|A History of STRUM
and the TOWN OF UNITY by Roy Matson
|in), more recitations and a topic “Why don’t parents visit school?” More recitations
followed and there was an address by a pupil named Melvin. Our present day atheists
would have been horrified by the final number, A Norwegian Christmas song. An
examination of the enrollment proved that all 64 were of Norwegian descent.
Julia Olson taught classes in 1901. John L. Dahl followed in 1902. Again K. N. Tweet
repaired the pump at a cost of $6.00. Soap and a comb were provided and there seemed to
be a continuation of the split term policy. Marie Hanson, Minnie Knutson, Maria O. Dahl
and Tena Anderson were teaching over the next years and K. N. Tweet’s repair bill for the
pump dropped to $5.25.
An entry and cloak room was added in 1903. Gilbert Nysven and Gilbert Dahl were paid
for carpenter labor and lumber was purchased from the N. C. Foster Co. Mollie Stensby
was the teacher at $38.00 per month.
The treasurer’s records were neatly kept but, of course, reveal little of school problems. It
seems that in 1908 a new heating and ventilating system was installed at a cost of $62.81.
A library cabinet was purchased and N. E. Kleven’s clerks salary rose to $10 per annum.
The two term school year seems to have ended about this time. Eliza Jensen followed
Miss Stensby. Sever Johnson succeeded K. N. Tweet as an annual repair man. Insurance
for the building and contents, painting and a long popular flag pole installed about 1917
seem about the only out of the ordinary expenses for the school board.
Hazel Paulson succeeded Eliza Jensen for two terms, followed by Olga Berg. Julianna
Jenson and again Olga Berg brought school into the early 1920’s. School programs raised
money for a phonograph about this time and the first globe was purchased. Hot milk,
cocoa and coffee were served at noon, again raised by programs. Miss Berg became very
popular with the boys when she bought a catcher’s mitt out of her meager salary. Bats
were whittled out of poplar. School days seemed shorter after this for the boys.
Ida Hopland taught several terms during the early 1920’s at a salary of $85.50 per month.
Wood cost $5.00 per four-foot cord and a telephone had been installed. The district
school tax varied from $200-500 per year. Violet Paulson was the next teacher and pump
repair had dropped to $3.25.
The district tax rose to $700 in 1928. County aid was $250 and state tax revenue was
$258.45. Mable Eide taught at a $90.00 monthly salary. Sivert Rekstad, a board member,
received $5.00 for attending the county school convention. He had been an active district
member for nearly fifty years. Pump repair was down to $1.50. Keziah Severson taught
the next two terms at a salary of $90.00 per month. Josie Pederson followed in 1931 and
1932 at $85.00 and $80.00 per month. The depression was being felt. Banking must have
been handled at Whitehall as the Melby Bank had a service charge.
Transportation aid was paid to five family hears of the district in 1933. Sedona
Gullicksrud was paid $65.00 per month as teacher. Stella Mahlum succeeded her at the
same figure in 1934. The district raised $300.00 in school tax. Theodore Hanson from
1935-1937 at $71.25 per month. Bernice Berg succeeded Hanson and taught through the
spring of 1942, followed by Selma Gilbertson. The first bill for electric lights was recorded
in the fall of 1938. The district tax levy had jumped from $300 to $1500 in the ten years
1934 to 1944. The last year of school at District #4 was 1948-1949.
The matter of some reinformation regarding names of municipalities, landmarks, streams,
etc., is worth a few lines. The reason for several are already slipping from memory. We
shall begin with the river.
It is not the slowest moving stream of water. The forks which merge at Osseo each drain a
side of the east-west ridge in Jackson County, the north following Highway 10 and the
south branch flowing along Highway 27 and