One Room Schoolhouse Naming

18 Feb

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One Room Schoolhouse Naming

An article printed in the Saskatchewan Weekly Newspaper, The Potashville Miner-Journal, “From Bert’s NotebookPlace names, discusses the derivation of the names for schools in the Churchbridge / Langenburg area of Saskatchewan was submitted from the Esterhazy 1939 newspaper by Verna Brenner, which is intriguing and fascinating.

Web master note: Still awaiting permissions from the Saskatchewan Weekly Newspaper, The Miner-Journal and the family of Bert McKay for re-publication, a small paraphrasing of the article comes next. The following page takes the derivation for the name from the article written by Bert McKay, and further verification of these facts have been found in several other sources as noted in the bibliography.

Before we begin with these selected eleven one room school district names, just a note about the historical naming process of the one room school districts in the province of Saskatchewan. John C. Charyk noted in “Syrup Pails and Gopher Tails” that the naming of the school was left to the local residents in the community. “Today as a result of that policy, knowing how a school district derived its name often brings an insight into the very heart of local history and traditions.”Charyk 1984 p. 12 The procedure of determining the name was set before all the community ratepayers requesting a suitable name. The school District organisers would hold a meeting, and of these names, the committee would submit a list of four or five names. The Department of Education set before the community the request for a list, as very often if only one name were submitted, it may be in use already at another school site. So the final choice for the school district name lay with the Department of Education.

At this same time, a school district number was allotted to the school district by the Department of Education. The numbers began with Moose Jaw School District No. 1 of the North West Territories and kept incrementing to Bow Valley School District No. 1409, North West Territories. At this time, for provisional districts of the Northwest Territories were merged to form the twin provinces of Alberta, and Saskatchewan on September 1, 1905. The Department of Education then decided that to keep record keeping for the two provinces separate in these provincial fledgling years, the province of Alberta would continue numbering her schools from School District No. 1410 onwards, and new schools formed in the province of Saskatchewan would fill up the empty numbers between 1 and 1409 vacated by the province of Alberta and proceeding forward from there. And now to delve into the heritage of the naming of these school districts near Churchbridge and Langenburg, Saskatchewan. (Another note, the Department of Education is now termed the Ministry of Education in Saskatchewan.)

  • Chatsworth S.D. No. 1810, (1907) was named after not a place, but a road in the Clapton subdivision of London, England. McKay points out that the school district secretary suggested the name after his previous residential street. Chatsworth road is a market road serving people in the area with a diverse selection of shops and restaurants, including, African, Turkish, Asian and Caribbean produce alongside butchers, bakers and greengrocers according to Wikipedia.
  • Hohenlohe S.D. NO. 2705, (1910) received its appellation from Count Hohenlohe-Langenburg. According to Alan Anderson, the Count Hohenlohe-Langenburg was invited to the west as part of the great immigration scheme by Canadian immigration authorities. The Count, as president of the German Colonial Association was instrumental in encouraging large colonies, notably Colony Hohenlohe which later received the name Langenburg.
  • MacNutt S.D. No. 793, (1912) is next on the list. John Hawkes echoes the sentiments of Bert Mckay, writing of the Honourable Thomas MacNutt, that he was a farmer and stock raiser in the Saltcoats area, and also turned his attentions to the political arena serving the Saltcoats constituency as both Member of the Legislative Assembly and Member of Parliament. MacNutt is renowned for being the first Speaker of the Saskatchewan Legislature.
  • Zorn S.D. No. 3697, (1916) received its calling from Phillip Zorn, a school district administrator actively promoting school district organisation during the formative year, 1916. From the Western Land Grants Records, it can be seen that Fillipp Zorn was successful at proving up a homestead land grant on the Northwest quarter of section 34 township 23 range 30 West of the 1st Meridian.
  • Landestrew S.D. No. 2698, (1916) was named after Landestreu, Galicia by the immigrant Galician German settlers who arrived in this new land. According to Manfred Prokop, Professor of German (emeritus), Modern Languages and Cultural Studies they established the large colony named Hoffnungstal near Langenburg and Landstrew in the late 1800s. The Landestrew post office opened in 1892, the school not until 1916.
  • Dressler S.D. No. 3732, (1916) located on the north east quarter of section 5, township 23, range 31, west of the first meridian was located amidst the Dressler homesteaders. Daniel DRESSLER and Anna BUSCH arrived to the Langenburg area about 1890. Daniel began proving up the land on the south east quarter of section 18 of the same township mentioned above. They had ten children and their sons Frederick, Andrew, John also homesteaded the area. Daniel DRESSLER immigrated with four siblings from Galicia, and this area was home to a number of DRESSLER homesteads. According to LAC Western Land Grants, Section 5 was Canadian Pacific Railway Land. A portion of this land was donated by Frederick DRESSLER to the community on which to build the Dressler Schoolhouse reported Bill Barry.
  • Churchbridge S.D. No. 124, (1887) honours the Anglican Church Colonization Land Company administered by Mr. Church and Reverend Bridges, who purchased land for settlement in the township 22 range 32, west of the 1st meridian. In Ruth Swanson’s compilation, The first hundred years : around Churchbridge, 1880-1980, settlers also remember a Mr. Eden belonging to this English Colonization Company as well, and a preliminary name being Edenbridge which was changed to Churchbridge due to a conflict with Edenbridge, Manitoba.
  • Rothbury S.D. No. 204 (1891) recognizes the town of Rothbury in Northumberland, England. Robert Athey suggested the title at a school district meeting. The land around the Rothbury school district is characterized by rolling and open prairie. Rothbury, Northumberland is nestled within the Simonside and Cheviot Hills.
  • Goehring S.D. 910, (1903) has as its namesake an early trustee, Ludwig Goehring a school district trustee. Goehring successfully proved up on three quarter sections in the area.
  • Kensington Lake S.D. No. 1083, (1904) assumed its name from the nearby physical feature, Kensington Lake. McKay mentions that Kensington Lake, in turn, assumed its name from E.D. Kensington who farmed near the lake.
  • Flower Valley S.D. No. 1098, (1904) derived its name from the German word “Blummenthal” which translated means Flower Valley. McKay points out that George Haas suggested the German term, and Niel McFadyen put forward the English translation. Mrs. Louise (George) Haas recalls that the school district was situated upon the old Pelly Trail

Webmaster note: The newspaper article recorded Chatsworth S.D. as number 1771, however other sources provide the school with the name of Homeland as School District No. 1771, and Chatsworth School District as No. 1810. The spelling was provided as Landstrew S.D. 2698 in the newspaper article, however other sources gave it as Landestrew S.D. No. 3698, And Budweis School District received the S.D. number of 2698. If anyone else has further information or clarification on any of these schools, school districts or Bert McKay, it would be a pleasure to add the same notes as provided. Kind Regards Julia Adamson.

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