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Milford Township and Proud of It

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the much closer North Grant. The dispute seemed to revolve around the distance the children had to travel to get to school- one and a half miles to North Grant and five miles to Milford. (Recall that this was in the days of the horse drawn school busses.) The school boards ruled against the two families. Following this event the families put a petition together and a very limited area vote was taken with the result that south halfs of Secs 31 and 32 of Milford Twp were taken into the North Grant School District with the children attending that school immediately. It could not be found when this division was returned to the former boundaries.

Milford's Twp Cons School Closing 1961

The following summation is quite difficult to put together without some very blatant editorializing, but I guess that's what makes a horse race- a difference of opinions. Never the less, it is very easy to develop an attitude that the professional educators, politicians, and money interest have an attitude that the children of a community are a commodity, like grain and livestock, to be exported or dealt with in a manner to meet the goals of their own interests.

There were at least four plans put forth for the demise of Milford Twp Consolidated School as its own entity and to be absorbed by other districts.

One involved a large area that would have put Milford Township in the very southeast corner of a school district that would have extended to Little Wall Lake in southern Hamilton County on the north and east to west from our east boundary almost to Highway 17. This would be almost of an area 16 1/2 miles by 16 1/2 miles. This proposal never seemed to gather much steam in the reorganization steamroller although there were some well known Milford Township names associated with the organization of the proposal.

A second proposal was to regroup some of the north Story County schools into a unit to be called Northeast Story County School District. It would have included Milford, Roland, most of Howard Twp, Fernald with Richland Twp, McCallsburg, Sherman No. 3, and Zearing. Again, this would have been quite a large area school of just under 200 square miles. Here also, there were some well known Milford Twp names associated with this plan. There would have 750-800 students in this area. This plan seemed to run into some difficulty because of the large debts of a couple of the schools involved and taxpayers from other districts did not want to assume these obligations. Some of those, whose names appeared on the planning committees of the various plans, it is assumed, did not necessarily mean that was the plan they favored. Because of their position on the school board or other positions, they were assigned, or perhaps volunteered, to serve on various reorganization planning boards.

A third plan, referred to as the North Story County plan and proposed in Sept of 1958, was much the same as the preceding one, except it involved Gilbert, Story City, Roland, Milford, McCallsburg, Zearing, Sherman No. Three, Fernald, and Richland. This plan called for the construction of a new High School two miles east and two miles south of Roland.

A fourth plan, the one that most closely matches that which was finally adopted, included the smallest (138.75 square miles) of the four in terms of land. This plan was referred to as the Central Story County School District. Basically, it would have included Milford, Richland Independent, Fernald Consolidated, Nevada Community, Nevada Township, and Shipley Consolidated. Some of the Milford people who were on the planning phase were George Roberts, Mrs Morris Danielson, Kermit Sorensen, Edward Larson, Richard Sorensen, LaVern Brooks, Robert Cooper and M. C. Smith, Jr. During the planning stage there were 1467 students enrolled in the proposed district. This plan was presented to the public on 17 Sept 1958 from work already done by the study committee. The six districts involved were, at the time, subject to similar plans that needed to be disposed of before the Central Plan could ever appear on the ballot. It would be almost three years before this happened.

This fourth plan was basically a renewal, with a moderate revision, of a plan that had first been proposed in the summer of 1919. The 1919 plan involved the Milford, Richland and Nevada school districts. The rhetoric was the same as used in all the latter proposals. The proponents admitted that transportation was the biggest obstacle but stated that with the new "trucks" for transportation no student would have to be on the motor trucks for more than 45 minutes. The petitions for a vote on this proposal had apparently been signed and presented in all but the Nevada District and, if it would have gone as the Nevada Paper had presented the story, the new school district would have begun service for the start of the spring term of 1920. The vote was held on 2 Dec 1919 and was passed in Nevada but defeated in the rural districts. This lead to the vote,

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© 2012 Mark Christian
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