School history

End of an Era - closing and fire
Sad days for Woodburn school alumni - 1971 when it closed
and last night, April 25, 2014 when it burned.

Some of this is inaccurate in the news story, it was added onto in 1897,
again in 1916 that I just found, again in 1922 and the lunch room area in 1954.   

(Above fire photos courtesy of Teresa Wright)

The smell of smoke can not diminish the smells of our memories.......
chalk and crayons, books used by years of students, 
the old wooden banister worn smooth by years of hands
and children sliding, wooden desks,
Mrs. Boyles' chili, 
Mary Lou's cinnamon rolls and snickerdoodles........

RIP dear school, 1880 - 2014.

Two great postcards submitted by Elizabeth Davenport Garrels 


The Woodburn Independent School had its beginning in two houses in the town. One housed the larger pupils - it was just west and across the street from the current building, and the other the smaller children - it was a house back of the old gymnasium on Vine Street. The first teacher in the lower school was Anna Tallman of Osceola, and O.P. Garris was the first teacher in the higher school.

The lower school moved to the Dr. Martin property in 1879, with the first teacher being Mary Rice. In 1880 the west section of the schoolhouse now standing on the hill near the Catholic and Christian Churches was built at a cost of $3,000. It contained two rooms, one below and one above. Seventy pupils were housed in each of the rooms with one teacher for each of the rooms. The teachers were employed for seven months. The first teachers in this new school were Arthur Hutchins, upper grades, and Mary Emerson, lower grades. In 1895, some of the children were housed in an old brick building on the east bank of Brush Creek, north of town due to lack of room in the schoolhouse.

Two additional rooms were deemed necessary, and were built in 1897. This forms the middle section of the present building. After this the brick school was discontinued and a room was added to the lower east end of the building. This became the Primary room. For several years school children went to Osceola, the county seat, for eighth grade graduation exercises. These were held either in a church or the Osceola High School.

Woodburn school as it appeared in 1937 when Clare Keeney started kindergarten.
Painted by his son, David, from a copy in Woodburn, Part I.  

In 1922, another room was built over the Primary room when the 12th grade was added. The school grounds of 1930 were covered with trees, being entirely surrounded by a row of great maples. J.O. Swan, school director, had overseen the planting of these maples. The grounds were enclosed by a high board fence and the pupils entered over a stile on the south side.
The drought of 1934 and 1936 destroyed every maple tree and there only remained a few elms in later years, one of which was over 70 years old at the time of the drought.

First graduating class, 1901
Willie Grandstaff, Bessie Lee (Cochran),
Miss Lillie Thomas - principal,
Chattie Dukes (Gardner), Lloyd Duke.
Woodburn 3rd - 5th grades, 1912
No names were with this photo - help identify!

Woodburn Items, Osceola Sentinel, August 19, 1937

We have been asked to announce that the Woodburn school will open on Monday, August 30, as it did last year. This makes it possible for farm boys to be out earlier in the spring and gives us extra time in case of an epidemic. We are expecting a bigger enrollment this year than last in our school and feel that we have a program of value to all pupils. All texts on the high school level will be rented for $2.50 for the entire year. All texts are the very latest and best on the market and have been selected scientifically. Credits earned in the Woodburn high school are accepted by any college anywhere in the United States. Altho we cannot boast of a fine building, we can say that our type of instruction is the best. Come to a small school where you are recognized and have an opportunity to participate rather than sit and watch others.

The Woodburn gymnasium was built in 1938 under the direction of Clarence Nichol, superintendent at that time. The gym was a source of pride for the whole community. Many of the students helped work on it and build the bleachers, etc. Woodburn's school colors were red and white. 

Woodburn School News, November 23, 1954, Osceola Tribune:

On Nov. 22 Woodburn expects to begin its first school lunch.  (Actually was Dec. 6 due to a delay).
Benches and tables are being made in the shop; an electric refrigerator and bottle gas range have been
purchased and a donation party at the gym on last Thursday evening brought a large number of articles
and utensils for starting the program.

