Cooperstown School No. 5 Maribel

written by Viola O. Daetz

George Jindra III taught at this school.

Cooperstown district No. 5 was officially designated the Maribel School in 1919, although it had for years been known by that name. The school is now located a short distance east of the village of Maribel.

Cooperstown No. 5 was organized for school purposes about the year 1858 according to the Cooperstown assessment roll of 1858. At that time the district consisted of sections 13, 14, 15, and parts of sections 22, 23, 24. Since that time various changes have occurred.

The oldest records available for the district date back to 1880. The first school, an old log building, was located on the farm now owned by Otto Schley which is located one mile north of Maribel. Evidently there are no ruins of that old site remaining. No record of the size of the first school nor of the equipment used is available. The first log school was sold for $5.25 and has since been torn down and no trace of it remains.

On May 1, 1887, the voters of the district voted to build a new brick school. It was decided to buy one-fourth acre of land for a school site for $20 from Carl Knuth. The farm is now owned by Norman Knuth and is located a mile east and a mile north of Maribel. The contract for building was given to Claus Ording, a well-known carpenter of that time, for the sum of $700. The structure was brick veneered, 22 x 34 x 12 feet in size. The school had four windows on each of the long sides with eight panes to a window. The floor was of oak lumber and the ceiling of hemlock. This building is still standing on the Knuth farm and is being used as a machine shed.

In the year 1911, the voters at the annual meeting decided to vote for a new school house. One half acre of land was purchased from Jacob Wotruba for $575. The site chosen for the new school is the present one. Because of the continued increase in enrollment, it was decided to build a two-room frame structure in case two rooms were eventually needed. Anton Krall, John Dewane, and Gust Schley were elected to act on the building committee. The voters levied a tax of $1000 to begin building operations. An additional $2,000 was borrowed to complete payment of the building which was ready for school work in the summer of 1912. The structure has a full basement with furnace and fuel room, a large playroom, and basement lavatory rooms. The lavatories were installed about 1940. The first floor has a large entry, cloakrooms, two large classrooms, and a library-work room. Modern equipment to meet the standards of a second class state graded school had been installed.

In 1916 the increased enrollment forced the district to establish a second-class state graded school. The first teachers under the graded system were Prin. Lillian Chizek and primary teacher Helen Reedy. The first graduates were Marcella Siebenborn, Anna Kellner, and Joseph Berger. After two years as a second class graded school, it again became a one room school until the fall of 1921 when it again became a two room state graded school. As years passed by, the enrollment decreased to such an extent that in the spring of 1946 a special meeting was called to decide whether a one or two room school should be maintained the next year. The vote was in favor of returning to a one-room school after the 1945-1946 school year. That policy was followed only for one term for at the annual meeting of July, 1947, a two room school was again voted.

The school enrollment follows the settlement and the growth of the community and of the village of Maribel. The decrease in attendance during the recent years is traceable to the rise of the parochial school systems at Cooperstown, Maribel, and Kellnersville. Although there were 111 children of school age in the district in 1945, only about 30 attended the public school. The enrollment from 1870 to 1900 averaged between 22 and 29 pupils. With the growth of Maribel after the railroad was established, the attendance increased steadily until by 1915 over 60 pupils were enrolled.

Ada Ording, Estella Shimonek, Larry Kubly, Joseph Skwor, Adolph Skwor, Frank Charney, Henry Knuth, Henry Shimonek, and Anna Keenari were pupils in the log schoolhouse about 1880. Other students at about 1896 were Robert Olp, Jos. Wotruba, Wm Bruss, Arthur Knuth, Mabel Reedy, Otto Schley, Sophie Bruss, and Charles Skwor. The latter named pupil became a physician and is now located at Mishicot.

Henry Aldrich, Herman Radey, and John Ording were early board members. The latter served as clerk for many terms. All served while the first log schoolhouse was in use. Board members serving from 1887 to 1906 were Julius Schley, Robert Olp, Wm. Buth, Carl Knuth, and Robert Zahn.

The complete roster of teachers from the time of the district organization is unavailable. The names of those on record in the superintendent’s office are: 1873 Viroqua Sheldon; 1874 Mary Ross; 1875-8 Dora Kelly; 1878 Louise Avery; 1879 Dora Kelly; 1887 Hattie McIntosh; 1894 Hattie Hendrickson; 1895 Susan Kane; 1896-7 Mary Zeddies; 1898 Alma Halberg; 1904-5 Sara Kennedy. Others who taught in this school before 1906 were Frances Gray, Ida Eberhardt, and Erwin Cary (now Dr. E. C. Cary, Reedsville). Winter and summer terms were held up to 1877. A salary of $30 per month was tops for a teacher before 1900.

A copy of the daily program of classes in 1896 follows:

  • 9:00 Opening Ex.
  • 9:05 Constitution
  • 9:20 3rd Reading
  • 9:40 4th Reading
  • 9:50 A Reading
  • 10:00 Primer Class
  • 10:10 Second Reading
  • 10:20 First Reading
  • 10:30 Recess
  • 10:45 A Arithmetic
  • 11:10 B Arithmetic
  • 11:25 C Arithmetic
  • 11:35 D Arithmetic
  • 11:45 E & F Arithmetic
  • Lunch Recess
  • 1:00 Opening Ex.
  • 1:05 A History
  • 1:15 B History
  • 1:25 Primary Reading
  • 1:40 Physiology
  • 1:50 Fourth Reading
  • 2:00 Third Reading.
  • 2:10 First Reading
  • 2:20 Second Reading
  • 2:30 Recess
  • 2:45 A Geography
  • 3:00 B Geography
  • 3:10 A Language
  • 3:20 B Language
  • 3:30 Primary Reading
  • 3:40 A Spelling
  • 3:50 B Spelling
  • 3:55 C Spelling

Early texts used were Sanders readers, Sanders and Swinton spellers, Ray’s arithmetic, Phineas and Guffey grammars, Swinton’s history, and Mitchell’s geography.

Records show that it was not until about 1907 that the Maribel post office was established. Prior to that time, mail was gotten from the post offices at Rosecrans, Coopersown, [sic] and Kellnersville. As there was no rural free delivery in the 1800’s, the mail was called for at the above named post offices.

Extracted from:
1848 – 1948 Centennial History of the Manitowoc County School Districts and Public School System
Edited by Jos. J. Rappel, County Superintendent of Schools 1948

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