A History of Texas Grove or "Delafield" School
By: Mildred Rawls Neal
Donated by Kyle Schoultz
Three buildings have been used in the school called at first Texas or Texas Grove and later with the growth and thriving of the village of Delafield it was usually called by that name.
While we have a first hand description of the first building, a log school, we do not know the exact location or the exact year it was begun although it seems that it was the mid or later [eighteen] sixties. Some think it was located possibly east of the red schoolhouse which will be discussed later.
Rev. John D. Hooker in his writings of his life's work gives us this description. "A school district was formed west of Blooming Grove some distance, and I was one of the first if not the first to name the school house Texas. The house was a log house. The logs were bought from O'Possum Creek School District. The house was almost square. It had four windows and one door. The benches were two logs split in two pieces and pegs put in auger holes for legs. You furnished your own back. The blackboard was made of four pieces of oak planks, each about one foot wide and six feet long. These were fastened together by two pieces nailed to them on the back side. The writing desk was a plank about 2" thick about 14" wide and 10' long, resting on two pegs which had been driven into auger holes in a log on the northwest corner of the house. Uncle John Standerfer made the blackboard. Bro. Calvin Allen of sainted memory was the first teacher of the new district Texas. He was a good teacher. He taught us from our books and the Bible. We had a Webster Blue Back for our spelling book and Saunders Reader. The Mr. Matt Echols, George Lane, Amanda Edington, and Mrs. M.C. Dale. Eld. R.G. Echols taught here a number of years."
According to the late Mr. Willie Daily, the second building, a Red Schoolhouse, was located near the corner of the fence row between the Jim Rawls Farm and the Henry Tolley Farm near the point where the row touched his farm. That would be about ¼ mile east and a bit south of the building on the highway which is now Hodge's Furniture. The Red Schoolhouse followed the log building and served until 1903 when the last building was erected. Teachers recalled by the Daily's were: William Maulding, Richard Echols, Colver Trovillion, David Underwood, George Daily, Commodore Compton, Nola Hungate, Tom Leslie, and Whitson Daily for a summer term. Ola Allen was said to be the last teacher here and the first in the new building.
I have vivid memories of the Red Schoolhouse as it was moved to the woods north of our barn a short distance and at the top of the knoll where it served as a living quarters for at least three families- Mr. Vaughn and three teenage children, Clyde Bowden and family, and Mr. Jim Finn. It was then used for grain storage and a good place for the Tolley children who were our nearest neighbors and us to meet and ride some of the many hickory saplings in the woods or when tiring of that to go to the apple orchard in from of the house with some twenty trees and inspect the changes in the bird nests from day to day. It was a beautiful sight when the trees were blossoming and sheep and young lambs were frolicking on the young grass.
The building which now houses Hodge's Furniture was located on the cross-road from Middle Creek and later in 1931 the highway to Mt. Vernon was finished and there begins a curve to the village of Delafield. It was at this time that the school began to be called Delafield although I have seen Texas Grove on the teacher's reports. This building is in Dahlgren Township Section 31 and was District 34. It was a one-room school in the beginning but soon there were two rooms, primary for the first four grades and Advanced for the last four which were usually alternated. The building was painted white with a belfry in the middle of the roof where the bell was located to call the children to "books". Only in the last was it covered with brown siding and the bell removed. The primary room had two built in cloak rooms and the advanced room had a narrow room on the east the entire width of the regular room which was used as a class room during the time they had high school. This was Delafield school from 1903-1950 when it became a part of the Unit #10 when the state urged consolidation.
Some of the teachers in this building were Ola Allen, Lewis Daily, Ralph Daily, Sam Dale (11 years), Carl Glenn, Lawrence Holt, Orlan Epperson, Roy Redfearn, William Waller, Hiram Adams, Eugene Cox, Ray Daily, and Allie Myers. In the "Little Room" were Mena Lee, Nellie Redfearn, Madge Coker, Grace Maulding, Maude Boyer, Mary Boyer, Imogene (Rawls) Myers, and Treva Daily who was the last. In the High School were: Nana Hart, John Knight, Marion Brown, Aaron Cravens, and Wilburn Cullins, Principal. This is not a complete list nor is it in chronological order.
Two county superintendents of schools attended Delafield then taught there: Whitson Daily, later attorney and County Judge and S.O. Dale who became school superintendent in Fairfield and then State Representative from that district. When they visited Delafield School they often sang for us which we loved.
Other prominent men from the school were: Rev. Ralph Daily, Baptist minister and College Professor; Orlan Epperson, School administrator in Michigan; Harry Dietz, Supt. Of Evansville Div. of L & N. RR; Rev John B. Maulding and Rev. Cyrus Maulding, brothers and well known Baptist Ministers. Among the older ones were: Jackson Lockett, Bank Pres.; W.B. Sanders, who directed Swift's Packing Co. Texas Div.; and Harry Echols, a well known Baptist Minister in Texas.
Mr. and Mrs. Wilburn Cullins taught fifteen years in the school and on outstanding feature of those years was the music which we had just afternoon each day. We sang from the Golden Book and popular songs of the period. A charming young ladies group from the eighth grade impressed this "third grader", as they stood in a semi-circle and sang their choruses, - Zelia Epperson, Grace Cravens, Marie Daily, Ina Williams, Fern Daily, Bessie Lovan, Pansy Daily, and the Epperson Twins-May and Faye. This was before the bobbed hair era and these concocted some of the most becoming and fascinating Hair-dos I have ever yet seen. They differed from day to day too.
We saw our first basketball played about this time when the boys built an outdoor court and played games with other schools. Ike Rhine and his Welding team won a game. On the way home when an elderly lady sat on her porch they said "Rah! Rah!" She said "Ha! Ha!". She did not know what it was all about.
Twenty-Five years ago, annual reunions were begun with about 200 attending the first year. However, interest is waning and it is wondered if it can be continued.
Class Picture, Delafield School, Unknown Year
Donated by Kyle Schoultz
Delafield Basket Ball team 1929 /1930
Donated by Kyle Schoultz
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