We will have a grade A lunch with milk with a charge of 25c payable each week in advance.  This is the
average charge over the state and experience has shown that payment in advance is the only practical
method of financing.   Pupils partaking in the lunch are asked each to bring his own service:
plate, bowl, knife, fork and spoon.

We want to thank everyone who gave or sent gifts to the shower for the Hot Lunch and Home Ec. room.
We want to especially thank those who are no longer in this community who sent gifts.   We appreciate
every one of them.  The gifts were so varied that there were no duplicates except in things that needed
duplication - such as glasses and tea towels.   Our heart-felt thanks to you all.

2nd boy from left - Jim Piercy (thanks Clara Piercy Campbell for identification)
Mrs. Fern Boyles, cook.

Boy in checked shirt at lower left - Jim Piercy.


Four pictures below are from 1966 - Loren Davis collection

The last graduating class from Woodburn was in 1958. 
At this time, the school became a K-6 school. The last classes held were in 1971, at which time the school was consolidated with Clarke Community Schools, and the building was sold to Don Rodgers of the Woodburn Furniture Market.

Teachers and staff

Mrs. Ransom, Mrs. Lents, Mrs. Jansen, Mrs. Boor, Mrs. Platt, Mrs. Smith

Viola Davis, Glida Boor, Bessie Lents - teachers;
Mary Lou Mason - cook

      Mabel Ransom                                Viola Davis
Laura Smith                                       Leona Platt

                Glida Boor             Mrs. Johnson, music teacher
                                              late 1960's - early 1970's?

Fern Boyles, cook

Dwight Ewoldsen, janitor

Orville Gardner, school bus driver, about 1954

Mrs. Davis, Mrs. Ransom, Mrs. Johnson - 1970's 


1951 - 8th grade 

photo courtesy of Kris (Rodgers) Campfield, daughter of Don

Back - Joan Peterson, Russell Dean Wright, Don Rodgers
2nd Row - Iva Shaw, Kay Gardner, Ellen Allen
3rd Row - Grace Boyles, Ron Ewoldsen, ?, Larry Throckmorton, Herb Jones
Front - Pauline Trumbo, Lois Showers, Danny Mason, Tommy Oliver, Bob Norman


Mrs. Adams, Judy Ransom, Larry Throckmorton, Ronny Wright, Floyd Downs, Charles Page, Marie Brierly, Rosalie Holmes, Phillip Gardner.
Merrilyn Butler, Katie Lewis, Wanda Carder, David Stearns, Larry James, Larry Landis, Margaret Downs, Glenn Davenport.
Anita Woods, Anita Norman, Norma Throckmorton, Marcella Holmes, Gary Holmes, Bradley Leeson.


Phyllis Rychnovsky, David Gardner, David Stearns, Sharon Hoffman, Harold Chipp, Bradley Leeson, Roger Herndon, Judith Meyer, Gordon Jones, Anita Woods.
Mrs. Adams, Dale Stearns, Johnny Peterson, Bill Wright, Gary Auxier, Jay Butler, Lois Herndon, Norma Jean Stearns, Wanda Ruble, Donald Davenport.
Joyce Drinkal, Linda Mason, Evelyn Hoffman, Larry Donley, Karilee Jenkins, Sandra Springer, Carol Sue Ewoldsen.
Not pictured:  Merrilyn Butler, Charlene Stearns, Keith Stearns, Billy Ruble, Monty Rayburn, Anna Laura Davenport.  


