From the “Scratcher” or notebook of Superintendent of Public Instruction Philetus Fales:
Apr 9, 1869: “After several days in investigating territories included within certain petitions for new districts(,) organized district 55, 56, 57 & 58, order dated April 10.”
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 4 October, 1990.
The old Hood school, District 56. was located about a quarter mile east of where Wendy’s is now, at 23rd and US-59. It was on the north side of the road next to Rock Creek.
The original building has been remodeled and no one would guess that the Marvin Funk family home was once a school.
Exactly when the school was built is not known, but it closed in 1961 and its last teacher was Grace Hoobing, 212 S. Locust.
John Allen, 1519 S. Elm, remembers when youngsters would bring ice skates to school. During the lunch hour they would skate on frozen Rock Creek from the school north to 15th and back.
His wife remembers that when they watched the tornado of 1956 move past Ottawa on the southeast , she told her children there would be “ no school tomorrow.” But the school was not hit directly, although it was moved a little on the foundation.
The school underwent major renovation in the early 1950s, according to Lola Monroe, 1343 S. Maple. Natural gas was piped into the school, indoor toilets were added and a new kitchen was constructed.
“The school had a basement where many good times were held at community meetings,” she added.
The last pupils to attend the school were Sue, Chris and Sherrie Selby, Virginia Good, Paul and Bob Boyke, Myra, Linda and John McCall, Kathryn and John Fogle, Lester Meharry, Nancy Clark, Penny Atchison, Steven Couch and Margaret Good.
Former pupils still living in Franklin County include Owen Frakes, Lawanda (Enyart) Gorton, Harold Shomber, John Allen, the Boykes, Doris (Allen) Shaw, Louise (Bell) Fouts, Linda (McCall) Campbell, Gerald Hamilton, Laura Jean (Hamilton) Floyd, Eleanor (Seright) Kissinger and John McCall.
Other teachers at Hood included Esther Hegberg, Francis Turner, Ola Keith, Nona Martin, Flora Bell Lancaster, Ethyl Funk, Helen Good and Ethyl Seymour.
Members of the last school board were Clarence Good, Louise Boyke and Joe Selby.