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(Part 3)

The following are personal remembrances of persons who were associated with the schools.


Darlene Johnson Lind on District No. 28 in the 1940's:

"All eight grades were in a one room building southeast of Spicer. Chairs were in front for students in the grade called by the teacher for the class lesson. The rest of us stayed in our desks studying. We had to raise our hand and one or two fingers for ,speaking with someone' or going to the 'outhouse.' Our lunches were put in the coat rooms and in the winter they would be frozen or nearly frozen.

"We would have Christmas programs which consisted of skits, plays and musical numbers. The last couple days before the program we wouldn't do much studying because of practice. The night of the program the room was packed with families and friends coming to see the program. It was both scary and fun!

"When the superintendent would come to visit, we were scared to death.

"When it was nice, we would walk to school, or those with bikes would ride to school. On nasty days parents would bring us.

"We had to take and pass State Board exams to graduate from 8th grade.

"Our report cards would come in the mail.. We could hardly wait for them to come to see if we had 'passed!’”


Irene Swenson Brecke on School District No. 70 in the 1920's:

"The schoolhouse of District No. 70 was located on a hill overlooking the beautiful Long Lake, north of Willmar and southwest of Spicer. The winters were cold, and usually the ground was covered with many feet of snow. When the weather was too bad for some of us to walk to school, our fathers brought us there with a bobsled pulled by horses. Our mothers prepared a large kettle of soup or some type of hot food for us to eat at noon.

"Our Christmas program was always a highlight, and much preparation went into the program, decorations, etc.

"Once a month our County Superintendent visited the school, and among the things I remember he taught us, were proper penmanship and how to cast out the nines when testing our addition problems.

"During recess and noon hour when the weather was warm, we played Anti-i-over, pump, pump, pull away, and hide and seek.

"One night several of us older pupils and our teachers spent the night at school. It was fun until we heard strange noises outside. We never learned who or what were the culprits that night.

"A box social was held one a year. The girls decorated their boxes and had a delicious lunch for two inside. Then the boys bid for the special box they wanted and ate the lunch with the girl.

"At the end of the school year, we wound things up with a picnic at Lake Florida and were given awards for our accomplishments the past year.

"The old schoolhouse no longer stands on the hill. It was dismantled and a nice home was built by Eagle Lake with the lumber.


Recollections of School District No. 33 as a student in the early 1920's, by Earl Fricke:

"It was an oblong room with windows both to the north and to the south. It was heated by a coal and wood stove situated in the northeast comer of the room. The coal and wood were stored in a shed to the east of the main school building and had to be toted in each day and the ashes carried out. There was no indoor plumbing, and the water had to be carried from the farm across the road. Sometimes the farmer's dog was not too friendly either. This water was then poured into a crock which had a push spigot on it.

"The desks were graduated in size to fit the students from ages six to 16. There were also some double seat desks with ink wells about in the middle of these desks, and the boys would like to dip the braids of the girl sitting ahead into that well.

"The only lights were kerosene lamps hung on the walls in brackets with reflectors between the wall and the lamp. There were cloak room entries at the end of the room - one for the boys and another for the girls. Between these cloak rooms was an alcove with shelves holding the few library books the school had and storage space for the children's textbooks.

"Each child brought their own lunch. Most of them carried it in half gallon syrup pails. Sometimes pupils would mistakingly grab the pail containing syrup when in a hurry to get off to school."