A Brief History of Laketon's Schools

Laketon's first school house was built in 1842 and has always been known as District No. 12. It was located on a line between G. and P. Wertenberger farms.

The second school house was also a frame building of one room, but large and was built in 1857.

The first brick building in 1877 of two stories was on the corner of Wayne and Main streets. It was in this building that the first high school courses were given and one of the first to have known to graduate was G.N. Moyer in 1878. In 1883 more high school classes were given and the first class of four graduated.

School Hacks

When Dorothy Berry Winn '23 was in the first and second grades, her father, John Berry, drove a horse drawn wagon as a school hack. The straw-filled wagon had small, straight wooden seats.

In the winter, the trustees bought foot warmers for each one. These were carpet-covered drawers into which hot charcoal bricks were put. The wagon route was five miles long. Over Eel River Bridge, past the oil station, and into Laketon. In deep snow a bobsled was used.

Later Jim Johnson drove a wagon hack. This had a cast iron stove built underneath with a register in the floor for heat. One evening some of the older kids threw pepper into the register. Needless to say, they had a "sneezing" good time!

Still later, Harry Ulsh drove a Ford Touring Car to pick up the route. Thirteen youngsters piled into the car and rode to school.

Frank Robert Conrad '34 recalls the rides to school. On cold, snowy, blowy days the bobsled was used. Charles Weaver drove a horse-pulled sled. Soap stones were heated and with plenty of warm blankets the children snuggled and rode the distance to school.

In 1922 and 1923 a Model T truck converted to a "hack" would accommodate ten children. The bus had canvas sides and no heater!