1889 The First School Structure

1889 Washington County School District # 81

In the photo above, farmer,  John Meier is second from the left. Photo was taken in the late 1890s.

The original one-room school building was a 20 x 30 foot structure built on an acre of land which sold for $65. The school house lumber bill was $118.28. The schoolhouse was erected by German brothers Albert and Ernest Keehn after a clearing was made in the woods.

Grades ranged from from the first to eighth. Ages of the students were from four to 20 years old according to the records.  In those very early years, parents wanted their children educated. All students were taught in one room. There was no running water, kids got drinking water from the neighbor’s well. Students filled the bucket each day from the pump at the well, brought it back to school where all students drank out of the same dipper. Two outhouses were located on each side of the school, one for the boys, one for girls.

Early teacher reports noted an inadequate supply of brooms, water-pails, cups, chalk, blackboards, and good water.

Washington County School District #81

“A meeting of the board of directors of school district No. 81 of Washington County, Oregon was held at Fred Hamel’s house on March 8, 1890. Nels Johnson in the chair. It was agreed to have the schoolhouse insured and have two outhouses built, also to furnish the schoolhouse with a stove pipe and blackboard.” March 8, 1890

Notes in Carolyn Weaver’s research notebook 1989 centennial.

The second teacher was Ella Litchty (17) hired for a three month period at $35 a month.  19 students were enrolled, including Ella’s 8 year-old brother Frank L. Lichty.   Ella was a local girl.  Her father had died in 1888, perhaps the board was trying to help the widow and her family by employing the young daughter?