Lackamas – PROPOSAL TO FORM A NEW SCHOOL DISTRICT IN THURSTON COUNTY COMPRISING A PART OF THE TERRITORY OF THE YELM SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 400

To the State Board of Education

September 1, 1948

PROPOSAL TO FORM A NEW SCHOOL DISTRICT IN THURSTON COUNTY COMPRISING A PART OF THE TERRITORY OF THE YELM SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 400

By action of the Board at its meeting on July 27, 1948, this proposal is scheduled for a hearing before the Board in conformity with the request of both the proponents and the opponents of the proposal.  The following statement of facts has been prepared for the purpose of furnishing board members with essential information about the proposal.

Facts and Developments Connected With the Proposal

  1. Yelm School District No. 400 is a joint district, including territory in Thurston and Pierce Counties.  At the present time it operates a high school and a graded elementary school in Yelm and a three-teacher elementary school for grades 1-6 at McKenna in Pierce County.
  1. Prior to the last school year (1947-48) the Yelm District also operated a one-room school at Lacamas in Thurston County, approximately ten miles southeast of the city of Yelm.  This school was operated under an arrangement whereby parents residing in the vicinity were permitted to choose between the one-room school at Lacamas and the graded school in Yelm.  Under this arrangement the average daily attendance at Lacamas dropped from 16.7 in June, 1943, to 7.7 in June, 1947.
  1. In view of the declining attendance at Lacamas and a division of opinion among residents of the area respecting attendance at the school, the Yelm school board requested a nonresident of the school district to interview parents regarding their attitude toward the continued operation of the Lacamas school.  The interviews were conducted in may, 1947.  Selected for interviews were the nine families in the area whose children (16 in number) would be in grades 1-6 during the school year 1947-48.  Statements from the report of these interviews throw light on the situation prevailing in this area and are, therefore, quoted below:

Quoted from the report

  1. “No difficulty was experienced in getting people to talk.  They expressed themselves freely, and often with real conviction.”
  1. “Four families preferred to send their children to school in Yelm.  In nearly all cases this was a positive, unqualified preference amounting to a deep conviction.  Two families preferred Lacamas; one family was undecided; two were not interviewed” (presumably could not be located at the time

For the Formation of the New District Territory

Yes                                                          No

# of Families# of Children   # of Families   # of Children

Residents of Old                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Lacamas District                            3                      4                      6                      9

Residents of                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Territory in Old Yelm                  2                      7                      1                      2 District

Total                                                   5                      11                    7                      11

One family with two children is not reported in the foregoing tabulation because of conflicting reports about the family preference.  Excluding this family, five families with eleven children appear to favor the formation of the new district; and seven families with eleven children seem to be opposed, preferring to have their children attend the graded school in Yelm.

Proposed Adjustment of Assets and Liabilities of the Districts Involved

Estimated Revenue of Proposed District                                                                                                                        1948-49

  1. That State and County funds based on attendance during 1947-1948, of all elementary school pupils residing in the proposed new district become an asset of said district during 1948-49, the state and county funds available for expenditure by the Yelm District to be reduced correspondingly (4300 days at 37 cents per day)                                                                                                                                                               $1590
  1. That one educational unit be credited to the proposed District for 1948-49, and that state funds therefore be made available for said district and deducted from receipts of the Yelm District                                                                                                         $1650
  1. That proceeds of the general fund tax levy made in October, 1948, by the Yelm District No. 400 in the amount of five mills on the taxable valuation of the new district become an asset of said new district (5 mills x $585,000)                                   $2925
  1. That sixty percent of approved transportation costs for the new district for the school year 1948-49 be allowed to said District out of state transportation reimbursement funds apportioned to the Yelm District during 1948-49                    $1300 (est)

——–

Total                $7465

Michaela and Jessica Murdock Dillard Jenson Interview About Lackamas School – June 2003

Michaela and Jessica Murdock  Dillard Jenson Interview About Lackamas School – June 2003

Jessica: How long was your school year? I know that it’s 180 now, but there must have been more time off?

Dillard: We started right after Labor Day and we always got out the last of May. Usually around May 29. Yeah, because I don’t think we had any spring vacation. But, yeah, we always got out the last of May.

J: Was there a lot of farming kids out here?

D: Oh yeah! All farming kids. We all farmed. That’s all there was, was farm kids.

J: What kind of farms did you guys have? Was is mostly cows?

D: Cows! Everybody had a little farm, everybody had a couple cows. Everything was on a small scale.

*Rustling…conversation lost…

J: How did you guys get to school? How far usually was the range?

D: By a homemade school bus. It had benches along the side. Was an old… just an old regular pickup. Old wooden back. And uh then… up the Peisner road here. Whoever lived up there Mr. Peizner had an old car and then he’d deliver them. And then up above Clear Wood, which is Clear Wood now, up on Johnson road, there was another old gentleman up there and he had a big old car and he used it for a bus. And that’s how everybody was transported.

J: So…do you know how large the range was from where kids were coming from?

*Rustling…conversation muddled…

D: The range… oh well the range didn’t reach out all that far. Probably… twenty miles. But  what happened is the Yelm School District- now we’re going way back- the Yelm School District the valuation at that time was $500,000. That’s all there was. This one here was $550,000 cause we had Weyerhaeuser, which added more valuation. Well Yelm couldn’t get by without reorganizing and adding this school. So that’s what they done and we were always promised a school, but when the ink dried they took the school away from us. So now we’re getting it back. (Laughs)

J: So what years did you go to school here?

D: I went here first through sixth. Then everybody after the sixth grade went on to Yelm.

J: So that was in 19…?

D: It closed down in 1947.

J: So 1941?

D: I started in ‘40.

M: So you went right until the end?

D: Yeah, I went just about to the end. I think it ran maybe one year after I left.

J: What was the attitude toward school back then? Did the parents think it was very important?

D: Very important. You want to remember everything was entirely different. We had one teacher. No superintendent, no principal, no janitor, no nothing. One teacher ran this school. And every Friday we would put a list up on the board and two boys would feed the wood furnace for the following week. Two boys would take care of their restroom. Two girls would take care of theirs. The teacher always cooked the noon lunch. And she’d have two girls, their names would be on the list, they’d help cook the lunch for that week, but they only cooked lunch for four days a week and every Friday one of the mothers would bring us something special for lunch. And that’s the way it worked. And then about fifteen minutes before school was out every day we’d have to clean up our room, so it was ready for the next morning. And then once a week we’d go out and clean up all the school grounds and clean everything up. And then of course one person had to put the flag up and take it down every day.

J: I think that is so cool. I think that teaches you so much more responsibility.

D: But like I said I wasn’t the best student. When I went to Yelm I sat there for two years, because it was a complete review I’d already had. So I wasted two years. Well… I mean I didn’t waste it, but I’d already had it. Because when you’ve got six grades in one room and you’re in first grade, it’s just like computers today, you store everything, well you store the same in your mind and so when you get to the second grade you’ve already heard those kids recite their lesson- they recited everything back in those days. So it’s already stored in there, right on up through the six grades. When you get there it’s just a review for you. It’s a wonderful to learn. I’d like to see them teaching kids that way again.

J: You probably get a lot more one-on-one time too?

