600 11th St. SW
P.O. Box 312
Wells, MN  56097
HISTORY OF FREEBORN AREA SCHOOLS FROM 1920-1993


After considerable study, the Freeborn Board of Education recommended the consolidation of their district with those of Bricelyn, Kiester-Walters and Wells-Easton. On May 19, 1992, the voters of Freeborn Independent School District No. 244 voted 202 yes and 24 no to the above proposal with the understanding that this consolidation would take place July 1, 1993. The school board believed there was no other viable alternative. Our enrollment was declining, the state was mandating more and more programs and to offer our children the education we believed they needed to function in the adult world it seemed our only alternative was to join with others to form a larger unit. The State Board of Education for a number of years has been recommending a minimum of one thousand students in a kindergarten-twelve program. Albert Lea, New Richland and AldenConger had been other alternatives but for various reasons, none seemed to meet our needs as well as the above mentioned plan.

With the change of personal, cleaning of closets, etc., I was informed that the complete set of clerks records from 1920 to the present were located. With this source, I will attempt to review the past seventy-three years of school history. A board member recognizes the integrity of their predecessors and with that in mind, I do not question their decisions.

It was interesting to see how issues repeat themselves. As members of the community questioned the original board in 1920, I would be remiss if I did not mention that our board was also questioned. Several public meetings were held. Change does not come easily. National events such as The Depression, government programs of the late 1930's, WW II, and the Education Acts of the 1960's all affected our local district. The advancement of the socioeconomic level of the area was also evidenced by the entry of agenda items such as swimming lessons, drivers training, student's cars and pop machines into the board minutes. The following is a brief recording of the events.

January 3, 1920

A special meeting was called to order by the County Superintendent of Schools for the purpose of electing a school board for consolidated District #12. It was decided to elect two members for one year, two members for two years and two members for three years. Polls were open for one and one-half hours. I.A. Stensrud and C.B. Howard were elected for one year terms, F.A. Gilmore and C. A. Stensrud were elected for two year terms and Horace Drake and S.R. Miller were elected for three year terms. There were a total of fourteen candidates.

Ten days later and organizational meeting was held and I. A. Stensrud was elected chairman, C.B. Howard, Clerk and S.R. Miller Treasurer. All business and books of former districts 12, 13, 101 and 117 were to be turned over to the Board of Consolidated District 12. This board was to meet twenty-one times before school started Sept. 13, 1920.

Discussing building options with architectural firms and the issuance of bonds occupied the agenda of many of the meetings. Located in Freeborn at that time was a one story wood building in the same area the current building is located. The Minneapolis Trust Co. made their proposals by phone and the board voted to accept their proposal providing the contract was drawn as the clerk understood it by phone.

When initial discussion regarding the location of the proposed new building was held the current site did not fare very well. Three members preferred the Tracy block, one the Jacob Jacobson place, one the John W. Johnson place and one the John Luther place. A vote was then taken whether the location should be on the east or west side of the railroad track. This issue resulted in a 4-2 vote favoring the east side. At a later meeting it was reported that they could not buy the Jacobson property leaving out one acre where his building stood for less than $8,000. They could buy the Luther property for $2,000. The motion was made to buy the A.D. Scoville property adjacent to their current property but this motion failed. By a four to two vote they decided on the Luther property.

A satisfactory building could be built and equipped for $105,000. They decided to ask the voters to accept a bond issue for this amount. This was decided on March 24 and on March 25 they met and decided to allow the teachers to go home on Thurs. April I on the 2:35 train and return on train Monday morning. Toyphena Laite and Esther Johnson were elected grade teachers for another year at $100 per month and Ella Dunn was contracted as asst. high school teacher at $110. One month later these teachers appeared before the board and asked an additional $10 per month and were granted the additional money.

A special meeting and election was called for April 14, 1920 for the purpose of determining if the citizens were willing to borrow $105,000 to purchase a site and construct a new building. Election notices are among the clerks records but no vote results are included. It is assummed the vote failed to pass because at the next meeting the board called a special meeting to determine how to carry on with business.

At the May 24, 1920 meeting the clerk reported that there were seven pupils that would be ready for fourth year high school. They decided to secure a principal competent to teach fourth year, arrange the school house so same could be taught and buy necessary apparatus. In June the decision was"made to provide transportation for all pupils, move in another school building, and hire another grade teacher. Andrew Schultz bid to move the Drake school for $450 or Dist. 101 for $650 or $25 per day for either. They accepted his bid of $25 per day to move the Drake school.

At the June 23 meeting eleven freeholders of the District presented to the board a petition for the board to call a special meeting so they could discuss and take action to dissolve Consol. Dist. 12. Attorney J.D. Petersen advised them that even if a favorable vote were taken, they could not accomplish dissolution. They decided to explain this interpretation to the petitioners.

In July they hired A.G. Lindgren as princpal for $2500. A recitation room was to be fixed up in the basement. It was reported that those in the Southwest part of the District (former #117) and those in the Northeast area (former #12) wish to have their children transported to school. The board therefore approved buying four Wayne school busses.

