Country School Days 1946

Our newest book, Country School Days: True Tales of a Wisconsin One-Room School is being edited and we hope to publish by late Fall of this year, 2021.

The main focus is the one-room Oak Grove School that the Scheckel children attended. My tenure was from 1948-1956. To get info, I am viewing microfilms of The Courier-Press newspaper published in Prairie du Chien.

At that time, the goings-on of every community were sent in and printed in the Courier-Press; Steuben, Wauzeka, Seneca, Eastman, Mt. Sterling, Gays Mills, Steuben, Lynxville, Niland Ridge, Ducharme Ridge, to name a few. It was a litany of who visited who, what family went shopping, who came back from serving in the military, and babies brought back from the hospital.

Looking at the Seneca entry from March 19, 1946. “The wood chopping bee sponsored by members of St. Patrick’s parish on the Dave Boland Jr. farm last Thursday, proved to be a successful undertaking: 40 men took part in the work and many cords of wood were the result. Eleven ladies served an abundant lunch of hotdog sandwiches, cheese, and piping hot coffee.”

We could see the Dave Boland farm from our Scheckel farm. Unusual in that they had all white buildings and sat on a high point in Crawford County. In the summer, the Sun rose over the tops of the Dave Boland farmstead on the northeastern horizon.

Life is filled with triumphs and tragedies, and we all experience both. From a February 24, 1946 Seneca column, “A pre-nuptial show was held, in the gym Sunday afternoon in honor of Maxine Monahan of Soldiers Grove and Ed Cody Jr. A pleasant afternoon was enjoyed by friends and neighbors and many useful gifts were received by the bride to be.”

Another entry from the March 16, 1946 Courier-Press, “Mr. and Mrs. Ed Cody Jr. returned from their wedding trip last Wednesday. They will operate the Cody farm.”

From an entry a few years later, “Mary Delores Cody was born on March 6, 1947 at Saint Ann’s Hospital in La Crosse, WI. She was the first-born child of Edward Henry and Maxine Marie Monahan Cody. In September of 1953, she enrolled in First Grade at Stoney Point School, near Seneca, WI and was a member of the first-grade catechism class of St. Patrick’s parish. On Friday, Nov. 13, 1953 at about 3:15 p.m. she ran in front of the farm truck her father was driving and was struck by the rear dual wheels. Delores loved people and she will always be remembered for her vivacious friendliness.”

Another entry, “Richard Homuth has bought the lot from M.B. Dagnon where the Neil Tollefson Hotel was located and will build a house there when possible.” Dick Homuth was the very successful and well-liked agriculture teacher at Seneca High School.

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