The 1880 Corydon school, which was torn down in the 1930s by the WPA. Brick from the razed structure was used to build a heating tunnel from the new high school building to Corydon’s grade school, and to build a campanile housing the old school bell. Most of the remaining brick was given to Seymour for a gym, probably the old gym in Seymour today. Photograph and information courtesy of Prairie Trails Museum’s Brenda DeVore
In 1966, Clarabelle Henderson, Marjean Poston and Lois Hart were good friends when voters chose consolidation to form the Wayne Community School District. They were also elementary teachers who taught that first year in the old building connected by underground tunnel to the high school. The trio came from an age of one-room schoolhouses. Fifty years ago, they took their turns to help raise the children of southern Iowa.
Each educator worked diligently to hone her craft, giving up summers while carpooling to Drake University classes.
If not for the hard work and drive of these few brave souls, whose boon was often of a spiritual nature rather than monetary reward, the children that passed through Wayne County would never have been the same. Sep 12, 2016, 09:19
The old elementary school on a sunny day. After one year of serving Wayne students, it was torn down. Photo courtesy of Prairie Trails Museum of Wayne County
ALONG WITH BOB ROCKHOLD, PAUL EPPERLY AND DICK SHOCKEY, FORMER BIOLOGY TEACHER WAS ANOTHER LINEVILLE GRAD THAT HELPED THE NEW SCHOOL SYSTEM CLICK
Even after 50 years, former biology teacher Dean Booher cannot say enough about the staff that brought together the newly formed Wayne Community School District in 1966. It was a small town effort that would have made scientists like Watson and Crick proud—the administrators at Wayne implemented a system that brought the DNA’s double helix to Corydon.
Education was in Booher’s blood, if not deeper. Sep 6, 2016, 10:00
Fifty years after the first fall of the Wayne Community School District, Aug. 23 was the first day of school in 2016. Pictured above are members of Adriann Anderson’s preschool class, from left to right: Cash McElvain, Isaac Foster, Emmalynn Stevens and Tucker Lane. Photo by Jason Selby
TWO LINEVILLE HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES, PAUL EPPERLY AND DICK SHOCKEY, HELPED FORGE FALCONS’ IDENTITY
As teachers guided their students into the Wayne elementary and secondary schools in Corydon—some as wizened seniors, others as preschoolers tearful with their parents, reaching that milestone age of separation—it marked the 50th anniversary of the formation of the consolidated district in 1966.
The first year, the old elementary school and cafeteria sat approximately where the new gym now stands. The infamous tunnel leading to and from the high school swallowed many students in the brick dungeon’s mouth. Aug 29, 2016, 09:22
Chris Furlin and Shonda Johnson in their Good Ol' Days shop. Photo by Jason Selby
BEGINNING AT OLD SETTLERS, SEYMOUR COUPLE DOING THEIR PART TO RETURN ECONOMIC LIFE TO CORYDON SQUARE
Chris Furlin’s grandfather spent his days underground—early in the 20th century, there was a thriving coalmining industry in southern Iowa. And when John Furlin wasn’t wielding a pickaxe by carbide lamp, he was digging graves. Before there were backhoes, men used shovels and sweat to inter the dead.
“He was the one down in the hole,” Furlin said of his grandfather’s coalmining experience. “One of the few who never got black lung disease.
“Him and my dad used to dig graves by hand with sand shovels and spades.”
Around that time, Seymour was the biggest town in Wayne County. Agriculture had not yet turned to mass production, and the Corydon Square was full. No storefront was empty. Aug 15, 2016, 09:19
2016 Old Settler of the Year Pat Swartzlander. Photo by Jason Selby
When Pat Swartzlander learned she had been chosen 2016 Old Settler of the Year, her first thought was to doubt whether she qualified, since she was not born in Wayne County.
“It’s an unbelievable honor for me,” Swartzlander said. “Then I think of all the people who do so much more, and are so much more active in the community, and I think I’m not up to those standards. I’m just like everyone else who works and tries to make this a better place.”
Swartzlander moved to Wayne County over 40 years ago from Eldora, where she graduated from high school in 1964.
“Actually, when we found out we were moving here, I really didn’t know where it was. I didn’t have any memory of hearing of Corydon." Aug 8, 2016, 09:25