Submitted by Nute Chapman
Written by Mary (Ennes) Lyon
From Onaway Outlook December 6, 2013
CAPTION: Students at the Mitchell School. Back from left, unknown, Virgil Badder, John Bishop, Elaine Barnby,
Eunice Barnby, Miss Musselman, Winifred Baily, Lilly DuBois, Dorothy DuBois and Marie Wilkinson. Second from left,
unknown, June Madison, unknown, Shirley McNeil, unknown, Wilma Madison, Evelyn Barnby, Eugene Badder and Virgil Steward.
Front from left, Eleanor Barnby, Frank Barnby, Lawrence Bishop and unknown. We do not know the names of the black
children, but we have them listed as staying with the Evans family.
On June 17, 1884 the board of school inspectors of the Township of Ellis in Cheboygan County formed a school district in said township to be known as District No. 4. It included 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 16, 17 and 18. This was the beginning of Mitchell School.
The first meeting for the school district was held at the home of John McPherson June 26, 1884 at 10 a.m. Cyrus Gregg was elected chairman of that first meeting, Daniel Welch was elected moderator and John McPherson was elected director.
The schoolhouse site was selected on the NE corner of NW 1/2 of section 8, T34N, 1E, 13 rods square. The director was instructed to negotiate for purchase or lease of the same.
The Mitchell School became a part of Forest Township and was listed as District 2 in records of 1887. Between the years of 1884 and 1887, settlers moved in for the lumbering industries.
The first schoolhouse was a small log building built in 1884 on the present site, NE corner NW 1/2, Section 8. The district was bonded for $300 to build and furnish the schoolhouse.
In 1887 the district became No. 2 Forest. The next schoolhouse was build in 1900-1901 at the cost of $470. It was a neat and attractive frame building. This school continued to be used until it burned in the fall of 1928.
School was then held in the home of Dell Sabin for the remainder of the term. During the next few years, children from the district were transported to the school in Tower.
In 1934 a school building from Maple Grove Township was moved to the Mitchell School site and it was again used until 1941 when the remaining country schools were closed in the township. Children through grades six were transported to Tower and higher grades attended Onaway Public Schools.
Harriet (Wheelock) Lyon recalls the improvised hot lunches she and the children had during the term she taught in 1938-40. They turned out some tasty and hearty hot lunches with vegetables and food brought from home and cooked on the heating stove.
The school building finally was purchased by Glen Willey, moved and remodeled into the home in which he resided on the southeast corner of Brady Road and M-33 and 68. At the present time (1989), the home of Mr. and Mrs. Dennis Willey now stands on what once was the original Mitchell School property along the south side of the highway two miles west of Tower.
By Mary (Ennes)Lyon
--Onaway Outlook December 6, 2013 pg. 3. Retyped by J. Anderson.