D: Oh sure! Well and another thing, you couldn’t get away with anything. You got bent over…(laughs)…that’s the way it was…there were no ifs, ands, or buts about it, and then when you got home you got some more.

M: So there was definitely some corporal punishment.

D: Well it was…but they’re going to have to go back to a little bit of discipline today, because it’s not working. It’s not working. We all…I don’t care who you are, we all try to get away with as much as we can…everybody does that. So, I say we need a little bit more discipline. But that’s maybe coming from an old-timer‘s mouth.

J: I think that’s interesting to see like, what was breaking the rules, though, and what was looked over, and what was totally not acceptable to do. I think you could push yourself a lot further now, and I was just wondering what was grounds for punishment?

D: Well you tried to push yourself, but you couldn’t, you didn’t get it done, because you got a good whipping or the paddle. And when I went to Yelm it was the same thing there… was a teacher, a principal by the name of Harry Southworth. And he had this nice little wooden board with holes in it and you got the same treatment there. They had control of you. You might try something, but it wasn’t going to work.

J: What kind of curriculum did you guys learn and what was your day?

D: You had your Math and your English, and just the basics… you know, lots of penmanship. Even though I don’t write every day, I still have lot’s of it… and health classes.

J: You said you had to recite a lot, what did you have to recite?

D: What did we have to recite? Well, in Reading and different things like that we probably read more than we had to recite, but we did have to get up and read to the class, stand up in front of the class…or even in Math, she’d make you get up and work your math out on the blackboard and everybody would watch you and see if you were doing it right. So, that’s where you learned from the class ahead of you, so when you got there it was pretty much review. Everything was done pretty much without teacher. She sat at the front of the room and she’d call you up and you’d work on the blackboard, because you wouldn’t want to mess up.

J: So you didn’t want to make any mistakes?

D: No you didn’t or you were in trouble.

J: So, it wasn’t a big deal having different grades in the same class?

D: No, it wasn’t.

J: And having to share the teacher?… When I was reading the Hart’s Lake School thing they said that they put the schedule for each grade up every day and that you just looked at it and knew what you were doing and you didn’t have any problems with that?

D: That’s exactly what it was…That’s exactly the way it was…yep…it was amazing. It probably wouldn’t work today…

[At this point in time Roger Schnepf and Brandon Brownell arrived at the school to take pictures. The Interview stopped for a short while, but the tape kept playing. Dillard insulted the boys and we all laughed. We talked a little bit…]


Michaela: What was the basement used for?

D: Oh we had a shop down there where we built, didn’t amount to much, but we built little things. As good as we could.

J: Did you guys use the gymnasium for physical education classes or just for fun?

D: We just had a basketball hoop, we played a lot of baseball.

M: Did you have any sports or clubs after school?

D: Everything we did…garbled

M: You did golf.

D: I never got in on the golf. That was before I started here… They had a little nine-hole course out there.

[Brandon interrupts to take a picture of Dillard]

J: Did you guys ever feel lonely or cut off from other people? [The Yelm of his youth]

D: Didn’t know the difference. Probably went to town once a week… something like that. Wolf’s department store, right there in the Drew Harvey Theater, that was the big place in Yelm back in those days. Everybody bought their groceries there, bought their clothes there, bought everything there. They sold everything. Cattle feed…*mumbling/garbled… And right there at Gorder’s Body Shop, that was Brown Brothers. And there was the John Deere dealership. And the Plymouth and Dodge car dealership. The original theater was over…the bowling alley, that was a theater… yeah, see that was the second one, the old one burned down. But, let’s see…the bank there on the corner, I can‘t remember the name, Timberland or something…then right next to it used to be D&H Mobile service station, so that’s an Apex grocery or something now. Say, right there was the original theater. Regular movie theater. It burnt down and then the built the one where the bowling alley is now. That was a movie theater and then the built one in Parkland and it burnt down…garbled…but they were identical theaters. They just built the theater floor up and put in the bowling alley. Try to think what else was in town. There were all kinds of things. Yelm was a pretty nice little town… But it was all basically right in that area. Across from the Drew Harvey Theater was a big meat market and right next to him was a restaurant and bar. And then, if I can remember, I was just a little kid, it was in ‘39 they had built a new highway from, they had finished it from Tenino, that was the main highway. And then they had a big get-together. I think that was around the first carnival they had. And right where the old fire station is, that was an old lot there at that time, just a narrow lot, but that’s where the first carnival was.

Edgar Prescott’s Memories of Being a Teacher at Yelm High School

Edgar Prescott’s Memories of Being a Teacher at Yelm High School

Introduction: Edgar Prescott arrived in Yelm in the Forties and taught social studies for several decades at Yelm High School.  The following stories about his time at Yelm are from his unpublished autobiography which can be found at the Washington State Historical Society in Tacoma.

Getting the Job

It took hours to write those thirty applications, evenings and a couple of Saturdays and Sundays, and after they were mailed, I settled back and waited for contracts to come flooding in.

It wasn’t exactly like that. I was working every day, and every day the job seemed to be getting a little more undesirable. Evenings when I came home I’d ask Alice, “Did we get a job yet?” and she’d shake her head.

Then one evening she nodded, yes.

The letter she handed me was from a superintendent named Montgomery, from a town called Yelm, in the state of Washington, and it contained not only a letter but a contract. The contract offered only fifteen hundred dollars, but Mr. Montgomery explained in his letter that if I was willing to drive a school bus, I could get an extra five hundred dollars, or close to it, during the school year; and that there was a mostly furnished house, right in town, available for only ten dollars a month.

The money the contract offered wasn’t anywhere near as much as we’d hoped we might get. Still we were excited about the chance to live in Washington state with Puget Sound and the ocean and Mt. Rainier, and the big trees I remembered reading about in my seventh grade geography book, and the cool summers . . . the soft warm rain that kept everything fresh and green.

Yelm, we thought, was an intriguing name for a town, an Indian sounding sort of name, and though it was one of the places we couldn’t find on the map, there was a family we knew living in Ault that claimed they’d heard about it—a logging town they thought it was, close to Olympia.

The School

The schools, Yelm High School and Yelm Grade School, sat side by side—We found them across the railroad track and a piece up the street to our left. They were more modern looking than we were used to, spread out along the ground instead of being piled up, one bunch of classrooms on top of another. In fact the high school looked new.

Actually, we found later, it had been in use only a year. The old frame high school, the one it replaced, had burned to the ground a couple of summers before. Both buildings were surrounded by lawns and bordered by trees and a low hedge.

I hunted up Frank Bower, the high school principal. There weren’t a lot of days left until school would start.  Frank was a big fellow for that time, about six feet two—Anymore it seems that half the kids in high school are six feet two, even the girls—and he weighed close to two hundred pounds, all of it brawn, but he had a gentle voice and eyes that I described to Alice as being understanding. They were the kind of eyes you wouldn’t be bashful looking into if you were hurting or needing help or advice; but it sure wouldn’t be easy to look into them if you were figuring on telling a lie.

Frank was about my age, maybe even a year or two younger, but already he’d been principal at Yelm going onto ten years. Standing beside him, talking to him, I got the sudden feeling—Maybe I should call it a premonition—that I had got into the right school system, that with Frank running it, everything was going to go smooth as silk.

