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Milford Township and Proud of It

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About Our Schools
Some History
1850's Poverty School in Starvation Hollow

Poverty Schoolhouse, in Starvation Hollow, a few miles southeast of Story City, was one of the earliest, and perhaps the earliest school to be used by the folks of Milford Twp and southwest Howard township. Students from northeast Franklin and southeast Lafayette townships were probably present also. The exact location of the school was two and three quarters mile north of Milford Township just on the east side of the Skunk River in the middle of Sec 19 of Howard Township.

Families came from both up and down the river many miles to attend school and other get-togethers here. The school was built in 1856 as the first public school building in the area although another school to the northeast had preceded it by a year. Both Hiney Honderd and "Hack" Horness (father of five Milford Twp students from 1937-1961) spoke of this school and used the names of Poverty School and Starvation Hollow. (I had the impression from visiting with these gentlemen that the school was located further south in the vicinity of the "H" tree or perhaps even further south.) Mr Horness and Mr Honderd seemed to enjoy the name of Poverty School in Starvation Hollow and referred to the area from about Pleasant Grove Church and up to the "H" tree as Starvation Hollow. There was a little talk when the county was giving consideration to naming the roads of Story County, and putting up signs to that effect, of calling that drive from Pleasant Grove north to the "H" tree as Starvation Hollow Drive or Poverty Gulch. But more "ennobling" interests prevailed and named it “Pleasant Valley Drive”.

Poverty School was a building of logs with the desks being a board resting on pegs in the log walls and the seats for the scholars built on the same principle as a milk stool, except these were the modern ones with four legs. The building was used for meetings of every nature from school, to politics, to religious revivals. When this building was removed is not known. (Probably when Pleasant Grove and Sheffield Schools got started.) The folks who lived in the Sec 7 area of Milford Twp went to Bloomington during the late 1850's and Pleasant Grove school, apparently, was started in the late `50's in the southeast corner of Sec 7 and then relocated, possibly, in 1862 to the northeast corner of Sec 7. Milford School (Subdistrict Number Four) was in existence by 1863.

The Sheffield School, on the north side of Sec 31 in Howard Twp, a mile from Milford Twp, was built in the summer of 1859.

1869 Milford Township Rural Schools

A Nevada Paper in the spring of 1869 gave the following information about Milford Twp:

“The Township has three organized school districts and as many good frame school houses.”

These three schools would, most likely, be-- 1) Pleasant Grove School, 2) the school two miles south (which was called Milford School - this one was in place by 1863), 3) The third probably was the Blackberry School (Referred to as the Blueberry School by

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© 2012 Mark Christian
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