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.

No comments:

Post a Comment