The board was notified at the August 18 meeting that four citizens from the Northwest area of the District had instructed their attorney to petition the Attorney General for a Writ of Quo Warrents, alledging that Consol. Dist. 12 was not properly or legally formed because Freeborn was not an incorporated village and that the board was not legally a school board and also that the Attorney General wished to have a hearing at St. Paul not later than Aug. 18. Two members and their attorney were instructed to attend the hearing.

At the next meeting bus driver contracts were awarded. C.R. Drake was awarded the NE contact at $85 per month. Peter M. Johannsen got the North contract for the same amount. Theo Koziolek got the SW contract for $90 and W.H. Dormann was awarded the west route for the same. Shortly after this it was decided to supply blankets for the busses but at the next meeting this was determined to be the children's responsibility.

Sept. 13, 1920 was the first day of school in the new district. At this meeting they voted to charge a book rent of $1.50 per month for pupils from outside the district and all high school pupils were to buy their own books.

Mr. Lindgren is now referred to as Supt. in the minutes so my assumption is that he was our first Supt. in the new organization. It was approved to allow children to be excused one day a week to attend school at their pastor's.

In November they voted to levy $10,000 and one of the board members was to see that the outhouse from Dist. 117 be moved to town.

In the spring the Supt. reported that a class of seven students would be completing high school and he wanted to know the boards wishes regarding commencement. They decided to provide a speaker and diplomas and that eighth grade graduation be held at the same time. The children of several families were reported to be attending school very irregularly, therefore, the chairman and clerk were selected a committee to advise the

parents that unless their children were in regular attendance, they would be reported to the County Attorney. The Supt. was instructed to sent notices of tuition due for children in the grades that were attending from outside the district but it was decided not to charge any for those attending high school.

In March of the first year the following teacher contracts were offered: Typhena Laite and Esther Johnson, $120 per month. Miss Dunn and Ida ONeurenberg, $120 and Hanniah Ellingsen third and fourth grade at $110. At a meeting one week later Supt. Lindgren reported that Miss ONeurenberg, Miss Ellingson and Miss Dunn would not accept their reelection. Miss Laite and Miss Johnson had advised him that they would not accept their reelection but that they would accept $125 with the provision as follows: That if the board paid any other teacher doing the same work with the same qualifications and experience their salary would be automatically raised to the same as paid to the other. The board accepted. The board also agreed to arrange transportation for pupils from the NW part of district where Miss Jorgansen had been teaching.

In June four members from Dist. 101 appeared with a petition asking for a teacher in the old school house. This was denied. From time to time additional discussion was held regarding the building needs but each time it was determined that "it wasn't best at the present time".

At one of the August 1921 meetings, seven bus driver bids were awarded including one in the Dist. 101 area. The books and supplies from this district were to be brought to town. The decision was also made not to allow any grade students from outside the district to attend here, O.R. Peterson was hired as janitor at $40 per month and an additonal $20 would be paid to clean the school.

The voters of the district were notified of an election to be held Dec. 12, 1921 for them to determine if they should build a new building and if they should issue bonds in the sum of $75,000 to pay for the building. Notices were posted on the bulletin board by the creamery, the bulletin board on the M.W.A Hall and on the corner by the First State Bank. The issue passed 155-95.

In January 1922 a new building and renovation plans for the old building were discussed. They examined land owned by A.D. Scoville and the C.H. Derby Est. and a few days later voted to purchase Scoville property. A teacher matter also came before them at this time. They voted to ask for the resignation of a primary teacher. A few days later a petition was placed before them asking for the reinstatement of the teacher. They voted to reinstate her but because the vote was not unamious, the teacher refused to be reinstated.

April 5, 1922 a special meeting was held to determine if the uninhabited schools, out buildings and land could be sold. Given permission by the voters to disperse of the properties, the following were the bids: House in Dist. 101 to H. W. Sorenson for $300, woodshed to C.P. Thimmasch for $16, bell to Thimmasch for $10 and outhouse to F.M. Snyder for $10. The house in Dist. 117 to Theo Koziolek for $250, wood shed to Keighley for $28 and one acre of land to Keighley for $51.

In the fall of 1922 they voted to spend $675 for a septic tank and later that fall they voted to buy 1800' of plank at .03 for temporary sidewalk. John Luther, a local carpenter, was awarded the contract to remodel the old school.

In January of 1923 a committee was formed to secure a rope and pulley for an ash hoist and hose for washing floors. They also agreed to buy a piano to be paid for by the school piano fund so far as possible and the board to pay the balance. J.U. Gibson suggested that he might place some of his specimens in the school library. The clerk was authorized to accept same and to return them to Mr. Gibson when he desired.

The Supt. was instructed to notify all bus drivers that all busses crossing a railroad must be flagged across according to law.

Every August for a number of years, bus driver contracts were let. In August of 1923 they decided to buy two buses. This year they would have eight routes. Theo Koziolek, C.A. Morris, O.L. Anderson, Floyd Darg, E.A. Poole, Harry Johannson, W.L. Calvert, and Lewis Hansen were awarded contracts as drivers. There was also discussion regarding the purchasing of a motion picture machine.

