Grove--Bright Grade School (1899)
Contact: Helen Vater Blaha
History of the First Bright School
Mrs. Norma (Clyde) Haemer (now deceased) said that the first Bright school was named after prominent settler, Mr. H. A. Bright, and first opened for the spring term of 1894. At that time it had 13 students. Located on the southwest corner of Section 19 (on the corner of DD and N, four miles south of Owen), it was a picturesque, one-room, red, brick building with a white, wooden bell tower and an open porch facing west. After the population of the district increased, a second school, called North Bright, was built in 1924 on the northeast corner of the same section of Green Grove Township. I believe it was the fall of 1954 when North Bright School was closed, and the students from that part of the district joined us at South Bright, making our enrollment between 30 and 40 students. In 1958 South Bright School consolidated with Owen-Withee. The building was later torn down. I think the hand pump is still in the old school yard, and some of the trees remain. Frank Schroeder, father of Norma Haemer, built the red brick building (in the photograph) to replace the original school.
Henry Awe's grandfather, also Henry Awe, settled in Green Grove Township in 1885. The family came from southern Wisconsin by train to Colby, and then took an ox cart through the woods to land they had purchased in Section 31. (2005 will mark the 120th year the land has been in the family!) He recalled the first Bright school being a wooden building which burned in 1910.
Below is a photo of students at the original Bright School of Green Grove Township, Clark Co., WI in about 1899, before that building burned and was replaced by a red brick building.
(1) Emma Awe (3) Martha Awe (5) Lydia Awe (12) Arthur Awe (13) Edwin Awe (14) William Awe (15) Henry Awe (17) Fred Awe
*Fred Awe was father of Ilene (Awe) Pribbernow who owns the original photograph and was kind enough to share it with all of us!
Schools of Green Grove Township
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