From the “Scratcher” or notebook of Superintendent of Public Instruction Philetus Fales:
June 12, 1868: “Visited schools in district 3 and 32. Miss Naria (?) in 3 has an average attendance of 35. School doing well. Miss Noss in 32 has an average of 25. She also teaches a good school.”
June 13, 1868: “Appointed Dr. Samuels Clerk of District 32 on recommendation of director & treasurer.”
June 22, 1868: “Visited school in district no. 13, Miss Starr, teacher. Rode over territory at corners of 13, 12, 32 & 38 to examine into propriety of organizing new district in forks of Ottawa and Wolf Creeks. Also wrote orders for first meeting in district 51.”
Feb 15, 1869: “Visited in dist. 32. On acct. of conditions of building no school this winter, but the district in a healthful condition.”
Dec. 9th, 1869: “[Term began] Dec. 5th. Robinson, teacher. Subscription school. Visited Dec. 9th. Teacher fourth rate.”
Click on the images to read the captions.
[nggallery id=60] 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, February 28, 1991.
Brown School, District 32, was located three miles west of LeLoup and a half mile south on the northeast corner of the intersection. According to John Dougherty, Ottawa RFD 2, a former pupil, there were at least three school houses known as Brown. The first was built in 1898 and was later moved northwest of LeLoup and used as a shop.
The second was built in 1918. It was a stucco building with a flat roof. It must have been poorly constructed, Dougherty said, because when the tie rods that were holding it together were cut, the whole front of the building fell forward with a little shove.
The last building, also one of the last rural schools constructed in Franklin County, was opened in 1939. Now known as Hayes Township Hall, it is used as a voting place and also serves the Tauy Baptist Church at Thanksgiving and Easter as a place for social gatherings.
Leo Ferguson, Ottawa RFD 1, a former pupil at Brown, recalls that Henry Carson came into the school each year and built a raised stage for the Christmas program.
“We always went a half mile east to a grove of cedar trees and cut a tree for the Christmas program,” Ferguson said.
“My brothers, Carl and Claude , drove a buggy to school with a mare horse. They would tie up to the hedge across the road from the school house. One day, on the way home from school, the mare got into a hurry and they had a runaway. They jumped off and no one was hurt. But, when the mare went into the shed at home, it sure wrecked the buggy.”
Brown School closed in 1957. The teacher then was a Miss Marshall and the last students to attend were Rick and Stan Perry, Neil Garret, Rosemary Shepherd, Charles and Bill Rogers and Janice Anderson.
Members of the last school board were Homer Perry, Ed Seyler and Gerald Anderson.
Former students still living in Franklin County and not previously mentioned include: Ruth (Daugherty) Shannon, Ivan Lutter, Eddie Hopkins, William Houdashelt, Doris (Bishop) Robbins, Ellen (Baldwin) Rufkar, Oneita (Hoover) Hornbuckle, Orpha (Hoover) Potter, Don Anderson, Lloyd and Floyd Hughes, Elsie (Hughes) Tillery and Juanita (Hughes) Heckmen.
Former teachers include Hallie Pearson, Esther Anderson, A.R. Shannon, Grace Brown , Golda Bivens, Florabelle Lancaster, Harold Bennett, Mabel Nordyke, Marzella Dwyer, Mrs. Roy Williams, Marj Jefferies, Lois Staadt and MayBell (Benham) O’Dea.