Totem Pole Tales- A History of the Millersburg School System
Submitted by Nute Chapman
From Onaway Outlook February 28, 2014

Caption #1: Millersburg One Room School 1898.  Burned in 1911.
width="600" Caption #2: Millersburg High School 1908. Grades one to 11. Five teachers taught all 11 grades.
width="600" The early settlers of Millersburg were not long in realizing that the community had educational needs to be met. R.P. Holihan took the lead in urging that a school be provided for the children.
In the spring of 1898, he called a meeting to organize School District No. 6. The newly elected school board hired two carpenters, William Steele and William Cummings, to build a small, one room school on the hill overlooking the river. No time was lost.
Using materials from local lumber and shingle mills the carpenters had the building, ready for occupancy in May, complete with homemade benches and tables.
The board-hired Miss Martha Bertram of Rogers City for a term of two months, May and June. Education was on its way.
As there was no time to order books; they used what they had at home. Six children sat at each table.
In spite of the crudeness of the seats, space, and books, the students were happy and interested in their lessons.
Youngsters attending this first term of school were Cassius and Donald Minier; Lucy, Mabel and Lewis Steele; Harold, Glen and Blanche Holihan; Lee Fuller; Ida Hamilton; Seraphine, Helen, Lilly, Lula and Leo LeBlanc, Katty Belle Pepper; Maggie Bigelow; and Philo and Minnie Trask.
The little schoolhouse soon overflowed. In July the board ordered that a larger, one room building be erected on a better site.
Mrs. Ida Hayes taught one month in the fall of 1898 and left abruptly. Margaret McMullen finished out the term for her.
The board then hired Mr. Judson Selleck as the teacher. as people moved into the community the number of students increased; 125 were enrolled. In October Mr. Selleck asked Lucy Steele, age 16, to take the teachers' examination at Rogers City and to assist him by taking over the teaching of the first three grades.
One of the cloakrooms was used for recitations for the younger pupils. Attendance was sporadic during the winter months and Rev. Haines circulated a petition to continue the school term through the month of June.
To support this extension he collected one dollar from each family.
Continued next week.
--Onaway Outlook February 28, 2014 pg. 3. Retyped by J. Anderson.

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