone wires. Walking home from school in fall was fun—many times stopping along the way to swipe an apple or plum from some farmer’s tree.
I just thought I’d let you know how much I liked that article.
             —Daniel J. Koenig

We also heard from some former teachers in the country schools. After making contact, I again realized what a small world it really is. Yvonne (Rautman) Braunel of Manitowoc saw the articles because Pastor Kim Henning (yes, of the Henning Cheese family) gave it to her. Yvonne grew up on CTH A just north of CTH X. She had two brothers, Gary and Rodney, both who also attended Kiel High School and attended the Woodland grade school.
This is what Yvonne sent to me:
A very kind man, Pastor Kim Henning of Two Rivers sent the article about rural schools to me.
I read that article with deep interest, respect and appreciation. I went to one of those schools for eight years.
I remember sitting in my desk and thinking, I really like going to school. I could spend the rest of my life here. I suppose that thought prompted me to go to Manitowoc County Teacher’s College to become a teacher.
When I got my teaching certificate at the age of 19, I went into a school to teach. Wow, what a challenge. I started that job at $235 a month for nine months with no pay during the summer months. Yet, that school had a grip on me. I stayed there for seven years. Having gone to a rural school gave me the feel of managing such a school. Good background. For some subjects grades third and fourth, fifth and sixth, and seventh and eighth were combined. That was tough for third graders just coming out of second grade and being put into a fourth grade book. Books were alternated every other year. Older kids were always willing to help the younger ones. There were no discipline problems as siblings were always quick to go home and tattle on brothers or sisters that misbehaved.
It was expected that we get our degree in a few years, night school, Saturday classes and summer school, most of them at Oshkosh. One year I earned 20 credits and taught full time.
The school I was teaching at had an indoor toilet, running water and oil heat. The furnace was located in an addition to the building. Gone was the big stove in the classroom. When I was a student, that big stove in the room gave us our hot lunch. When we came to school in the morning, we would put a clean potato on the top of the stove. It soon started to bake and filled the room with a delicious aroma.
I often wondered what teachers that had only one grade in a room did all day. I soon found out as I finished my career in Manitowoc, one grade per room. Busy all day!
The one-room rural schools are gone. As we drive throughout the country and see those buildings being used for sheds and all sorts of things, it saddens us. There was so much good that went on there. Gone, but not forgotten.
—Yvonne Braunel

