Attended  Our First Country School

Emmetsburg Democrat Newspaper, Sept. 26, 1935

Submitted by Kathleen Frailey Puls

Above are pictured six of the youngsters who attended the first log cabin school in Palo Alto county, a school which was located in Walnut township, a short distance of where the Osgood River Bridge now stands.  The school was established in 1865.  Among the other pupils who attended the school where M. F. Brennan, John Nolan,  Ellen Mahan, Anne Mahan, Mary Mahan, P. J. Nolan, John Neary, Mrs Dan Sherlock, Jack Laughlin, Martin Coonan, Ed Brennan and Maggie Martin.  There were others but their names have escaped the memory of the men and women of that group who are living today.
The first teacher employed in the school was Dick Dunn.  Other teachers who were later employed were Anthony Chris Rasmussen, Michael Crowley, Jerry Martin, Chas. Duncan, Leroy Grout, John J. Robbins and Judge Carr.
It will be remembered of course that the Irish Colony was established northwest of Emmetsburg in 1856.  Earlier settlers had in 1855 located near the present site of West Bend. Among them were W. D. Powers, A. B. Carter, Mr. Goldtrap and Mr. Acheson. John McCormick of the West Bend neighborhood was Palo Alto county's first superintendent.  He was often called upon to give examinations to teachers who applied for teaching positions. It has been humorously remarked that one of Mr. McCormick's questions to perspective teachers was the request that they say the "Our Father" backwards.

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