Busy Bee School

Worden Township, Clark Co., Wisconsin

Contributed by Ethan Searce.


Busy Bee School (formerly, called "Gorman")

(from the centennial book of Stanley, pages 92-93.)


The Busy Bee school was established in 1878 with a log building16 feet by 24 feet used as the first schoolhouse. The first teacher was Rosie Patten. She received $30 per month as a salary.

On December 10, 1884 one square acre in Section 16 was purchased from William and Mary Sterling of New London for $8. Here the new school was built by William Jerard. An addition was built later.

In  1887 teachers received about $30 per month. By 1912 the teacher's salaries had gone  up to about $35.  Clarie McPherson seems to be the exception to this for she received a salary of $44 in 1884. Mrs Whitefoot, an Indian lady who lived in the area, received $1.75 per term for cleaning the school.

The members of the first school board in 1878 were Johnie Moore, Robert Fish, D. Darnes, Wm. Kelley, and John Clark. As clerk Wm. Kelley received $5 for his yearly services. By 1883 this salary had been increased to $10. A new blackboard cost the district $5 in 1880 and in 1884 the sum of $2 was paid for whitewashing the school building. In 1892 an apron sale was held and this brought in $31.05. In 1893
Louis Meyer received $2.50 for hanging the bell and Andrew Matcalf received $15 for drilling the well. J. Hatfield supplied the pump for $32. In 1896 (Mr.) Klemp received $65 for an organ.


1924 "Last Day of School" at Busy Bee

Jennie (Engebretson) Clerf donated this photo and is marked with an X.

She had bright red hair, dancing blue eyes and loved to have fun!

1928 School History

Source: THORP COURIER (Thorp, Clark County, Wis.) 04/05/1928

Author: Bill Warner

The Busy Bee School, District No. 6, town of Worden, Clark County, is located one mile south of Friemund's corner, and about three miles south of Eidsvold. The school seems to be rightly named, as teacher and pupils are busy as bees most of the time. The enrollment includes 28 wide-a-wake girls and boys. Like the High Bank School, the physical and writing exercises are accompanied by music. There are some new text books which are very practical. They included "Practical English" and "Learn To Study" readers. The seats are fastened on strips of wood and may be moved when occasion requires. There is an up-to-date Mothers' Club, which meets at the schoolhouse on the last Friday of each month. I recognized an old friend in a wooden pointer used in map and blackboard work. Teachers often used these instruments for other purposes when I was a boy and the sight of one sometimes brings up painful recollections. Miss Viola Thorp of Stanley, is the teacher She is a graduate of the Stanley High School and this is her fifth year of teaching and the second in this school. Among the schools she has taught is High Bank School, town of Edson. The several schools in the town of Worden will meet with the Busy Bee for a school contest early in April. Mrs. Albert Qualheim, Emil Seefeldt and Oscar Boie are the present school board. The Busy Bee School is one of the older schools in northern Clark County, having been organized about fifty years ago. Among the earlier residents were John Moore, John Hannah, George Mabie, John B. Clark, Robert Fish and Wm. Kelley. Later came John Duysen, John Boie, John Sloan and Douglas Daines. I began my career as a teacher in this district on August 8, 1887. It had sixteen pupils enrolled and for the first term of two and one-half months received twenty-eight dollars per month for my services. During the three months winter term the enrollment increased to twenty and my wages were raised to thirty dollars per month. I boarded with John Sloan and paid two dollars per week of five days for my board. H. H. Ferguson, J. B. Clark and John Duysen were the school board, as they also were when I taught here for the last time in 1894. The enrollment this time was thirty-three. The original log building had been replaced by a frame structure, though at the time to be the finest rural school building in Clark County, It is still in fine condition and may be used for many years to come.

Busy Bee Teachers

Rosie Patten
Anna Jerard
Walter Mason
Sibell Burrington
Clarie McPherson
Ella Fullmer
Martha Cushing
Bill Warner
Jannie White
Carrie Sanford
Mabel Lytle
Hattie Lagrave
Alice Warden
Mary Tormey
Louie Warner
Edythe Arms
Flora Mathewson
Mamie Allington

Worden History Article (written by a twelve year old "Busy Bee" student).

***Notes: According to the McCaffery family the building is now being used as the town hall for the Town of Worden.
(Written by Doris Grajkowski, with information from Harry Boie.)



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