He took me over to the high school—Like I said, it was practically a new building—and showed me the room where I would be teaching for the next twenty-two years.

It was a big room with windows running along one side and end and the other two walls with blackboards and cases of maps which pulled down on rollers like window blinds. There were maps of every continent and country. They were practically new, but a lot of them were already obsolete. No map maker could hope to keep up with what was going on in Europe and Asia and Africa. There were maps marking the routes of armies and the sites of battles for almost every war except the one that was going on right then. On the front wall, above the blackboard, were two framed portraits, one of George Washington and the other of Abraham Lincoln.

Frank took an armful of textbooks I would be using during the first semester out of a bookcase and gave me a schedule of classes. I spent most of the days that were left becoming familiar with them and in outlining courses and making lesson plans.

Being a Teacher [Old School]

But driving the bus made for a long day. Each trip, going and coming, took more than an hour. And I had seven different classes, one of them in general science— I had no background at all in science—and one in Washington history, which I knew less about when I started than the kids I was trying to teach—and not one minute of school time for preparation or grading papers.

No teacher anymore would stand for such a schedule. He’d be out on strike in a minute, and who would blame him?

But things were different back then. There was a war going on. There were only six teachers and a couple of hundred kids to teach. All of us had a lot of classes, and if any of us needed help or inspiration or an example, we had Frank Bower to look to.

It was Frank who got me started off right in that general science class. He taught me how to set up those experiments, and how to prepare slides for the microscope. He lent me his rock collection and his biological displays.

Frank was not only the principal—He had no secretary—he was also coach, football, basketball and baseball, and he taught all the math classes, and the Science classes—chemistry and physics—with the exception of the general science class I was teaching.

And that wasn’t all! I was never more surprised in my life than on that Saturday morning when he rousted me out of bed and asked if I would like to help get the field ready for next Friday’s game .

Good Lord! I thought. Saturday too! But I went. I wasn’t the only one either. Bill Thun was there—He was principal of the grade school—and Clancy Jean, the ag man.

We picked the rocks off the field—It produced a new crop every season, Frank said—and we lined it with lime. Then we put up forms for a set of steps and a sidewalk leading from the gymnasium to the field.

The next Saturday we mixed cement, in a box, with shovels, and filled the forms. Working Saturdays got to be a regular thing. Before basketball season started we painted the inside of the gym as well as doing a lot of other little jobs that needed doing. There wasn’t any fooling around like you might think, working without remuneration the way we were. Frank kept us at it. He had everybody’s job laid out and everything ready to go; and he did a lion’s share of the work himself.

But it wasn’t all work with him either. There were Friday evenings when he invited the faculty men over to his house—There were only four of us, including Bill Olson who was the principal of the grade school at McKenna a couple of miles down the road toward Tacoma.

After I’d been teaching at Yelm for a spell—the same room, the same classes, the same maps and pictures on the wall—1 realize looking back that the days and the years somehow got mixed together like they were poured into a blender.

Everything is still up there in my head, bright as a dollar, all the kids-No teacher is ever going to forget kids he’s had in three or four different classes—but it’s almost impossible to fit them into a time frame or even to guess at the order they came in. When I meet one of them on the street these days, sometimes with their kids or grandkids, and he asks, or she asks, “Remember me?”—and he or she tells me what the name is, or used to be, I remember all right, just what each of them looked like back then and where he or she sat in the room, but always I have to ask, “What year did you graduate?”

Driving A Bus

Bald Hills Lake was more than fifteen miles from Yelm in rugged country, big hills sticking up all around and never the sight of a road. The trail we followed into the lake—I guess you could call it a trail—had never been graded, just flattened out by a lot of cars going over it. But there weren’t any cars today except for Mr. Schneider’s old truck.

But it wasn’t until the first run on my bus route—Mr. Montgomery went along the first morning to show me the way—that I discovered, though Yelm might be a prairie, it was surrounded by some pretty good sized trees.

Roads ran among them, round and round, thither and yon, like through a tunnel, with scarcely a glimpse of sky.   Back in Colorado county roads had run either north and south or east and west. Whenever we came to a clearing, no matter how the road had turned and twisted and changed direction, we seemed invariably to be heading into that ice cream cone of a mountain. I had no sense of direction. I still haven’t. Since we came to Washington, directions have remained reversed.

And though there were no houses visible, still at the places Mr. Montgomery directed me to stop, kids came trooping out from among the trees.           .

I would have gotten lost a dozen times that first week if it hadn’t been for kids in the bus to point me the way.

Class of 1943 – 50 Years Later

Class of 1943 – 50 Years Later

Forty-four first graders entered the Yelm Grade School in 1931, and at least ten of those original 44 pioneers persevered through all of the 12 grades in Yelm. The persistant ones were Arvilla Brown, Lois Brown, Louis Brunetti, Marian Echtle, Dick Kittleman, Charlotte McMonigle, Dean Sias, Lillian Solomon, Ruth Stanton, and Joe Wilkinson. Others came and went until, in the end, there were 33 students remaining in the Yelm High School class of 1943.

The class of ’43 enjoyed the distinction of being the first to graduate from the “new” high school building. The school we entered as freshmen in 1939 had burned down in 1941. Fifty years later even our “new” school is gone. But we still remember. . . . .

1939-40 – Freshmen

Fifty-four Yelm Grade School students completed the eighth grade in the spring 1939. With new classmates from surrounding towns, there were 64 Yelm High School freshmen that fall. Class officers; were Charles Sokoik, president; Robert “Art” Smith, vice president; Dick Kittleman, secetary; Jim Rice, treasurer; and George McCloud, sergent-at-arms. Lawrence Lemmel was class adviser.

Members of the faculty during our first year were Superintendent O. L. Montgomery, Frank Bower, Eve Philip Curry, Carl Faulk, Lawrence Lemmel, Arlene Lindstrom, Ruth Otterstedt, Alan Rice, and William Sherman.

As freshmen we plunged bravely into school activities. Kay Lou McNett was a member of the Student Council. Freshmen representatives to the Girls’ League Council were Lois Brown and Beatrice Waller. The Lettermen’s Club membership incuded George McCloud and Jim Rice. George McCloud was also a member of the 1940 league championship baseball team.

In the Glee Club there was Eileen Benson, Juanita Fox, Emma Prince, Frances Weber, Elva Sjostrom, Mildred Stewart, Eunice Nobel, Florence Marvin, Marian Echtle, June Peugh, Sylvia Jones, Roberta Nugent, Ethel Johnson, Joe Wilkenson, Dick Kittleman, and Bob Iverson; Orchestra – Arvilla Brown, Marian Echtle, Ruth Stanton, Dean Sias, Lilian Solomon, and Genevieve Michel; Band – Genevieve Michel. All these same classmates, and others later on, helped to provide the music for concerts and other special events to take place throughout our high school years.

1940-41 – Sophomores

Class of officers were Bob Iverson, president; Kay Lou McNett, vice president; and Genevieve Michel, secretary. When Bob moved away Kay Lou became president and then Guy Baty, vice president. Frank Bower was the class adviser.

When Ruth Otterstedt and Alan Rice had gone, and the new faculty members moved in this year, they were S. H. Van Woundenberg and Jeanne Zeimantz.

