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Curtisville Area Schools

Alcona County, Michigan


The first school in this area was at Nile Mile Creek, located on the south side of the AuSable River between Curtisville and McKinley. Richard Curtis, [in photo]

the first white child born in Curtis Township and his sister Mary (Mame) attended school there. They boarded at John Calgrove's stopping house during the week. (1)

When John and Clarissa Bowser were
established in Curtisville, they opened
their home for use as a school.

Eva Goodfellow Heilig was a pupil there.

[Bowser homestead photo at right]


Moore and Tanner deeded land to the Town of Curtis for the school purposes.

Moore and Tanner
Rec'd for record July 10, 1884, 10:00 A.M.
To Town of Curtis
C. E. Jamison, Register

We hereby give an acre of land in fee simple to the town of Curtis for
school purposes. Being the northeast corner of the NW 1/4 of Sec 20. t. 25-5.
Moore and Tanner

Received from S. Gordon, one dollar in full consideration of said land.
Moore and Tanner
County Records

The first school house was very small - about 16 feet by 16 feet. One source said it was made of logs; another said it was made of vertical boards with 3-inch battens over the cracks. It set in front of what is now the Curtisville Civic Center. The first teaher was Miss. Effie Kelley.

A large school was built of logs (the present Curtisville Civic Center). It set further back and was moved forward to it's present location. It was later covered with clapboard siding. (2)

Known students of the class of 1910 were: ? Spencer, Georgia Bell, ? Heilig, Lyle Bell, Alvin Bell, James Heilig, Sr., Orilla E. Merrit and Jessie Heilig.

Known students of the class of 1912 were: Nellie, Heilig, Ray Curley, Charley Curley, Edith Heilig, George Emily, Lyle Bell, Lloyd Emily, Etta Emily, Katie Heilig, James Heilig, Elmer Curley, Ellen Wilkinson, Etta Emily, Arilla Wilinson and Jessie Heilig. Ali Healey was the teacher.

Teachers at Curtisville

Miss Effie Kelley
Mary Waite
Mary Emerick
Edith La Chapple
Clyde Nestle
Florence Loca
Mary Mc Gary
Carrie Pattee-- (1908)
Earnest La Chapple
Morman Gould
Ivas Berry
Nora O'Conner
Mary Wilkinson-- (1910)
Ali Healy (1912)
Lavina Healy
Irene Mc Dougal-- (1915)
Chritina Stewart-- (1915-1917)
Coresta Southwick-- (1930)
Walter Laidlaw-- (1931-1933)
Gene Smith
Roy Redmond


As more settlers came to Curtisville, another school was needed. The Hillside School was built two miles south of the Curtisville School. it was completed and in session sometime before 1908. As in most country schools, there was a three month term in the spring and a three month term in the fall. This school was sometimes referred to as the Sinclair School or Little Log School. It was on the road between Curtisville and South Branch.

Hillside School, about 1910, looking North on Curtisville Road

During the fall term of 1908, Carrie Pettee was the teacher. Her pupils were: Winifred and Thomas Cole; Alfred and Breet Pemberton; Calra Berry; Florence, Myrtle, Fred and Louis Bouvia; George and Adelbert Wilson; Charlie and Alfred Eno; Arthur Hempton; Stella, Hazel and Allan Stevens

Known students in 1909 were: Allan Stevens, Thomas Cole, Louis Bouvia, Fred Bouvia, hazel Stevens, Winifred Cole, Stella Stevens, Myrtle Bouvia and Florence Bouvia.

Other teachers following Miss Pettee were: Jennie Thompson, Mary Mc Garry, Jessie Widman, Clyde Mestle, Jessie Heilig, Mae Ash, Nettie Bissonette, Nellie Sweet and Christina Stewart.

During the school terms from 1915 through 1917 Christina Stewart was the teacher. Some of her students were: Hazel, Allan, Thelma and Ira Stevens; Winifred and Thomas Cole; Andrew, Jennie, John, George and Christina Hempton; Charlie, Alfred, Mina and George Eno; Lloyd Imley; Rodney, Loraine, Jacuette, Hazel and Glenn Sells; Henry George; Delbert Wilson; margaret, Kathryn and Emma Sinclair; Katheryn and Jimmie Campbell; Violet Mills and Beaumont Cushway. (3)

[NOTE:] Based on an interview with Winifred Rickle. Reprinted in Curtisville 1866-1976 with Mrs. Rickle's permission.

1. Oscoda County 1881, The AuSable River Valley Historical Society, Futura Printing Co., Mio, MI: June 1979, p. 90.

2. Milholin, Arbutus, Curtisville 1866-1976, Curtisville Civic Association, Curtisville, MI: 1976

3. Cox, Catharien and Norma Mc Dougall, What You've Always Wanted to Know About Curtis Township, But Were Afraid to Ask, Glennie Elementary School, Glennie, MI: May 1975.

Swazye Gordon
First Director of the Curtisville School.

The following is a transcription of the Curtisville School Grauation Program for the last class that was taught in the old Cutisville School House in 1930.

May 23, 1930

This parting thought
I am leaving today
With you, my pupil and friend,
May the deeds that were wrought
And lessons here taught
Your life to new energies bend.


May 23, 1930


* * *

School Board


New Curtisville School Class of about 1934.

These are the names of the children in the school picture:

Back Row (left to right)
Richard Zane Bamfiled, Gene Curtis, Marvin Redmond, Roy Shedenhelm, Howard Mc Millen, Vergil Redmond, Marie Brodie, Peter Heileg, Elaine Heileg and Gene Smith (teacher).

Front Row (left to right)
Stanley Curtis, Charles Richard Curtis, Leon Tower, William Bamfield, Zelma Redmond, Lou Latter, Audrey Sayce, Harriette Anne Bamfield, France Spencer and Tom Spencer.

Material & photos submitted by Ronald J. Sortor, January 1997

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