It was the rule in New Plymouth that nearly all teachers were local farmer’s wives. This was driven by economics. Tiny towns in the early days could not afford more than a pittance for teachers. So a single teacher barely made survival wages — which drove them to marry asap. However, cash strapped farms also needed additional funding, so wives teaching helped everyone. This sort of arrangement meant that teachers were more responsive to local needs, and their careers were very stable. Every teacher knew the parents of every kid. One “messes up” in such a system very seldom.
This was the Emette Bench School moved to NP in early 30s.
The Valley View school was out on old Hwy 30, half mile west of Hamilton Corner, south side–at the big dip. This was the NE 1/2 acre of the old French farm. French gave the school the 1/2 acre split off. Later French sold the remaining 91 acres to Whadford on a note arrangement. Then Whadford and French lost the farm to foreclosure–Whadford moved across Hwy 30 to a small plot for a few years. Meanwhile “Hat” Limbaugh rented the old French farm from the lender, and then eventually bought it. The 1/2 acre that was split off from the rest was eventually purchased by a basque man, John Laca, who lived there 1943-1949 (his daughter Angela was in my class). Laca bought the 1/2 acre sometime after the old school was moved to NP, and placed behind the big brick school, and behind the Emmett Bench school (we called the little white schoolhouse). It was placed alongside the grade school on north side by the big teeter-totters in the area where the horse corral for horses ridden to school had been. later it would be sold to private party and moved to a lot in town where it was made into a rental residence.
The high school was still in the grade school bldg–until 1937– and it got too crowded. So they began to build a new high school. Up until the high school was finished, the town had 2 grades use what we called the “Little White Schoolhouse” which was the old Valley View School building, sometimes that was in addition to using the little grey schoolhouse. I began first grade in 1939 in the big brick school–and by that time, at least, the little white school was no longer in use as classroom, although it remained there until sold and moved off sometime after 1947.
Until 1944, there were a number of outlying schools, all incorporated into New Plymouth in 1944.
Sunnyside School — was the largest — out west of town on SE 1st and Custer . It was sold and made into a shop and storage by the Schmidt family. It burned down about 1993.
Plaisted School — out above the south Emmett valley on the bench. It was sold turned into a residence.
Falk — burned down in the 40s, after the rest of the town had burned over the years. There are some that maintain it all burned in the early 20s, but others claim they watched it burn one building at a time until in the 40s. Bob Pritzl (in my class) salvaged the Falk store road scales.
Mountain View School — sold and turned into house.