The History of
Rogers Corners School
in Chelsea, Washtenaw Co., MI
A very special 'thank you' to Marti for her generous contribution and transcription of this data for inclusion on the Washtenaw Co., MI USGenWeb site.
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Chelsea Standard August 30, 1934
History of Rogers Corners School
Freedom Township, Washtenaw County
The following history of Rogers Corners school celebrates the 100th anniversary which was observed on Sunday, August 19, 1934 and was prepared by Miss Irene Huehl, present teacher of the school.
The first settler in Freedom township, James W. Hill, came in the summer of 1831. In the spring and summer the following year many other immigrants came. Among those that settled in this district were Mr. Scott, who settled on what is now the Christian Haas farm, George Peckens of the George Loeffler farm, Prestons on the farms now owned by Mrs. Christian Grau and Clarence Buss, Juda McLean on the William Eiseman farm, Mr. Tucker on Jacob Schneider's farm, Mr. Wellman on Mrs. Charles Buss farm, another Mr. Wellman on the John Grau farm, M.B. Wellman on the Schiller farm, and Ruben Wellman on Ezra Feldkamp's farm. Edward Litchfield settled on the Herbert Schenk farm, Joseph Sternberg on the George Hinderer farm, David C. Raymond on the Edwin Kuhl farm, Mr. Rogers on John Wenk's farm, another Mr. Rogers on the place now owned by William Beuerle, and Levi Rogers on the Jacob Koengeter farm. It was after the Roger families that the corner received the name Rogers Corners. As may be seen, the first settlers were in a majority Americans, whereas now the larger portion of the landholders are German.
The first task of these pioneers was that of building for themselves a home. This was made of logs. They then set about to clear and improve the land which was largely timber. The children of these first settlers grew up in the wilds where wolves were more plentiful than domestic animals.
Even though there was but a handful of people; and the wilderness a handicap, these pioneers did not forget about education. They were determined that their children should have a knowledge of the three R's - reading, 'riting and'rithmetic.
During the years of 1834-5 school was held in the homes of the various members. One of these was the Sternberg home-now the Hinderer home.
Later the settlement was of sufficient numbers to insure the building of a schoolhouse. This was authorized at the first meeting recorded and dated November 18, 1836. At this time the taxable inhabitants of the district convened, agreeable to previous notice and proceeded to business by electing Lyman Williams, chairman, and Levi Rogers, clerk. It was voted to raise one hundred dollars or under as the case may be for the purpose of providing a convenient schoolhouse and stove for the use of the district. The school was to be built of logs. The meeting adjourned and was recorded in the district book by Daniel Rouse, director.
The second meeting recorded was held May 27, 1837. Thirty dollars was allowed for the use of the summer school which was to be continued five months. New officers elected were as follows; Moderator, Alexander Pecans; director, Daniel Rouse; and assessor Manassah Wellman. The officers received 75 cents per day for their services.
The same year in October, ninety dollars was voted for the use of the school the ensuing year. The school year was to consist of four months of winter school to begin about the first of November, and five months of summer school, if there was money enough. New officers were again elected, the election of which resulted as follows: David C. Raymond, moderator; S.S.Peckens, director, and Levi Rogers assessor.
In the year of 1838 the district voted to put a tax on each scholar. How much do you think that was? Well, here it is-sixty-four feet of wood two feet long to be furnished by the parent or guardian within ten days from the time that each scholar entered school. If the wood was not furnished, the deficiency was furnished by the director within ten days thereafter at the rate of three dollars per cord to be paid by the delinquent. Edward Litchfield was elected moderator, Richard Ayers, director, and Jacob Preston, assessor.
During the next four years, no special business was transacted. The by-laws of 1838, concerning the furnishing of fuel and having nine months of school, were continually adopted. The officers were changed each year; however, the only new names listed were Frederick Lee, moderator and S. Woods director in 1839, and William Preston assesor in 1840.
The officers elected in 1842 were Levi Rogers, moderator, Frederick Lee, assessor, and William Preston director. On June 5, 1842 were Levi Rogers, moderator, Frederick Lee, assessor, and William Preston director. On June 5, 1843 a petition was presented to the officers to call a special meeting June 17 of the district "for the purpose of raising such sum as the district shall think be, also to establish a site for the schoolhouse, and to choose a committee to draft a plan for the house." This petition was signed by Ruben Williams, S.S.Peckins, Nelson Wells, G. Raymond, G.H. McLean, Solomon McArthur, Robert Triggs, G.S. Peckens, Edward Moon, and Seth Chase.
