Collins (Freedom) School Memories By Mrs. D.M. Kagy
The first School meeting to organize a school district and elect directors was held at the home of Mr. J.H. Conner. William White, J.H. Conner and Marcus McMillan were elected directors and the school was called Freedom District. July 29, 1854
William S. Parsons, Sec.
This was the third school district organized in the county. Copied from the old school district Secretary’s report book:
“The first school building was a log house in the North East corner of the Marcus McMillan homestead (now owned by Charles Rawlings.) It was a low straight building with the door in one (this description was…..there) end and a large cobble stone fireplace in the other end. The chimney was made of sticks and clay. There was a row of small windows on each side. The seats were benches along the side of the wall, and there were six or seven clumsy home made desks with a shelf for books. One low bench had a back and could be moved around. It was used by the smallest children. There was no well on the grounds so each child carried his own individual water bottle which was placed on a bench in one corner of the room. When we wanted a drink all we had to do was walk over there and find our own bottle. My recollection is that we were permitted to drink when ever we wished. There was quite a rivalry among the pupils as to who had the finest bottle. There was a ball around in front and teeters on the fence back of the house.”
This description was given to me by my sister Flora Parsons, who attended school there. She has very happy recollections oh her school days in the little log cabin with only about a dozen pupils. Her first teacher was Stephen Ruddell, son of the man who gave the plot for the Pioneer Cemetery.
In 1875 as most of the pupils were in the south end of the district, it was decided……location. Therefore they leased two acres of land from Nathan Eaton situated in the north west corner of the field south of the Old Fort site and the Yelm road. The building was blocked up on rollers and hauled to the new location. It was somewhat wrecked but was repaired and used until the present building was erected. Some of the happiest days of my life were spent in that old school building. The days were never so stormy but what we were glad to walk a mile and a half to school rather than miss a day. The old log forts were our play houses. Two of them were still standing at that time.