Monday, January 24, 2011


FIRST SCHOOLS IN NEWTON; Randomly taken from school trustee meetings compiled by Larry D Christiansen
The first school in Newton was held in Franklin W Young’s home. It was on the lot south of where Pat Dagley now lives. John H. Barker Sr. was the first teacher. The town started a new rock school house in 1872 just south of the town hall. It was not completely finished until 1875. In 1875 the census shows 49 males and 36 females. The school house was 43 feet long and 25 feet wide, with and arched ceiling 16 feet high with a stage across the hall 14 feet deep and 18 inches high..This building was sold for about $100 and was torn down shortly 1908 when the new white school house was built.
A. P. Welchman was engaged to on March of 1875 for on school year ( 240 school days) at salary of $40 a month. One third was paid in cash , two thirds to be paid by patrons according to number of days their children attended. ( note the town kept reducing the amount they paid the Mr Welshman) .At one time L George Clark noted that there were as many as 75 students at one time in class. The school reported of having a library with 8 books in it.
A special trustee meeting was held in Feb of 1886 to hear a complaint by James Parson against Mr Welchman for punishing his son. The following conclusions were arrived at.
Detaining children after School hours concede to the teacher , but with advice to use cautiously , of the particular in reference to large scholars, females especially. Corporeal punishment admitted, under similar restrictions: and further more this it should never be inflicted on the head. The palm of the hands were suggested. A certain strap used by Bro Welchman was allowed under the foregoing restrictions.

In Feb 1879 Trustee Barker on visiting the school found a lack of system and lack of progress. Trustees had now given Bro Welchman an assistant expecting him to implement a system ( Outlines of Study by Miss I.I. Cook Supt of district Schools).Several of the trustees complained that this course was not being followed and a change of teacher was needed. Teacher Bro Welchman said he had never laid claim to be a thoroughly educated man and he could not systemically implement this system. He reminded the trustee that they came to him and invited him to come to Newton, he had done the best he could. The trustees are willing to release Bro Welchman at the end of this quarter. (note Arthur Pendrey Welchman was the clerk for the trustee's and all the minutes were recorded by him. He also wrote many articles about Newton that were publish in the current Newspaper at this time.)

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