The Student Body elected Guy Baty to be Sergeant-at-arms, and chose Ruth Stanton, Lois Brown, and June Peugh to be the cheerleaders. Sophomore representatives appointed to the Girls’ League Council were Ruth Stanton and Nadine Arfman; Arvilla Brown was secretary- treasurer.

Many more sports letters have been earned, and new members to the Letterman’s Club were Guy Baty, Howard Cooley, Richard Daskam, and Bob Grinde. George McCloud, as a sophomore, was chosen captain of the basketball team and elected vice president of the Letterman’s Club, he was given the unusual award. George McCloud, Jim Rice, and Howared Cooley were all members of the repeated Champion Basketball Team. Joining the Block Y Club were Kay Lou McNett, Genevieve Michel, Edythe Hawkey, Marian Echtle, Arvilla Brown, June Peugh, Charlotte McMonigle, Nadine Arfman, Ruth Stanton, was vice president, Roberta Nugent, and LoisBrown.

Those earning a membership in the Torch Honor Society were Arvilla Brown, Lois Brown, Edythe Hawkey, Ruth Stanton, Florence Marvin, Kay Lou McNett, Charlotte McMonigle, Genevieve Michel, Roberta Nugent, Marian Echtle, Eunice Noble, Dick Kittleman, Bob Iverson, Nadine Arfman, Eileen Benson, Joe Wilkenson, Ethel Johnson, and Guy Baty.

“The Dizzy Baton,” a one-act operetta presented at the spring concert, it featured sophomores Roberta Nugent, and Genevieve Michel. In the month of May it became the Sophomore Hop, admission was 30c per person. The theme was “Spanish Fiesta,” and the BIG event of the evening was the crowning of Queen Gladys Anderson, a senior, and a King Richard Daskam, of our own class.

1941-42 – Juniors

The 1917 high school building was destroyed by a fire on June 24, 1941, once it had been closed for the summer. We returned in Septemberto classes in the gymnasium and wherever else available space could be found. Nevertheless, school activites resumed and the Class of ’43 continued to make it’s history.

This years Class officers were Guy Baty, president; Don Miller, vice president; Nadine Arfman, secretary; and Verna Osterberg, treasurer. There was no faculty adviserer mentioned in the 1942 annual.

The faculty now included new members Grace Howard and L. T. Alsburry, who was replacing Arlene Lindstrom and Lawrence Lemmel.

Nadine Arfman was the Student Body sectetary and Dick Kittleman was the treasurer, Guy Baty became a member of the Student Council. Ruth Stanton and Dick Kittleman were both junior representatives on the Annual Staff. The staff for the School Paper were Verna Osterberg, Kay Lou McNett, Beatrice Waller, Ruth Stanton, Arvilla Brown, and George Rice.

Lacamas School Interview – June 2003 Michaela and Jessica Murdock Interviewing Dillard Jenson

Jessica: How long was your school year? I know that it’s 180 now, but there must have been more time off?

Dillard: We started right after Labor Day and we always got out the last of May. Usually around May 29. Yeah, because I don’t think we had any spring vacation. But, yeah, we always got out the last of May.

J: Was there a lot of farming kids out here?

D: Oh yeah! All farming kids. We all farmed. That’s all there was, was farm kids.

J: What kind of farms did you guys have? Was is mostly cows?

D: Cows! Everybody had a little farm, everybody had a couple cows. Everything was on a small scale.

*Rustling…conversation lost…

J: How did you guys get to school? How far usually was the range?

D: By a homemade school bus. It had benches along the side. Was an old… just an old regular pickup. Old wooden back. And uh then… up the Peizner road here. Whoever lived up there Mr. Peizner had an old car and then he’d deliver them. And then up above Clear Wood, which is Clear Wood now, up on Johnson road, there was another old gentleman up there and he had a big old car and he used it for a bus. And that’s how everybody was transported.

J: So…do you know how large the range was from where kids were coming from?

*Rustling…conversation muddled…

D: The range… oh well the range didn’t reach out all that far. Probably… twenty miles. But  what happened is the Yelm School District- now we’re going way back- the Yelm School District the valuation at that time was $500,000. That’s all there was. This one here was $550,000 cause we had Weyerhaeuser, which added more valuation. Well Yelm couldn’t get by without reorganizing and adding this school. So that’s what they done and we were always promised a school, but when the ink dried they took the school away from us. So now we’re getting it back. (Laughs)

J: So what years did you go to school here?

D: I went here first through sixth. Then everybody after the sixth grade went on to Yelm.

J: So that was in 19…?

D: It closed down in 1947.

J: So 1941?

D: I started in ‘40.

M: So you went right until the end?

D: Yeah, I went just about to the end. I think it ran maybe one year after I left.

J: What was the attitude toward school back then? Did the parents think it was very important?

D: Very important. You want to remember everything was entirely different. We had one teacher. No superintendent, no principal, no janitor, no nothing. One teacher ran this school. And every Friday we would put a list up on the board and two boys would feed the wood furnace for the following week. Two boys would take care of their restroom. Two girls would take care of theirs. The teacher always cooked the noon lunch. And she’d have two girls, their names would be on the list, they’d help cook the lunch for that week, but they only cooked lunch for four days a week and every Friday one of the mothers would bring us something special for lunch. And that’s the way it worked. And then about fifteen minutes before school was out every day we’d have to clean up our room, so it was ready for the next morning. And then once a week we’d go out and clean up all the school grounds and clean everything up. And then of course one person had to put the flag up and take it down everyday.

J: I think that is so cool. I think that teaches you so much more responsibility.

D: But like I said I wasn’t the best student. When I went to Yelm I sat there for two years, because it was a complete review I’d already had. So I wasted two years. Well… I mean I didn’t waste it, but I’d already had it. Because when you’ve got six grades in one room and you’re in first grade, it’s just like computers today, you store everything, well you store the same in your mind and so when you get to the second grade you’ve already heard those kids recite their lesson- they recited everything back in those days. So it’s already stored in there, right on up through the six grades. When you get there it’s just a review for you. It’s a wonderful to learn. I’d like to see them teaching kids that way again.

J: You probably get a lot more one-on-one time too?

D: Oh sure! Well and another thing, you couldn’t get away with anything. You got bent over…(laughs)…that’s the way it was…there were no ifs, ands, or buts about it, and then when you got home you got some more.

M: So there was definitely some corporal punishment.

D: Well it was…but they’re going to have to go back to a little bit of discipline today, because it’s not working. It’s not working. We all…I don’t care who you are, we all try to get away with as much as we can…everybody does that. So, I say we need a little bit more discipline. But that’s maybe coming from an old-timer‘s mouth.

J: I think that’s interesting to see like, what was breaking the rules, though, and what was looked over, and what was totally not acceptable to do. I think you could push yourself a lot further now, and I was just wondering what was grounds for punishment?

D: Well you tried to push yourself, but you couldn’t, you didn’t get it done, because you got a good whipping or the paddle. And when I went to Yelm it was the same thing there… was a teacher, a principal by the name of Harry Southworth. And he had this nice little wooden board with holes in it and you got the same treatment there. They had control of you. You might try something, but it wasn’t going to work.

