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McNulty School - District #3

The McNulty Schoolhouse was three miles south and three miles east of the town of Meade. The borders of District No. 3 changed slightly over the years, but the school itself was always located in the SW/4 of the SW/4 Sec. 21-T32-R37, Meade Center Township.

McNulty began as a subscription school in 1887, and was originally conducted in a sod house on land that was first homesteaded by Henry H. Budgett, and later owned by the Theis Cattle Co. We don't know where the name of McNulty originated. Many times schools were called by the name of the family that had the most children in attendance. The only place we have found the McNulty name is in an article about the Catholic church in Meade in which they were listing members in 1886. The school kept that name up to 1946, at which time it became part of District No. 73, and the name still remained until the school finally closed in 1953.

Picture at left is the McNulty School 1918-19. This would have been the last class in this original building. This original frame building was sold to Henry B. Friesen for $305.00 in May, 1919, and moved to his farm.


Taken from the 1909 Meade County Plat Book (gray dotted line shows the school district)

A modern land map.

We found an article from the Meade Globe News dated May 29, 1919, that told us a lot about the early days at McNulty School:


The school house in District No. 3, three miles south and three miles east of Meade, better know to early settlers as the McNulty school was sold last Monday to the highest bidder. Mr. Henry B. Friesen gets the building, the price paid being $305.00. He will move it to his farm and convert it into a dwelling. the new building, modern in every way, will be completed in its place by time for the beginning of school next year. 

An interesting bit of history centers around this old landmark, which is among the oldest in the county. Previous to its erection a "soddie" about 12 x 20 feet served as a school house. During the Christmas holidays of 1887, under the direction of Miss Constance Roberts, now deceased, the Cantata, "Little Red Riding Hood" was given in the sod house, at the conclusion of which subscriptions for a new building were taken. The proceeds from the entertainment were also donated toward the new school house. Old timers relate that a number of people from Meade attended the entertainment, having been taken there in a stage coach in use in those days. The building was far too small to accommodate the crowd, and it was suggested by some that they take the side out of the soddie, that those who were compelled to remain outside might see the entertainment. This, however, was not done. In the spring of 1888, the building which was sold last Monday was completed, and in the fall of the same year Mrs. J.E. Roberts of this city taught the first term in the new building. Some very elaborate ceremonies for those times where held when the new structure was dedicated, R.M. Painter of this city and Willis G. Emerson, deceased, making two very eloquent addresses. 

When the Mennonites started arriving in Meade County around 1906, they settled in and around the McNulty school district, providing an endless number of fresh young minds to be educated at this school. In July of 1983, they had a McNulty School reunion at the Emmanuel Mennonite Church and had 185 former pupils in attendance.

Surnames of students over the years who attended McNulty school: Bartel, Camp, Classen, Doerksen, Ediger, Enns, Epp, Friesen, Harms, Hiebert, Howard, Isaac,   McKinney, Pettay, Potter, Reimer, Rempel, Shpankin, Siemens, Thiessen, Warkentin, and Zielke. (We do not have clear records of the students prior to 1916. Some names were found in family stories and school souvenirs.)

Teachers of McNulty School:

John Innis  1886-89   Celia Hazell 1918-19 
Dora Locke          1886   Bessie E Nobel 1919-21
Ola McDaniel 1886   B. H. Balzer 1920-21
Mrs. E. Dickerson      1890   Anna Lenora Harder 1921-23 
Lizzie Follic 1891   Bernard A. Martens 1923-24
Rosie Roberts 1892   Esther Nickel 1924-26
Tillie Graves 1893-95   Katherine Schellenberg 1926-27
Hattie Roberts ?   Alla Smith 1927-28 
Nellie Walters ?   Anna Schmidt 1928-29
Agnes Wehrle ?   Mary Willems 1929-31
Mable Potter ?   Clara Dorothy Lohrenz 1931-32 
Jerome Potter ?   Mary Willems 1932-34 
Dora Haver 1903    J. J. Gerbrandt 1934-35
Mattie Petefish 1905   Jacob H. Foth 1935-38
Pearl Hughes 1911-12   (at this point McNulty became   
Mayme Finkle 1912-13   a two-room, two-teacher school)  
Frances Ziegelmeyer 1913-14   Ann & Eva Willems 1938-40
Susie Hughes 1914-15   Esther & Eva Willems 1940-41
Claude Spurgeon 1915-16   Mary & Esther Willems 1941-43 
Verla M. Fox 1916-17   Barbara & Elizabeth Wiebe 1943-44
Cecil Blair 1917-18   Mary & Esther Willems 1944-45 

(McNulty became a part of Dist #73 January 5, 1946.)

TEACHERS: (first named grades 1-4, second named grades 5-8)
1945/46 - Ruby Warkentin/Gladys Zimmerman
1946/47 - Ruby Warkentin/Melvina Hamm
1947/48 - Elizabeth Ediger/Melvina Hamm
1948/49 - Elizabeth Ediger/Dorothy Dyck
1949/50 - Elizabeth Ediger/Edna Enns
1950/51 - Elizabeth Harms/Elizabeth Ediger
1951/52 - Elizabeth Harms/Malenda Penner
1952/53 - Carol Heinrichs/Alice Schmidt

McNulty class of 1935-36. These students are named here.

McNulty students in 1914.

McNulty students. Left, Henry Friesen, right, John Bartel, Agnes Bartel next to the teacher next Helen Borton. Teacher, Frances Ziegelmeyer.

Mary and Esther Willems, McNulty teachers.


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