1955-56 Kindergarten - 2nd grade

courtesy of the Ewoldsen Family facebook page
Thanks to Steve Mason for identification
Front row: L to R:  John Crawford, Judy Crawford, Jimmy Hood, Steve Mason, Bruce Mason, Eugene Rychnovsky, and Craig Ewoldsen.
Second row: Linda Hubbard, Barbara Jones, Lloydene Ewoldsen, Bruce Springer, Marilyn Powell, Jenny Davenport, Kathy Leeson, and Linda McKinnie. The rows are a little mixed up but Danny Powell and Janice Stearns are behind Lloydene Ewoldsen.
Back row: Alan Wright, Jerry Woods, Darrell Stearns, John Woods, Karen Oehlert, Tommy Whitham, and Phil Bowen.

Lunch time from 1957 yearbook

Center Star Country School
 Many students later went to Woodburn after the country schools closed.

This school was located west of Peggy Frizzell's house.  
You can see the Marquis house in the background where I (Lynnette) grew up.

from the Clarke County Rural Schools book 

Three photos courtesy of Sheila Smith Stepko
John Peterson, Mrs. Viola Davis
Mary Lou Liggitt, Rick Graves, Phil Gibson
Joyce Drinkall, Chris Chase, Joan Kearney, Sheila Smith (front)

1957-58 Students and younger siblings
John Peterson holding Kendall Smith, Joyce Drinkall holding Dee Chase, Mary Lou Liggitt,
Joan Kearney holding Cinda Graves (?), Rick Graves, Chris Chase hidden behind Rick,Phil Gibson,
Chuck Graves, Sheila Smith, Michael Smith.

1958-59, teacher was Mrs. Laura Smith
Joyce Drinkall, Mary Lou Liggitt, Shari Smith, Gene Page, John Peterson, Phil Gibson
Judy Page, Dennis Smith, Rick Graves, Don Page, David Page
Bonnie Smith, Sheila Smith, Chris Chase

1959-1960, 2nd grade
courtesy of Sheila Smith Stepko

Row 1:  Mrs. Viola Davis, Stanley Keller, Marla McCauley, Maurice McCann, Sheila Smith, Terry Woods, Clara Piercy
Row 2:  Brian Oehlert, Sheryl Poths, Christine Steele, Marty McKinnie
Row 3:  Joan Holt, David Westfall, Don Kent, Christine Chase
Row 4:  Joyce Carson, Stan Mason, Juanita Harlan, Ron Jones, Rex Wright

courtesy of Bonnie Smith Rohr

Grade 4, 1959-60
Miss Margaret Alley, Steve Mason, Jenny Davenport, Mike Griffin, Linda McKinnie.
Craig Ewoldsen, Denny Kent.
Jon Perry, Bruce Mason, Linda Ruth, Dennis Smith.

courtesy of Sheila Smith Stepko

Woodburn 3rd grade, 1960-61

Back - Juanita Harlan, Joan Holt, Sheila Smith, Stan Mason, Maurice McCann,
Ron Jones, Mrs. Vera Chipp.
Middle:  David Westfall?, Marla McCauley, Christine Steele, Christine Chase,
Clara Piercy, Joyce Carson.
Front:  Brian Oehlert, Don Kent, Stanley Keller, Rex Wright, Terry Woods.

courtesy of Bonnie Smith Rohr

1960-61, 5th-7th Grades

Row 1:  Mr. Charles Helin-Principal, Mrs. Glida Boor, Andy Gwinn, Karen Oehlert, Darrell    Stearns, Connie White, Keith Carson, Linda Keller, Eugene Rychnovsky.
Row 2:  Lloydene Ewoldsen, Kenneth Alan Wright, Linda Ruth, Linda Hubbard, Phil Bowen,    Judy Carson. 

Row 3:  Eugene Coles, Sharane Griffin, Jerry Woods, Melinda Fleming, John Woods, Judy        Page, Bill Ruth, Janice Stearns, Raymon Carson.

Row 4:  Diane Holt, Marvin McCann, Jennie Davenport, John Crawford, Ronda Perry, Steve    Mason, Pat Phillips, Tommy Whitham, Sally Reed.

