From the “Scratcher” or notebook of the Superintendent of Public Instruction Philetus Fales.
Dec. 28, 1867: “Wrote to Sup’t of Douglas Co. in reference to admission of certain pupils from Douglas Co. into school in Dist. 43, Franklin County.”
May 20, 1868: “Visited School 43. 18 pupils present, Miss Jenkins, teacher. Rode over district extensively to see about fitness of reuniting with dist. 4.”
Oct. 9, 1868: “During the week conferred with officers of School Boards on several occasions, & attended trial before County Commissioners on appeal of Dist. No. 4. Action of Co. Supt. sustained in uniting District 4 & 43.”
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From “The hitching post. . .” column in the Ottawa Herald, a series of articles about early Franklin County schools researched by Bruce Fleming and written by Herald Editor and Publisher Jim Hitch. This article appeared Thursday, June 28, 1990.
Boyd School, District 43, was constructed in the early 1870s and closed in 1947. It was served by at least two buildings, the last of which was located 2 miles west and 2 ½ miles north of downtown Pomona, on the west side of the road.
The first was on the east side of the road, about a quarter mile from the last location. The first building was located on land owned by A.M. Boyd.
After the first school was abandoned, another owner built a basement and two-story home in front of, but attached to the school building.
In the early 1920s the place was bought by George and Alma Peck, parents of Ethel (Peck) Richardson, 417 east 12th, who provided much of this information.
Peck was a carpenter and he installed a window sink along the north wall of the peculiar long room, which was 21 feet in length and 10 ½ feet wide.
Richardson recalls that her mother was constantly annoyed by the ceiling in this room because neither paint nor wall paper would stay on it for any length of time.
It is likely, she said, that the ceiling had at some time been painted with calcimine, a mixture of zinc, oxide, water and glue, which was often used for that purpose..
The Pecks did not know that the room had been the school until they were visited one day by an army officer who stopped to visit and whose last name was Boyd. The land had once belonged to his family.
According to Dorothy (Menary) Gilliland, a former teacher at Boyd, its last teacher was Lois Crooks, and among its last pupils were Doris Jean Gates, Charles, Larry and Patsy Shaw, Ernest, Lexie Mae and Alice Frances Johnson, Dwite, Mary Jane and Ella May Webber, Loren and William Engle.
Gilliland reports the former students still living in Franklin County include: Arlon Jones, Leona (Toumberlin) Johnson, Bob Jones, Oma (Johnson) Dickey, Mae (Johnson) Gephart, Odin Thompson, Marvin Durbin, Ray Reed, Roy Reed, Charles Shaw, Jim Shaw, Ruth (Nitcher) Fleming, Jack Wilson, Kenneth Nitcher, Ethyl (Peck) Richardson, Grace (Gilliland) Gates, Earl Gilliland, Clovis Johnson, Betty Batchelor, Erma (Hay) Fredricks, Betty Hay Bishop, and Opal (Durbin) Petty.
Members of the last school board were Clarence Jones, Walter Nitcher and Willis Johnson.
The original building still stands on land now owned by Ray Reed and, according to Richardson, is “witness to the days when school houses were strangers to luxury. It made a great summer kitchen, but the floor was extremely cold in winter. One can imagine the discomfort the students enjoyed while learning their 3 Rs.”
The second building, erected probably in the 1880s, was used as a church for more than a hundred years and was moved to Centropolis where it is now part of the Baptist Church.
Boyd School #43 Souvenirs
Beautifully printed mementos featured poetry and the names of students and teachers. They were distributed annually as souvenirs, just as yearbooks are today.
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