Breese Historical Society

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  E11 - School House

In 1853, a school house was built in Section 32 by District #3; this one room school acquired the name Linden Grove after Henry Renschen planted a fine grove of linden trees. Later this original structure was moved to Breese and used as the town hall until 1885 when the village hall was built.

A Mr. Lemming taught there until the early 1890's when Mr. Anton Endres, a widower with three small children, was employed.

Unfortunately in the early summer of 1915, as Endres was selling Stark Bros. trees, he was caught in high water in the Bartelso bottoms, although he only had one leg, he swam about a mile before he was able to cling to an obstruction in the chilly water. The next day his calls were heard and he was taken to the Aviston Hospital where he died of pneumonia three days later.

Joseph F. Kiefer of Dahlgren replaced Teacher Endres in 1915 and was welcomed by 48 students. Linden Grove was among the first in the County to meet the state rules concerning heating, ventilation, lighting, water supply, toilets and fire safety.

The long day (9:00-4:00) always started and ended with physical education; a brisk walk of a mile or two or possibly three.

However, during the day the "Big Boys" gladly volunteered to put more coal on the fire, fill the water bucket, lay the wooden sidewalks to the outhouse or just about anything in order to move out of their desks.

Until 1915, all subjects were taught in German which was the only language spoken in the home. But Teacher Kiefer slowly but surely taught all subjects in English. This change was a difficult one for the parents more so than the students. Teacher Kiefer resigned in 1933 and Father Lohman recommended Albin Schrage of St. Rose to replace him. Schrage held that position until 1943 when Victor Henrichs took over until the school closed in 1953.

Today the memories remain and the pride in that humble neighborhood school still fills the hearts and minds of all who attended this outstanding past of rural America.


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