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From “The hitching post…” column in the Ottawa Herald, a series about early Franklin County schools researched by Bruce Fleming and written by Herald Editor and Publisher Jim Hitch. This article appeared 20 December, 1990.
Evergreen School, District 42, was located 6 ½ miles south of Wellsville on K-33 on the east side of the road (see locator map) , according to Ruth Murphy, Wellsville RFD 1,who provided much of its history.
The district was organized prior to 1867, but it was Oct. 28, 1882 when Charles Bosworth deed land to the district. In return, the school board agreed to stipulations in the deed to “erect and maintain a good tight substantial fence around the site.”
The county superintendent’s report on the school, about 1870, declared, “Good school, but no maps, no blackboards.”
On Jan. 15, 1918, the first Evergreen School burned and classes had to be held in a vacant farm house a mile to the west. Later in the year classes were moved to the New Hope Baptist Church.
Fire was Evergreen’s nemesis. The school burned again March 24, 1936, and a third time March 16, 1949. That was the last time the school operated and classes again were completed in the New Hope Baptist Church.
The following year, 1949-50, the Evergreen district was merged with Wellsville Dist. 289.
“Morning exercises “ at Evergreen included the Lord’s Prayer, salute to the flag, songs, Bible verses (once a week) and the pronouncing of word lists.
Evergreen’s last teacher was Ethel Funk and its last school board was comprised of Ellis Ball, Roy Miller and Percy Van Horn.
Some former teachers still living in Franklin County are Dorothy Cramer, Goldena Chilton and Arlene (Patton) Kohlere. Other former teachers were Ethel Graves, Ruth Love, Dollie (Williams) Lowrance, Golda Bivins, Ida Winkler, Helen (Murphy) Murdock, Ruby (Kinder) Estes and Lena (Anthony Adkins.
Former pupils still living in the county include Dale Van Horn, Ernest Lowrance, Areta (Cramer) Latimer, Donna (Bosworth) Romstedt, Lucille (McAuley) Coffman, Ruth (Coffman) Murphy, Bill Burgoon, Bill Burgoon, Jr., Dan, Kenneth, George, John and Betty Toumberlin, Lucille (Toumberlin) Hopkins, Alma (Ball) Mock, Lois (Ball) Barmer, Irene Fiehler, Betty Blankenship, Margaret (Power) Eneihen and Milford Ball.
Among the memories of former students, according to Ruth Murphy: Water was first carried from a well across the road from the school. Later a well was dug on the school grounds. There was one teeter-totter and it had splinters. Competitive games were played with such neighboring schools as Briles on K-68 and Garfield in western Miami County. School was seldom closed by snow or ice. Small garden plots were planted in March as part of the science and agricultural curriculum. Students had their names on the plots.