Submitted by Nute Chapman
From Onaway Outlook April 27, 2012
The Draper School
Caption: Draper School students, in 1927-1928, include, back row left to right, Frank Higgins, Tom Van Zant, David Bowen,
Lorance Morgan, teacher Flossie(Gray)Faircloth, Eleanor Van Zant, and Irene Weeks Hunt. front row left to right, Jack Morris,
Harry Higgens, Joe Van Zant, Manley Walters, Stella Bowen, ? Morris, Reba Bowen, ? Morris.
As we begin our first school article and picture for the news, keep in mind that we have a collection of solid history.
We have letters from former teachers, stories from memories, stories from papers and pictures to choose from. We have pictures to go with most articles, and if there is room we may use two pictures. Many people have and still are contributing to the school history.
Our first school will be the Draper School District No. 3 School. This school was known as the Draper School because it was located near the residence of Daniel W. Draper, one of the first settlers. This school was built in June of 1892 in Section 12, town 34N,RIE on the State Road, just west of the Presque Isle County line in Cheboygan County.
In 1901 it was moved one-quarter mile west, near the Earl McGregor residence.
The Draper School District No. 3 had its own school board and carried on its own business through 1895.
In 1896, it became a part of the Forest Township Union School District. The Draper School was affectionately known as the Chalkbox, because it was small in size. (16 feet-by-24 feet).
During the years of 1916 and 1917 the school was closed and it reopened again in 1918. It remained open until 1941 when the students went to the Tower and Onaway Schools.
There were 13 children in the first school census. The first teacher was Delia Doolittle. Other teachers were Ruth Auger, Elizabeth Nowland, Azele (Eichorn)Graves, Flossie(Gray)Faircloth, and Anaabell Meyers. Some of the students were the Bowens, Beaudways, Gillmettes, Higgins, LaForests, Lagos, McFalls, Minsers, Morgans, Shermans, Van Zants, Walters, and Weeks.
Tom Van Zant was the janitor in his seventh and eighth-grade and was paid $6 a month.
This school was sold to Bruce Dunbar and moved to the Dunbar farm on Freeman Road. Charlie LaBelle and his team of black horses moved the school onto the road and a county grader hauled the school to the Freeman Road.
Charlie then hooked his team to the school again, and moved it to a cement pad where it was used as a storage building until 1959 when it burned.
The water pump at this school was still used in the late 60s by us kids who walked to Tower to fish, or to go swimming.
Others were walking to the free movies in Tower. It disappeared when the antique dealers were paying a good price for pumps. The front steps were there until a new house was built on the school site.
-Onaway Outlook, April 27, 2012, p.3. Retyped by J. Anderson.