At the Sept. meeting the Supt. reported that they had 47 students in grades 3 & 4 and 39 students in grades 1 & 2. It was voted to hire another teacher. Tuition for students outside the district was set at $2 per month. The boys were ready for basketball so it was voted to buy a ball. The boys in grades 7 & 8 were being offered Manual training and the girls Home Economics one double period each week. They voted to purchase two sewing machines, tables and stools for the Home Ec Dept.

It was decided to charge the Independant Basketball team $1.50 per night for the use of the auditorium on nights they charged admission and credit was to be given them for money they expended on baskets. In April 1924 they voted to wire the auditorium for electricity. At the August meeting Mr. Calvert asked permission to use his truck for hauling pupils. Permission was granted provided he enclose his truck to comply with state laws.

During the 1924-25 school year they installed a shower bath for the boys, served one hot dish each day for lunch during the winter months, let A.D. Scovill have the lower school ground for pasture for the summer for $10, helped the senior class buy a set of encyclopedias. and signed up for electric lights.

The P.T.A. requested the board to order two cots and blankets for the use of any children that were ill in school. In November of 1926 it was moved that the board stand back of the teachers in enforcing discipline.

For the 1929-30 school year grade teachers were contacted for $100-$125 per month and high school teachers received $135$140. The janitor was paid $100 per month for ten months. This year they were going to investigate putting in a dressing room for girls. take the heater out of the boys dressing room and connect it with the furnace, and investigate proposed motor bus transportation.

During the 1930-3l year they voted to install a telephone, wired a clock, and put a padlock cover on the septic tank.

At the Dec. 1, 1931 meeting, the opinion of the board was that all teachers should be out of the school house by 4:30 and not back again at night. At a special meeting in Dec. board members Wm. Jacobsen and F.M. Buchanan reported that they had cleaned the boiler and boiler room and that they believed school rooms could be heated properly if kept clean. Buchanan suggested they finish the job and clean the auditorium basement. The board members agreed to do the job after Christmas.

The Supt. explained at the Feb. 1932 meeting that Home Ec could be ommited during the Depression and not lower school standards. In March an Agriculture course was added, and in May Mr. Larrabee was hired to teach in the Agriculture position for $1800. Ten percent pay cuts were being enacted for the next year. In view of the Depression it was the sentiment of the board not to do any painting or decorating this year and also to hire the janitor one month before school starts. At the end of July a new Janitor was hired at $55 per month.

For the 1932-1933 school year it was voted to pay $1.50 per month for transportation for high school students outside the district. Huntting Elev. Co. was paid $662.30 that year for coal. At the February meeting they took action to out the teachers salaries 33 1/3 %. I.C. Hinkley could pasture the school land with the understanding that he build and keep in repair fences the school distict furnished. Supt. Eliason's contract was renewed for $1250 for the 1933-34 year. In looking back, I find his salary at $2050 in 1930-31, no raise in 31-32, and a 10% decrease for 1932-33.

The following year teachers were being paid $60-$70 per month. They decided not to lend their baseball equipment and to keep it locked up. The following bus drivers were hired: No. I R.J. Roth, $42; No. 2 M.A. Dezell, $35; No. 3 Lawrence Sorenson, $40; No. 4 I.C. Hinkley, $45; No. 5 C. Seath, $34.70; No. 6 M.T. Bates, $40; No. 7 Louis Hanson, $25; No. 8 Ed Johanson. $29; No. 9 Harry Johannson, $43. The interior of the school was to be painted using C.W.A. labor and using 75 gallons of paint and 50 gallons of linseed oil to be purchased from Freeborn Imp. Co. at cost plus 10%. Mrs. Quinn was hired in this position to help the janitor.

The bus situation began to become more complicated in 1934-1935. I.C. Hinkley was given three routes at $150 per month. He was to buy an up-to-date bus and after two years the school would have the privilege of buying the bus body. There must have been discension because the vote was 4-2 regarding the bus business. In January it was decided to charge .02 for hot lunches and to get the program started as soon as a relief worker could be hired. Tuition for those outside the district was set at $1 per month and the Supt. was to collect from those that were delinquent. The teachers salaries appear to be improving at the rate of $10 per month. Each year Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter vacations were determined about one month in advance. Sometimes the teachers were instructed to make the decision. In 1935 the State Department of Education recommended that they establish a school calendar. Fourteen typewriters were purchased in June at $60 each with 1/3 paid before the end of the school year.

For the 1936-1937 year I.C. Hinkley was paid .12 1/2 a mile to bus. The district purchased a bus and the gas for this bus was to be purchased from Marpe Garage with the understanding that the Garage would allow a .02 discount. Marpe was to store the bus at $3 per month. The board decided to remodel the Auditorium and build an addition to the main building which would consist of two rooms, one for Domestic Science and one for Home Economics.

