Belle Meade - Dist. No. 1
|The Belle Meade School district was the
first one formed in Meade County and it covered a huge area
of 54.5 sections, encompassing most of Range 27 and 28,
Township 31. This was whittled down as other school
districts were introduced. The schoolhouse was located in
the SW corner of the NW/4 Section 28-R31-T27, six or seven
miles from Meade Center. The town of
Belle Meade was about a mile west and half mile north of
Belle Meade School started in 1886, officially
as Dist. #1 in 1890, and
continued until June, 1925. As you can see from our list of
teachers below, we have some gaps in our records. These will
be filled in as we gain information. Our student records are
sketchy until 1916. These are some of the sir names of Belle
Meade students that we know of: Blair, Blane, Bocook,
Chrissman, Denslow, DeWitt, Edwards, Eliason, Golobay, Grim,
Hamilton, Meyer, Schmoker, Thacker, Wagner and Watson.
Some of the teachers we
know of that taught at Belle Meade:
Alice Waire, ?
John Innis, 1886
Mabel Gerow, 1891
Jennie McNamara, 1892
Mabel Casteen, 1893-94
Emma Siebenthaler, 1894-95
Eva Walter, 1904-05
Iva Grim, 1915-18
Ethel Mitchell, 1917-18
Nellie Dalgarn 1918-19
Kitty Ellis, 1919-20
Margaret Dalgarn 19-20
Cecile Blair, 1919-21
Elsie Rossel, 1921-22
Avis Lesher, 1922-24
||A group of students in front of Belle Meade School in
From Pioneer Stories of Meade County:
organized church was the First Congregational Church of
Crooked Creek in 1879, with S.E. Ayers, W.D. Ayers and U.M.
Fordes as trustees. The Pleasant Plains Congregational
Church was the first incorporated church in the county at
the old Belle Meade school house. This was in March 1881,
with John and Christian Schmoker and Peter Blair as
From Pioneer Stories of Meade County written by Carrie
One of the problems was schooling
for their children. The first year we were required to have
lessons at home, but the following autumn a small frame
building was erected near the Peter Blair home and three
months of school was held there. The school was built and
maintained by subscription. and when the county was
organized it became District No. 1. Our teacher was Miss
Alice Waire of what would now be termed Fowler community.
Her pay was $15 a month and board. The Schmoker, Blair and
Eliason children attended this first school.
From the obituary of Iva Grim Stalder - Student and
then teacher of Bell Meade School.
The Belle Meade School was the first
school in Meade County, and was built near the John Blair
place about seven miles from (now) Meade in the 1880’s. A
small frame building, it was maintained by subscription for
three months. One of the first teachers was John B. Innis
who received $20 a month. When the county was organized it
was District No. 1.
There were other stores, post office
and cemetery a half mile north across the railroad tracks.
The present schoolhouse was well built of pine wood hauled
from Dodge City to seven miles northeast of Meade, nearer by
the road along the railroad tracks. We had a large round
stove in the center of the room to keep us warm, three
windows on the east and west of the room and a “cloak hall”
room as we entered. The railroad was a quarter mile from the
school so the train gave us competition with the noise.
Belle Meade closed for several years.
When more children moved to the district it was re-opened in
1915, and I came and taught for two years. I had
graduated from Meade High School and had a Normal Training
certificate. That year the building was moved one mile west.
In the spring of 1916, some mothers
thought their children should come several months to be
ready for the eight month term in the fall. Laurence and
Wallace Edwards and two girls came to learn their words,
numbers, sing, and to be quiet and listen.
There were box suppers and literary
programs at night for the community to keep us busy. I think
there were fifteen of us later who played ball at recess,
some liked to sing with the organ and others just play
games. The last day of school the mothers came and we had
dinner together and a program.
I drove a horse and buggy to come to
school after the building was moved a mile west. The Blair
boys and others always had it ready to drive home after I
cleaned the building for the next day. We planted trees that
spring too. So I enjoyed teaching and married Herbert
Stalder, June 1, 1917, in the Methodist parsonage. We lived
together over 57 happy years.