Lake Lillian history #4
This was published in the August 2012 issue of the Lake Lillian News

100 years ago:

My dad, Otto, and his siblings attended Riverside School, Kandiyohi County District 89. It was organized in 1892 and located on the south bank of the Crow River, 1 mile south of #7 and mile West of County Rd 2. The school closed in 1954 as it was consolidated into a district at Cosmos. All trace of the Riverside country school is now gone as the river has been dredged into a wide ditch in that area

1915 Riverside

District 89 as it appeared in 1915 when my dad Otto was in first grade.

walking to school

This 1917 picture is of my Dad (age 8) and first grader Aunt Eleanor walking with their lunch pails.

Each year the teachers presented a souvenir class list to the students. The following from 1912 is typical.

1912 souvenir 1912 students

This 1912 picture without names is from my Aunt Lillian's album. My guesses are that my uncle Glen (age 8) is in the front row second from left. And my uncle Leo (age 10 ) is in the second row second from left. Lillian was 12 in 1912 and might be the first one from left in the second row. Leoda Hanson could be the second from left in the last row. The class list shows 43 and only 26 are in the picture. My Uncle Clarence is probably among those missing.

1912 students

60 years ago:

I started 1st grade in 1945 as WWII was ending and completed all 8 grades in the District 110 building located in the village of Lake Lillian.

District 110

The building was built in 1925, located west of the Village Park and had 2 teachers and 2 rooms. Grades 1-4 were in the little room and grades 5-8 were in the big room. Both rooms were the same size of course. By 1950, schools were starting to consolidate and one of the larger country school buildings was moved into town and placed alongside the big room. That made it possible to start a kindergarten and place first and second grades with them in the new room and have 3 grades each in the other rooms. These buildings lasted until 1955 when a new 8-room school with a gym was completed in the southeast corner of town. By that time I was in high school in Bird Island on the way to graduation in 1957.

The picture shows the Big Room (grades 6,7,8) in the 1951-1952 school year with me in 7th grade at the front of the far row and my favorite teacher, Mrs Widlund, standing in the corner.

Big room

Row 1: (on the right) 1: Dennis Lundquist 2: Barbara Flann 3: Sharolyn Spletter 4: Darryl Flann 5: Twyla Johnson 6: Rose Marie Nordin 7: Dennis Goplin 8: EMPTY DESK Kathy Wallenta could have been the one absent Row 2: 1: Julius Schafer 2: Marlys Wierspecker 3: Freddie Witt (His father was funeral director.) 4: Glenice Nordin 5: Jerry Levod 6: Marjorie Spletter 7: Jerome Berg 8: Donnie Hawkins Row 3: 1: Deanna Swenson 2: Nancy Flann 3: Bobby Lundquist 4: Gretchen Witt 5: Susie Linn 6: Floyd Kruse 7: Barbara Hopman 8: Charis Nordin Row 4: 1: Gary Gauer 2: Dorene Johnson 3: Dennis Flann (Dennis was in 9th grade at BI already and visiting the day of the photo) 4: Norita Wierspecker 5: Deanna Johnson 6: Yvonne Erickson 7: Cyrus Flann 8: Carol Hawkins

High school for me was 13 miles south at Bird Island. The bus was an orange 60 passenger 1939 ford with rattles, which was the prototype for today's school bus. I wonder when the first school bus routes started. My aunt Eleanor born in 1911 did not attend high school In the 1920's because she did not want to room and board in Atwater

1939 Ford bus

We started our freshman year in the fall of 1953 with 48 classmates and graduated with 34. We built a replica of the Eiffel Tower for the junior year prom. It was made of 2x2's and lath and was large enough for the Grand March to parade under in the center of the gym. I wish I had a picture of it.

I was class president in my senior year. I think it was my turn. The senior class in 1957 traveled to Chicago by Milwaukee Road passenger train from the depot in Bird Island. The class has had a reunion every 5 years since.