Historic Sites of Manitoba: Prairie School / Marquette School No. 121 (Marquette, RM of Woodlands)
The school district established in the Rural Municipality of Woodlands, named for the flat prairie surrounding it, was established in 1881, with a school built on the southwest quarter of 8-13-2 west of the Principal Meridian. This building was replaced in 1908, by which time annual expenditures had doubled. In 1912 the school was moved to the hamlet of Marquette, although the name was not changed to Marquette School until 1945 when Marquette School No. 120 was renamed.
Unlike most rural schools, the use of Prairie School as a social centre was discouraged in the early years, the trustees disapproving of dancing and smoking on school property. Later, although church services were free, all social organizations had to pay a fee to use the school. Enrollment at the institution ranged from 7 pupils to 40 in the 1930s. The school was closed in 1967 due to consolidation. Thereafter, the students attended Warren School. The school building was sold in 1968.
Some of the teachers who taught at Prairie School were C. G. Elliot (1893), James T. Hulme (1894, 1897), S. S. Gammon (1895), Mathew Rogers (1896), Edward Robertson (1898-1900), E. Benson Steele (1901), Georgeane B. Reid (1902), Ruth J. McLelland (1902-1903), James Brown (1903-1905), Alan McMillan (1905), Alexander Armstrong (1906), Ira D. Taylor (1906, 1908-1909), Cassie M. Connelly (1907), Alvin Campbell (1910), Katherine Meagher (1911), Estella McManus (1912), Merle Williams (1912), Robert Williamson (1913), M. G. Fletcher (1913-1916), Lottie Henderson (1918), Joseph Wray (1919), Jennie Walsh (1920), Minnie Brownstin (1920-1921), Miss V. Hoogeboom (1921-1922), William Rae (1922, 1924), W. E. Chalmers (1923), Richard C. Green (1927), Charles Ursel (1928-1930), Edwin Sweet (1930-1937), Stephen Wigley (1937), T. M. Wallace (1938-1940), Stanley F. Pye (1940), R. A. Hunt (1941-1943), Julia Rychlik (1943-1944), Aurelius C. Joyal (1944-1946), Girnith R. George (1946-1947), Henry Champagne (1947-1948), Iza Waiser (1948-1949), Mrs. J. Y. Pascoe (1949-1955), and Mrs. Erva Squair (1956-1960).
“The Indian famine fund,” Winnipeg Tribune, 4 March 1897, page 4.
One Hundred Years in the History of the Rural Schools of Manitoba: Their Formation, Reorganization and Dissolution (1871-1971) by Mary B. Perfect, MEd thesis, University of Manitoba, April 1978.
Woodlands Echoes: History of the Townships of The Rural Municipality of Woodlands No. 8 by Madeline L. Proctor, 1960, page 168.
We thank Nathan Kramer and John Moore for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 21 June 2020
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