Rocky Run Grade School


Section 36, Mead Township, Clark Co., WI

Contributed by Art Kolstad & Alice Braun, transcribed by Stan & Janet Schwarze.






Growing enrollments, crowded schools, and long distances which children had to walk to school were deciding factors in organizing a new school district, Joint School District No. 1 in 1921.  It included portions of the town of Mead, Warner, Eaton and Hendren.  The first school board consisted of Herman Olson, Director; Henry Gemmeke, Treasurer; and Godfrey Tanner, Clark.

The location of Rocky Run School is denoted in red & green



The former Rocky Run School is pictured above, 2013


"When I took this photo, a sign in the front of the property indicated it had recently sold." Helen Blaha


For the first school term of 1921 - 1922, a building, which had previously been the home of Louis Miklic, was rented from John Brezic for $75.  It was located on the John Brezic farm which is at the present time owned by the Francis Hansen family.  Frank Clute was hired to teach that term for $80 a month.  This building was moved to the Braun Settlement area by J.J.P. Gullard, when a new school was being built.


On March 28, 1922, land for a new building was purchased about a mile west of the Miklic house, in the southwest quarter of Sec. 36 in the town of Mead.  It was purchased from Engel and Sons, Mayville, Wis., and paid for with check No. 1 from the building fund, in the amount of thirty dollars.


In the Spring and Summer of 1922, an attractive, and for that time a modern schoolhouse, with burnout toilets, and a full basement with a large furnace, was constructed.  A. P. Lemberg was the contractor.  The job was completed with the help of local labor.  The building was completed at a cost of $6,800, plus $1000 for equipment.  The school bell was purchased from Montgomery Ward for $9.85 plus $2.36 freight.


The new school was first called the "Tanner School" because it was the closest to Tanner's farm, but at the school meeting it was renamed Rocky Run School after the picturesque Rocky Run Creek.  The first classes in this new school began on Sept. 4, 1922 with 42 happy and excited students in attendance, representing all grades from one to eight.  Mrs. Fred Behrens (Helen Chadwick) was hired as teacher at $90 a month.  The school term was 8 months in length.  Tuition of $1.75 per month was required from each child attending from another district.


The language barrier was a great detriment to teaching in the early years.  Many students had to learn to speak English before they could start the 3 R's.  There were Germans, Slovenians, Polish, Norwegians and Swedes.


The school was in operation for 24 years.  It was closed for the 1946-47, 1947-48, and the 1948-49 terms.  The students were sent to Kippenhan School.  For the 1949-50 term it was reopened and continued until the 1955-56 term.


Because of dwindling enrollments and in anticipation of a better education, the County Superintendent and Supervising teachers were eliminated and the surrounding school districts were dissolved and merged into one school district in Greenwood, effective July 1, 1957.  The people did have a voice in this matter by voting pro or con, however the pro's won.  The Rocky Run School then acted as a branch of the Greenwood Community Schools until 1964.  The golden era of the little country schools had ended.  Warm, intimate, one teacher, one room schools were to be no more.  There is sadness in their passing; a felling of nostalgia for both teachers and students who experienced this loss.


The building still stands on the original site.  It was sold to the Black River Bowmen, and is used as a clubhouse.


   YEARS             TEACHER


1921 - 1922    Frank Clute (Brezic School)

1922 - 1923    Helen (Chadwick) Behrens

1923 - 1924    John Fradette & Farrel Leach

1924 - 1925    Farrel Leach

1925 - 1928    Irene (Humke) Schweinler

1928 - 1930    Lillian Decker (Miller)

1930 - 1935    Cora Humke (Slock)

1935 - 1938    Marie Manier (Olson)

1938 - 1940    Frieda Krultz (Klancher)

1940 - 1941    George Humke

1941 - 1943    Marie Zillmer

1943 - 1944    Nellie Sharp

1944 - 1947    Dorothy Irvine

1947 - 1948    Ann Hanes (Liebzeit)

1948 - 1952    Leona Franz Albert

1952 - 1955    Jeanette Humke (Horn)

1955 - 1956    Jacqueline Linder

1956 - 1961    Rose Dallman

1961 - 1962    Catherine Ivy

1962 - 1964    Emily Fijalkiewicz    


Source: History Document done by Sophie Trunkel for 1987 school reunion



Rocky Run School (School # 7-C) was located in Section 35 of Mead Township and was also attended students from Warner to the East, Hendren to the South and Eaton to the Southeast. 


Students in the spring of 1924, from left to right:
(1)Lena Kutzler (Elmer Kuester), (2)Tony (Anton) Gosar, (3)Everett Kolstad, (4)Henry Vivoda, (5)Joe Vivoda, (6)Mary Gosar (Artac), (7)Frank Kutzler, (8)Frank Govek, (9)Annie Govek, (10)Anna Dolence, (11)Herbert Olson, (12)George Vivoda, (13)Rudy Bombach, (14)Peter Saule, (15)Frances (Sr. Antoina) Gosar, (16)John Dolence, (17)Arthur Kolstad, (18)Ed. Gemmeke, (19)Louis Govek, (20)Roy Olson, (21)Annie Kutzler (Robert Terchek), (22)Sophie Gosar (Trunkel), (23)Matt. Bombach, (24)Clyde Anderson, (25)Jennie Kutzler (Joseph Potocky), (26)Vera Bombach, (27)Gilbert Anderson, (28)Frances Dolence, (29)Angeling Dolence, (30)Florine Abel, (31)Linea Anderson, (32)Mary Kutzler (Albert Wessel), (33)Viola Bombach, (34)Annie Saule, (35)Mary Dobish, and (36)Ruth Olson.


Reunion Photos


Former Students & Teachers




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