Wray Public Schools
Wray Rattler June 3, 1899




     On the 25th day of the present month the Wray school will have been thirteen years old, for upon that day, May 25, 1886, County Superintendent J.B. Cooke of Weld county declared our present district organized and ennumbered it the Sixty-first district of Weld county, Colo.  Persuant (sic) to notices legally posted some weeks before, the citizens of the proposed new district met at Newel's hotel, in the town of Wray, for the purpose of organizing a new district with boundaries as follows:  Beginning at the Nebraska line; extending to the middle of range 45 west, and from the Arapahoe county line north, to the north line of township 2, north.  At this meeting Mr. Wm. R. Hays was chosen chairman and Mr. W. Curtiss Secretary. After this temporary organization a vote was taken whether or not proposed new district should be organized.  The ballot box remained open from 1 till 4 p.m.,; ten votes were cast for the organization and none against it.  At the regular time, the first Monday in May, a school board was elected with S.C. Mc Clusky president, Wm. Curtiss secretary, and W. J. Newel treasurer.  A permanent organization now being effected, and it was not many months until a structure was erected, although its Corinthian columns and Roman arches were conspicuous for their absence, it has an arcitecture peculiar to early Colorado school house; but its career as a school house was short, for owing to the rapid growth of our little burg, after three years it was sold to the town authorities and has since been used as a city hall.  And now instead of the school teachers, can be heard the basso voice of Mayor Grigsby as he raps the city council to order.  This dignified body of city dads shares its occupancy of Wray's pioneer school house with the infant class of the Union Sunday school.  (The lions and the lambs shall lie down together.)

Miss Josie Templeton was Wray's pioneer teacher and she was followed by Miss Viva Galiland Miss May Hays (sic).  Louisa Melvina E. Zepp was next to make life a burden for the rising generation and following her came Miss Maymie Hendrie;the last person to teach in the city hall.

Our present school house was built in 1889.  It is a four-story structure - including the coal cellar and belfry.  The coal cellar has always had its horrors to the heedless youngster, who for some misdeed is forced to do time in the dark and loathsome depths, waiting until it is the Professor's pleas (sic( to administer to him teh hot end of a broom stick or a buggy whip.  The belfry had always loaned dignity to the school house until it was dislodged this spring by a Colorado zephyr; but now has the appearance of a dehorned muley cow.  Only the two apartments down stairs were occupied for school the first three years; the room upstairs being used for several purposes.  Here the frisky Masonic and Maccabee goats munched their weekly allowance of rattle-snakes and onions, waiting for some victim to try his hand at "broncho-busting."  Here it was that the village belles and country maidens of the earlier days chewed gum and tripped the light fantastic (sic(; while amatuers  (sic) Jefferon and Booth shone like the Pleades.  It served as a dance hall, a lodge room, a church, and an opera house.

Mr. T. M. Robinson was the first principal the school, and his proficiency and the patrons' satisfaction are shown by the fact of his being retained her (sic) three successive years.  He was ably assisted by Mrs. Rosa Howard and Miss Lottie Ridgway.  Following Mr. Robinson came Mr. C. E. Ware, our present county superintendent, who taught almost three years, O. A. Burbank finishing his last term when he was called upon to enter the campaign for his present position.  Since then he has served two terms as county superintendent.  It was during Mr. Ware's second year as principal taht the school as divided into three departments.  The next principal was O.S. Hammock, who taught but one term.  About the middle of his school year, Mr. Hammock succumbed to the evils of one of Wray's most estimable young ladies, and immediately organized a school of one of most estimable young ladies, and immediately organized a school of one pupil (sic).  After Mr. Hammock came Mr. S. S. Dow, our present teacher and it was during his first term that the school was graded,; the highest grade being the ninth.

In the past two years the social side of our school has not been neglected.  Last year an organization known as the "Self Culture Club" besides giving several public entertainments also purchased an organ.  This year the Platonians were given a reception by the Delphians, they reciprocating the same later on.

Miss Ora Elliott who has always been the standard bearer of the ninth grade ironically calls the tehth (sic) grade the intellectual stars of the school, besides insinuating that we were the "petted darlings" of the professor.   But we ask our ninth grade school mates, for whom we now can justly have a paternal feeling, to review our struggle with that honoren (sic) personage and then feel conscience-stricken for their false insinuations.

Out of the eighteen pupils who were in the ninth grade during Mr. Dow's first year only seven passed into the tenth, and it was after our advent into the tenth grade that the trouble began.  We were taught algebra by compulsion and given a daily lecture on its efficiency and our deficiency.  The bi-weekly orations and the weekly essays of our wosk (sic) have been things of beauty, and we hope they will cause joy for ever.  We, however, feel that the work it has been our priveledge (sic) to obtain while pupils of the Wray school has proven profitable, and we know it has been pleasant.  We appreciate the efforts made on our behalf by our honorable board of education and our worthy patrons, and thank them cordially, hoping that we may be all that is expected of us.  We are sorry that so few of the number of those who would have been in  the class, and pirvledged (sic) to graduate tonight.  But the class is proud that they are represented in the far off Phillipines by by (sic) one who had he remained in school would have stood before you tonight.  What ever may be his lot Alfered Remington has the best wishes of the class of '99.  Others of our class mates are hold (sic) responsible business positions; some are married aned some would like to be; but a great majority are old-maid school teachers, who, during the past winter, could have been seen leaving town at all hours of the morning and in all kinds of conveyances.

But to return to the class.  Where will we all be twenty years from now?  If you should happen to stroll down No. 307 South street, London, you will come to a large stone building with the following sign: "Matramonial (sic) Institution.  Special training for Young Men in the Art of Becoming Charming.  How to Charm the Ladies and Make Others Wild with Envy.  Rates Reasonable.  Time, Two to Six Weeks.  oral E. Willis.



Return to Yuma County Data