J: What kind of curriculum did you guys learn and what was your day?

D: You had your Math and your English, and just the basics… you know, lots of penmanship. Even though I don’t write every day, I still have lot’s of it… and health classes.

J: You said you had to recite a lot, what did you have to recite?

D: What did we have to recite? Well, in Reading and different things like that we probably read more than we had to recite, but we did have to get up and read to the class, stand up in front of the class…or even in Math, she’d make you get up and work your math out on the blackboard and everybody would watch you and see if you were doing it right. So, that’s where you learned from the class ahead of you, so when you got there it was pretty much review. Everything was done pretty much without teacher. She sat at the front of the room and she’d call you up and you’d work on the blackboard, because you wouldn’t want to mess up.

J: So you didn’t want to make any mistakes?

D: No you didn’t or you were in trouble.

J: So, it wasn’t a big deal having different grades in the same class?

D: No, it wasn’t.

J: And having to share the teacher?… When I was reading the Hart’s Lake School thing they said that they put the schedule for each grade up every day and that you just looked at it and knew what you were doing and you didn’t have any problems with that?

D: That’s exactly what it was…That’s exactly the way it was…yep…it was amazing. It probably wouldn’t work today…

*At this point in time Roger Schnepf and Brandon Brownell arrived at the school to take pictures. The Interview stopped for a short while, but the tape kept playing. Dillard insulted the boys and we all laughed. We talked a little bit…

Michaela: What was the basement used for?

D: Oh we had a shop down there where we built, didn’t amount to much, but we built little things. As good as we could.

J: Did you guys use the gymnasium for physical education classes or just for fun?

D: We just had a basketball hoop, we played a lot of baseball.

M: Did you have any sports or clubs after school?

D: Everything we did…garbled

M: You did golf.

D: I never got in on the golf. That was before I started here… They had a little nine-hole course out there.

*Brandon interrupts to take a picture of Dillard.

J: One of the things that Mr. Bergh was reading to us was in Walla, Walla one of their flag salutes was really interesting. They had to say this weird thing and look at the flag and I was wondering if you guys did anything special for the flag salute? Pledge of Allegiance?

D: Oh yeah. Everybody had to every morning.

J: Is it the same Pledge of Allegiance?

D: Oh yeah. Might be changed a little bit, didn’t they change it…ahh… I can’t remember. I don’t think so, it seemed to me like it was exactly the same. We had to take the flag up and take it down. There was no leaving it up. That was a no! leaving the flag up.

*More interruption. Roger and Brandon leave to explore the rest of the school.

J: Did you guys ever feel lonely or cut off from other people?

D: Didn’t know the difference. Probably went to town once a week… something like that. Wolf’s department store, right there in the Drew Harvey Theater, that was the big place in Yelm back in those days. Everybody bought their groceries there, bought their clothes there, bought everything there. They sold everything. Cattle feed…*mumbling/garbled… And right there at Gorder’s Body Shop, that was Brown Brothers. And there was the John Deere dealership. And the Plymouth and Dodge car dealership. The original theater was over…the bowling alley, that was a theater… yeah, see that was the second one, the old one burned down. But, let’s see…the bank there on the corner, I can‘t remember the name, Timberland or something…then right next to it used to be D&H Mobile service station, so that’s an Apex grocery or something now. Say, right there was the original theater. Regular movie theater. It burnt down and then the built the one where the bowling alley is now. That was a movie theater and then the built one in Parkland and it burnt down…garbled…but they were identical theaters. They just built the theater floor up and put in the bowling alley. Try to think what else was in town. There were all kinds of things. Yelm was a pretty nice little town… But it was all basically right in that area. Across from the Drew Harvey Theater was a big meat market and right next to him was a ***** restaurant and bar. And then, if I can remember, I was just a little kid, it was in ‘39 they had built a new highway from, they had finished it from Tenino, that was the main highway. And then they had a big get-together. I think that was around the first carnival they had. And right where the old fire station is, that was an old lot there at that time, just a narrow lot, but that’s where the first carnival was.

M: So, where the senior citizen’s center is….the big building across from the bowling alley?

D: Oh, that big old building, that’s probably…the senior center now…that’s probably one of the oldest buildings in Yelm.

M: What did they used to use it for?

D: I think it was, I can’t remember, it was an Oddfellows Hall or whatever it was, there was a hardware store…

*After this we kind of trail off the subject of the Lacamas School and just talk about the Stewart family and different things around Yelm. It might be worth listening to, but not really.

January 7, 1943 – Who’s Who in Yelm Crawford E. Williams

Nisqually Valley News

Born in Pendleton, Oregon the land of the Indians, horses, and festive annual round-ups, Crawford E. Williams of the Puget Sound Power and Light Co., still must confess to an inability to “sit” a horse in true western style.

“I was only a spectator at the round-ups, not a participant,” he modestly answered in reply to an inquiry concerning his ability as an equestrian.  “Besides, I received most of my ‘bringing up’ in a small lumbering town, Post Falls, Idaho.”

“Book larnin” intrigued young Williams who made an extensive study into the mysteries of chemistry and pre medics both at Spokane College and U. C. L. A. in California, only to decide after a year with the Western Electric Company that the romance of electricity and its applications would be more applicable to his abilities.

In 1924 he became an employee of Puget Power in Tacoma, but was transferred to Yelm in 1927 when his company acquired the Thurston County Public Utility Company here and the Avery Electric Company at Roy. After one year in Yelm, Williams, persuaded the lady of his choice, Miss Ruth Banker, of Puyallup, that this town was the “best in the West” for newlyweds, and they were married in April of 1928.  Evidently Mrs. Williams agreed with him for the couple have continued their residence here, and have two daughters attending grade school, Jo Ann, who is twelve, and Retha Sue, who is ten.

“One glance backward over these years convinces me of the wisdom of Puget Sound in selecting Yelm as the area headquarters; for this community has been endowed with the personalities and the spirit that assure a steady growth in responsibility and leadership of the civic, education and commercial establishments in this area.  I am proud to be a citizen of Yelm,” empathetically stated Williams.

The Yelm Lions Club, of which he is secretary, and the ? ? Committee of which he is coordinated, takes up most of his time and middle classed as the hobbies of the personable Crawford Williams, of ? are proud to have him as a resident of this community.”

1949-50: The Yelm P.T.A.

Introduction: The Yelm PTA maintained scrapbooks for a number of years of their existence.  The 1949-50 scrapbook was also maintained by Mrs. Alice Prescott and chronicles the PTA organization for that school year.

Yelm PTA Hears Prominent Educator Tuesday Evening

Nisqually Valley News October 6, 1949

The Yelm Parent Teachers Association meeting was held in the high school auditorium on Tuesday evening with Miss Anna Marne Neilson as the guest speaker.  The meeting, presided over by Mrs. Harold Wolf, opened with an invocation by Rev. Wm. Fichards, and was followed by a flag salute led by Boy Scouts Bobby Fields and Dick Birkland as flag bearers.

