In September 1940 Ernest Freese went to Wagner School to teach children in grades 1 to 8. Wagner was a one room school house and his enrollment ranged from 45 to 55 students. (Can you imagine what a teacher today would say to having that many students?) This was during WWII and there was rationing of about everything from gas, sugar, butter, to even shoes. The school was on the South side of the road up from where our 4-H Fairgrounds is now located. The Berry family had their farm just across the road and on further up the road lived the Lorrie Carmichael family. (Lorrie ran a fish stand in town that sold the best fish sandwiches you ever ate.)
I was just 4 1/2 years old when my dad began teaching out there but I remember a lot that went on. I recall ice cream socials, pie socials and one year they had a Christmas play as I recall. In those days, the school house was a meeting place for all the parents and the teacher and a lot of activity took place there.
My dad taught for three years at Wagner (1940-41, 1941-42, 1942-43). One thing my dad told me was that the older children helped him an awful lot with the younger ones. I don't know all of their names but Jeannie Carmichael was one I do remember. She was a seventh grader when my dad began at Wagner.
There is more to this story but I need to talk to my dad a little more before I add it. He mentioned something about the School Superintendent, who was Mr. Dinkins "firing all the township teachers" at the end of one year. Maybe I can learn more about this tomorrow and I will post more. I think he said it had something to do with the closing of Wagner. From Wagner, he went to East Columbus and he taught there for 29 years. Babs
Okay I can clarify this a little better. At the end of the school year (1942-43), Mr. Chester Dinkins, who was the Township Superintendent of Schools "fired" all his current teachers. My dad and Mr. Howard Henderson were approached by the City Superintendent who was Mr. Luther Lockwood and offered jobs at East Columbus School for the following year. Where Mr. Henderson taught until he died and my dad taught for the next 29 years.
This across the board firing of all the teachers had something to do with the fact the township schools would now be under the city; I am not quite clear on this portion of the story and sometimes a 92 year old gets confused with his memories.
My dad said he thought the Wagner School was closed either in 1948 or 1949. It did eventually become a church but I am not sure what it is used for today.
Babs........I have a list of graduates for the Columbus Township Eight Grade Pupils for the year 1951. It shows the Wagner School with the following graduates to be promoted to Central High School in Columbus:
Sharlene Kay Byrd/William Earl Paris John Lee Crouch/Larry William Peek Harry Ray Keller/Lindsey Carroll Simpson Billy Franklin Minor/Alice Mae Sullivan
To RER: My mistake, as I said a 92 year old's memory is not completely to be taken "for gospel". My dad was stating what he thought but I am sure once he went to East Columbus to teach he was not as aware of what went on at Wagner as he would've been had he still taught there.
Does anyone know when the last class graduated from Wagner?