Schools: Bee Hive School (7 March 2007)

Contact:  R. Lipprandt


----Sources: The O-W Enterprise, Wednesday, March 7, 2007, page 20, Story by Kris (Jagodzinski) Leonhardt

One-room schools were much more than a building where children learned reading, writing and arithmetic. Schoolhouses were often viewed as the center of the community. Many communities hosted local events between the walls where lessons were given. Some events were organized by the teachers specifically for the parents. Other events, organized by the teacher or local volunteers, were open to everyone.

The end-of the year picnic and the Christmas programs are most memorable to many former one-room students. Other events held at the schoolhouses, include: wedding receptions, birthday celebrations, anniversaries, and welcome home parties. Some schools hosted Halloween parties where children bobbed for apples. Others hosted a Thanksgiving program where children prepared readings and sang selected songs.

As funds for the schools were always low, teachers looked for ways to earn additional funds for the school’s budget. Box socials were often organized to raise needed funds. Mothers and older female students were asked to prepare lunch, place it in a box, and wrap the box attractively. The box lunches were then auctioned off during the social.

The Bee Hive School once stood in section 3 in Green Grove township, on what is now County Road P. The building has since been torn down, but former students still meet every other year to rekindle old relationships.

"We meet the first Saturday in June. The next reunion will be this year," says organizer Elise Anderson.

Former teachers of the Bee Hive School remembered by students include: Alice Gustafson, Iris Barrett, Emily Jacklin, Audrey Haire, Hilda Awe, Ruth Boneske, Katheryn Ivey, Mary Blazer, Charlotte Devine and Anna Lucia.

"My favorite teacher was Audrey Haire. She was friendly and younger," recalls Anderson.

As with other one-room schools, lessons were given by grades. "Each grade was called to the font of the school around a large table," recalls former student Douglas Grube. "The teacher would give the lesson; the rest of the student would remain in their seats until their grade was called."

"The older students had to help the younger grades with their lessons," recalled Anderson.

Many of the former students were related, while others have formed friendships that have lasted throughout the years.

Former students have come from Florida, Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota to attend the Bee Hive reunion. The next reunion for Bee Hive School students will be held Saturday, June 2, 2007, at the Green Grove Town Hall.

(Transcription: Robert Lipprandt)



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