Pomona School #69

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 20 February, 1992.

 Pomona School, District 69. was organized  in 1870. The first classes were held in the north two rooms of what today has been remodeled into the Lee and Edith Figgins residence, which is located on the south side of East Franklin, across the street west from Peek’s Grocery.

Two of the original school board members were W.W. Waite and Charles Curtis.

The first church services also were held in those same two rooms on  Sunday.

The early school was a subscription school, with parents paying directly for their children’s education, and classes were held in the summer only.

The first conventional public school building in Pomona was built in 1871, on the southeast corner of East A and Fifth St. It was a two-story building, constructed of native limestone. It cost $5,000 and was intended to accommodate 200 students.

John Arnett hauled the stone and William Quay, assisted by John Baldwin , did the masonry work.  The building was expanded in 1885 and served until 1959.

Ruth (Nitcher) Fleming, Ottawa, said, “This old grade school building has many treasured memories for my husband and I. It was there, on the second floor in the northeast room, in April of  1939, where we first met one another.

“We had gathered there with other eighth graders from surrounding county schools to take our final exams for graduation, under the careful guidance of Mrs. Mabel Turner.

“I came with my four classmates from Boyd School, District 43,  and Bruce Fleming and two classmates came from Silver Lake, District 76. Bruce and I had no idea that in 1946, he would return from two years in the navy and come into that same school where I was teaching, and after one more year of teaching, we would be married in the Methodist Church just one block south of the school house. Could it be all of this has something to do with our continued interest in old grade schools?”

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