Lignite School #1357
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Lignite School #1357
Each small Square on this map is 1 mile Sq
You can see this school was built on the old Highway 18
between Bienfait and Hirsch
Today Highway 18 runs parallel to the train tracks shown on the map
It would be 4 miles south of Highway 18 today
Joseph (Joe) Mould
Christ P. Mandt
J. Frank Bulmer
Jas B. Rock
Names and info from a Reunion Book from 1991
written by Alton Finstad
My Uncle Ed Gesell was an exception
as he taught for 4 years
Here is a list of Teachers from the 1991 Reunion Book
Miss Vera Brown 1907-08
Mr. George D. Campbell 1909-1910
Mr. Leo Zealand 1911-
Mr. Adams 1915-1916
Miss Vera B. Addie 1917-
Mrs Francis Ryson
Mrs Vera J. Rock 1918-1919
Mr. William Dunbar 1922-
Mr David Dunbar- 1924-
Mr. Jack Mould 1925-
Mrs Grace Rawelcliffe 1925-1926
Mrs Myra Wright 1927-
Mrs Florence Dale 1928-1929
Mrs Grace Jamison 1930
Mr. Gordon Mackenzie 1931-1935
as printed in the 1991 Reunion Book
SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS
Mr. George Threlfall
Mrs. Tekle Anderson
J. F. Bulmer
Mrs. Joe Mould
J. F. Bulmer
on the Bienfait Central Board
Lunches were brought to the school in Lard or Syrup Pails
as they had a wire handle and a lid
In the winter it would take all day to heat up the School Room
as no heat was kept on thru the night.
Electricity was never installed in this School.
Recreation at school were games made up by the children
as there was very little sports equipment.
Games they played were "Anti-I-Over", "Stealing Sticks",
"Tag", "Kick the Can", and "Fox and Geese"
Christmas Concerts were the highlight of the year.
They held Pie Socials, Bridal Showers, Dances and Whist Drives in the School.
Info Below from Board Minutes
-First recorded Board Minutes were Feb 26, 1906.
They elected 2 tustees to replace Mr. H. M. Berg and Mr J. Goldberg.
Mr C. Mandt and Mr. John Froh were elected.
Mr C. Mandt was elected Chairman,
Mr O. Christenson Treasurer, Mr. J. F. Bulmer Secretary and John Froh Trustee.
-On July 14,1906 one acre was purchased from
Hoidale and Sumsen on the SE 26, T2, R6, W2.
The board arranged to borrow $1,000.00 from J. W. Nay of Regina,
repayable in 10 equal payments at 5 1/2% to construct and furnish the school.
John Fast's tender for $865.00 was accepted
on condition the school was built by Aug 13, 1906.
-The first teacher was hired Jan 14, 1907 at $55.00/mo
-On Jan 11,1908 it was reported the school was open 139 days,
12 girls and 4 boys attended.
-in 1913 it was decided to install a phone in the school,
but not to hire a teacher and not to collect any taxes.
-In 1914- a water well was dug by C. P. Mandt
-In March 1915 2 more acres were bought for $17.50
an acre from Mrs. Henreitta Thornton.
-Isaac Christenson built a 16' x 28' stable in 1918.
and a second well had to be dug by James Rock.
-In 1920 and 1921 the school was closed due to lack of students.
It was reopened on Apr 1, 1922.
-On Feb 5, 1923 it was proposed to fence the yard and plant some trees.
-On Nov 10, 1928 it was decided to partition off the school
to provide living quarters for the teacher.
-In 1932 the teacher's salary was reduced
to $800.00/yr due to difficult financial times
-In 1933 the salary was reduced to $650.00/yr
-Apr 1938 they passed a motion to purchase
a Teacherage from the Crescent Mine
with the moving and repairing to be done by the families of the students.
-Aug of 1938 my Uncle Edward (Ed) Gesell was hired
at $500.00 for 200 teaching days.
He and Gudrun were the first family to live in the teacherage.
-In 1941 the teachers salary was raised to $700.00.
-The well was filled in in 1944 as a safety measure.
-In 1945 the Estevan School Unit was organized and Lignite School
was absorbed into that unit.
-Steve Ciepliski transported the students to Bienfait for a few years.
School buses were then used to take the children
to the Bienfait Junior School and Weldon High School.
-The Teacherage and barn were sold in 1954.
The barn to Tony Rosner, and the teacherage to Theodore Fai.
-TonyRosner was the successful bidder for the school yard.
- Presently Alton and Virginia Finstad own the school acreage.
July 5 & 6, 1991
Reunion Chairman was Ted Fai
125 Former Teachers and Students attended
and they erected a Cairn on the site of the old Lignite School.
It is a Bronze Plaque mounted on a local large stone.
The old School Bell was rung by Ted Fai
to start the Dedication Ceremony.
Olga Kingdon (nee Moskaluk) opened with a scripture reading.
Steve Ciepliski and Philip Christenson, two of the oldest students,
unveiled the cairn.
Pastor Wayne Berg of Trinity Lutheran Church in Estevan
led the Dedication Service.
Edna Peterson, the last teacher in the school, and also a former student,
brought greetings. Ethel Haukeness and Nick Fai, two former students,
recalled some of their school memories from the 30's and 40's.
The site was marked by Alton Finstad,
to show the location of the original buildings, and playground equipment.
They had an auction of handcrafted items, with Olga Kingdon's picture
of the old School yard bringing the highest price.
with the students transported to Bienfait School.
The Building was then moved to M&S mines
to be used as a classroom there.
A few years later the building was sold
and moved again to a farm south of Frobisher
This building was also used as a church from 1930 -1950
No Reproduction in Whole or in Part may be made
Page created by
Doug Gent © 2016
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