Garrard School No. 3813

Garrard School taken in 1940. Located 4 miles north and 12 miles east of town, from 1920 to 1938. It was moved 1 miIe west and 2 1/3 miles south of the original site and was open in 1940 to 1942. It is now the Public Library in Champion.

Garrard School was built by Jens Sokvitne on the homestead of Art Garrard on SE 6-16-21-W4. The school was named after him and his mother. They were often seen traveling together in a top-buggy. It was established on April 24, 1919. The school was located between three centers so the directions from Champion – East on Highway 529 for 12 miles, turn north on Highway 842 for 4 miles, turn east on Township Road 160 (Coalmine Road) for 1/2 mile; from Lomond – West 11 miles on Highway 531, turn south on Highway 842 for 3 miles, turn east on Township Rd 160 (Coalmine Road) for 1/2 mile; from Vulcan – East on Highway 534 for 16 miles, follow curve South on Highway 842 for 6 miles, turn East on Township Road 160 for 1/2 mile. Latitude 50.31022, Longitude -112.87874

The following teachers staffed the school.

  • Mr. Ewur, who boarded at J. Chapman’s and G. Jordan’s.
  • Mary Robertson, who boarded at G. Jordan’s.
  • Happy Greenlee, who lived in the district.
  • Mary Maronda, who boarded at G. Jordan’s.
  • Grace Hardwick, who boarded at G. Jordan’s.
  • Lillian Sattington, who boarded at G. Jordan’s.
  • Sarah Fleming, who boarded at G. Jordan’s.
  • Betty Hay, who boarded at G. Jordan’s.
  • Russel Collier, who boarded at J. Chapman’s.
  • Walburg Ullsten, who boarded at Horn’s.
  • Don Patterson, who boarded at G. Jordan’s.
  • Ron Gilbert, who boarded at G. Jordan’s.
  • Marie (Granlin) Matlock.
  • Bernard Jordan.

Students from grade one to grade eleven attended.

Teacher, Don Patterson drove his motorcycle, complete with sidecar, to teach at Garrard School. He arrived with a scrape here and there, from a mishap en route. (There were “several” hills, curves, and ruts on the road.) He would give some of his students a ride home in the sidecar, providing they took turns. This worked for awhile, but eventually there were arguments about whose turn it was. This resulted in the students being left to walk as Mr. Patterson rode off.

Ken Jordan recalls the walks home from Garrard with the Schauermann kids. They usually stopped just over the hill from the farm, sat on their “ten pound” lunch pails, and went over the day’s happenings.

In 1938 or 1939, Garrard and Sanderson schools were joined and the Garrard school was moved one mile west and two and three-quarter miles south of the original site to SW 19-15-21-W4. The land was purchased from Vaages. The school was reopened in the fall of 1940, when Marie Matlock was the teacher. The school closed again in 1942, and the students went to Harmony. About 1949, Garrard was moved onto the Champion school grounds where it served first as a home economics room and then as an extra classroom.

The Champion library had outgrown its space in the vacant teacherage from Harmony School. They looked for a larger site. The Garrard School was promised in return for the clearing up of the disused Harmony School and one can imagine the clearing and sorting of books and papers, destroying of chemicals by Mr. and Mrs. Carlson and Mrs. Little long ago in 1953. In 1954, the stucco building was moved to its present site. By 1956, it was ready to open as the Champion Public Library, housing 2181 books. From 1977-79, it served as the classroom for the Early Childhood Services program.

Some of the students over the years were: the seven children of George and Charlotte Jordan – Caryl, Viola, Evertt, Jimmy, Ethel, Carman and Bernard (they attended both Harmony and Garrard schools); the six children of Jimmy and Alice Jordan – Kenneth, Vernon, Keith, Melvin, Charlotte, Ronnie (they attended Garrard, Sanderson, Harmony, Champion and Vulcan). Jean, Vera, Bernice and Gordon Chapman attended Garrard and Prospect Slope.

Champion Municipal Library - 2004

Some other family names were: Becker, Bowie, Closs, Ebbert, Horn, Marshman, Munton, Pleasant, Pritchard, Schauermann, Siler, Smith, Stout, Ulfsten and Vaage.

More information about Garrard School may be found in “Cleverville Champion 1905 to 1970” and  “Champion and District School Reunion 1906-1961,” at the Vulcan and District Archives and from school directories (maps and driving directions) which are available at the Village of Champion Office, the Champion Pioneer Club and the Vulcan & District Museum.

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