Second New Schoolhouse

Detailed Instructions for Construction

October 19, 1889
An Election was held for the proposition of building a new frame School House not to exceed Four Hundred Dollars in cost; and near the center of the District. There were nine votes cast for it and no votes cast in opposition. On the same day the board considered to lease from Wm. A. Elam 1/4 acre of the Northwest corner of Section 29 in Town 10, Range 6 of the 3rd. P.M. in Shelby County for $12.50 for as long as it was used for a School House site.

The board also proceeded to determine upon the dimensions and specifications of the new School House to be built upon the said piece of land as follows to wit. The dimensions of the house shall be Twenty-four feet by Thirty feet and the square of the Building shall be Twelve feet high from the foundation and the roof shall have three fourths 3/4 pitch and project over the outer wall of the building 12 inches all around, and the house shall be built pursuant to the following specifications to wit.

The foundation shall be made of good smooth hard brick laid in good mortar made of lime and sand and shall be a solid wall all around under the sills of the building except openings for proper ventilation. Said openings to be proper screened with metal screens to prevent the ingress of animals. The said brick wall shall be 8 inches thick and three feet high from the bottom and at least one half of said wall be underground.

The foundation timbers shall consist of six sills to be of good sound white oak timber eight inches square, three of them lengthwise of the building, one on each side and one in the center. The one in the center to have a good, solid brick pillar built under the middle and one each side midway between the center pillar and the outer walls and three of them crosswise of the building two laid on the brick wall and one in the center and both of the center sills to be dove tailed into the outside sills and securely fastened so as to prevent the outer sills from springing or giving outward. The lower joist shall be two by eight inches of good white oak timber and shall be placed not farther than sixteen inches apart.

The lower floor shall be made of well seasoned Southern clear hard pine lumber. There shall be a rostrum or raise of eight inches of the lower floor clear across the end of the house opposite the door and to extend six feet from the innerwall. The steads to be either pine or oak two by four inches and placed in mortices in the sills sixteen inches apart, the innerwall must be lined throughout with inch lumber with strips of timber either lathe or something similar nailed on over the lining opposite each stead and lathed over.

That there shall be nosing put on all around on the inside on the front and sides it shall be put four feet from the floor. Across the back end it shall be put only two and one half feet from the floor, there shall be three coats of plastering put on above the noseing, the last coat hard finish and two coats put on below the noseing and wainscoating put on over the plastering with moulding put on under the noseing and over the wainscoating and the quarter round clear around the wall at the floor.

The upper joist shall be of either pine or oak two by eight inches and shall be the same distance apart as the steading and the room shall be sealed over head with good clear wainscoating and painted a sky blue color with two coats of good paint. The wainscoating at the floor shall be painted the same as overhead. The rafters shall be two by five inches and may be of either oak or pine placed sixteen inches apart. The upper joist shall be supported by nailing a board one by six inches to the center of each joist and letting it extend upward and securely fastened to the coupling of the rafters, also with the same kind of board on each side on each joist midway between the center and the end of the joist to extend from the joist to the rafters above and securely fastened at each end. The sheeting may be of oak, pine or elm, the elm preferred. The roof shall be made of good clear pine shingles and shall be put on so that not more than four inches of each shingle shall be exposed to the weather. The siding shall be of good clear soft pine lumber. The cornice and corner boards and the door and window frames shall be made of clear lumber all to be made and put up on the plan that the same kind of work as done on other buildings of the same character.

There shall be one door 1 1/2 inches thick and two feet and eight inches wide and six feet and eight inches high set three feet inside of the outer wall and made to open outward. The opening in the wall at the outside to be 24 inches wider than the door the floor that is exposed to the outside shall be made entirely water tight and slop outward so as to run all the water outside there shall be eight windows four on each side eight panes of glass twelve by sixteen inches in each window and windows to be so adjusted as to lower from above and raise from below with proper fastings there also shall be batten window shutter made for each window and hung on good strong hings with hooks and steeples fixed so as to fasten them from the inside there shall be a good and secure lock put upon the door. The door and window caseing on the inside must be put on after the plastering is done.

