Contributed by Nute Chapman,Jim Hall,Sally Beatty
On June 17, 1884 the Board of School Inspectors of the Township of Ellis inCheboygan County formed a school district in said township to be known asDistrict No. 4. It included sections 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 16, 17, and 18. Thiswas the beginning of the Mitchell school. The first meeting for this school district was held at the home of JohnMcPherson on June 26, 1884 at 10:00 a.m. Cyrus Gregg was elected chairman ofthat first meeting, Daniel Welch was elected moderator and John McPherson waselected director. The school house was selected on the NE corner of NW1/2 of Section 8, T 34 N.,R.1E, thirteen rods square. The Director was instructed to negotiate forpurchase or lease of the same. It was further voted to raise money by direct tax as follows:Teachers wages for four months school.........$120.00Building purposes................. 220.00Fuel...................... 8.00Apparatus.................... 10.00Incidental expenses................. 30.00 _______ $388.00 The Mitchell School became a part of Forest Township and was listed asDistrict 2 in records of 1887. Between the years of 1884 and 1887 settlersmoved in for the lumbering industries. *************************Compiled by Commissioner E. W. BakerCheboygan, MI 1853-1903Sub District No. 2By Maggie and Bessie Mitchell and Mary Welch "Our district has been called the "Welch district" or the "Mitchell district"from two of the early settlers. It was organized June 26, 1884 as No. 4Ellis. The first director was John McPherson and the first teacher JohnHeaphy. There was eight include in the first school census. The first school house was a small log building built in 1884 on the presentschool site -NE cor NW1/2, Sec. 8. The district was bonded for $300.00 tobuild and furnish the school house. In 1887 the district became No. 2 Forest. The present house was built in1900-1901 at a cost of $470.00. It is a neat and attractive frame building. John McPherson and Daniel Welch (deceased) were the first settlers. There arenow about 25 families in the district. John Heaphy, Lizzie Heaphy, Geo. Sinclair, Maggie Murphy, Amanda Kissinger,Mary Murphy, Mattie Shaw, Delia Doolittle, Bessie Sandison, Emma Flarity,Phebe Hammell, May Clark, Grace Allison, Maud Hulbert, Jennie Carley, andMabel Canfield have taught the school." This school continued to be in use until it burned in the fall of 1928. School was then held in the home of Dell Sabin for the remainder of the term. During the next few years, children from that district were transported to theschool in Tower. In 1934 a school from Maple Grove Township has moved to the Mitchell schoolsite and it was again used until 1941 when the remaining country schools wereclosed in the township. Children through grades six were transported to Towerand higher grades attended Onaway Public Schools. There were occasional competitive spelling and arithmetic matches with theTower school which created excitement as well as sharpening the studentskills. Harriet (Wheelock) Lyon recalls the improvised hot lunches she and thechildren had during the term she taught 1939-1940. They turned out some tastyand hearty hot lunches with vegetables and foods brought from home and cookedon the heating stove. My personal recollection as a teacher in 1935-1936 was of the school beingbright and cheerful with large windows along the east side of the building. However, on a cold winter day with a strong west wide, papers had blown offthe desks nearest the west wall. Needless to say, it could be quite cold. The school building finally was purchased by Glen Willey, moved and remodeledinto a home in which he now resides on the southeast corner of Brady road andM-33 & 68. At the present time 1989, the home of Mr.& Mrs. Dennis Willey now stands onwhat once was the original Mitchell School property along the south side ofthe highway two miles west of Tower.