From the “Scratcher” or notebook of Superintendent of Public Instruction Philetus Fales:
Mar. 13, 1868: “Visited school Dist. 36. About 20 pupils present, average during term 25. Good neighborhood and children sprightly. Teacher Mr. Welch rather moderate. Think he had better work on courses material (?) young mind.”
July 9, 1868: “With parties interested, adjusted boundaries between district 14 & 36. With Sup’t ?? perfected programme for Teachers Institute for August and listened to alleged grievances per district 5 & 19.”
Feb 11, 1869: “Visited school in dist. 36. Mr. Bebee teacher. Pay school and attendance small. District greatly divided & consequently unwilling to vote tax for schools.”
Feb. 7, 1870: “[Term began] Dec. ___Edgar, Teacher. Man of large experience & thoroughly qualified but not sufficiently careful of his speech, & altogether too old fashioned in his methods & notions. Visited Feb. 7th.”
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. 31 May, 1990.
Pacific Valley School (District 36), and Forest Grove School (District 83) were located only 4½ miles apart in the Peoria-Rantoul area.
According to Andy Reed, who with Helen Averingham and Mabel Williams were the last students to attend Pacific Valley School,
It obviously got its name from the Missouri Pacific Railroad nearby and the Marais des Cygnes River Valley to the east.
From 15th and Main in Ottawa, the school was located five miles east on 15th, a mile and a half west of Peoria.
When the school was closed in 1919, the coal shed was moved two miles west to the Elm Grove School and the school house was bought and moved to the Bob Tulloss residence, a half mile east.
The year before it closed the flu epidemic was so bad, Reed recalls, that there were six different teachers during the year. There were many deaths from the flu, he said.