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Milford Township and Proud of It

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This photo was taken in the very late forties or early fifties, at the best time of day, "going home" time.

1920 Late Aug- Milford Township Consolidated Schools open as a unit at the Sec 15 site. Mrs Fred Smith is the principal. It's interesting to note that the one-room school that stood singularly at the Sec 15 site was referred to, before the election of consolidation, as the Smith School. Speculation might be that Fred Smith was the director of said school and perhaps his wife was the teacher there. This Smith family was one of the local leaders in the consolidation effort. Mrs Fred Smith stayed on as director, principal or superintendent, of the consolidated schools until 1924 when the new school year started. She was formally offered the position of superintendent but declined it. Mr Gill was then recruited and hired.

1921 June- Another one-room school was moved to Sec 15 site for the tenth grade which was to start in the fall. School Number. 2 was the one selected and thus it was, that now there were six one-room schools located in a cluster in the southwest corner of Sec 15.

1921 August- People of school age in Milford Twp 202- (In 1922 there were 209). In the classification of rural schools the amount permissible to assess is not to exceed $80 for each person of school age.

1921 Aug 8- Milford Township's school consolidation may be dissolved when almost 70% of possible voters signed a petition to have the matter decided by a polling of the voters. This was a very powerful statement as 197 of the 290 possible voters signed this petition. In 1919, when the original petition was filed for the consolidation, there were just 81 signatures on it. Also, this is more voters than voted on the issuance of bonds in April of 1920.

This petition was filed after a year of operation of the consolidation of the five schools. Perhaps many of the Milford people were discouraged by the long, tedious trips for the youngsters in the horse drawn busses over muddy roads and frozen ruts in the coldest of weather. There were, at this time, at best, only two and a half miles of graveled road within Milford Twp. Also, undoubtedly, there was persuasion from the adjoining areas, including North Grant, to draw the students, and tax dollars, to these adjacent school districts.

This petition developed a complicated situation as the County Supt of Schools, Maude Wakefield (a native and former teacher in Milford Township), after conducting hearings for almost a week, and acting largely upon the grounds of the majority of the voters who had signed the petition for the dissolution, ruled that the matter would be placed before the voters. Opposition to the petition filed an appeal within the ten day limit set by Miss Wakefield and thus the matter was taken before the Story County Board of Education instead of before the voters. Why it was done in that way is not explained. Normally a petition to have a vote was just that and the place to object would have been at the polls. No explanation is given as to why the petitioners accepted this arrangement. This appears to

Page 17 of 354

© 2012 Mark Christian
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