BEHIND THESE MOUNTAINS VOL. I
Insert pix Noxon brick school
Noxon elementary and high school building, built so that high school classes could be offered to students of the valley from Trout Creek to the Idaho-Montana border. Courtesy Stewart and Agnes Hampton collection.
Noxon School faculty, circa 1922 or shortly after the new brick schoolhouse was built to house grades 1-12. Courtesy Stewart and Agnes Hampton collection.
"The Bravery Of the Freshmen Class During Their Initiation."Mr. Jack Olver was editor. School opened with an enrollment of 19 in high school on September 1, 1925 and now there are 24. Noxon also has a basketball team: Jack Olver, Howard Daniels, Charles Thomson, John McKay, John Jenkins, Francis McKay. And a track team. W. A. Rollwitz, coach. Basketball practice is held outside but they'll play the town team in the auditorium.
"Noxon can be justly proud of its high school," the editor of the Noxon Buzzer wrote. "We have as good a building as any in the county and will compare well with any in the state in comparison to the size of the town. Excellent teachers, loyal students and loyal support of the district residents.
"We have found out that Ina could not kill a poor helpless grasshopper. She sure is not chicken hearted."Freshies initiation Friday night was a community event, held on September 18 at 8 p.m in the school's basement gymnasium. Each freshie got an all-day sucker. Then Freshies were served for a couple of hours, ending by a lunch. Rest of evening spent in dancing and playing games. Held a parents visiting day at school with a special program for them. Visitors included Mrs. N. Skelton, Mrs. Bob Larson, Mrs. Marion Larson, Mrs. Florence E. Hampton, Mrs. L. M. Jamison, Mrs. Essie Mercer, Mrs. V. C. Olver, Mrs. C. C. Cox, Mrs. S. S. Brown, Mrs. Walter Lake and Mrs. Rollwitz. 23 enrolled in primary room; 24 in intermediate; 13 in grammer; 24 in high school. Total of 84. PTA to meet October 9 at 7:30 p.m. at the school.1.
Freshmen class initiation. Courtesy Stewart and Agnes Hampton collection.
"At assembly period every morning now we are studying how to study, why to study and what to study. What are we in school for and how can we best make use of our high school time. The revelations are an eye opener to a good many high school pupils.
"We notice that a good many high schools in the state do not have a paper. We believe that we should do things in the small if we can not do things in big ways. LETS DO SOME THING ANYWAY."Miss Ada Zimmerman, teacher in Primary, to replace Miss Cox who married. Miss Zimmerman is graduated from Cheney Normal.
Noxon elementary 8th grade, 1922. L-R: Audrey Moore, Margery Hampton, Ina King, Effie Meadows and Stella Johnston. Courtesy Emma Noll, Carrie Gore and Mabel Torgrimson collections.
Group of noxon School chums, 1924. Bernice
Phillips, Cleo Gore, Audrey Moore, Almeda
Lake, Agnes Jenkins. Courtesy Stewart and
Agnes Jenkins collection.
Mr. Hollister filled a balloon with hydrogen gas. The high school students were having a good time playing with balloons.
Miss Thelma M. Cox, primary teacher resigned to marry Mr. Chas. Poole, October 23. They left for the coast to honeymoon and then moved to Spokane.
Mr. Hollister read a paper to the P.T.A. entitled "How Parents Hinder Children in School". Mrs. Everett Jenkins gave a birthday party for John, her son, and invited all the high school students to attend.
Good attendance showed up at the school auditorium where Sunday school meets each week. (Nov 15) Church services every Sunday at the auditorium at 7:30 p.m. Admission to Noxon Basketeers ball game played with Hope in the Noxon auditorium was 25 cents and 35 cents. The girls also have a ball team. Goldie Greer was a high school student.
Teachers include Miss Atkinson and Miss McDonald and Miss Cox. Miss Braden from Plains was County nurse. W. A. Rollwitz, School Principal, is building a portable garage. It's built to measure for Fords only.
"Felix: Oh Mother, I don't have to educate you all over again, do I?"
"Teacher: Give a definition of a triangle.
"Student: If a grasshopper won't make fish bite, try angle worms."
"We understand that John made a path thru the snow all over the mountains last Thurs. and Friday but he did not bring home any venison."
"Mary : Pearl boasts that she never borrows trouble.
"Ina: No, that's a thing she prefers to give."
The county nurse visited at the school finding several cases of infected tonsils and adnoids and several cases of poor vision. She conducts classes with mothers giving them an excellent talk and urging them to take up matters with PTA concerning serious deficiencies in children. Three comedies were put on by the high school and enjoyed by the community.2.
"What is the Non-intercourse Act, Charles?
"Oh, that's when Mr. Holl catches me passing notes to Ellen."
In 1925 Marion Weare left school during Christmas break. New classes were organized in American Government, Sociology and Solid Geometry. The girls basketball team have been having some very lively practice games.3.
