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"Eau Claire County History, 1949"

History of Rodell School Area, 1856 - 1948

From wild land and June roses to an up-to-date farming region.

We could not find in the records why the school, station, and surrounding country were called Rosedale.  But so the story goes this wild country abounded in June roses.  Rosedale was later changed to Rodell.  The station agent at Altoona sends us the following statement.

    "I find that this station was originally named Rosedale and in 1907 was changed to Rodell.  This change was made due to the fact that there was another station on the C. N. W. Railroad system by the name of Rosedale and in order to avoid having two stations by the same name, one was changed to Rodell."

So the school, store and vicinity have since been known as Rodell.

When settlers first came to this part of Eau Claire County they found that it ws not heavily wooded but was known as 'wild land'.

As early as 1856 Israel and Eliza Herrell, a young married couple came to Eau Claire County and purchased 320 acres of this wild land.  It was located one mile east of the Rodell Store.  Here they grubbed, tilled and made a good farm of it.  Three boys and two girls were born to them.  Here they lived for many years.  Each passing year bringing many changes and improvements.  One of the vast improvements made by the state was the "tote" road built about 1865 from Eau Claire to Sparta which passed right by their home as it went in as a direct a path as hills and swamps would permit.  It went just sough of the bluff on the B. F. Von Berg farm.

Ernest Herrell, former editor of "The Union", was the eldest son of this couple.  In 1886 he taught the Rosedale School.  After the death of his parents he came into possession of 120 acres of the old homestead.

Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Herrell built a lovely home on an eighty which belonged to the original farm.  Both were active in the affairs of the school and community.  This farm is now owned by Albert Ida (1949).

In 1896 Andrew and Mary Fomberg purchased 120 acres of land from her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Israel Herrell.  This is the only part of the original 320 acres now owned by a relative.  Mrs. Fomberg was Mary Herrell.  She now lives in Eau Claire.  After the death of her husband, she rented her farm to Mr. and Mrs. Frank Herrick for one year.  Mr. and Mrs. Edward Bann and family were there for the next six years and for the past twenty-six years it has been operated by Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Bann.

Another of the early settlers was John Honadel, Sr., who came to this country from Germany to make his home on the farm which his son, John, now owns and which is operated by the latter's son, Elmer.  The farm at that time, which was in 1862, contained 280 acres.  Mr. Honadel Sr. was prominent in the life of the community, having served on the school board for many years and as "path master" a number of terms.  Some of his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren still live on and near the old home.  Two of his great-grandchildren, Darlene Honadel and Karen Schacht, are attending the Rodell School in which he was greatly interested.

Christian Swanke and family also came in 1862 to make their home a short distance west of Rodell.  Records show that he was also interested in the progress of the school.  The old home was in the family name until about five years ago when it was purchased by Edward Schacht.

Christoph Erdman came to American in 1862 and a short time later came to Rodell to settle on 230 acres of land.  Several acres of this land still belong to his descendants.  In 1891 his son Julius took over the farm.  A few years later he saw the need of a mercantile store to supply the wants of the greatly increased population of Rodell and vicinity.  He erected a large brick building a short distance from the O. A. Williams skimming station and the McGuire Hay and Grain Company's warehouse.  Here he started business January 21, 1896.  The store still stands and is operated by Julius Erdman's son, T. W. Erdman.

The skimming station became a thing of the past and the McGuire Hay and Grain buildings were torn down when highway 12 was built.

Teachers of the Rodell School

Annie Hatch 1897 - 1899 Catherine Vinopal 1918 - 1919
Earle Yule  1900 M. Catherine Smith 1919 - 1920
H. C. Eaton  1900 Helen Frase 1920 - 1922
Winifred R. Coss 1901 Clara Markham 1922 - 1924
Harold Rose  1901 - 1903 Geneva Schaefer 1924 - 1925
Muzette La Grave 1903 - 1904 Mrs. G. H. Gilbertson 1925 - 1927
August Rhode 1904 - 1905 Bernice Bagley 1927 - 1928
Aggie La Grave 1905 - 1907 Anita Ruttan 1928 - 1929
Eugene Fomberg 1907 - 1908 Orpha Christy 1929 - 1931
Bertha La Marche 1909 Naomi Steen 1931 - 1934
Zella Johnson 1909 - 1911 Phyllis Chambers 1934 - 1936
Sarah Victory 1911 Vera Mason 1936 - 1939
Mayme Devine 1912 - 1913 Ned Horel 1939 - 1941
Alvina Mohr 1913 - 1914 Mrs. Dora Pernot 1941 - 1942
Erna Voechting 1914 - 1915 Mrs. Ruth Bonewald 1942 - 1943
Bessie F. Greene 1915 - 1918 Mrs. Rosabelle Running 1943 - 1944

The children were transported to Lincoln Valley View School 1944 - 1945.  Elizabeth Daniels was the teacher there.

Elizabeth Daniels - 1945 - 1946
Marian Barron Bann - 1946 - 1948

The Lincoln Valley View district consolidated with the Rodell School district in 1947.  The school officers of 1874 were:

Henry Stevens - Treasurer
Christian Swanke - Director
S. B. Kidder - Clerk

The present officers are:

Elmer Honadel - Treasurer
T. W. Erdman - Director
Lorain Schroeder - Clerk

The pupils and I wish to thank those who answered our letters; those  who gave us information otherwise; and those who have preserved the records throughout the years.

Information gathered by Mrs. Bann and pupils.


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