Sterling State Graded School circa 1913/1914

pictureThe class room picture is the first thru fourth grades of Sterling State Graded School that was in section 34 of Withee township, Clark County, Wisconsin. My mother is the fifth student from left to right with the white bonnet on. The photograph is on the front of a post card. On the back side are the words in cursive, "school picture." My mother was Eva Wiater, nee Graikowski. I recognize my mother as she is an exact look alike with my sister Lorraine Jarocki, nee Wiater. This picture is circa 1913 or 1914. Since my mother Eva only went thru the third grade and was born in 1907 the picture dating is quite accurate. Mike and Josephine, nee Liesnewski, Graikowski, had a farm on the south side of section 26 of Withee township of three forties that incorporated the original homestead on the on the southeast corner. The southeast corner of section 26 had been the original settler farm of John Graikowski 1852-1927. The northwest corner of section 33 had been the original settler farm of Joseph Liesneiski 1854-1954. Their children owned a number of farms in Withee township. I attended Sterling State Graded School from 1943 thru 1949 and graduated with Norbert Teclaw, Richard Teclaw and Donald Nevela. My name is Richard M. Wiater, a graduate of Thorp High School in 1953, and was part of the mass migration that left the farms during the fifties .. In 1943 when I was a small boy there were still signs of a spur railroad track running just slightly east of the east creek through the SE corner of sect 26. The tracks had been laid for a spur that led to the Lombard railroad siding built the Sterling/Eau Claire lumber company, and the mill had been along the east creek in section 35. In 1944 there were still a few signs of where the creek had been dammed up. I don't know if the creek had been dammed up to float logs down or to provide a pool to provide water to the steam engines. Like most polish names the Graikowski and I Liesnewski surnames took on a variety of spellings, probably an incorporation of English and Polish phonetics Grajkowski, and Lewsneiki are two of the most prevalent even written on tombstones.

By Richard M. Wiater
915 Reily Road
innati, Oh 45215
May 15, 2011