Mrs. Wolf introduced Mrs. Clarence Hughes, of the American Legion Auxiliary, who said the purpose of Girls State at Pullman was to learn a better way in life and government and presented Katherine Miller, a delegate from Yelm to the Girls State, who gave a summary of her activities and fun on that occasion and expressed her appreciation of being allowed to represent Yelm.  Jim Simcox and Dick Sokolik, who represented Yelm at the American Legion Boy’s State as the delegates sent by the American Legion and the Yelm Lions Club, told how much they enjoyed their experiences in learning about the government while at Boys State.

Mrs. Eve Tucker, secretary, read the minutes of the past executive committee meeting.  Mrs. Wolf thanked the Des Chutes Grange and Jim Metrakes for the PTA booth at the Des Chutes 4H Fair.  On October 31, Halloween, the PTA will sponsor a County Fair Harvest Festival in the grade school auditorium.  All rooms will be taking a part and lots of entertainment is being arranged for everyone.

The president announced that they Yelm PTA will be hosts for the next County Convention on Saturday, November 19th, at the school.

The dates for the PTA School of Instruction will be the second and fourth Thursday of the month, beginning October 13th, at the school.  Rec. William Richards will lead in parent and child relationship; Joan Walen, home Economics instructor, will help you with sewing; Marie Hoff, English teacher will help you with confidence.

Mrs. Harry Bell presented her talented group of Mothersingers which includes Mrs. E.A. Prescott, Mrs. Harry Bell, Mrs. Phronie Smith, Mrs. Elsie Schneider, Mrs. Wilma Parker and Mrs. Neil Sherman.  The date for the Mothersingers to meet will be the second and fourth Thursdays at 7 o’clock, in the band room at school, beginning October 13th.

The Mothersingers extend a welcome to any mother tom meet with them and enjoy singing with a group.

Ralph Peoples, program chairman presented the 1949-50 PTA Yearbook, using as a theme, “For Every Child the Greater Opportunity”.  He thanked Miss Eugenia Fairbanks and class for their fine work on the publication of the yearbook.

Harry Southworth introduced the guest speaker, Miss Anna Marne Neilsen, of Pacific Lutheran College, who spoke with a humorous, pleasant personality which was felt by the crowd.  She stressed the fact that all children as well as adults were differed and geared different, and warned not to try and stretch your child to learn beyond his ability.  She said start you child on a good foundation and he will gain confidence and succeed.  The audience was very happy to have heard and met Miss Neilsen.

The meeting was adjourned and all enjoyed pumpkin pie and coffee served by the third grade mothers, with Mrs., Roger Eide as chairman.

Keep in mind the Fathersingers and be one of the gathers to have the privilege of showing how well you can sing, Ralph Simcox is in charge of this group.

Important School Election to Be Held in February

Nisqually Valley News

The cold weather has placed considerable strain on school transportation.  Wednesday, four school busses failed to start.  This places a great hardship upon the students who depend upon a bus to come on regular schedule, and must wait in cold weather for a bus that is late or doesn’t make the run.  It is difficult to start new an dup to date equipment in extreme cold weather, but old equipment is very undependable.  Regardless of good repair and maintenance work it is impossible to predict what is going to give next on an old bus.

Prices have more than doubled in the last 10 years on busses, yet the income from depreciation on busses is based on purchased price on new busses-now owned by the district.  Therefore the income is not sufficient to make these necessary replacements.  The state does not pay depreciation on busses over 10 years old and half o School District No. 400 busses are over 10 years old.

In 1945 six school busses transported all the students in our district.  Today it takes 9 busses, three which are much larger than we have ever had before.  One of these even makes two trips.

Therefore if parents whish to have adequate, safe transportation for their children, it is necessary to make some replacements.  It the levy fails we shall have to continue with the old busses and break downs as some of the busses are beyond the state of reasonable repair.

The school board would appreciate having every voter cast a ballot regardless of whether you are for or against the special levy.  The only way they can determine the wished of the public is to have a large number turn out and cast a ballot in the election on Saturday, February 4th.  Polls will be open from 1:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Yelm High School, McKenna School and Lackamas Community Hall.

Scenes From the December 7, 1949 PTA Meeting

Demonstration of Modern School Equipment (picture)

Social Hour  (picture)

PTA Group Enjoys Talk By Willis Rambo

Nisqually Valley News

Parents and teachers attending the Yelm PTA meeting Tuesday evening were fortunate to hear a very excellent speaker, Willis Rambo, superintendent of the Montesano schools, and state head of the Washington Education Association.  Mr. Rambo was well qualified to speak on “Are Our Children Brats?” and told of the outstanding virtues of honor students that receive scholarships, honor awards and letters throughout their school years to the poorest type of delinquent students, irregular in attending classes and continually in trouble.  Mr. Rambo stressed that every school had these two extremes in students and said the majority of students are good “kids” and a big bulk of them are the backbone and hope of our generation.

Mr. Rambo’s talk was appreciated by all present and the PTA wished to thank him for coming to Yelm.

Marvin Stevens reported for the Legislative committee, and said not enough votes were cast to carry the ten mill levy, voted on last Saturday, but 242 votes for were received as against 60 against, with 415 votes needed.  People just didn’t go to the polls and vote for this levy, so badly needed, and it is hoped the voters will be able to vote on this 10 mill levy again.

Mrs. Gladys Morris, Ralph Simcox, Mrs. Austin Weeks, Mrs. Milo Schneider and Leonard Darnell were nominated to serve on the nominating committee, to choose a panel for election of officers in the spring.

Mr. Hillesland presented a few members of the chorus that sand three numbers, “My God and I,” “All Thru the Night,” and “Santa Fe Trail.”

Refreshments were served in the cafeteria by the second and fifth grade mothers.  The Founders Day birthday cake was beautifully decorated in pink and white, “Happy Birthday to Parents and Teachers” was sung by everybody.  The tables were decorated in pink and white with a pink candy and candy hearts in the center of each table.  Ladies responsible for the special refreshments were Mrs. Bill Olson, Mrs. Percy Herness, Mrs. Roger Ramsay, Mrs. Floyd Phillips and Mrs. Dallas Edwards.

1948-49: The Yelm PTA

Introduction: The Yelm PTA maintained scrapbooks for a number of years of their existence. The 1948-49 scrapbook contains many artifacts from the era, including newspaper clippings, photos and fliers. These were all painstakingly mounted and labeled. (Opening page of the scrapbook) The materials in this section are from that scrapbook. This scrapbook maintained by Mrs. Alice Prescott won “honors” at the state convention that spring.

Teachers in the Yelm School District

Grade School

Superintendent Marvin Stevens

Principal Harry Southworth

1st Grade Cassie Pierce

Thea Spencer

2nd Grade Mae Hubbard

3rd Grade Elsie Wheeler

2nd and 3rd Grade Georgianna Southworth

4th Grade Ruby Donaldson

5th Grade William Skillings

4th and 5th Grade Grace Groutage

6th Grade Casmir Biesiada

7th Grade Lillian Nichols

Alice Prescott

8th Grade Frances Smith

William Olsen

High School

Superintendent Marvin Stevens

Principal Frank Bower

English Mari Hoff

English Evelyn Coubrough

Commercial Eugenia Fairbanks

Social Science Edgar Prescott

Home Economics Joan Witcher

Vocational Ag Martin Teeter

Science, P.E. John Spencer

Music Anton Hillisland

Teacher’s Reception Held at Grade School Thursday

Nisqually Valley News September 30, 1948

The new grade school auditorium was no too large to accommodate the large group of people who turned out en masse to welcome the teachers at their reception on Thursday evening. The affair was sponsored by the Yelm Garden Club, aided by various other organizations. A most delightful evening was spent in meeting and greeting the teachers and friends.

