The Teachers of Yelm – Early Twenties

Introduction: There is a little information about the teachers in Yelm during the twenties. The sources of this information includes family reminiscences, archival records, and publications

For instance, in the senior will page of Peppy Particles (1922) Mr. Brown, Miss Merritt, Miss Pearson, and Miss Pitt are mentioned by name.

Teachers & Salaries 1920 & 1921

7-16-1920 M. S. Lovelace 2000.00 per year

7-16-1920 Zella Riese 125.00

7-16-1920 Margaret Curry 125.00

8-10-1920 Bessie Evans 115.00 Domestic Science

8-10-1920 Mildred E Pitt 150.00

8-10-1920 Olive Pearson 150.00 Manual Training

8-10-1920 Rosemarie Chabert 125.00 2nd and 3rd grades

9-8-1920 G. M. Lightle 150.00 7th and 8th grades

9-8-1920 Linnie L. Lightle 125.00 5th and 6th grades

9-15-1920 Eunice Merritt 150.00 High School English

10-8-1920 Gladys M. Blue 150.00 Primary & Physical Training

1-24-1921 Gladys M. Blue 125.00 Primary & Physical Training

7-18-1921 Fred J. Brown 166.66 Primary & Physical Training

7-18-1921 Mrs. G. M. Lightle 125.00 5th and 6th grades

7-18-1921 G. M. Lightle 150.00 7th and 8th grades

7-18-1921 Lorraine Winters 125.00 Primary & Physical Training

7-18-1921 Mrs. Jessie Battle 3rd and 4th grades

7-18-1921 Olive Coates 125.00 2nd and 3rd grades

7-18-1921 Mildred Pitt 150.00 Home Economics

7-23-1921 Eunice Merritt 150.00 High School English

9-21-1921 Violet Marshall 125.00 Primary Forest School

9-27-1921 Olive M. Pearson 150.00 Manual Training

9-27-1921 Hildur M. Swanson 100.00 Primary Forest School

Rosemarie Chabert (1897-1976) – The following obituary traces Rosemary Chabert’s career in teaching:

Miss Rosemarie Chabert, 79, of 818 W. Yakima Ave., died Sunday in St. Elizabeth Hospital. She was born in Kansas and moved with her parents to Cle Elum, where she attended grade school.

She finished high school in Yelm and then attended Bellingham Teachers College. She taught in Yelm and Oroville after leaving the college.

Miss Chabert then attended Washington State University and earned a B.A. degree. She taught seven years in Wapato before moving to the Yakima School District.

Before retiring from teaching, Miss Chabert taught in a cooperative kindergarten before public schools started to offer kindergarten as part of the standard curriculum.

She was a member of the First Presbyterian Church, a member of the Women’s Association of that church and a charter member of the National Delta Kappa Gamma, a teacher’s organization.

She is survived be two sisters, Mrs. Florence Fields of Ontario, Ore., and Mrs. Ruth Capen of Yelm, as well as two nieces and three nephews. (Keith and Keith Funeral Home)

Zella Riese – Listed as a teacher in 1919 and 1920. A great niece of Zella Riese, Jennifer McCoy, wrote the following description of her aunt:

“I didn’t know she taught in Yelm. I believe she graduated from Lincoln High School in Tacoma in 1919 and got her teacher’s certificate from Bellingham Normal School in the 1920’s. She later taught for most of her career in Tacoma until the early 1960’s or maybe the late 1950’s.”

In a subsequent note Jennifer wrote:

“The first is a picture of Zella on the porch of her mother’s home on Park Avenue in Tacoma. Her father has built the house and it is still standing in south Tacoma.

The second picture is of Zella and Essie Riese in 1923, once again in their mother’s front yard but the house behind is the neighbor’s house. Essie was also a teacher teaching the lower elementary grades while Zella taught the upper elementary grades. They may have taught together in Brewster, Washington. Later they both taught in the Tacoma School District.

The third picture is of  Zella and her niece Vedajean McCoy.  This would have been about 1927. Zella was married in 1927. Zella had no children but her niece and nephew, Dean, born in 1927 played a big part in her life. Zella appreciated the flapper age of the 20’s and that is somewhat evident in this picture.

Zella was a teacher who remained in her student’s lives. They would visit her in the [19]50’s and [19]60’s when she and Clare lived on the cranberry bog at Grayland. One 6th grade boy was an excellent carver and carved in Ivory soaps the seven dwarfs of Snow White. He died during World War Two. Zella kept the carvings on display in her buffet hutch. They were denoted to Whitman Elementary School in Tacoma after her death. A number of her former students attended her funeral in 1978.

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