District 16 entered into an agreement for their seventh grade and high school pupils to be transported at $2.25 each per month. Dancing was to be allowed at the school parties and no party was to last later than 11:45 in 1937-1938. A six week summer music program not to exceed three days per week was to be offered. Next years first graders were to come to school the last weeks of school this year. The following sidewalks were to be laid: two front walks, 6'wide; walk from south east corner of building to SE corner of lot to be 41 wide; from main building to auditorium to be 3'wide and north and south street walk to be 4'wide. All walks are to be 4" thick and they were to use good sand and washed sand. The Junior-Senior class could have an orchestra for their banquet.

The 1938-1939 out of district policy was as follows: All pupils below seventh grade were to go to their own district unless their district made a provision for them to pay tuition to be $6 per month. They purchased a stove and Westinghouse refrigerator from Interstate Power Co. When roads were impassable for buses they would pay an extra driver with team and wagon to transport students. A carload of cinders was ordered for the school grounds. In April the children from Dist. 54 were accepted for the balance of the year. Apparantly the ceiling in the auditorium was causing problems. This was mentioned from time to time and finally in July a decision was made to use 2-4 ply Rilco Rafters and 2-3 ply Rilco Rafters. The rafters were to cost $360. Others materials were to be bought locally.

At the April 1941 meeting it was decided to have the last six weeks of the school year open to the primary children. They also decided to have a committee meet with the W.P.A. board in Albert Lea in regard to labor for opening or removing dirt from under parts of the main building for basement rooms. Hinkley Garage was given the contract to install 4-7OOx2O 8 ply Goodyear Studded Sure Grip tires on rear wheels of Dodge bus. The price including tubes was $144 and the school was to keep the old tires for future use. The W.P.A. worker was apparently obtained because at a special meeting in May they were going to take out dirt in NE basement and put in tile for drain and showers and cement floor. The school district was to pay for supplies. The following teachers and Supt. salaries were set: Miss Ziegler $100, Miss Jacobson $95, Miss Halverson $105, Mr. Jorgenson $125, Mr. Fuller $125, Miss Ackerman $135, Mrs. Pearson $125, Miss Jones $125 for ten months, Mr. Kalash $115, Mr. Eishorn $117.50, Genevieve Fitgzerals $112.50, Mr. Blanch $150 for twelve months and Supt. Johnson $200 for 12 months.

Tuition took a different twist for the 1941-1942 year. The districts were to be charged tuition up to the amount of their running expense. A Ford School 48 passenger bus with a Mercury motor and Superior body was purchased from Sturr Motor Co. in Albert Lea. A Chevrolet bus and a 36 passenger Superior Body was purchased from Hinkley Garage. In April the Freeborn Fire-Dept was given permission to use the Auditorium for the annual Firemen's Dance. At the June meeting Mr. Blanch was given a leave of absence for the duration of his time with the Army. In August, Marpe was to service the two old Fords, Implement Co the new Ford and Hinkley's Garage the other two busses. Also in August Fred Bendixen was hired as janitor for $125 per month. The bus drivers were required to wash busses on outside when necessary in months of Sept, Oct. and April and May and that school service same during the winter.

In August 1942 the board is without a principal. They would pay $1485 for a man and up to Miss Ackerman's offer if a woman was se-cured. Miss Ackerman was offered about $1400. one month later they hired Miss Storsteen at $1400.

Three days per year sick leave for teachers with the opportunity to accrue nine days total was adopted. Mr. Willard asked for a leave of absence to be terminated at the beginning of the first school year after he is mustered out if he wishes to return to Freeborn. The matter of selling surplus typewriters to the government was presented by the Supt and since all machines were being used every period of the day motion was made to advise the Government to that effect. The following month the following business was transacted with the Government. Their request for 1/5 of the school typewriters was considered and will be complied with as soon as suitable machines can be substituted. Kindergarten was dispensed with in 1943 because of teachers over crowded schedules and difficulty in getting outside help. In May it was decided to allow the business men to use the school movie projector if they cared to,.with the understanding it would be over hauled and school board take no responsibility for pictures.

The 1944-45 contracts were issued with a 10% increase. The next month an additional 5% was offered to staff inorder to keep as many teachers as possible. The estimated budget was $45,777. In January Supt. McPherson reported that Mrs. Shanahan, the music teacher had heard her husband was returning from service and that a new teacher for music would have to be secured. The teachers were given a 15% raise the following year also. One and one-half acre off the North line of the grounds was sold to Alfred Olsen. The non-resident tuition for the next year was set at $7 per year with $5 additional for transportation. Sheep pasturing was discussed and it was decided that the school was not responsible for dog loss, $25 rent was charged. In June authorization was given by the voters to build a garage. They were discussing this yet in 1946, so I'm not sure they ever got it built. They did not purchase additional land for it. They purchased John Dombroski's house for $2700 to be used as a Supt's house. Rent of $25 was to be charged.

In April 1946 a $1,000 minimum fee to schools closed for tuition was to be charged plus $10 per pupil for tuition and $5 for transportation. Periodically consolidation was discussed. They voted to participate in the Veterans Service Program. For Freeborn this meant a special, intensive course in agriculture. In October a Westinghouse plan was presented to the board. A new electric refrigerator and stove at $100 and $78 respectively could be obtained for the next five years, with a new model arriving each year for the only additional cost of freight each year. They voted to purchase a refrigerator and two stoves under this plan.