Mrs. Clarence Hughes, program chairman for the Garden Club, presided and called upon Mayor Nate Henderson, who extended official greetings to the teacher. Superintendent Marvin Stevens responded and presented principals Frank Bower of the high school, Harry Southworth of the Yelm grade school and William Thun of the McKenna grade school, who in turn introduced other members of the faculty. Mrs. Eva Vandiver gave two lovely solos, taken from the Desert Song. Truman Wilcox also sang two beautiful solos, with Mrs. Alice Meredith at the piano.

Much interest has been shown recently regarding a Parent Teacher Association in Yelm, therefore Mrs. Truman Wilcox told of the activities of the McKenna PTA and offered the aid of the McKenna group (said to be the oldest in the state of Washington), in helping to organize an association such an organization and finally voted to set next Tuesday evening, October 5th, for the organization meeting. This meeting will be held at 8 o’clock in the Yelm grade school auditorium. Mrs. Harold Wolf obtained a long list of names of future members at the meeting, but everyone in the Yelm district is urged to come and join the PTA next Tuesday evening. We are all interested in out school regardless of the fact that we may have no children of our own attending.

Mrs. Phoebe Miller, president of the Garden Club, together with a committee, arranged baskets of fall flowers on the stage and in the school cafeteria where the refreshments were served. Mrs. Marvin Stevens and Mrs. Chester Riechel poured from a long satin damask covered table, centered with asters and rose buds, and flanked by tall white tapers, Mrs. Earl Pollard was in charge of refreshments.

Corsages were presented to the lady teachers and boutonnieres to the men. Clever programs were received giving a complete list of the teachers and also presented a novel mixer for meeting and greeting them.

The W.S.C.S., Altar Society, the Wesleyan Guild, Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary, Missionary Council of the Assembly of God Church, the American legion Auxiliary and the Des Chutes Grange all aided in making the evening a success.

Parent-Teacher Association Formed Here Tuesday

Nisqually Valley News October 7, 1948

After some fifteen or more years, Yelm again has a Parent-Teacher Association. Judging from the enthusiasm shown at the meeting held in the grade school auditorium on Tuesday evening, this group shows promise of becoming one of the important and certainly much needed organizations of the town. School Superintendent Marvin Stevens opened the meeting. After extending greetings, he introduced Anton Hillesland, music instructor, who presented a group of student of the Yelm High School band in several selections. Already the band shows much promise, after only a few rehearsals.

Mr. Stevens then introduced Mrs. H.O. Martin, of the McKenna P.T.A. who was in charge of the organization of the new unit. The McKenna P.T.A. is the oldest of such organizations in the state of Washington. Mrs. Martin appointed Mrs. Truman Wilcox as acting secretary, who read the call for the new organization. Mrs. Martin then introduced Mrs. Gussie Robinson, president of the McKenna P.T.A.

Mr. Stevens was then asked to speak. He responded by outlining the many advantages gained by the school and pupils as well as the parents by having a Parent Teacher Association. The school and the pupils need the parent’s aid and certainly the parent must need to know of their child’s school life and conditions.

Mrs. Martin nest presented Mrs. Frances Eacrett, of Shelton, who the District president of P.T.A. Mrs. Eacrett was enthusiastic in her praise of the beautiful and modern Yelm schools. She said many schools in the state were over crowded and few have the space, the new modern equipment and the new buildings that Yelm has. She told of the laws governing a Parent-Teacher organization and explained its purpose and means of carrying on. She had a most pleasing personality and all enjoyed hearing her as well as the vice president, Mrs. Waldo King, of Olympia. Mrs. King told of ways and means of financing the organization and of problems clarified in her unit.

After the group voted to organize the election of officers was held and the meeting date set for the first Tuesday evening of each month. The next meeting will be on November 2nd at the grade school auditorium.

Several nominations were made for each office, and the following were elected as officers for the Yelm P.T.A. Helen Wolf, president; Milo Schneider first vice resident; Louise Pollard, second vice president; Eva Tucker secretary and Frank Bower, treasurer. The McKenna P.T.A., aided by Mrs. Eacrett and Mrs. King installed the new officers for the ensuing year and the district officers extended their congratulations and best wishes.

Mrs. Wolf expressed her appreciation and pledged her support in helping to make the Yelm P.T.A., a splendid organization. She thanked the visitors and especially Mrs. Martin and the McKenna unit for aiding in so many ways in the organization and invited them to be present often.

Milo Schneider was appointed program chairman and he requested the members to send in a note suggesting what type of programs they wished speakers or committee appointment suggestion. Frank Bower is already collecting dues which were set at $1 per person or $1.50 for husband and wife.

Mrs. Margie Eide suggested that the new organization should take as their first project the urging of everyone to vote at the coming election on Nov. 2nd and to vote for the five mill levy which will provide for the much needed school bus for the Lackamas district and help to maintain the present teaching staff at McKenna.

Refreshments completed the meeting and were provided by Mrs. Louise Pollard.

Special School Levy to Be Voted on November 2nd

Nisqually Valley News October 7, 1948

The voters of Yelm School District will have an opportunity to vote on a special 5 mill tax levy, which will enable the school to purchase new school buses. The school is operating buses that are over 12 years old and need to be replaced as soon as possible.

An additional bus for the Lackamas route has been purchased and is expected to be delivered and put in to service next week. Due to the fact that the 5 mill special levy proposed in September failed to receive a 60% majority (385 voted yes-324 voted no, which is only 54%) it was necessary to cancel plans for a new bus and to borrow money to obtain a used bus. The district was indeed fortunate to find another district that had an excellent bus with new motor, new tires and brakes, that was too small for their route.

If this levy fails, the board will probably be forced to reduce transportation services. This will mean that all those within two (2) miles will be compelled to walk or furnish their own transportation. The State law requires schools to furnish transportation for only those living more than two miles. Those within two miles are being transported only as an additional service extended to them by the school board.

Pre School Group Meets in Kindergarten Room

Nisqually Valley News November 12, 1948

Called by the Pre School Committee, appointed by the Executive Committee of the P.T.A., the first meeting of Pre School took place in the kindergarten room on Tuesday, November called for the minutes of the Committee, which were read by Mrs. Percy Herness, secretary of the group. Mrs. Olson then asked mother to stand according to the age of their children and appointed committees for program and hospitality on this basis. Mothers of infants up to one year will have charge of the program and hospitality on December 2nd.

Mrs. Olson introduced Mrs. Waldo King, Mrs. William Sherman and Mrs. Loring of Olympia Pre School, who talked on the procedures followed in the Pre School organization. The Yelm group was asked to function for this year as a study group under the general PTA executive committee of TPTA, their president to serve on that committee and keep both groups in touch.