Ruth Knutson, having completed high school in Thompson Falls and taken teacher training at Eastern Washington University in Spokane, WA was elementary teacher at Noxon.
"I remember," Bob Saint said, "because Agnes Jenkins and I, well we grew up together after they moved to Noxon. Pretty soon they moved up into the old schoolhouse.
"The Jenkins twins, Clyde and Claude, and I used to fight. The teacher let them out two minutes ahead. If I couldn't catch them between the schoolhouse and their house they were safe. That's the way we operated."It didn't make much difference. We simply fought. Wasn't much of anything else to do. And, well growing up, I was a fat kid. Some people pick on fat kids. "I was fat. So you had to fight in self-defense. Stewart ought to remember fighting them. He was born in '10 ."4.
Ruth Dettwiler took her first teaching position at Trout Creek in 1925-26.5.
"better prepared to go and make their mark as a judging team.
"The English II class is debating now. The first debate was last Thursday. The next debate will be next week."
"County school superintendent, Mrs. Helen R. Wuerl, arrived in Noxon to give the eighth graders a language test as part of a state survey. The event of a visit from even a county superintendent was enough to put both teachers and students in a whirl of excitement and anticipation."
Conrad 'Connie' Orr, Principal, Noxon
Elementary and High Schools, circa
mid-late 1920s. Courtesy Blanche
Gordon Claxton collection.
"I came to Noxon to teach in 1927," Velma Webster said. "I was very small and spry and not about to let the children bully me into leaving, as many of the businessmen in town seemed to think they would. I taught four years and left in the spring of 1931."11.
Sheldon S. Brown, posed on
the front steps of the Noxon
Elementary and High school,
circa late 1920s or early 1930s.
S. S. Brown was school
janitor and died of a heart
attach in the school boiler
room. Courtesy Norman and
Betty Larson collection.
He looked over Velma's tiny 4' 5" frame, concluding it wouldn't take the students long to send her packing. But he reckoned without knowing her spunk and determination. Velma went to the mercantile store and purchased a length of leather strap. The first day of school she admonished her students that the first one to shoot a spit wad would answer to her. At the first recess the largest bully in the class got his first 'strapping'. Thereafter Velma had no more problems with the students even though several of them were larger than herself.12.
"I taught at Noxon from September 1927 to June 1937," Angie Meadows said. "I was raised on Beaver Creek near Thompson Falls and took my teacher training with a two year diploma from the Dillon Normal School (which is now Western, a 4 year degree school.)
"When I first started at Dillon I thought I wanted to teach upper grades, so I more or less took those subjects.
"My first school was a rural school in Mineral county and my grades were first, second and sixth. I much preferred the primary grades, so I then took a Primary Methods Course and Nature Study, etc., plus introductory music and piano. I really loved those kids. They were so eager and unspoiled. I also had a summer each of postgraduate from the University in Missoula and from Eastern Washington College at Cheney, WA. It was fun to just take what I wanted after taking required subjects for my diploma. Sort of widened my horizon. One was typing, another music. It was interesting that they were teaching Palmer method penmanship when I first started teaching. Then they changed to Horner Balzer method and I had to take that course, too, as a post graduate."
"The school kids at Noxon were so unspoiled. They had so little. Any little thing thrilled them. I bought 10-cent heart shaped boxes at Valentines Day for each of them and at Easter I bought them little 10-cent baskets. They were so thrilled. Some of my students were brilliant kids."
Noxon grade school classes after new brick school was built in 1922. Courtesy Stewart and Agnes Hampton collection.Angie, who came to Noxon to teach in 1927, boarded one year with Bob and Ann Larson. Then she boarded with Walter and Lula Lake for three years, until Mrs. Lake's mother came. Then Angie stayed at the Hotel Montana.
"Noxon paid better teachers wages then other Sanders county schools, by about $10 a month. They had a very nice schoolhouse, too. The PTA served a lunch once a month and everyone came to it.
"Fern and Ben Saint were always thoughtful of the teachers, entertaining them at dinner every year. Maude and Henry Larson also entertained us each year.
"Teachers were not to smoke. And Noxon had no taverns as it was prohibition. But they did have bootlegging which a good number of people engaged in to make a meager living.
"I only paddled one child for punishment," Angie said. "She was a second grader wrote a nasty name for a teacher on a note and Connie Orr, the Superintendent, insisted she be punished. He witnessed it while we turned her over a chair. Mr. Brown, the janitor and a bus driver from Trout Creek, heard the commotion, for we'd taken her to the boiler room in the basement. They were concerned. But she deserved the swats she got."13.
Conrad 'Connie' Orr, Principal, made
many friends during the years he taught
at Noxon Elementary and High School.
Circa late 1920s. Courtesy Clayton
"When we lived out on the ranch," Carmen Moore said, we used to ride the horse in, my sister and I. The professor, or coach, asked me to play on the ball team. I was one of the ones that just stood on the corner and did a little guarding or something. The big kids, John McKay and the big fellers were the main players. They were the oldest.