Two items of interest are on the Dec. 2, 1946 agenda. Regarding Consolidation--present plans call for meeting of all school boards on Dec. 11, meetings of taxpayers and patrons during the holidays and election early in January. How far does our school board want to go in excluding rural districts for next year? How big a bond issue would we float in event we consolidated and planned to build? They did meet with the boards from Districts 10, 11, 15, 16, 21, 98, 63, and 113. Coal supply-enough to last until Christmas in both parts of building and enough to keep building above freezing for balance of winter. What will we do with school if coal strike continues?

Beginning in 1948 local service men wno completed certain tests were applying for and being granted diplomas. In June thirty voters gave the board permission to construct a frame building measuring 25x75 plus a furnace room for classroom purposes or whatever other purposes.

In March of 1949 the board instructed the Supt to negotiate for a surplus building at Fort Snelling if he finds it suitable for a bus garage and shop for vocational purposes. In May the public authorized the board to build a bus garage on Barck property from surplus building. In June Harold Quinn was hired as the bus mechanic. Skelly received the gas bid at .20 a gallon.

November 7, 1949, Mr. Doherty from First State Bank was present at the meeting and was very concerned with the financial condition of the school especially regarding outstanding orders. A discussion followed as to where they could cut expenses, such as cutting departments and possibly grade teachers. Also what might be done concerning closed schools they were servicing. It was decided that they would seek a date with the state department and discuss the matter with them.

At the February 12, 1952 meeting, Lyle Hanson and Hans Jasperson board members from Dist. 15 joined in a discussion of future plans. The following month, boardmembers and members of Dist. 16 were present for discussion.

In December 1952, they voted to dispose of the property of Dist. 63. March 1953 they voted to favor consolidation elections in District's 15 and 11 to Dist. 12. At the annual meeting in May 1954 they selected a citizens committee to make recommendations for a building program. In June Ruby Kuechenmesiter was hired.

Sept. 26, 1953 was set as the date to sell by auction the land, equipment and building formerly owned by Common Dist. 15. Harvey Crumb was to be the auctioneer. In January the board voted to accept the advisory committee's recommendation for $350,000 bond issue. The following April they approved the consolidation of Dist. 98 with Dist. 12. They planned another auction of buildings April 15, again using Harvey Crumb as auctioneer.

The maximum bus speed on non route trips was set at 50 mph. Another auction was held in July 1954. In October the school house less equipment from Dist. 98 was sold to Burneth Hanson for $500. Paul Jones explained the trip to be taken to Chicago by the senior class at the May 17th meeting. Rates for swimming rides were set at $2 per pupil for two weeks in June. Authority was also give to purchase a time clock for the new gymnasium. April 11, 1955 they decided to accept the rules for cars at school drawn up by a PTA committee. June 7, 1955 Dist. 11 and 16 voted to consolidate with Dist. 12 and to assume their proprotionate share of the bonded indebtedness. The vote was 22 yes and 19 no. At the Aug. 15 meeting they voted to adopt a resolution concerning consolidation of Manchester Dist 136. Mrs. Harry Johannsen, Mrs. Finarud, and Mrs. Thompson were hired as cooks for the coming year. Faye Bice, Zane Bice, Carrol Dezell, Roy Sorenson and Robert Johnson were hired as bus drivers.

Oct. 3, 1955 the board accepted money donated to the Community Lighting fund for lighting the athletic field. Mrs. Gilmore, Mrs. McKean and Mrs. Kormann were accepted as substitute teachers. In March the bids were opened for land parcels from outlying districts. Dist. 63 sold to Ed Besser for $15. Dist. 16 sold to Roy Passer for $225. At the May 15 meeting the voters approved of the purchase of the East 100' of that part of Block 67 in the village lying south of C.M. and St. P. R.R. property for the amount of approximately $326 as the site of a bus garage.

In February 1957 it was decided that the school was to have two busses available for tournament squads and 10, 11 and 12 grade students. The following meeting they decided to pay the transportation fee for the team and cheerleaders to the state basketball tournament. The fire department was allowed to store the fire truck in the south end of the bus garage. They accepted the following teachers contracts in April: Mrs. Francis Fogel, Mrs. Dana Bergerson, Mrs. Burneth Hansen, Mrs. Don Kuechenmeister Kiss Gayle Thisius, Miss Carole Miller, Mr. Fred Walker and Mr. LeRoy Asche, Mr. McTeague, Mr. Wood, Mr. Huse and Mr. Bielke. Mrs. Walter Johnson was hired as secretary. In June they accepted the offer of a Ford car from the Marpe Garage to be used in the Drives Training Program. In August the fuel oil bid from North Western Fuel Co. of .096 was accepted and Philip Chicos was hired as Head Bus Custodian. His duties were as follows: sweep busses nightly, clean windows and lights, wash busses weekly, check mechanical function of busses and refuel.

