Tag Archives: New Prospect

School Days in New Prospect

This is another story written by my mother about the days in a one room school house in New Prospect, Wisconsin. She attended school there from about 1927 until about 1934. Later she became a teacher and taught school there.

Jeannette Meyer

I received my early education in a one room school house in Wisconsin. One teacher taught all eight grades.

The school house was a big square room with an entry way and a cloak room on each side: one for the boys and one for the girls.

On top was a bell tower. In the early days the building had also served as a church on Sunday.2014-07-01 22.33.40-1 That accounted for the fact that a cemetery was next door to the school. This fascinated all of us children. I can remember watching funerals from the school house window while the teacher tried in vain to get us all back to our desks. She considered it undignified but we just thought it was interesting.

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All of the students from the surrounding farming community walked to and from school in good weather and in bad. I had to walk about a mile and half from my home. I walked with my older sister and sometimes our big brother.

Our school was heated by a big coal burning furnace that stood in one corner of the room. It was encircled by an picket of aluminum so no child would fall against the furnace and get hurt. The teacher was also the janitor but often the big boys would help with carrying the coal.

Water was gotten from a hand pump in the schoolyard. The water was carried from the pump in a bucket to the water cooler in the back of the classroom. Each child had its own collapsible tin cup.

I loved school. I was happy when I could read. I remember my first yellow reader. History was probably my favorite subject. We had to memorize a lot of verse. This was good training for the mind. I can recite part of Longfellow’s “Evangeline” to this day.

Our school operated on a very small budget, so there was very little money for library books or reference material. We did get books from the county traveling library. One of my favorites was “Ox Team Days On The Oregon Trail” I read it many times and thought the children in the story were so lucky to travel in a covered wagon. Little did I dream, that when I was all grown-up with a husband and little girl of my own, I would travel along many of those same areas in an automobile on super highways to settle near the end of the Oregon Trail.

One big advantage to a one room school was that one could always get a review of anything forgotten by listening to the class below our level. If you were bored with your own classwork you could learn a lot by listening to the upper classes. I also had a brother and a sister to defend me on the playground if need be.

The student body was really like one big family with the older children looking after the younger. It was sort of a buddy system.

Recess and noon hour were great times. In the spring and fall we played baseball or “Run Sheep Run.” In the winter we went sledding on a hill a short distance from the school. In march we would walk to a nearby forest of maple trees and watch the cooking of maple syrup. In early Ma we would go to the same woods to pick Mayflowers and violets. There was also a swing set on the playground and it was here I met with an accident.

An eighth grade boy was swinging with me and I was a first grader. I sat on the seat and he stood on the seat and pumped the swing higher and higher. We all did this all the time but one day I fell off and landed with a thud on my stomach. I was knocked out and vaguely remember someone picking me up and carrying me into the school. Some time later I came to and saw one of the upper grade girls fanning me. I tried to stand up but the room spun around and I felt sick to my stomach. I laid down until it was time to go home. My brother tried carrying me for awhile but gave it up when he was offered a ride on friend’s bicycle. My big sister stayed beside me as I staggered home. I’m sure I must have had a concussion, but not called a doctor. A doctor was for big things – like broken legs.

Can you imagine a child today being allowed to walk home after an accident like that!





Marriage of George Meyer and Rose Uelmen as reported by the Sheboygan Press

                                                 Ullman-Meyer Wedding 

At 9 0’clock Monday morning the marriage of Miss Rose Ullman and George Meyer was solemnized at the Catholic Church in New Prospect. After the ceremony the bridal party repaired to the home of the bride near New Prospect where a fine dinner was served to immediate relatives of the contracting parties.  The table was prettily decorated with cut flowers of smilax.

Mr. and Mrs. George Meyer left on the afternoon train for Chicago and the will go to New York City for and extended wedding trip.  On their return they will be “at home on a farm near Ladysmith which the groom recently purchased.

The bride is an attractive young lady and has many friends here.  The groom was born and raised in the village of Cascade and is the son of John Meyer and Mrs. John Meyer.  Hosts of friends in the community join in wishing Mr. and Mrs. George H. Meyer abundant happiness and prosperity.

The House That Peter Built

I thought I’d make my first post about the house featured in my header. Yes, I know a house is not an ancestor but it was home to 3 generations of my maternal line. It deserves its own post.

The House Peter BuiltThe House Peter Built

Built around 1900 this house was home to my maternal great grandparents, maternal grandparents, my mother and her siblings and a source of fond memories for many members of the fourth generation.

Built around 1900, it was of the square design popular in that era. It sat down a dead-end lane almost a mile from the village of New Prospect, Wisconsin. Out past the front yard, across the neighbors field, ran a branch of the Milwaukee River.  On the first floor was a large living room, dining room, kitchen and wash room.  The wash room contained a sink and a hand pump in which water was drawn from a cistern.  A bedroom tucked behind the living room completed the first floor.  Upstairs were five more bedrooms and a large hallway.

Peter and his wife Maria needed all those bedrooms. By 1901 they had 13 children.  The oldest two may have already left home by the time the house was finished but there was still plenty of family to fill those upstairs bedrooms. The children’s ages  ranged from 0-22. My Grandma Rose was their eighth child and would have been 9 or 10 years old when they moved into this house.

Peter and Maria stayed in the house until 1915.  When their daughter Rose and new son-in-law, George Herbert Meyer returned from their ill-fated adventure as farm owners in Ladysmith, WI. Peter negotiated a deal with my Grandfather to buy the 200 acre farm for 12,000 dollars. I am sure my Grandfather was anxious to provide a new home for his bride and soon to arrive first baby when he made this purchase.  Unfortunately I’m told he didn’t consult Rose first.  I can imagine the words exchanged the day he came home with the deed to the farm and learned she had no desire to live in her childhood home.

Despite her misgivings  about the purchase they would live there for the next 60 years, The house sheltered them through the Great Depression, WWII and so much more.

Along the way they added long enclosed front porch where the family enjoyed cool breezes coming through the screened windows on hot summer evenings.  A summer kitchen with a kerosene stove was added off the wash room for cooking and canning in the hot summer heat.  Still later a bathroom was added off the dining room to replace the little house out back.

The land this house sat on had been shaped by glaciers long ago in Fond Du Lac county, Wisconsin.  When the state wanted to buy the farm for a future ice age  park my Grandfather sold it with the stipulation they could remain living there until they either died or wanted to leave.  When they made the decision to move into town in the 1970’s the house itself was sold and moved. Hopefully it is still standing providing a new generations of children and their parents a  happy sheltering place to live as it did during the first century oThe House Peter Builtf its life.

The House Peter Built