Museum Staff, "Country Schools," In The Midst Of, Cokato Historical Society (November, 2019) vol. 39 no. 4.
From the late 1890s and early 1900s, approximately 21 country schools dotted Stockholm, French Lake, and Cokato townships. Built during an era with no bus service, country schools were constructed to be within a mile or so walking distance for students. Primarily a one-room school house filled with grades 1-7, each grade had to take turns at lessons with the teacher. After completing country school, students either went right to work, or commuted to Cokato Public School for high school. Although relatively similar in concept, each country school experience was a little different.
One room held grades 1-3 and the other grades 4-7. Each grade level had separate books. Lee remembered that although the class size was around 26 students, he only had four kids in his grade, two boys and two girls. He also recalled having lessons on Reading, Penmanship, and Arithmetic (where he had to learn how to use a slide rule).
During early grade school, Gordy Erickson was a student briefly at Melquist country school before transferring to Temperance Corner. He remembers that unlike Melquist, Temperance Corner had chemical toilets inside, but they still had to go out and pump water. They also had a heater in the back room.
At Temperance Corner, Erickson recalled there being about 21-22 kids in grades 1-6. Erickson’s grade was comprised of four students: Joan Raisanen, Ron Thompson, Karen Dahlman, and himself. According to Erickson, “You learned more because you could listen to upper class people or you could listen to the lower class ones (lessons) if you didn’t pay attention to it before. The teacher took your grade up to the front table to do lessons.”
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