At the special meeting it was voted to raise two hundred dollars for the purpose of building a schoolhouse to replace the log school. The committee appointed consisted of S.C.Barber, Seth Chase, and Levi Rogers.
At the regular meeting of the district of this year new officers elected were Seth Chase, moderator; Jeremiah Hover, assessor, and L.R.McLean, director.
A special meeting was held the eleventh day of December 1843 for the purpose of selling the log school and the stove to the highest bidder. The house was sold to Mr. Geralds for four dollars and fifty cents. The money thus received was paid toward the purchase of a new stove.
The names appearing in the list of officers from 1843 to 1875 are: James Raymond, Mathew Butler, Horace Rogers, Samuel Gressor, Alexander Peckens, Stephen Tucker, John Essig, H.J. Davidter, William Pfitzenmaier, John Huehl, Sr., Frederick Eiseman, John Schenk and John Messner. All officers were changed each year until 1860 when the present method was adopted.
In 1875 the district again decided that a new school building was needed. A building fund was started with two hundred fifty dollars raised by tax. It was also stated in the minutes of this meeting that the four months of winter school were to begin the first of October and the summer term after the closing of the German school.
At the regular meeting in 1876 the district voted to build a new school the coming year, 1877. Three hundred dollars was added to the building fund. Joseph Davidter was elected director. The other two office holders were moderator, John Messner, and assessor, Frederick Eiseman.
January 5, 1877 a special meeting was held. At this meeting it was resolved that the district build a brick schoolhouse 26x46x15 feet. This is the school in use at present.
The electing of officers, deciding the length of the school terms, and letting of contracts for furnishing and sawing wood were the important items of business transacted during the next few years. New names appearing in the list of officers from 1877 to 1900 are: Gotfried Grau, Henry Kuhl, Barney Bertke, Dan Strieter, Herman Niehaus, Christian Grau and Lewis Geyer.
In 1890 the plaster of the ceiling was removed and the ceiling sealed with lumber. The interior was then painted.
In 1891 the district voted to have the teacher board himself.
In 1904 the board fence was removed and replaced by a chain fence in front of the school.
In 1902 the building was painted both on the exterior and interior. The following year it was rodded.
In 1908 the school was equipped with a slate blackboard. It was also voted to keep the children in the school yard.
A platform was built on the steps, and a new floor put in during 1909. About 1911 the winter, spring and fall terms of school were dropped, and a continuous term of nine months was adopted. A cement porch with a roof was built in 1912.
October 13, 1913 a special meeting was held for the purpose of deciding about a new heating plant. A furnace was installed.
After 1913 there were no further changes until 1934 when the CWA made extensive alterations on the building, making it a nearly standard school.
The first teacher of which we have a record is D.F. Rockwell. He taught in 1838 during the winter term for fifty-six dollars and seventy seven cents. The summer term of that year was taught by C.C. Auger for $32. The winter term was usually taught by a man, and the summer term by a woman.
Following is a list of teachers:
1839-Isaac Magoon and Miss H.C.Chipman, Miss antoniette Foster at one dollar and fifty cents a week.
1840-Miss Foster; Gilbert Hudson, Miss Hill.
1841-H. Becker, Miss Boye, at 25Cents per day.
1842-L.R.McLean, Miss Underhill
1843-L.R.McLean, Miss Crane.
1844-A.H.Crane, Miss Foster
1845-J.B.Watson, Miss Foster
1846-Wm Magoon, A. Crane
1847-O.H.Easton, Helen Dond.
1848-A.King, Helen Dond.
1849-O.Easton, Susan A. Smith
1850-Lafayette Arnold, Susan A. Smith
1851-A.C. Gillet, Miss Ann Truchel
1853-Wallace Furguson, Jeremiah Hoover, Miss Orr.
1854-A.K. Bush, Miss Orr
1855-S. Comstock, Mr Price.
1858-W.W. Preston, Miss Martha Guering.
1859 No record.
1860__Marvin Raymond, Lucia Fenn.
1861 -Solomon Underhill
1862-Mr Watson, S.M.Wellman.
1863-D.B.Taylor, Mary Tucker.
(there are other entries and are available for reading at the Chelsea Library)
This data, like each new piece of information, must be researched and proved or disproved by weight of evidence & it is always best to consult original primary material for verification.
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