I grew up in a small Ohio town, and I rode the school bus from 1st through 12th grades. My bus ride always included a country road on which every school day we saw a one-room brick school house. (SW corner of Stine Rd and Enon-Xenia Pike). As the years went by, I watched this wonderful, familiar friend fall apart. After I married, the school really began to deteriorate. Every time we visited the area I would want to take a photo of the school, but never did. Finally, when we went specifically for the task, the school was gone. It was a huge loss for me and, since that time, whenever we pass a one-room school, it is a joy to stop to take a picture or two. Thus, our collection here, and the one with schools in other states. Jill :oD

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Sharon #4, East Lincoln School

I previously had these schools in two posts, as “Sharon #4, Lincoln School” and “Friendship School, Amish.”  Duane J. Gingerich, who attended school at East Lincoln, posted a comment with some information on the “Friendship School, Amish” post, but it got me a bit confused.  He then was gracious enough to e-mail me with some good information and explanations about the schools, as well as including photos.

Let’s first give you some directions to find these schools.  One needs to go north of Kalona on Hazelwood Ave (one mile east of SR1 and parallel to it), to the intersection of 520th Street.  The first building is on the SW corner while the second one is on the NE corner.  My photos were taken on 31 August 2011.

These first three photos are of the original structure, taken from Hazlewood, looking at the SW corner of the building, while the next one was taken from 520th St, west of Hazlewood.  The 5th photo is from Mr. Gingerich, and was photographed from 520th St on the east side of Hazlewood.  This structure was used from 1873 until 1937.
In 1937 a new structure was completed kitty-corner from the old building, and the old building was acquired by the Amish for use as a Sunday School; they added to the structure.  The new structure is shown in two older photos by Mr. Gingerich, and the two newer photos by me, followed by the last photo by Mr. Gingerich.  This school was closed in 1965 and then the Amish acquired it and named it “Friendship School.”
Now, I’ll let Mr. Gingerich tell you about the school buildings:

“This is where my mother (Katie Helmuth) attended school. The original structure up through 1937 was much smaller  (just the three windows on the right in the photo) than the present structure which has been extensively added to since it was repurposed by the Amish as a Sunday School back in the late 1930’s after the new East Lincoln school was built across the road. When my mother attended school in this structure, it was also colloquially known as ‘Dutch College’ because during non-school terms the community sponsored German language classes at Sharon#4/East Lincoln.  My oldest brother who is 90 remembers when he attended school here before the new school building was built. He remembers that they also called the old school ‘East Lincoln’ although, technically, in terms of Iowa’s school districts, it was Sharon #4."
"I went to school at East Lincoln [new building], graduating in 1958.  Back in the 40s the school looked like the first attached picture, complete with outdoor toilets.  We got rid of these in 1953 when indoor plumbing was added.  This school was constructed in 1937.  The winning construction bid was under $3000 and was won by my mother’s brother, a finish carpenter. Both my father and grandfather served on the ‘Sharon #4 District School Board in various capacities over the years.

Friendship School is nothing more or less than Lincoln/East Lincoln renamed. The Amish bought  the East Lincoln school…after consolidation had taken all the students out and put them in Washington Township School on the Angling Road. Since the Amish renamed East Lincoln and called it Friendship School, they have from time to time added other outbuildings to handle the number of students and other storage needs.

There you have it. I hope this clears up the confusion.  Thanks for all the work you have done to document these old Iowa one-room schools.  I remember my years at East Lincoln with great fondness.  As I have written elsewhere after retiring as an international lawyer based in Jakarta, Indonesia,  my eight years in a rural Iowa one-room school environment never disadvantaged me in any way. Quite the contrary."

My heartfelt thanks for Mr. Gingerich for all this information.

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