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1924 Superintendent House 1941
Kermit Molde, Class of 1941

This photo, probably taken in the spring 1941, shows Kermit Molde at the northwest corner of the original gym. The photographer is looking to the north/northeast with the superintendent's house in the background. The article is labeled as 1924 because that is the probable date of construction of this house.

The house is a remodeling of one, possibly two, of the original schoolhouses that had been moved onto the SW corner of Sec 15 in the very late teens, early twenties. At the time of the remodeling from a school to a house, a basement was dug and formed and then the house was pulled over the basement. One school stood at this location and eventually five others were moved here. At the turn of the twentieth century, there had been eight wooden and one brick “one room schools” located within Milford Township.

The concept for the facility was that the superintendent and his family would occupy the lower floor of the house and any single teacher so desiring could have the option of using the upstairs room- rooms- as living quarters. How many, and for how long this option was used, is not known, but following the War, no single teachers are remembered to have used this facility. However, in 1936, any teacher desiring to live at the teacherage, as it was called, would have been charged $16 a month which included heat and lights.

A pattern developed that some teachers were getting a job at Milford and then, perhaps, finding a better paying job, would quit. The School Board started requiring the teacher to forfeit $50 to get out of the contract and this is what happened to Mrs Horner. This was a great deterrent as the salary was in the $90 a month range.

Later, Glen Sampson `43, reports that three single teachers did live at the Christy farm located 1/2 mile north of the school on the east side. The personnel he recalls as having lived at the Christy's taught at Milford Community School in 1930. He reports that they walked to school on days when that was possible.

Although most everyone these days, if they think about it at all, recalls this as being the Superintendents' house, it was not always the situation. In 1930-31 we have information that the Janitor, Mr Gaylan Mann, lived in this home (called a `cottage' at the time) and in 1928-'29 Mr Weyrauch, the Supt, lived in Ames; so, perhaps this was the situation for a few years. Mr Mann was the janitor for at least nine school years, 1931-1939.

The house in the photo was used as a single family dwelling until 1991 at which time the entire property was sold by the Nevada School District. The Milford Township School High School students merged into Nevada School District in 1961.

1924 Fire Threatens Our School

From the Nevada Paper of 31 Dec 1924--

“When a gasoline tank exploded in the boiler room of the new hundred thousand dollar school plant in Milford Township, at an early hour this morning, damage to the interior of the room, the generator, electrical wiring, gasoline engine and other equipment, amounting to $2,500 was done, according to the statement of Superintendent Lester Gill, this afternoon.

Howard Banks, janitor and fireman, was in the boiler room about six o'clock, about to fill the tank to the gasoline engine, when the fumes from the gasoline tank ignited, possibly from the front of the boiler, and an explosion followed, which threw the blazing gas over the room.

Mr Banks, who was alone at the time was burned, but not seriously. He, at once, called Superintendent Gill at the Christy home and Gill and Christy were soon on the job, fighting with Banks and they soon had the flames extinguished by smothering them down with ashes.

Mr Gill stated that the damage would probably reach $2,500 to the boiler room and equipment, which would be covered by insurance.

The heating plant was not so badly damaged that it cannot be operated and school is being held there today.

An appeal was made to Nevada for help but before the firemen could get together to start with the truck, a second call advised them that a trip would be useless as the danger was over.”

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© 2012 Mark Christian
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