The stove flue must be made of good brick laid in good mort mortar made of lime and sand and shall be built upon a strong foundation in the center of the opposite end of the building from the door and the size of the flue shall be 13 by 17 inches square and extend three feet above the comb of the house the flue must be built so that the pipe will enter the flue in front 12 inches below the ceiling overhead.

There shall be roof cap put on and then with the whole exterior of the wood work of the building except the shingles must be painted with two good coats of pure white lead and all of the timber used in said building must be perfectly sound and all of the work must be done in a good and workman like manner.

The Board also agree to offer to the lowest responsible bidder at the hour of Two O’Clock P.M. on the 1st day of February 1890 the contract for erecting said building. (sic.)

Dated This 11th day of January 1890
T.L. Elam, president
J.H. Quicksall, clerk

Bidding and Construction

January 11th, 1890
On a motion it was resolved to reconsider the said specifications and it was further resolved the house be built upon Mulberry block instead of brick foundation. It was further resolved that the said blocks be at least 8 inches in diameter and three feet long and be set in the ground at least 18 inches. And that there be five blocks set under each side of the house at equal distance apart and two blocks under each end, so as to make the space between the blocks of equal distance. There also shall be three blocks put under the long center sill: one under the center and one under at each side midway between the center and the ends.

I believe at this point in order to keep expense under $400.00 they had to change from brick foundation to mulberry blocks. In the next few years the blocks had to be repaired and finally a concrete block foundation was put in.

On January 31st, 1890 the lease was examined and approved and an order issued for $12.50 to Wm. A. Elam.

On February 1st the bids for the new School House were examined and the lowest bid being offered was $469.00, and all bids were rejected and the sale of the contract was continued to March 3rd, 1890. The said contract was then awarded to Simon Starr, being the lowest responsible bidder for the sum of $400.00.

On the 24th day of March, 1890, an election was held on borrowing three hundred dollars at eight percent interest per anum and issueing bonds on the district for that amount. There were nine votes cast for the bonds and none against.

On the 15th day of April, 1890, the School Board met and issued an order to Simon Starr for Twenty dollars as part payment for construction of the new school house.

On May 10th, 1890, the Board of Directors of District No. 4, Township No. 10, Range No. 6, in Shelby County and State of Illinois held a special meeting at the new school house in said district for the purpose of issueing Bonds to the amount of three hundred dollars as authorized by an election held on the 24th day of March A.D. 1890. A motion was made by J.H. Quicksall and seconded by T.L. Elam to issue three bonds, each for One Hundred Dollars bearing eight percent interest per annum, said bonds being due one year from the above date. The bonds were made and signed in accordance with the above.

W.A. Elam, Clerk
T.L. Elam, President

On May 26th, the Board of Directors met at the new school house and after the inspection, finding the house built and finished according to contract they issued three orders to pay for it as follows. First order $34.50, second order $55.50, and third order $290.00, all dated May 26th.

June 14th, 1890, the Directors employed W.B. Stine to teach a five month term. The term to begin September 15th, 1890 and to close February 15th, 1891.


July 1st, 1890

Results of 1890 School District Census

Number of males between the age of 6 and 21 34
Number of females between the age of 6 and 21 34
Total 68
Number of males under 21 years of age 48
Number of females under 21 years of age 47
Total 95

Also insured the new school house in the Continental Company of New York for $400.00 Dollars, 5 years time, cost of Insurance $10.00 Dollars.

Click on the below image
to view the Big Spring
Township Schools in 1893.

Items for Supplying the New Schoolhouse

On July 22nd, 1890, the Board of Directors held a meeting at the old school house and levied a tax for the coming year of five hundred and thirty four $534.00 dollars, to pay teachers salaries, for insurance bond and other indemnification, repairing seats and blackboard and moving property to the new school house.

On August 13th, the Directors met and employed Wm. Klepsig to do the necessary repairing of the seats and to move wood and school furniture to the school house for one dollar and fifty cents per day.

On October 15th an order was issued to Wm. Klepsig for $15.70 for labor and material used in repairing the seats.

On October 20th an order was issued for $5.05 for blackboard paint, chalk and examination paper.

At a meeting held by the Directors on the 26th day of May, 1891, an order was issued to School District No. 8 Union for the sum of five dollars and sixty five cents for tax collected by mistake for the year 1889.

The above mentioned mistake in tax collection is probably from when the boundaries were changed.