"We didn't have uniforms. We played in our ordinary clothes and ordinary shoes. We'd usually get a few buttons torn off and that. I had to ride the horse in after I did my chores and then play basketball and get all sweated up and no showers. There wasn't any way to heat the water in the schoolhouse then. So I'd ride the horse home in the cold and I'd catch cold. After a few times Finnigan told me that was the end of that. 'No more basketball because you just get sick all the time.' So I never went again."14.
"I think only 50-75 people lived here in 1927," Bob Saint said. "There couldn't have been more. In 1927-28, the year I was in the 8th grade, they had to move us up and put us in with the high school in order to have 20 students to make a high school.
"Seven or eight graduated from the 8th grade in the spring and Johnny McKay was the only senior student. We got our 8th grade diplomas and John McKay was the only one graduating high school.
"A. A. Alvord came from Thompson Falls to be the speaker. He would be county attorney off and on. He'd get elected and then he'd be defeated, and then he'd be back in."15.
"Agnes Getty was a cute little thing, small, dishwater blonde hair, had a thyroid problem, I think. It showed in her slightly protruding eyeballs. Otherwise she was a very beautiful girl"17.
Noxon High School girls basketball team. Back row: Agnes Jenkins, Goldie Greer, Montana 'Tana' Jamison, Dorrien Hampton, Wilhelma Kline, Isobel Dodge. Front row: Margaret larson, Ellen Jenkins, June -. Courtesy Stewart and Agnes Hampton collection.
Noxon High School boys basketball team. Red Duffy #16, Gilbert Raynor #13, Gene Dettwiler #10, Johnny Skelton #12, Wayland Dodge #11, Wagner Dodge #9, Leon Dobravec #14, Ike Rasmussen #8. Courtesy Stewart and Agnes Hampton collection.
"So Skeets was promoted from first to third grades. Guy Raynor was a whiz in mathematics and he and Skeets were entered in the scholastic contests held in Plains for the 3-8th graders. Guy got sick and couldn't participate so Skeets entered all the scholastic events taking first place in three of them and 3rd in math, which was always her weakest subject.18.
(insert pix from pg. 176
Noxon elementary school was appropriately proud of this Rythm Band posed on the front yard of the school, 1937. Hallie Fairweather was their teacher. Courtesy Jaspar Redfearn collection.
Circa 1930s, Noxon School Band performing at an unknown event. Mounted rider unidentified.
May 19, 1939. Noxon School band. Jaspar Refearn is in photo but I don't have any other identifications. Courtesy Jaspar Redfearn collection.
Joe Dobravec (second from left) drove school bus from Heron, Montana to the Noxon High School during his senior year. Circa 1929-30.
Bus driver attending to his bus tires has two (unidentified) spectators. Courtesy Norman Larson collection.
- Noxon High School, Noxon Buzzer, September 26, 1925. April 24, 1929, the Noxon Buzzer was entered in the Montana Editorial Association newspaper contest, a part of the Interscholastic Meet competition in Missoula. 50 cents allows each high school to enter.
- Noxon High School, Noxon Buzzer, Edition No. 3.
- Noxon High School, Noxon Buzzer, January 1926.
- H. R. Bob Saint, tape-recorded oral history, November 18, 1983.
- Ruth Dettwiler McQuaide, oral history April 19, 1988.
- Noxon High School, Noxon Buzzer, January 1926.
- Noxon High School, Noxon Buzzer, April 1926, Vol. 1, No. 6.
- Noxon High School, Noxon Buzzer, May 20, 1926, Vol 1, No. 8.
- Don Maynard, tape-recorded oral history 1973; Stewart and Agnes Hampton, oral history, var. When the title of Priincipal changed to Superintendent of Noxon Public Schools, circa 1950s, the position became one of administration of the teaching staff and operation of the entire educational system, placing orders for materials and textbooks without previous authorization from the Board of Trustees, including transportation, sports, home economics, music, etc. Teaching classes was no longer part of his duties. The position was not filled by a woman until the late 1990s or early 2000s.
- Lawrence "Larry" Cox, letter 1990.
- Velma Webster Bauer, oral history 1978.
- Velma Webster Bauer, oral history, var.
- Ray and Angie Meadows, tape-recorded oral history January 15, 1988.
- Carmen Moore, tape-recorded oral history January 1988.
- H. R. Bob Saint, tape-recorded oral history, November 18, 1983.
- Bob and Anne Larson, tape-recorded oral history March 6, 1972.
- Ruth Tauscher McKay, July 9, 1986; Bob and Anne Larson, oral history March 6, 1972; Noxon High School, Noxon Buzzer.
- Ray and Angie Meadows, tape-recorded oral history January 15, 1988. When Skeets Miller went into the WACS at Butte and had the highest IQ of any kid who ever entered the WACS from Montana.
- Sanders County Independent Ledger, May 8, 1929.
- Bill Finnigan, oral history, var.