Monday, August 22, 2011

My Hometown on Monday - Carrollton School Fire

My Hometown on Monday
Carrollton School Fire

In Week 32 of Mom's diary - 75 years ago - she mentioned the fact that the Carrrollton school had caught fire and burned to the ground - about 15 miles north of where they lived.

Following are two stories from the Coon Rapids Enterprise, that appeared in the 11 and 18 Aug 2011 editions, respectively:

75 Years Ago
August 14, 1936
The consolidated school building at Carrollton was completely destroyed by fire last Saturday evening. Although the origin of the fire is not known, it is believed to have started from spontaneous combustion in the coal bin which was stored about five tons of coal. Eldin Annear and family and the Possehn family, retuning home from Coon Rapids at 11:30 first discovered the blaze through the window on the northwest corner of the building.
Fire departments from Coon Rapids and Glidden were called immediately and made quick response but the blaze had gained too much headway for anything to be saved. The frame building was a mass of flames and the fire fighters had to turn their attention to extinguish the flames in the dry grass of the school yard.
Ralph and Oscar Lloyd brought Thomas Hessler’s tractor and plow to the stubble field west of the schoolhouse and plowed a wide strip to stop the spread of the flames. Verne Carter and others made attempts to enter the building but the dense smoke made it impossible. Several men remained at the school yard the remainder of the night to watch that no spark would spread the fire. The chimney remained standing until after the fire had died down, but it collapsed about 4 a.m.
The building consisted of two basement rooms, four school rooms and four halls and housed ten grades which required four teachers every year. Harvey Toft is superintendent. Miss Ellen Fouts, who taught there last year will be back, and two new instructors have been employed.
Verne Carter is president of the school board, Donald Anderson is secretary and Frank Squires treasurer. Other board members are Charles Bowman, Thomas Hessler, Ed Davis and Abe Conner.

75 Years Ago
August 21, 1936
Members of the Carrollton school board met here Tuesday evening with the Coon Rapids
school board and accepted the offer of the later to take Carrollton students here without charge until suitable school arrangements can be made at the former county seat where the school building was destroyed by fire on the night of August 8. Carrollton has a school of ten grades and it was decided to send the five higher grades here by bus while quarter for the five lower grades will be provided space at the United Brethren church at Carrollton.
The Carrollton school board plans to hold an election in the four school districts comprising the consolidated district to vote on the question of erecting a new building at Carrollton. With the insurance money from the destroyed building and an additional fund of several thousand dollars on hand the Carrollton board has sufficient funds to erect an excellent building. A government grant is also being discussed. The loss in the recent fire was total including all school records which causes an embarrassing situation in regard to school credit of pupils. The school faculty is not to blame in this matter as the school had no fireproof vault.
The Coon Rapids school is also without a vault for valuable records, a situation which is now having serious consideration.

Families are Forever!  ;-)


  1. Thank you for sharing...I have been posting my mother's journal too. I find myself using google a lot to get info on things I do not know about...I see there is so many ways we can share portions of a journal...After I complete the transcription, I think I might start adding actual pictures, articles, commentary, etc of what she wrote. I like the way you stated what was in your mom's journal and then you included the historical information....I really think it is the best way to do it...Thank you Thank you!!!

  2. Thank you for your comments. Yes, it does require some planning as to how you want to handle the presentation of a diary or a journal. I feel that adding the additional research is well worth the extra effort involved... and it is fun! ;-)