Mr. Dallas Edwards volunteered to present the need of kindergarten in Yelm schools to the School Board at its next meeting. Mrs. Olson presented the Pre School project – clothing for small children of St. Lo, France. It was agreed to make up a box to be sent at once and to collect items of clothing to be sent later, at the December meeting. Mrs. Wilma Demich volunteered to be responsible for getting the first package mailed. Mrs. Joe Alongi was elected vice president of Pre School. Mrs. Scharman presented the PTA magazine, “Parent Teacher,” and reminded the group that she would be glad to accept their subscriptions. Mrs. Frank Bower accepted payment of dues for PTA Membership.

The planning committee, consisting of Mrs. William Olson, Mrs. Joe Alongi, Mrs. Osborne Edwards, Mrs. Percy Herness, Mrs. Wilma Demich, Mrs. Harold Willard and Mrs. Harold Wolf, served coffee and cookies during the social hour which followed the meeting. A very enthusiastic response to the first meeting was gratifying to the committee and to all those people who have felt a Pre School organization was needed in the community.

Save the Date December 7

Nisqually Valley News November 18, 1948

Do you want to see “the wheels go round” in modern education – want to know how to today’s child learns his three “R’s” and how today’s schools differ from the ones “when you were young”? Do you think modern methods a bunch of fol-de-rol and long for the class room equipped with benches, a black board and a food stout ruler.

If you are interested in modern trends, in schools as they are operated today and most if all if you are interested in children – you will put a mark on your calendar for December 7th, the next PTA meeting to be held in the Yelm Grade School auditorium.

Kindergarten May Start in January at Yelm School

Nisqually Valley News November 25, 1948

Mrs. Dallas Edwards presented the Pre School report for a Kindergarten in January, at the meeting of the Yelm school board on Wednesday evening. Following is the recommendation of the school board:

Due to the fact that there is not sufficient funds in this year’s budget to employ a kindergarten teachers, the school board decided that they could not hire a teacher. A suggestion was made that the parents of the children would attend assess themselves a fee (probably of $1.00 a week) to defray the teachers salary for this first half year. In September, 1949, here would them be money forthcoming from the State to pay for the teacher.

The school board decided that other expenses could be paid for out of the present budget, including transportation.

The transportation would have to be worked out after a spot map was made showing the location of the students. Children coming in the morning would ride the regular bus. At noon a short route with one bus would be run probably to McKenna, Four Corners, etc., and back to Yelm, delivering the morning group and picking up the afternoon group would then ride home on the regular bus.

It was felt that in order to operate a kindergarten there would have to be an enrollment at least between 40 and 50.

A committee of Pre School mothers will be in charge of canvassing the territory, assisting Mrs. Edwards, to determine whether the above plan is feasible. Further announcement will be made concerning an opportunity to register children of kindergarten age by mothers who would be interested.

Large Crowd Present for Monthly PTA Meeting

Nisqually Valley News December 9, 1948

Eighty-five parents and teachers were present at the monthly P.T.A. meeting held Tuesday evening at the grade school auditorium. Mrs. H.E. Wolf opened the meeting with all singing “America” and saluting the flag. Rev. Frank May of the Assembly of God led in prayer. The High School Girls Trio, Sylvia Throssell Alice Waage and Frankie Halstead, sand “Steal Away” and “There Are Such Things,” accompanied by Utalee Medley, Mrs. Eva Tucker read the minutes of the past two P.T.A. meetings and also the minutes and suggestions of the three executive committee meetings. These were approved and accepted.

Mrs. Wolf announced the P.T.A. money raising project for the year which will be a box social and talent show on January 27th. Miss Opal Lynne sand a solo, accompanied by Sylvia Throssell.

The executive committee chairmen gave a brief report and introduced the members of their committee. Milo Schneider, program chairman, passed out yearbooks for 1948-1949. The neat little book gives the yearly program for every meeting, the theme being “World Understanding Begins at Home.”

Superintendent Marvin Stevens reported on the school legislative program which is to be submitted to the State Legislature. A plan to keep students in school until they are eighteen years of age or until graduation was reported on – the present law setting the age at sixteen. Mr. Stevens gave a fine demonstration on “Teaching Aids”, used on our own school, ending with a twenty minute movie stressing the fact that better education means better living.

W.R. Simcox led in community singing and the group was invited to meet at seven thirty each meeting night for community singing, proceeding the opening of the business meeting at eight.

A social hour followed the meeting in the cafeteria, with everyone enjoying pumpkin pie and coffee.
Talent Show and Box Social Held on Thursday Evening

Nisqually Valley News January 27, 1949

FLASH!!!
More than 200 people were present for this affair, and all the beautiful baskets sold readily.

As the paper goes to press it is too early to repot the results of the PTA Talent Show and Box Social, but the planning and practicing and list of local celebrities would guarantee that nothing short of a complete lack of co-operation by the weatherman could keep the big social event of the PTA calendar from being a real success.

W.R. Simcox is scheduled to lead community singing at 7:30 – a delightful custom which has grown in popularity at PTA meetings. At 8:00 the program is introduced by that genial and popular master of ceremonies Harry Southworth. Mr. Hillesland of the High School Music Department will lead the band in several numbers. Little Gail Vandiver, a very young artist who is following in the footsteps of her talented mother, will be heard in vocal selections. Mr. Simcox will lsing, accompanying himself onto the ukulele. “The Patterson Dinner,” a one act play will be presented under the co-direction of Mrs. A. Weeks and Mrs. William Mosman. The part of Mrs. Patterson is played by Mrs. Earl Pollard. Her three daughters are to be played by Miss Evelyn Coubrough, Colette Fields and Rita Belland. Her sister, Clara, is played by Miss Eugenia Fairbanks and the charming but unpredictable maid is played by Mrs. Ray Kinney. Bob Weeks will be heard in guitar solos. Tap dancing numbers are being presented by Lucile Brown.

Four male members of the faculty are to maker their debut in a hilarious skit which presents men acting as women do to similar situations. Marvin Stevens, Frank Bower, Harry Southworth and Jack Spencer were scheduled to appear in this production. Due to illness, Mr. Stevens will be unable to be present and his part is being played by Wm. Olson.

Lou O. Cochrane will auction the baskets following the program. The baskets will be received by Lee Scharmann, Nancy Heath and Suzy Nicolich and will be marked so as to be auctioned in appropriated age groupings (grade school, high school and adult).

General chairman for the affair was Herman Mueller. Publicity was handled by Mrs. Bob Wright with the assistance of the art class, directed by Marvin Stevens. Assisting Mr. Mueller on his committee were Mrs. Austin Weeks, Mrs. Frank Bower, Mrs. Ramsey, and Mr. and Mrs. Neal Sherman. Mrs. Weeks wishes to express the appreciation of the PTA to co-operating members of the cast and to Marie Curry and Rev. Wm. Richards.

Report of the Landscape Committee

A new project has been started by the Yelm P.T.A. for plantings around the new grade school building, comprising two hundred lineal feet.

The Agricultural Department of Yelm High School will take over as its project the filling in and planting of the lawn. This has already been started preparatory to the placing of shrubs which will be supervised by the assigned committee:

Mrs. Florine Bradley, chairman; Mr. Martin Teeter; Mr. George Sickles; Mr. Massey; Mr. Marvin Stevens.

Mrs. Florine Bradley

Chairman