From the “Scratcher” or notebook of Superintendent of Public Instruction Philetus Fales:
January 8, 1869: “Also visited in Dist. 52, and found parents sending into neighboring districts this winter, applying their money to that purpose.”
Oct. 19th, 1869 and Nov. 10: [Term began] Sept. 6. Miss Noss, Good teacher. Visited Oct. 19th & Nov. 10. Closed Nov. 26.”
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, August 2, 1990.
On June 14, 1869, Will H. Bullard, who was director of the school board, deeded land to District 52. The deed stipulated that the school had to agree “to plant and protect forty shade trees on the land around the school.”
The last teacher, Mrs. Tennyson Bland, earned a salary of $2,296. The last school board was comprised of Neal Saylor, Harry Morgan and J.L. Anderson.
Saylor recalls that, “The schoolroom was heated with a large pot-bellied stove positioned in the center of the room. There was a large crack down the side where smoke belched out profusely, making the air thick with smoke at times.”
“Coal smoke is much worse than wood smoke. When the kids went home, their faces were covered with soot. It is surprising that no one seemed to get sick from it, Where were the government regulations when we needed them?”
Saylor also recalled the time when he and J.A. Anderson climbed into the school’s attic and got some honey from a hive of bees that had taken up residence there.
Bullard School was located four miles east of Main in Ottawa, on K-68, and two miles north on the southeast corner of the intersection. The remains of the school building can be seen from I-35. According to a farmer in the area, the schoolhouse stood intact, until a fire, set to burn brush, raged out of control and the building caught fire.
The last pupils were Frank Fritts, Donald James, Charles Fritts, Lewis Fritts and Patricia Abersold.
Former students still living in Franklin County include Frances Rumford, Mary (Rumford) Anderson, Leon Rumford, Neal Saylor, J.L. Anderson, Doris (Anderson) McConnell, Eldon Turner, Lucille (Turner) Sullivan, Grace (Taylor) Turner, Lucille (Hartpence) Kristerson, Dorothy (Kristerson) Nitcher. W.H. Kristerson, Jr., Betty (Kristerson) Barnes, Ernest Johnson, Lenora (Hartpence) Scott, George Hartpence, Ralph Hartpence, Max Cartmill, Harold Crocket, Willard Johnson, Vincent Johnson, Charles Fritts, Lewis R. Fritts, Frank Fritts, Neva (Morgan) Engstrom and Emery Morgan.
Bullard School #52 Souvenirs
Beautifully printed mementos featured poetry and the names of students and teachers. They were distributed annually as souvenirs, just as yearbooks are today.
Click on any thumbnail for more information.