Independence School

About 1925


Independence School - District #27 - was located about six miles west of Wray. The first school was held in the W.A. Sisson claim shanty, in 1888. The district was formed in that year, but the building was not built until 1889. It was a well-constructed frame building, and kept in good repair, until it was sold to Bill Becker in 1954-1955 (after the district was consolidated with Wray). He moved it to Eckley, selling it to Charles Voiles, and it was made into a garage.

Sisson's 1898 homestead was in the northeast section of 1N45W, and the 1922 atlas has a school a half-mile east, in the northwest section of 1N44W.

Teachers were:

1888-1889 - C.C. Chadwick
1889-1890 - Mamie O'Donhel
1890-1892 - Louise Zapp
1893 - Maude Dakan (Hendrie) (Terms for 2 or 3 months in the early years)
1893-1894 - Art Ridgeway
1894-1895 - Viola Coston
1895-1896 - Sarah Speirs (Cruse)
1896-1897 - Mary Speirs (Sisson)
1897- - Edna Sisson (Dow)
1897-1898 - Bertha Sisson
1898-1899 - Estelle Sisson
1899-1902 - Sadie McKee
1902-1903 - Mary I Cowan
1903-1904 - Mary Chapin (LaShelle)
1904-1905 - Emma Sparling
1905-1906 - Betty Lepper (Wells)
1906-1907 - Sarah Sleeper
1907-1908 - Elizabeth Cox (Corwin)
1908-1909 - Mary Ware (Newell)

Pupils of Estelle Sisson 1898-1899
Fred Hitchcock
Charles Hitchcock
Frank Hitchcock
James HItchcock
Olive Rightsell
Lela McGinnis
Lottie Hitchcock
Victorine Glick
Katie Hitchcock
Willie Emanuel
Iva McGinnis
Hartley Glick
Henry Price

Pupils of Sadie McKee 1901-1902
James Hitchcock
Lottie Hitchcock
Katie Hitchcock Jamie Hendrie
Victorine Glick
Hartley Glick
Henry Price
Ray Sechrist
Cecil Hitchcok
Shell Hitchcock
Lila Sisson
Loyd Sechrist

Pupils of Emma Sparling 1904-1905

Victorine Glick
Katie Hitchcock
Zella De Armond
Ray Sechrist
Loyd Sechrist
Lola De Armand (sic)
Shell Hitchcock
Lila Sisson
Frank Garten
Earl Garten
Roy Sisson

Pupils of Betty Lepper Wells 1905-1906 Jamie Hendrie
Dorothy Hendrie
Lila Sisson
Earl Sisson
Loyd Sechrist
Victorine Glock
Shell Hitchcock
Kate Hitchcock
Cecil Hitchcock
Ray Sechrist

Pupils of Elizabeth Cox Corwin 1906-1907 the same as above plus:
Ed Turman
Fred Turman
Austine Turman
Flossie Turman

The Independence school served as a community center. Literary Society met there for many years. Sunday School was also held there, and every two weeks a minister from Wray held a church service.

There was a wonderful library of over two hundred books, to serve the pupils of the school and the people of the community. This library had its beginning when Mary I. Cowan was teaching there. The money was raised by box suppers and pie socials.
One never-to-be-forgotten incident at Independence - a new shipment of library books had arrived, and many of the books had been taken home by the Henry Hitchcock family. Meanwhile the Hitchcocks contracted smallpox, so all of the new books at their home had to be burned. This was a real disappointment to all of the pupils and parents, and a real setback for the library.

Photograph contributed by Arlene Glenn and the Yuma Museum. School building history from a 1959 writing by Lila Sisson Bettex of Wray.

Return to Yuma County Data