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Century School - District 23 - Odee Township

Century School was organized in 1885, in the Irish Flats fourteen miles southwest of Meade. This school was located on the NW/4 of the SW/4 of section 32-T33-R28. We don't have a photo of this first school. In 1915, the buildings were sold and the school was rebuilt on the NW/4 of the NW/4 of section 27-T33-R28. (one mile south of the curve on hwy 23)  Century was disorganized in 1946, and with consolidation became part of District 73. However the school continued to hold classes at the Century location until 1956, at which time students were bussed to Meade.

This cut from the 1909 Meade County Plat Book shows both locations of Century School.

The first school was just one quarter mile west of the Odee Post Office.

This cut from a more modern map shows the two schools and their relation to Meade Lake and other schools.

Surnames of students of Century School: Bohling,  Classen, Cordes, Covalt, Denslow, Doerksen, Ediger, Enns, Franke, Friesen Hamm, Harms, Haver, Heinson, Isaac, King, McQueen, Nash, Pohl, Ratzlaff, Smith, Steingart, Tatkenhorst, Toews, Vogt, Wallace, Wiens, Wurdeman.

Teachers of Century School:
Kragh Fred  1890-93   Ekermann  Leo F.  1927-28
Stedmanm Estella 1893-94   Vogt   Martha L.  1928-30
Mendenhall Iva   1894-00   Friesen Martha 1930-31
Salisbury Pearl   1904-05   Burgess   Zella  1931-32
Daniels Stella   1905-06   Lyon Hazel  1932-34
Danks Otsie 1905-06   Burgess  Zella  1934-36
Busing Anna   1913-15   Riggs  Faye  1936-38
Ross   Hattie L.  1915-16   Johnson  Mary  1938-39
LaRon Hattie 1916-17   Meng Rita  1939-40
Elliott   Madge  1917-18   Kauffman  Lucy  1940-41
Ross  Neva  1918-19   Isham Vida  1941-42
Fletcher Oscar 1919-19   Moore Dora  1942-43
Krisle Jessie B. 1919-20   Davidson  Jesse  1943-46
Osborne Arvilla 1919-20   **consolidation**    
Bohling  Hattie 1920-21   Davidson  Jesse  1946-47
Noble Bessie E. 1921-22   Kauffman  Lucy  1947-48
Veatch  Emma  1921-22   Warkentine Ruby 1948-49
Carlile   Clara  1922-24   Heinrichs Adelia 1949-51
Ross   Dora Mae  1924-25   Bradshaw Doris 1951-52
Hayden  Edith M. 1925-28   Harms Elizabeth 1952-53
Century School

front: Harold Enns, Elsie Lou Denslow, Eva Enns, Helen Wiens

middle: Eileen Heinson, Anna Enns, Stella Enns, Maryann Wiens

back: Esther Bohling, George Weins, Zella Boyer (teacher), Martha Enns, Willie Weins Glen Franke

Centry School

Century 1939

back: LeRoy Franke, Harold Enns, Stella Enns, Mary Ann Wiens, Helen Erma Wiens, Neomi Bohling

front: Luinda Bohling, Arlie Friesen, Earl Cordes, Wallace Bohling, Kathleen Cordes

Teacher: Miss Mary Johnson


back: Lavina, Darlene, ??, Rosie, Melvin, Dean, Wilma, Harold, Walter, Jimmie.

front: Gary, Pattie, ??, Janet, ??, Eldo, Larry

Century 1946

front: Walter Wiens, Lavina Friesen, Shirley Bohling,  Darlene Classen, Beverly Cordes, Jimmie Friesen

back: Jesse Davidson (teacher), Harold Heinson, Wilma Denslow


Teacher: Lucy Kauffman



Teacher: Adelia Heinrichs


The following article is from the "Meade County News" written by Arlie Friesen:

School days are here again!!

I like to talk about my former school teachers. Especially those in country grade school. I remember them all fondly. Each teacher, of course, had different methods of "Larnin' us kids the 3-R's."

The students had other duties besides the studying. As 8th graders, Wallace Bohling an I were assigned to clean the blackboard erasers by teacher, Jessie Davidson. Wally and I would gather up the erasers and beat out the chalk dust on a metal mat on the front stoop. The mat was what we scraped our shoes on in wet weather, to get the mud off. I wonder if 8th graders today still clean erasers? I doubt it.

A couple of other students raised the flag in the morning and lowered it in the evening, ran her up and down the flag pole so to speak. Another duty by kids who rode horses was to water them at the Ernest Bohling place a quarter mile away. This was done at noon when we had that hour-long recess. Later, Walter Berkey drilled us a water well.

Lucy Kaufman, my 4th grade teacher, was a health and fitness person. She taught us that we should have a balanced diet of the basics like grain, dairy, vegetables, meat, fruit and so on. What about those kids who brought lard sandwiches to school? "Sit up straight," she said. Lu taught us a song which I remember to this day. Here goes--

Perfect posture
Perfect posture
Do not slump
Do not slump
You must grow up handsome
You must grow up handsome
I hate that hump
I hate that hump.

(This was sung to the tune of "Farah Jockey!!") It could be that the guys in the white coats will be nocking on my door any minute 

Vida Isham, my 5th grade teacher, related to me in a letter several years ago about the head lice crisis at Century School in 1941. It seems she discovered lice on one of us kids and sent the whole school home. She walked to the Bill Heinson place where she boarded and came back to school with a bucket, brush and a bottle of Lysol. She scrubbed that sucker down, the schoolhouse that is. I imagine that Orkin cold do it today in 10 minutes. The parents were notified by note sent home with each kid since some families didn't have telephones. We happened to have a phone with rings of one long and one short, not that it makes any difference. I don't remember a head scrubbing at home but I'm sure I got one and I'm sure it was with Lysol. My dad used Lysol for everything that needed to be disinfected, like castrating bull calves and pigs. I can understand how farm kids could get heal lice just from milking cows. You always stuck your head against the cow while pulling those handles.  

That's enough of the pre-dinner time dialog. Rita Meng was probably the most easygoing teacher I had in 8 years. She let us kids get away with murder. Don't get me wrong she taught us a lot but she did that without being extra tough. If old Augie Merkle hadn't come along Id probably be chasing her today.  I cant believe I said that. Forgive me Rita wherever you are. 

All of this stuff happened a long time ago. As far a I know only Rita and Mary Johnson Spurgon are still living who taught at Century in my era. God bless you both. I've never forgotten you.


Another interesting tidbit appeared in a "Looking Back" article in 1984 referring to September 1914:

"The two school houses in District 23 had been sold, one to John Borchers and the other to John Bohling. A new building was to be built by Williams and Whitehead a quarter mile south of the Herman Bohling farm. "


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