At the Sept. 9, 1957 meeting they decided to transport the Matawan children for $9 per month per pupil. They asked the Alden School $25 for rental of the gym for basketball games. In February they accepted the $300 gift from the Freeborn Booster Club to be used for summer recreation. At the May meeting they voted to put air conditioning in the administrative offices. Harvey Johnson was made responsible for the Summer Recreation Program with the salary being $500.

For the 1957-1959 school year they voted to purchase an electric typewriter for the classroom. Free milk was to be offered to all students and free lunches were to be given to those who did not have sufficient funds.

In the summer of 1959 they purchased128 high school classsroom desks at $18.49 each and 186 elementary desk units at $29.60 each. (New desks weren't purchased again until the 1991-1992 school year.) An attempt was made to sell the old hiqh school desks at .50 each. At the March 1960 meeting the decision was made that the starting age for first grade would be moved back to Sept. 1, meaning that their sixth birthday had to be on or before Sept. 1. Prior to this it had been January 1. The following meeting the change in age was rescinded. A day for parent teacher consultation is mentioned in the November 1960 minutes.

The following appears in the Jan. 1961 minutes. The board of Education will no longer accept the responsibility for the selection of chaparones or conduct of students on an over night trip that has been an annual event for senior classes and after the close of the 1960-61 school year several one day trips of educational value will be substituted. All over night class trips will be prohibited. The responsibility for selection and guarantee of chaperons for the 1960-61 senior trip if taken will be left to the parents of said seniors. In the spring of 1961 a salary schedule appeared in the minutes. It read: $3300 for two year certificate, $4300 for four year degrees and to retain the the top salaries at $4800, $5750 and $6500. There was to be nine steps in the two year bracket, and twelve in the three and four year brackets. Extra curricular activities including G.A.A., Jr. High Football, Jr. High Basketball, Speech, Baseball and Track are also included on the schedule.

In January of 1963 the board accepted the offer of the Freeborn Legion Club to provide quarters for the kindergarten at the cost of $200 for six weeks.

At the March 1965 meeting it was decided to accept all of the area from the Matawan School District that wished to join Dist. 244.

For the next school year, Fred Bendixon, Hank Thompson and Wm. Hanson were hired as janitors, Elaine Johnson as Secretary, Eloise Beach as lst cook and Winnifred McKean as.2nd cook. Bus drivers hired were Faye Bice, Mike Gilbert, Carroll Dezell, Bert McKean and Elmer Stensrud. No. 5 fuel was bid at .1042 per gallon from Gustafson Oil Co. The regular gasoline bid was .203 from Co-op Oil Co. Freeborn Co-op Creamery bid .049 per half pint of white milk and .0525 per half pint of chocolate milk.

At the May 5, 1966 meeting bids were accepted to construct the kindergarten, guidance and remedial extension. This project was paid for from the Capital Outlay Fund. In June Mrs. Kent was offered a contract for summer program for supplemental reading under Title 1. In July Huntting Elevator was granted an easement on North 9' of lots 11 and 12 Block 67 with the agreement that the elevator will remodel the school bus garage with the satisfaction of the board.

In the board minutes of Feb. 10, 1969 five days are listed to replace unattended days due to inclement weather. In March 1970 a resolution to join area schools in planning a secondary vocation program. For the 1970-71 school year, the following contracts were renewed: Angeline Kent, June Johnson, Michael Taylor, Comfort Cover, Judith Hoppe, Samuel Nelson, Gerald Sombke, Edythe Hanson, Ruby Kuechenmeister, Betty Jane Nelson and Minnie Christopherson. Dean Goettsch, Kenneth Meister, Nancy Hamann and Richard Paulson, and Jerelyn Eckhardt were hired later. Nov. 9, 1970 the board voted to exempt all snomobiles on school property at all times.

Minnie Christopherson retired effective June 1, 1971 after teaching in the district for twenty-five years. At the Dec. 17, 1971 meeting, the board voted to participate in the Area Vocational School Program. The results of the Bond Issue vote held Feb. 2, 1972 to add a second gymnasium and classrooms was 194 opposed and 178 in favor. Representatives from the Student Council met with the board to get approval for the installation of a pop machine to be used according to the board and Student Council rules. Dec. 21, 1972 the public voted on a proposed $386,256 bond issue. This too was defeated. In January of 1973 the Wakefield house was purchased to be used as the Supterintendents house.

At the Oct. 14, 1974 board meeting it was decided to join MECC (Minnesota Education Computer Consortium) and Sam Nelson was appointed coordinator.

November 21, 1974 a joint board meeting was held with the Alden Board. Topics discussed were facilities and sharing of staff. The basic problem was gymnasium space with girls athletics coming in so rapidly. At the February 10, 1975 meeting, secondary principal Harold Schlepp reported on among other items, the interpretation of new regulations identified as Education 4 which related to sex bias in scheduling physical education classes.

The bookmobile became available in 1975 for the students to check out books. There were 168 K-6 students enrolled in Sept. 1975. Vocational, special education and kindergarten bus routes were being run besides the regular daily routes.

