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 6 September. 1990.
Mt. Hope School, District 86, was located 5 miles east and 2 ¼ miles north of Princeton on the east side of the road. The last building was erected in 1893 and classes were discontinued in 1957.
“Mt. Hope School is now used as a community center, for weddings, wedding receptions, showers, anniversaries, reunions, family get-togethers, for benefit fund-raisers and sometimes just for a Sunday gathering,” according to Mrs. Henry Brown, Princeton RFD 1.
She said the present school building was erected in 1893 and, “We are glad it is still part of our community.”
When the first building was constructed and when classes actually began is not known, but Ruth (Mathias) Rathjen, Princeton RFD 1, discovered this notice under the “Chit Chat” column in The Ottawa Journal and Triumph, dated Sept. 18, 1890.
“A school meeting was held on Monday, the 14th, and it was decided to build on the old school building site with a building 36 by 24 by 12 feet high.”
Whether the earlier building had been destroyed by some catastrophe or whether the patrons just thought they needed a new building is not known.
The last school board to serve consisted of James Huston, Leroy Pearson and Victor Montague and the last teacher was Roxie Riley.
The last pupils to attend were Rocky Blackstone, Rick Montague, Linda Pearson, Joyce Pearson, Mary Sobba, Ruby Brown, Myron Bruce Welton and Coleen Riley.
Former pupils still living in Franklin County include: Mildred (Cornell) Snover, Veda (Welton) Cartmill, Ruth (Mathias) Rathjen, Edith (Mathias) Deaton, Alfred Mathias, Leo Blackstone, Eleanor (Blackstone) Ball, Norma (Collins) Drake, Warren Jay Welton, Eula (Welton) Montgomery, Bruce Welton, Eileen (Hoffman) Roseberry, Salome (Collins) Reineke, Thomas Michel, Katherine (Michel) Fouts, Henry Brown, Mildred (Mathias) Brown, Edith (Brown) Montgomery, Dorothy (Brown) Sobba, Ruby (Brown) Murrow, Paul Jones and Wayne Jones.
Other teachers known to have taught at Mt. Hope are Nellie Welton, Leona (Gentry) Akers, Orpha Dell (Welton) Haney, Dorothy Leatherby and Alice Moser. Leo Blackstone, Mildred (Mathias) Brown and Henry Brown are the only former students known to be still living in the district.