August 29th, 1891, Arthur Bigler was paid six dollars for 1000 bricks for well and other purposes.

September 19th, 1891, Minor Quicksall was paid $21.39 for digging a well at the school house, and in lieu of money paid for pump, brick, lumber and labor.

September 30th, 1891, The Board met by appointment to consider a permit to T.B. Lugar to send his two children to the school in District No. 5, and refused to grant the permit on the grounds there is no good reason at present why his children should not attend school in our District.April 5th, 1892, Three notices were posted of an election for the purpose of electing one school director. One at the post office in Kingman, one on DUG Spain SHOP, and one on the school house.

July 12th, 1892, The directors met and ordered from T.H. Righter 77 square feet of Slate Black Board 3 1/2 feet X 22 feet to be delivered by the G.A. Bullard School Furnishing Works of Marshall, Michigan. Said Slate to be delivered at Stewardson, ILL. about the 1st of August 1892 at 22 cents per square foot. Total $16.94. A.O. McBride was payed Two dollars and Six cents for freight charges on black board.

October 4th, 1892, The directors met and purchased a copy of Webster's Unabridged Dictionary to be ordered and delivered by W.B. Stine for the sum of ten dollars.

June 29th, 1895, A Flag and fixture were purchased from T.P. Mautz for Three dollars and thirty cents. Marion Quicksall was paid one dollar to erect the Flag pole and adjust the Flag at the school.

October 30th, 1896, Paid John Becker for repairing plastering in school house, Two dollars and Twenty-five cents. Dannial Miller for underpinning school house, One dollar and Seventy-five cents.


Proposed Changes in the School Year

The Directors met at the school house on the 5th day of February 1897, all the members of the board being present there having been a petition circulated in the said school district which read asfollows to wit.

Kingman ILL. January 22nd 1897

We the undersigned of Wabash School District hereby petition the directors of the District that you continue the School an extra month making it a Six month term and dispense with the summer school.

SIGNED BY: Minor Quicksall, E.B. Green, W.H. Quicksall, W.A. Elam, George Elam, Mat. Elam, James Pruyear, W.J. Elam, E. Erickson, Julia Anderson, Jennie Anderson, Clara Elam, Charles E. Anderson, Louise Green, Delbert Storm, David Best, Mary Best, and C.A. Best.

Quicksall made a motion to honor the aforesaid petition and continue the school another month. Motion lost. Boldt and Spain decided to ignore the said petition and have a two month summer school. Dated as above February 5th, 1897. -- Dug. Spain, President -- J.H. Quicksall, Clerk


On April 17th, 1897, at the election for a director replacing Dug. Spain was held. Wm. Elam received 1 vote, Erich Erickson -- 11 votes, and Frannie Basset -- 1 vote. Erich Erickson was declared duly elected for one full term.

State of Illinois, )
Shelby County, )

Pursuant to a call made by E. Erickson and J.H. Quicksall, two of the School Directors of school district No. 4 in Town 10 Range 6 in the aforesaid County and State met at the School House in Said District all of the members being present for the purpose of considering an application made by Miss Roxy Beck to teach the next winter term of school, the proposition being as follows.

She offers to teach a six month term beginning September that 13th, 1897, for the sum of $36.00 per month and her to do or have done all of Janitor work. On a motion Quicksall and Erickson voted yea and Boldt no, he wanting a five month winter term and two month Spring term. Motion carried.

Dated April 22nd, 1897
E. Erickson, President
J.H. Quicksall, Clerk


Permission was granted Roy Curry, Lemmme Curry, Charles Curry, and Abby Curry, resident schollars of school district No. 3 to attend school in district No. 4 for five months from the first day of October 1897.

T.L. Elam and Otto Turner cleaned the well for 75 cents. Iron pump from Wilkinson and Williams for $5.00. September 15th, 1898.

In the minutes of September 25th, 1899, the said teacher is to have a vacation of one week between Christmas and New Years Day, and they are to lose the time.

July 22, 1901, New school desks were bought: six single desks, twenty four double desks, from $2.40 for the small ones to $3.20 for the large desks. The old hand made desk and seats made of walnut lumber, were sold to M. Anderson for 12 1/2 cents each or all 30 for $3.75.

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