BROWE SCHOOL'S REUNION HELD FOR TWENTY-FIRST TIME
Many Attend Annual Event at Wadsworth
and Hear Details of Old Records
DATA SHOWS PRICES IN '51
The Browe School held their 21st annual reunion Thursday, August
31, 1922. There was large attendance and all the pastimes of the
day were indulged in, baseball, throwing of horseshoes, dancing
and best and most of all, a general visiting time by the old
pupils and teachers of the school.
Old scholars were in attendance from Kenosha and Evanston, who
gave pleasure to those who lived in the old neighborhood as yet.
Edson C. Howard of Fox Lake, who taught this school in 1866, was
present, as was Miss Mamie Brown, who taught there upwards of
thirty years ago. This does not in any way intend to convey the
age of these old teachers, as they were as lively as any of
After a wholesale and enjoyable visit a program was called by the
president, who said that he desired to get rid of the election of
officers for next year before anybody realized that there was
anything doing. The officers elected were C. T. Heydecker,
president; Frank Wells, of Kenosha, vice president, F. G.
Dietmeyer, Emma Heydecker and Edgar Ames of Wadsworth, executive
committee. The next reunion was set for the last Thursday in
Hon. Perry L. Persons made a hasty visit to the gathering, he
being one of the old scholars to that school. It was said by
some of them that he did not stay long enough to take seat at the
Vice President Frank Wells presented to the five ladies who
attended school in the old log schoolhouse namely, Sophia Wells,
Sarah Wells, Adelaide Conners, Bridget Emerson and Mary Lux, each
a $10 gold piece, and to John Strock, Charles Dougherty, C. T.
Heydecker and Thomas Strang, each a $5 gold piece. These were
the only ones who were in attendance at the time of presentation.
Later on several others came who were not presented with this
valued and friendly prize.
Aside from the above who attended school in the old log
schoolhouse and were present later on in the day, and after the
program had been given, there were Mary E. Stauber, Cecilia Shea
and F. G. Dietmeyer. Letters were read expressing regrets at
being unable to be at the gathering. A letter from Ann Schlund
Ganssler, and one from an old schoolmate, Max Schlund, were read.
Edson C. Howard and Miss Mamie Browe, former teachers each made a
very pleasant address.
Old records discovered
The president, C. T. Heydecker, made a general talk with extracts
from a record which has lately been discovered of the proceedings
of the Board of Directors of said district from 1850 down to and
including 1865. The money which paid the teachers at that time
was raised by taxing each family for the number of days attending
school at the rate of 2 cents apiece per day. The record
disclosed that it was made for families resident of the district,
and then the number of days for each member of the family
attending school, and on the total of that number of days the
bill was rendered for educational purposes. From this record the
president was able to name nearly all the old scholars who
attended the school. The number of scholars who attended in
1851, as shown by the record, was 47, in the old log schoolhouse.
It appeared from this interesting record that Stira Hall taught
school there in the winter of 1850, and was paid for such
services as teacher, $40 and boarded around the district. In the
winter term of 1852, Mr. Lee taught the school for four months at
$18 per month and boarded around the district.
In addition to this cost of teaching, the parent of each child
who attended was required to deliver to the schoolhouse one
quarter of a cord of wood for fuel. There was also in this term
a funny record of Charles Heydecker, director, who was to get
three pounds of candles for use of spelling school, and charged
them to the district. For the winter term of 1853 things had
changed somewhat and the tax for scholars was raised from 2 cents
to 3 cents per day.
He then submitted the yearly record and came to the most
interesting in the history of the old school. On December 28,
1858, a meeting was held looking towards the building of a new
schoolhouse, which was thought could be built for $600, and as a
result of that meeting it was determined to build such a
schoolhouse, which is the present building with recent
modifications. The question then arose at a meeting of the
directors, held on the 20th day of January, 1859, that the
building should be built immediately, so as to be occupied by
November, 1859. At that meeting also, William Browe, who was the
owner of the present site of the schoolhouse, offered one-half
acre of land so long as it was used for a schoolhouse, being the
site where the schoolhouse now stands. The construction was let
to Lewis Gade on January 27, 1859, for $569. Another bid made by
Thomas McKinney was for $800. Of course, Mr. Gade being a
resident of the school district, got the contract and it was
built in accordance with the specifications.
Then the question arose as to selling the old log schoolhouse.
Some declared it ought never to be sold or removed, but the
majority insisted on selling. Of course we cannot realize or
appreciate the value of a log schoolhouse well built at that time
when we compare it with the present-day kind. However, it was
not sold or removed, for the history tells us that on the 21st day
of April, 1859, the schoolhouse was destroyed by fire and many of
the old scholars have told that as one of the saddest moments of
their lives, when they were deprived of paying 2 or 3 cents a day
for their children to obtain the rudiments of education.
The new schoolhouse was completed and in the month of November
the school opened for the winter term with Thomas Moran as
teacher who afterwards became a judge of the courts of Illinois,
and a very prominent attorney in Chicago. The wood contract for
heating the new schoolhouse was let to Martin Sessler, seven
cords at $1.85, delivered on the school grounds, and thus began
the work of education in the new, and now the old, remodeled
schoolhouse, standing as it does in the memory of many a boy and
girl as a guiding star in the neighborhood to the hopes and
ambitions of the children of nearly seventy years ago.
It must not be forgotten that all who were participants in the
prizes given by Frank Wells extended to him their heartfelt
thanks for the kind memento and while they cherish him as one of
the oldest children if not the oldest child of a parent who
attended school before 1860, and the vice president of the
As the sun faded away in the western sky, everybody started for
their homes with the firm pledge of being there again on the last
Thursday of August, 1923.