Row 5:  Dennis Smith, Denny Kent, Mike Griffith, Bruce Mason, Jon Perry, Craig Ewoldsen.

courtesy of Sheila Smith Stepko

1961-62, 4th-6th grades

Row 1:  Mr. Roberts, Craig Ewoldsen, Kathy Oehlert, Ken Ruth, Emily Oehlert, Jon Perry, Shirley Ruth,
Denny Kent, Jane Hubbard, Mike Carson.
Row 2:  Mike Griffin, Juanita Harlan, Steve Mason, Christine Chase, Sandra Edgerton, Jim Woods,
Sheryl Poths, Richard Ruble.
Row 3:  Roger Carson, Christine Steele, Dennis Smith, Clara Piercy, Harlan Davenport, Martha Weaklend,
Don Kent, Glenis McKimpson, Maurice McCann, Marla McCauley.
Row 4:  Dennis Stearns, Linda Hoffman, Terry Woods, Paula Harlan, Rick Graves, Joan Holt, Stan Mason,
Sheila Smith, Donald Page, Joyce Carson.
Row 5: ?, Jenny Davenport, Ron Jones, Linda Ruth, Rex Wright, Pat Wilkins, Brian Oehlert, Sue Atherton.

courtesy of Bonnie Smith Rohr

Row 1:  Mr. Roberts, Mrs. Glida Boor, Roger Carson, Bonnie Smith, Donald Stearns, Janet Woods, 
  David Page, Pat Wilkins, Bobby Wright, Donna Ruth.
Row 2:  Sheila Smith, Rick Graves, Louise Mills, Larry Fitzpatrick, Joyce Carson, Bob Carson, 
  Marla McCauley, Sue Atherton.
Row 3:  Leonard Klein, ??, Brian Oehlert, Joan Holt, Linda Hoffman, Stan Mason, Emily Oehlert, 
  Stanley Keller, Kathy Oehlert, Terry Woods.
Row 4:  Sandra Edgerton, Don Kent, Paula Harlan, Maurice McCann, Jane Hubbard, Rex Wright,
  Sheryl Poths, Mike Carson, Clara Piercy, Jim Woods.
Row 5:  Christine Chase, Donald Page, Juanita Harlan, Dennis Stearns, Martha Weaklend, Ken Ruth, Glenis   McKimpson, Richard Ruble, Ron Jones, Harlan Davenport. 

1962-1963, grades 4-6
courtesy of Sheila Smith Stepko

Row 1:  Mr. Roberts, Mrs. Glida Boor, Roger Carson, Bonnie Smith, Donald Stearns, Janet Woods, David Page, Pat Wilkins, Bobby Wright, Donna Ruth.
Row 2:  Sheila Smith, Rick Graves, Louise Mills, Larry Fitzpatrick, Joyce Carson, Bob Carson, Marla McCauley, Sue Atherton.
Row 3:  Leonard Klein, ??, Brian Oehlert, Joan Holt, Linda Hoffman, Stan Mason, Emily Oehlert, Stanley Keller, Kathy Oehlert, Terry Woods.
Row 4:  Sandra Edgerton, Don Kent, Paula Harlan, Maurice McCann, Jane Hubbard, Rex Wright, Sheryl Poths, Mike Carson, Clara Piercy, Jim Woods. 
Row 5:  Christine Chase, Donald Page, Juanita Harlan, Dennis Stearns, Martha Weaklend, Ken Ruth, Glenis McKimpson, Richard Ruble, Ron Jones, Harlan Davenport. 

