FRUITLAND SCHOOL By: Charles Baker, Principal
Fruitland District 113, Marion County, was founded February 18, 1889 during the office of D. W. Yoder, County Superintendent of schools. The meeting for organization was held at the old Slocum place presently the residence of the Leo Newell family. It seems fitting that the organizational meeting place is today the home of the first school. It has been moved there and serves as a chicken house and general storage.
The school has had. four main physical revolutions, the first being its original construction in 1889. This job was undertaken by Mr. Jake Hockett and his son Luke. In 1906 the district was changed, part of it going into the newly organized Bethel District, The next major change came in 1936 when the old building became a hen house and a new one was erected in its place. This building is still a part of Fruitland but was enlarged by the addition of two modern classroom units in 1953.
Along with other schools Fruitland has had its growing aches and pains. The k membership in 1889 was about twenty-four By 1925 the enrollment had jumped to forty-six. The next decade saw a decline to less than thirty this number remainin f girly constant through the 1930’s.
Today’s school population has risen to sixty-five. A few people educated at Fruitland and still living in the community are Mr Gerig attending in 1890, Mr. Ernest Gerig Class of 1930, and Mrs. Norman Gydé send – Class of 1931. Some of the boys and girls attending today are going to school as their grandparents. Fruitland, along with other schools, has gone through the stage from boarding teacher to commuting teacher. Of course the salary has also jumped considerably since the first custodian-teacher-principal drew down his first month’s.
Some of the teaching personnel over the years have been Mr. Frank Mills who was the original teacher in 1889, Mrs. Jane Moser who taught at the turn of the cen fury, Mrs. Nellie Hammer teaching during the mid-twenties, and Mrs. Remoh Sch. a former Fruitland student herself, teaching for a number of years through the 192 More recently Mrs. Mary Ellen South has been doing an excellent teaching job and i finishing her eighth year in the primary grades this year In any study of a school’s history it becomes readily apparent that much commu ity spirit, hard work, and good will have been woven into the past. These things we ing within the community add up to good citizens being turned out by the school If 1 It is impossible to pay tribute to everyone connected with the school through the l years and many deserving people will be neglected Special thanks are extended to Mrs. Emma Runner and Mr. Val Gerik, resider since the founding, for their help.