Monday, March 26, 2012

Hiawatha Ground

       I went to a one room country school for nine years and left it in June of 1954. The next year in June of 1955 the school was closed. In 2006 a marker was placed on the original site of the school and a celebration was held. I was not able to attend the ceremony so I wrote a poem. This poem has been sitting around for six years as I was trying to find a picture of the building. 

This picture was taken in 1948 and shows an interior view of the school.  I am in the second row from the back , third from the left!
This shows a little bit of the weather beaten building and the class from 1947-48


Quiet earth lay covered by prairie grass and buckbrush ,
Meadowlarks,crows and hunting coyotes occasionally passed by,
Briefly visited by many spring blooms ,
And ancient quiet people who scanned the willows for big brown bulks ,
Of many life sustaining energies.
Dustyhorn, Bitternose, Whitefeather, Asqpace...

Suddenly, settlers appear to till the land
And put down roots of settlement
Which spawned wire fences , trails ,roads
And dwellings to house their families
And patient beasts of burden.
King, Clark, Minnings, Paul...

Then their children required an education
So a school house was  patiently planned
By careful applications to the powers of the land
Who controlled the many details of
Official school district formation.
Hawes, Weurfel, Winks, Rathwell...

So with patient effort acceptance was gained
To build a school with gifted labor
Borrowed money and volunteers who
Undertook the time consuming supervision
Which produced a shining building for the children.
Ingelton, Bushell, Taylor, Wildeman...

Years of care to run the school
Find and pay a teacher
Repair the roof and walls
Fill out the required forms and reports
For the privilege of keeping kids in school.
Barber, Johnson, Langille, Stevenson...

Quiet Christians gathered there
In the name of the Lord to sing
And pray and study God's word
Which supported their souls
And daily trials and tribulations.
Mehaffey, Ronald , Kline, Muir...

Years ground by with depression
Drought ,war and changes slowly
Came to settlers and their way of life
As some moved on to other grounds
To find an easier success.
Manke, Brust, Kabernick, Leggott...

The silent end quickly appeared
When only six lonely scholars filled the desks
And sad decisions were made
To close the Hiawatha learning center
Which had faithfully served quiet locals
Epp, Kreiger, Enns, Freisen...

Now, the ground sleeps deeply once again
Visited by passing hawks and goldfinch
Covered by annual snows
While the joyous shouts of children
And devoted settlers are no longer heard .
Red tailed hawks, ground squirrels, butterflies...

Ten former students and three former teachers.

The marker set up on the school site.