Feb 1964 - Valentine's Day royalty
David Page, Bonnie Smith, Christine Chase, Maurice McCann, Mary Ewoldsen, Paul Harlan

Feb 1964 group
Back - Donald Stearns, Mrs. Platt, Mrs. Boor, Juanita Harlan (blonde, glasses), Sue Atherton, Christine Chase (crown), ??, ??, Bob Carson, ??, Joan Holt, Maurice McCann (crown), Marla McCauley? (top of hair only visible), Joyce Carson, Clara Piercy, Stanley Keller, Sheryl Poths.
Next row - Mary Ewoldsen, Sheila Woods, Cindy Pett, Janet Woods, Bonnie Smith, Louise Mills, Leonard Cline, Brian Oehlert, Stan Mason.
Next row - David Page, Larry Fitzpatrick, Ron Jones (glasses), ??, Paul Harlan, ??(hidden), Rex Wright.
Front - Doug Stearns, Marty Oehlert, Tom Cottrell, Ed White, Terry Woods, Patty Fox, Don Kent. 

courtesy of Dee Ewoldsen Schelker

courtesy of Dee Ewoldsen Schelker 

1965-66, 4th-6th Grades

Row 1: Mrs. Platt, Mrs. Boor, John Carson, Darl McKimpson, Gene Wilkins, Teresa Wright?, Cindy Pett, 
  Joan Fitzpatrick, Harold Cobb, Mike Paulsen.
Row 2: Marion Wilkins, Gary Blanchard, Danny Phillips, Sheila Woods, Paul Harlan, Dwight Stearns, 
  Tommy Cottrell, Kevin Vanderlinden.
Row 3: Marty Oehlert, Dee Chase, Terri Fry, Pam Fox, Virgil Piercy, Rhonda Showers. 
Row 4: John Fox, Brad Grimm, Sharon Pontier, Kevin Oehlert, Marcella Wright, Ed White, Cindy White.
Row 5: Clay Paulsen, Rick Irving, Steve Ruth, Joe Stearns, Billy Oehlert, Brian Linderman, 
  Chuck Graves, Steve Davis.
Row 6: Mary Lynn Ewoldsen, Mike Wright, Janet Harlan, Sherry Pontier, Rachel Coles, Gary Cobb, 
  Kendall Smith, Patty Fox, Linda Harlan, Pam Wilkins, Cindy Cline.  

Boy upper right- perhaps Kelly Smart.

courtesy of Dee Ewoldsen Schelker

1968 field trip to the Iowa State Capitol
(The Year of the White Knee Socks!)

Back (moms) - Shirley Huss, Betty Fox Winters, Marilea Poths, LaVera Cottrell, Kathryn Rodgers.
Middle - boy with glasses Brian Huss, Jim Cottrell, girl hidden Pam Rodgers, Karen Kent in polka dot.
Front - Ron Poths, Randy Ruth, Jim Fox, Randy Showers, Elizabeth Oehlert, Michelle Westfall,
Debra Harlan, Ronda Ewoldsen, Glenda Pippin.  

courtesy of Dee Ewoldsen Schelker

Valentine's Day 1969
Queen - Elizabeth Oehlert, King- Jim Cottrell.
Left side - Debra Harlan?, Pam Rodgers, Lisa Woods, Randy Ruth in front.
Right side - Jim Fox, Glenda Pippin (back), Brian Huss, Karen Kent, Ronda Ewoldsen.

1970-1971  Kindergarten and First Grade
 Teacher, Viola Davis. Back - Brent Grimm, Jeff Morris, Jeff Pollard, Teresa Weaklend Christensen, Donna Kay Williams, Connie Clark, Brenda Rubendall, Sheila Pontier.
Front -Jeff McDole, Lee Jay Wright, Dorothy Pollard, Irving Buchholtz.

Below from Phyllis Wright's photos

Back - Bonnie Rubendall?, ____, David Henry, Tim Pontier, Randy Watson, Barry Wright, James Cowling, Jim Gall, Scott Ruth.
Front - Cindy Showers, Laura Woods, Patty Harlan, Cris Grimm, Donald Rubendall, George Pett, Kris Rodgers, Tina Keller, Bryan Rubendall.

Back - Kim Grimm, Rick Wright, Kris Rodgers, Tina Keller.
Front - James Cowling, Bryan Rubendall, George Pett, Barry Wright, Jim Gall.