At the January 9, 1978 meeting the board held discussion on heat in the building during vacation and non school days. Also discussed was scheduled practices on holidays and non school days. The board felt that a custodian must be in complete charge of the heating system and its regulation. Practices should be scheduled in the afternoon after the gym had a chance to warm up after the night time low setting which was in complidance with energy conservation procedures.

Employed as cooks and helpers for the 1978-79 school year were Viola Krosgaard, Martha Ignaszewswki, Stella Hanson and Vernice Staloch. Bus drivers were Elaine Seath, Zane Bice, James Hansen, Doug Bice, Sandy Jacobson, Elmer Stensrud, Glen Stensrud and Millie Bice. The custodial staff consisted of Eddie Quinn, Hank Johannsen, Bill Hanson and Patti Savick. Office personel and aide's were Elaine Johnson, Eudena Oliphant, Mrs. Jerry Fogal, Sue Johannsen and Dixie Johannsen.

February 10, 1978 the Wells and Freeborn boards met in special session to discuss enrollment, cooperating and vocational school. Mention is made in the August 1978 minutes that the board attended a city council meeting for opening of bids for the construction of tennis courts. Later the city council met with the board and discussed sharing of costs. It was decided to accept a bid and build.

September 23, 1980 the board asked the voters of the district to approve a 5 mill tax levy to be used to finance school operations. This levy was to begin in 1981 and to continue for the next four years. Of the 372 ballots cast, 280 voted yes and 92 voted no.

The health insurance rates effective July 1, 1981 were quoted as $54.43 per month. This represented a 49 % increase over the previous year on single coverage. The teachers asked for dependent coverage that year and that quote was $80.82 per month. There were thirty-four drivers training students that year with Greg Martin and Joe Guenella teaching the classes.

Mr. Schlepp reported the following as the secondary teaching staff for the 1981-82 school year: G. Sombke, R. Paulson, S. Nelson, J. Hoppe, C. Harpel, L. Worm, C. Nelson, S Hemmingson, R. Peterson, J. Degner, and C. Hart. The following enrollment comparisons from the 1974-75 school year through the 1981-82 year were reported: 74-75, 332; 75-76, 325; 76-77, 315; 77-78, 311; 78-79, 285; 79-80, 274; 80-81, 254 and 81-82, 250. The gasoline bid accepted that year was $1.233 from Freeborn County Co-op Oil. Elementary single lunches were set at .75 and secondary singles at .85. Twenty punch tickets were also available at .05 less per meal. Beth Kroeger was hired for the secretarial position in December.

At the August 8, 1983 meeting, the New Richland Star was named the official paper. The Alden Advance had served in this capacity. The gas bid was $1.175. In order to participate in scheduled activities, all students were required to be in attendance all day the day prior to and following the activity. A minimum attendance of at least 95% of the time was made a requirement for graduation. At the February 13, 1984 meeting the following resolution was passed: The Freeborn Public School is open to any pairing and sharing agreements in the areas of academics and extra-curricular activities when such pairing and sharing is advantageous and pertinent to the district.

On November 5, 1984 the voters were again asked to authorize the board to increase it's maintenance levy by 5 mills times the most recent taxable valuation and once again the voters granted them this request by a vote of 240-27. In December of the same year a meeting was held with the Alden-Conger School board representatives. Areas of concern were discussed and it was decided that there should be continued communications. The superintendents were instructed to request permission from the State High School League for cooperative sponsorship of wrestling and golf in the 1985-1986 school year. The state required the offering of a foreign language to high school students so in May the board agreed to share the Spanish language program with Alden.

In the spring of 1987 the board entered into an interdistrict agreement with Alden. This was a four year agreement with elementary and highschool classes held in Alden and middle school grades in Freeborn. The class of 1987 was the last graduating class from Freeborn.

In March of 1989, the Emmons, Freeborn and Alden-Conger boards met to discuss possible opportunities for reorganization among the three districts. Involvement with the Kiester, Bricelyn districts was also discussed as well as Wells-Easton and Glenville.

Monday evening, August 28, 1989 the Alden-Conger, Bricelyn, Kiester, Wells-Easton and Freeborn boards met to discuss a Cooperation and Combination study. September 25, the Freeborn board met with the New Richland-Hartland board to discuss organization options. In the minutes of the Dec. 18 board meeting mention is made of a joint meeting with the Emmons, Alden-Conger and Freeborn boards. At the February 15, 1990 regular meeting, the Freeborn board formally notified the Alden-Conger board that they would be withdrawing from the InterDistrict Cooperation agreement effective July 1, 1991. On April 2. 1990, Freeborn entered into an Inter-District Cooperation agreement with Bricelyn, Kiester, and Wells-Easton.

In the new school arrangement, Wells will be the site of grades 9-I2 and K-4 for students in the Wells and Freeborn districts. Bricelyn will also contain K-4 with their students coming from the Kiester, Bricelyn and Wells districts. Kiester and Freeborn will house the middle schools which will consist of grades 5-8.

