District #53 – Tebotten
According to The Story of Yelm the Tebotten District was created when the old Deschutes District was broken up in the late 1890s. The authors identify Birdie Cooper at the school they refer to as Longmire. (This can be confusing due to the fact that there was also another district south of Yelm named Longmire (#42).
One document at the state archive states that District #53 (Tebotten) was organized on June 9, 1896. The document also refers to the district by its Longmire name when organized.
Speculation: The Story of Yelm also states that there was also a “Hull” district carved out of the old Deschutes District. A search of county records has turned up no “Hull School or District. A possible answer to this is that the Hull school might have been yet another name for District #53. William Hull served on the Tebotten Board of Directors off and on from 1905 to 1914. Possibly “Hull” is a reference to him. The authors also record that Fred Grass was the first teacher at that school. Grass served at Tebotten in 1908, 1909, 1916, and 1917. Or, the authors could be implying that there were two schools in the district officially known as Tebotten. Grass was mentioned in The Centralia Chronicle (February 1, 1908) as being named to the Chehalis Count y Teacher’s Institute’s upcoming meeting. A later article in the paper would refer to this annual meeting a the “school marm Confab.”
Map of Districts in the Area – Although the Tebotten District is not identified on this map it would have been located to the east (right) of district #58.
Map of District #53 – This map from the Washington State Archives provides an outline of the district.
Record of Contracts (1899-1916) – Here is a list of the teachers, their term of service, and their salaries. Also listed are the members of the Board of Directors for the era. (Note the large number of Longmire family members on the board)