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.
From the Meade Globe News, September
An old county land mark was moved to
Meade this week when Johnny Jones moved old school district
No.1 (Belle Meade) school building to this city and is
remodeling it for a residence on north Fowler street.
When district No. 2 consolidated with
Meade more than a year ago, and the children brought to
Meade to school, there was no further use for the building.
In the early eighties District No. 2
comprised all of Meade county and part of Seward.
The present building was built in the
winter of 1887 by al Martin. R.A. Brannan and his father
assisted in the work. Mr. Brannan says that he and his
father quarried stone from hills in southeastern Meade
county and hauled them to the site.
The first teacher for the district was
Miss Jessie Bennett, now Mrs. A.B. Russell of Battle Ground,
Indiana. Mr. Brannan, Joe Lockhart, Chas. Edwards and Will
Sourbier are some of the fellows who attended school in the
The first organized Sunday school of
the county was also held in the old building. It was
organized in 1879 and continued until in 1909.
It is a coincident that the building is
placed by the side of the old frame dwelling which was moved
from the court house block a few weeks ago. The house was
built by Bill Mounts in 1886, and was one of the largest
frame houses in this part of the state at the time.
In the farmer's alliance movement in
the latter eighties and early nineties, Senator W. A. Peffer
and Jerry Simpson made the welkin ring with speeches for the
pee-pul. The building was also the scene of many happy
community gatherings in the days when neighbors were a long