Next, I spoke with Harriet Westphalen Kappelman. She taught at Fountain Park School.
The small world reappears, when in an e-mail she addressed me as “dear cousin Jack.” She advised me that somewhere in my lineage, she is my cousin. Harriet agreed to also summarize her memories about fellow teachers and students:
This is to be a “teacher” story, but it will be a story of how I got to be one.
It started in my first grade at EIder Grove School in the town of Eaton. I was the middle of seven children of the Roland and Thekla Westphalen family. My teacher was Miss Violet Pederson. She was an excellent teacher. She taught me how to read, and instilled in me the love of books, love of reading, and the desire to become a teacher. All my school years I knew I wanted to be a teacher. I loved school.
For the second, third, and fourth grades, our teacher was Miss Marie Harlow. Fifth grade we had a Miss Monica Fessler, sixth grade was taught by Miss Norma Schmidt, and for my eighth grade, a Mrs. Norma Koene came to our school—another excellent teacher who spurred me on towards a teaching career. Our school was a replica of the stories printed earlier—janitor duties, Christmas programs, peanut butter sandwiches, music festivals, and school picnics with games and prizes. The teachers provided all the prizes and the Christmas candy bags.
Each year all the county eighth graders had to take final tests, usually at a nearby high school. We went to Kiel High School for those tests. Results were mailed to us. Each subject we had studied had a test. The top 10 percent of the county students were on the honor roll. I just missed it!
Four years at Kiel High School followed. Many of my classmates took the secretarial classes and could land jobs after graduation. Because I still wanted to become a teacher, I took the college prep classes, which they advised me I needed. Again, I just missed the top 10 percent Class Honor Roll; however, since my grades were good, I did receive a scholarship to the (then) Oshkosh State Teacher’s College. If I continued with good grades, it would be renewed and the scholarship covered tuition and books for the second semester. I graduated from high school in 1948.
There was the crash of the ‘30s, and my parents were unable to help me financially. My roommate, Bernice Neumeyer Klaeser, also a Kiel classmate, worked at a restaurant during the year. One would work 4 to 8 p.m., the other 8 p.m. to midnight. The next day we would switch. Summers were spent working at Siebken’s Resort in Elkhart Lake, and the school years working for room and food and $3 a week; however, I never gave quitting a thought. I wanted to be a teacher! We both transferred to the Sheboygan County Normal School, thinking it would be less expensive, and the training was only for rural teaching. We graduated in 1950.
The Fountain Park School Board hired me for $325 a month. I thought that was fabulous! The school was small in size and number of students, and I could live at home only four miles from school. The second year had more students as they returned from the Catholic school in Kiel, which they attended for grades third and fourth and seventh and eighth (I think). The last year there, I had only nine students. It gave lots of time to give individual help.
About four times a year, unannounced, a supervising teacher would suddenly be in our room. She would observe the teaching, the student attitudes and responses, the appearance of the classroom and chalkboards, and my weekly lesson plans of 28 different classes a day. Classes were short—about 10 minutes—but the upper classes could watch the lower classes, and the more apt lower classes could grasp teachings from the upper classes. In essence, they were learning all day. She would write a report of her observations and send a copy to County Superintendent of Schools Gretna T. Brown, a copy to my school board, and a copy to me.
We needed to keep a daily record of attendance. After 20 school days we had to hand deliver them to Mrs. Brown in the courthouse in Manitowoc. It meant a 25-mile drive to Manitowoc, and some stress wondering how we were doing as teachers under her watch.
Daily schedules were sometimes interrupted. One day, Marlin Matznick stood up and said, “That’s my pig running down the road! Can I go catch it?” As a first-year teacher, do I let students run down the road during school hours? Pigs are very hard to chase, as I learned growing up on a farm, so I said yes, and sent Ronald Rabe and Earl Otto along to help. About a mile down the road it fell over exhausted and Marlin’s father Ralph came to haul it home. Never heard any complaints about it.
There were “snow days” when my trusty ‘37 Ford wasn’t able to navigate the hills and valleys through Steinthal to get to school. People enroute would come out and help me get “unstuck.” Evidently, my route and progress was watched during snowstorms. Students loved the unexpected snow days of no school. Snow days had to be made up at the end of the year. We needed 180 school days of which 175 had to be actual teaching days. The other five could be holidays, or snow days.
During the second year there, the huge round wood furnace was replaced with an oil-fired heater. That was so wonderful, and only occasionally did a board member have to come to “clean” the burner.
During third year at the school, my fiancé returned from Army duty in occupied France and we were married on March 1, 1953. Finishing the year, I had to drive from 12 miles north of Manitowoc to school each day. On one icy March morning, I failed to negotiate a turn off of CHT A on to Wilkes Lake Road, and the front wheels dropped into the ditch, hopelessly stuck. Within minutes, without a phone call (no cells then), my board member, Herbert Wagner, appeared in his big milk truck. He soon had me pulled back on track.
I have many wonderful memories of my students, their parents, and the faithful board members of some 60 years ago.
A year at home with our new son John, when poor farm crops sent me looking for work. The Crystal Springs School in the town of Two Rivers hired me. It was a bigger challenge with more students. There were nine students in the first grade. Mrs. Brown advised me to have three separate reading classes. Three in each group, as three were advanced, three were average, and three needed a slower pace. They each had two reading classes a day—18 lesson plans for first grade reading alone per day, plus all the other grades’ classes. It was a very busy year, teaching, lesson plans on weekends, checking papers, baby John, the housework, and each night cleaning eggs from our flock of 200 laying hens. (Karl was very good at helping to check papers and clean eggs every night.)
The years to follow were spent raising and teaching our seven children. School days returned when our youngest was a senior in high school. Two to three days a week were spent as a librarian in our Manitowoc Lutheran High School. Again, aiding students, and each hour monitoring the students who came to the library to study was “back to school” for me. It lasted for 10 years, until 2000.
Now as I reminisce, it was truly “A Wonderful Life!”
—Harriet Kappelman

There are other names that have been mentioned as former county school teachers, such as Marilyn Jaschob, Nancy Neumeyer, Doris Krueger and Bernice Palazzo.
It would be great to hear stories from these people and also others unknown to me. I am hopeful Mark Sherry will be able to do a picture and story about a teacher and student. Shirley Henschel called and told me that Bernice Palazzo was her teacher.
I also hope that Mark will publish a story in mid-December by author and illustrator Bob Artly of Iowa called, “A Country School Christmas.” Artly’s rendition truly summarizes the memories of the country school experience of former students in the Kiel Area School District.