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"Eau Claire County History, 1949"

History of Springfield Prairie School Area

We wish to thank Mr. Florine Hiess, Mr. Hugh Carey, Mr. and Mrs. Walter Aude, our parents and to the many people who helped us in getting the history of this school district.


First school was on Earl Falch's field.  The log school was later used for a barn.  The children then went to the Cameron School in Chippewa County.  The first schoolhouse on the present site was a small wooden structure.  In 1903 the new school was built.  Fred Drung, Walter Aude were treasurers, W. P. McCaughy and Nels Christensen were the other members on the board.

It is easy to see why they called the school the Springfield Prairie as it is on the "Prairie". This settlement, is called the Springfield Prairie as it is on the "Prairie."

Some of the teachers before 1912 were Margret Bavard, Lottie Carden and Miss Burnell.

The teachers to date are:

1913-1914 Jennie Grogan  $40.00 a month  1930-1931 Clara Woodford
1914-1915 Jennie Grogan 1930-1931 Hazel Harms
1915-1916 Jennie Grogan 1931-1932 Hazel Harms
1915-1916 Etta McLeod  $45.00 a month 1932-1933 Hazel Harms
1916-1917 Sylvia Garnett 1933-1934 Zita Mohr
1917-1918 Sylvia Garnett 1934-1935 Zita Mohr, Helen Hickey
1918-1919 Mayme Stenmetz  1936-1937 (unknown) 
1919-1920 Mayme Stenmetz  1937-1938 J. Johnson
1920-1921 Vera Patten 1938-1939 J. Johnson
1921-1922 F. McConville 1939-1940 Emma Beigel Cobey
1922-1923 F. McConville 1940-1941 Emma Beigel
1923-1924 Vera Patten 1941-1942 D. Chaput
1924-1925 Vera Patten 1942-1943 V. Black 
1925-1926 Marie Stygar  1943-1944 V. Black
1926-1927 Margaret Robinson 1944-1945 S. Maik
1927-1928 Celeste McCaghy 1945-1946 S. Maik
1928-1929 Celest McCaghy, Ruth Guse  1946-1947 S. Maik
1929-1930 Ruth Guse 1947-1948 Carol Anderson

In 1944 the Springfield Prairie School, Oak Knoll and Bowman School were put into one district. Our present board is Mrs. Harry Green, clerk; Mr. Clarence Kranig, treasurer; and Mr. John Lane, director.

Looking over old records we found that Springfield Prairie has had many visitors, some of them have been:  Mrs. Walter Aude, November 17, 1917; Laura Christenson, November 14, 1917; Anna Heiss, December 13, 1918; Lillia Johnson, January 10, 1919; Mrs. Paul Reiter, February 25, 1921; Mrs. Wm. Krumenauer and Carl and Tony, 1921; George and Mary Statz, April 16, 1926; Miss Wilcox, October 9, 1929; Miss Webster, November 1, 1929.

In 1880 the church was organized and built.  The foundation rock was taken from the old Indian

Signal Rock which was on the Martin Anderson's farm.  This church was struck by lightning.  The first church was started by Mr. Muldoon, Mr. McQuillan and Mr. Hugh Carey's father.

The church was named St. Bridget.  It was so named because at this time there was in Ireland a Catholic girl who was put to death.  Her name was Bridget.  This being an Irish settlement they thought that was a good name.

The present church was built about 1900 by T. A. Roycraft and Albert Melville.

When the church was first built, they had church once a month.  The first woman to be married there was Miss Mary Ann Cogan.

The Church Hall was built in 1910 or 1911 and rebuilt by Mr. Statz in 1937.  A few years ago this hall burned

Interesting facts

The first telephone was in 1907.  It was called the Melville Settlement Phone Company.  The switchboard was across from the LaFayette Creamery.

Walter Aude had the first car.  He bought it in 1920 from Hemenin in Chippewa Falls.  The car was a Regal with a Ford engine.

A skimming station for skimming milk was set up at Walter Aude's corner about 1900. It ran about 7 years.

Mr. Walter Aude is the oldest settler now living.  Close behind him is Mr. Hugh Carey who was born west of where he is now living.  Mr. Florine Hiess has lived here for many years.

Mr. Carey related some very interesting Indian stories to us.  He told us that the Indians would use the Prairie for camping grounds, while they used the hill around for hunting grounds.  Mr. Carey's mother was frightened many times by the Inidans when they came hunting.

We were surprised to know that at one time our district even had a store.  Mr. Heiss now lives in part of the old store.

Our school feels that we too have had interesting settlers in the making of the history of Wisconsin.

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