New terms begin to appear in the board minutes. Open enrollment was passed by the state allowing a student to attend school in the district of their choice. ADM (assurance of mastery and ILP (individual learner plan) are terms.pertaining to means of demonstrating educational effectiveness. An Eduction District was formed with thirteen local districts as members. It's purpose was to make services available to the cooperating districts that ordinarily would not be available to the seperate districts because of cost. All student education continued to take place in their resident schools but teacher workshops, technology developments, etc were some of the services derived from the ed. district. Ray Johannsen represented the Freeborn district on this board.

In a special election held May 19, 1992 the voters of the district approved the combination of District 217, Bricelyn; 222, Kiester-Walters; 224, Wells-Easton, and 244, Freeborn by a margin of 202 to 24 opposed.

The district house was sold April 13, 1992 to Brian and Leanne Tukua.

The State Department of Education assigned No. 2134 to the new district which comprises the former Bricelyn, Kiester-Walter's, Wells-Easton and Freeborn districts. Consolidation will took place July 1, 1993.

Superintendents 1920-1993

A.G. Lundgren 1920-1923

E.C. Meredith 1923-1925

A.C. Sunde 1925-1926

W.O. Ylvisaker 1926-1927

A.E. Swan 1927-1928

E.J. Eliason 1928-1934

H.N. Johnson 1934-1942

Ralph H. Johnson 1942-1944

James McPherson 1944-1950

S.W. Clasen 1950-1955

Veir Wood 1955-1958

Elwood Guanella 1958-1961

Gerhardt Dammel 1961-1962

Francis Richter 1962-1967

Donald Jacoby 1967-1983

Interm Supt. Curtis McCamey

Charles Overby 1983-1984

John McCallum-Interum

Patrick Flanagan 1985-1991

Lowell Mohn 1991-1993

School Board Members

I.A. Stensrud 1920-1923

S.R. Miller 1920-1934, 1937-1942

C.B. Howard 1920-1924

F.A. Gilmore 1920-1924

Horace Drake 1920-1925

C.A. Stensrud 1920-1927

Otis Gilmore 1923-1929

William Jacobsen 1924-1944

George Nelson 1924-1927

R.S. Doherty 1925-1931

F.M. Buchanan 1927-1933

G.P. Lattin 1927-1936

Henry Johannsen 1955-1961

Francis Kent 1956-1959,1960-1972

Merle Michaelson 1956-1960

Arthur Pederson 1957-1969

Lowell Wood 1957-1958

Paul Olds 1958-1961

Joe Neubauer 1959-1962

Dr. Myron Nelson 1961-1964

Vincent Hunnicutt 1961-1970

Arnold Hanson 1962-1972

Robert Schoen 1962-1974

P.A. Stensrud 1929-1932

I.A. Stensrud 1931-1934

Sidney Seath 1932-1944

Ed Marpe 1933-1942

Mrs. R.S. (Ruth) Doherty 1934-1937

Mrs. Fred (Pearl) Gilmore 1934-1937

George Hunte 1936-1942

Frank Knapton 1937-1943

Leonard Rietveld 1942-1942

Victor Christensen 1942-1945

Lawrence Schoen 1942-1951

Chester Nelson 1942-1955

Hat-old Pierce 1943-1955

Manville Thisius 1944-1952

Gail Larson 1944-1954

Elton Jacobsen 1945-1950

Olaves Stensrud 1950-1952

R.L. Stensrud 1951-1957

Wm Hanson 1952-1962

Paul Staloch 1952-1956

Wallace Fjone 1954-1956

Gerald Jacobson 1955-1957

Edward Besser 1964-1970

William Goette 1969-1981

Curtis Nelson 1970-1973

Robert Johnson 1972-1978

Larry Thisius 1972-1980

Eddie Staloch 1973-1985

C.J. Colv in 1973-1979

Ray Johannsen 1974-1980,1987-1993

Barbara Solberg 1978-1984

Curtis Emrud 1979-1984, 1985

Dale Christopherson 1980-1986

Wilfred Bias 1980-1989

Francis Chicos 1981-1987

Joyce Stenzel 1984, 1985-1988

Terry Anderson 1984-1987

Sharon Honstad 1985-1993

Rick Jorgenson 1986-1992

Robert Staloch 1987-1993

Bonnie Schuster 1988-1993

Wayne Hendrickson 1989-1992

Alan Hunnicutt 1992-1993

John McKean 1992-1993

Clerks Records

Volume I January 3-1920-March 4, 1940 Located at Freeborn School

Volume II April 1, 1940-July 2, 1951

Volume III August 3, 1951-March 7, 1966

Volume IV March 14, 1966-January 9, 1978

Volume V February 10, 1978-September 22, 1980

Volume VI July 2, 1979-June 9, 1980

Volume VII July 2, 1980-June 22, 1981

Volume VIII July 1, 1981-June 14, 1982

Volume IX July 1, 1982-June 24, 1983

Volume X July 11, 1983-June 26, 1985

Volume XI January 13, 1986-December 1987 (Incomplete)

Volume XI] July 11, 1988-June 19, 1991

Volume XIII July 9, 1991-June 1993

Compiled by Bonnie Schuster 1993