Pleasant Valley Grade School

District #14 was organized in 1888, and a frame structure was used as a school - about 10 x 14 feet big.  It was moved to be convenient for teachers and students - once across the road from the Monk house when Anna Monk taught, and across from the Ford house when Rilla Ford taught.

In 1901 it was called the McNichols district, still # 14, and Miss Minnie Dorman was the teacher. Winnie Dorman was teacheing the Barbazat , district No. 17.

September 2, 1910 "Miss Edna Petrie will teach District 14. Now what do you think of that Wesley?" (probably Edna' stepfather, Frank Wesley Barnes, who had taught ten years earlier in the Hollingshead district near Waverly.)

In 1912 a schoolhouse - called Hilltop - was built in the east end of the district   It cost $256 in materials from the Klein Lumber Company and $74 for labor.

Elsie Wheeler, who became eligible to apply for a teachers certificate in December 1922 (turning 18 years old), had grown up in Vernon, was engaged to Max Ross.  Her daughter Lois ROSS Blacker, wrote in a family history ""On January 1, 1923, she was given a school, Pleasant Valley, located about twenty-five miles north of Yuma.  Max, Ila Downing (a friend) and Ila's boyfriend Ted Yount, took her there on the first Sunday in January to begin her duties.  She boarded with the Alva Ford family.  Pleasant Valley was a one-room school with all eight grades.  Elsie wrote Max about the difficulty of hearing all the classes recite in the five and one-half hours of a school day.  She also mentioned the challenge of disciplining students who were bigger than she was.  Max drove up to see her, taking her home every other weekend.  He spent Sundays with her on the in-between weekends.

May 10, 1923

It was built in 1917 at a cost of $449 for material from Hoch Lumber, and $230 labor,.

September 8, 1921 "E.B. Blackburn came down from Denver Friday. He will teach at the Pleasant Valley school this winter. Mrs. Blackburn and children will be here in a few days. They will occupy a portion of the house of Andy Anderson. The many friends of Mr. and Mrs. Blackburn will be glad to welcom them back.

Thanks to the generosity of Lois ROSS Blacker, whose mother Elsie Wheeler taught, the above are tentatively:

TOP ROW - Ella Johnston (Kipp),  ??? , Jennie Johnston ,- or maybe Zella Spelts,  Zella Monk (Piper)

MIDDLE - Elva Ford, Bert Monk, Ernest Spelts, Ocie Moran,

FRONT - John Johnston, Zella Spelts, Phoebe Monk (Josh), Robert Ford -or maybe Floyd Ford

June 7, 1973

In October 1923 Cora Bowen of Eckley was teaching at the Hill Top building, and E.E. Ewingof Yuma at the Pleasant Valley building. The district had two buildings, four miles apart on the same road (now numbered 53.)

April 17, 1924 "Our teacher, E.E. Ewing, took the teachers' examinations last Thursday and Friday.

October 15, 1925

May 6, 1926

August 5, 1926 Forrest Draper was to teach Hill Top, and Viola McFarland to teach Pleasant Valley.

April 26, 1928

April 18, 1929 "In Miss Johnston's Hilltop school two pupils passed the eighth grade examinations, Ruby Northcut and Melvin Brady." (This was Ella Johnston, daughter of William Johnston. Ella married Frank Kipp and spent her whole life in Pleasant Valley. mdm)

"The pupils in Pleasant Valley school, with Miss Railsback as teacher, who passed the seventh grade examinations were Beulah Monk, John Johnston and Leroy Spelts."

July 11, 1929 "Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Bowen and daughters motored to Wray Sunday morning to meet the lady's sisters Misses Alta and Edna May from Kentucky. Miss Edna will teach Hill Top school this coming term."

December 8, 1932 "Frances Cleavenger, teacher at Hill Top school, spent the week-end with home folks."

May 4, 1933 "Miss Mona Lindsey closed a very successful school term at the Pleasant Valley school April 26 with a picnic dinner for the scholars.

"The school meeting was held at the Pleasant Valley school with very little business to transact. Alva Ford was re-elected treasurer."

April 26, 1934 "Miss Edith New closed a very successful term of school at Pleasant Valley last Friday with a picnic dinner and weiner roast."

June 1934 "A contract was signed by K.C. Hinde of Haxtun to teach Pleasant Valley school for the coming term."
August 30, 1934 Mr. and Mrs. K.C. Hinde and sons are moving this week to the farm which Otis Skeels farmed this summer. Mr. Skeels will move to the place farmed by Mr. Hinde. Mr. Hinde will teach the Pleasant Valley School this term."
September 10, 1936
Hill Top was the other school in District 14 - about five miles east.
September 15, 1938

April 25, 1940
The Pleasant Valley school was often called the Ford school, because it was near the Alva Ford house, and a mile from the "U.B." church.

May 22, 1941

1941 "Mrs. William Meier and daughters and Mrs. M.C. Rogers and sons cleaned the Pleasant Valley school house last Wednesday. Miss Olga Hollars, of Greeley, teaches at the Pleasant Hill school and Mrs. Stuck, of Yuma, teaches at Pleasant Valley.

September 17, 1942 "Pleasant Valley school opened last Monday with Mrs. Floyd Neuschwanger as teacher and eleven pupils enrolled. Joyce Korf and Mary Strickland are new pupils and beginners are Dorothy Allen, Shirley Salvador, adn Joy Strickland."

February 22, 1945 "Miss Bessie Conway of Wray stayed overnight with Mrs. Nelson a the Pleasnt Valley school house."
Because of gasoline rationing, rural school teachers lived at or near their schools.

March 3, 1955 "Mrs. Mellberg, Pleasant Valley school teacher, stayed Monday night with the Bert Monks because the roads were so bad."

Alice J. (Green) Manning's obituary, born August 7, 1903 "Alice taught in various school in the Yuma area, including the Korf School and Pleasant Valley School for ten years."

This building was moved a mile and a half east sometime in 1953-1954, when the two small schools in District 14 merged.  Dennie Salvador said "I remember riding my bicycle up that mile, and the teacher was a lady from Haxtun."

We're certain that Jennie Monk's father Olof Oman supervised the moving.  He had big beams, big dollies, and big jacks.  Men would dig trenches under the building to slide the beams under it, then use jacks to gradually lift the beams sufficiently to slide the dollies under.  Then they'd lower the jacks, hook up a tractor, and go down the road.  The process was reversed at the new location. 

With the Pleasant Valley school's new location, there was a windmill, well, and water cistern.  So this school had a hand-pump and WATER FOR THE SCHOOLROOM.  We could wash our hands and have cool water to drink !

September 4, 1952 "The school bell rang again at Pleasant Valley school Monday with Mrs. Pearl Osborn of Wray as teacher."

June 7, 1969
In 1960 the building was moved to Yuma, where Bud's Swap Shop used it for storage on east 2nd Avenue.  Later it was moved two miles west to the Golden Pheasant location on the north side of Highway 34.

Photograph contributed by Lois ROSS Blacker

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