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Logan County, Illinois
Genealogy and History

Mt. Pulaska Early Education


In the early life of Mt. Pulaski, the educational advantages were not of the best, and not until 1844 was any permanent provision made for the education of the children. Until this time there were but few residents in town, and these taught their children in their own homes, or paid any one who desired to engage in the work during the winter a small sum per scholar for teaching. This person would hire a room in some dwelling, or the loft of a shop or store, and therein teach the young idea. This condition could not long continue among an enterprising people, and the year mentioned saw a comfortable frame house erected for school purposes. It was also used for divine worship, town meetings, or for any public gathering. When this became too small, in after years, the basement of a church would be rented, or a room wherever vacant, until 1858, when the legislature gave to the town the old court-house for a school house. It has remained in use ever since. The little frame is now the dwelling of some farmer or gardener, having been sold when the change of houses was made.

On entering the court-house, two teachers were employed. John Kent was probably the first teacher within its walls. The people comprising the First German Evangelical Lutheran Church have supported a school every winter for some time in the basement of their church, generally employing a student from the college of this denomination in Springfield. Otherwise, the pastor fills the place.

For the last three or four years it has been evident to the friends of education in the town that a new and larger school was needed. During the spring of 1877, a change was made from the common district organization, under which the schools have always been conducted, to a graded system, under the control of a Board of Education, and an application for funds to erect a new school-house was made. $20,000 was granted, and with this the Board have purchased a very eligible site in the eastern part of the town, and are erecting thereon an excellent six-room building. The basement of the building is so arranged that when the upper rooms are inadequate to the support of the school, it can be seated and used for similar purposes. The school is now divided into five grades, each having one teacher, and a teacher of the German language for all. The present principal is O. T. Denny.

[History of Logan County, Illinois, 1878; by cddd]

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