The Cowell's Chapel School

Nell Morisette
NewsTribune Special Columnist

Hello one and all! Let's sit back, read the Tribune, and let the world and work pass us by for awhile.

Like many of the churches and schools Cowell's Chapel was no different. Church and school were held in the same building.

Sometime before 1900 Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Cowell, Sr., gave the first land for a school. In 1916 the Benton County School system bought two acres joining this property from mr. and Mrs. Greer, for additional space, some of which would be used for a vegetable garden. The floor of the school was made out of hewn logs and many students lost pencils through the cracks when they dropped them.

In a newspaper clipping, dated July 31, 1903, Mr. Martin Harding said he was getting along nicely with his school at Cowell's Chapel. Another clipping dated January 27, 1905, stated that Mr. Martin Harding closed his second year of school January 23, 1905. Paper clippings dated May 17, 1907, state "log building being town down, and larger one being erected back farther in the woods, using some lumber from the previous building."

In 1935, another school building was erected between school terms. This was a two room building, with a cloak room for both boys and girls.

Paper clippings dated May 10, 1916, read "From Cowell's Chapel, Hazel Adams, the well-known drama, will be presented at Cowell's Chapel on Saturday night, May 18, for the benefit of the church. Admission ten cents."

In the early 30s hot lunches were preferred by Mrs. Sadie Hartley. She preferred the food in her home and some of the students would walk and pick it up. Then in the 1940s a lunch room was setup in the two room school. Mrs. Clara Ruth Cuff Reed was the teacher at the time. It closed in 1958.

The first report I found at the Benton County Board of Education was the Teachers' Annual Property Report by W.W. McKelvey dated July 26, 1943, to April 5, 1944:

Date of Erection - 1935, Frame
Heating - Woodstove
Floor Area - Room 1684 sq ft.
                    Room 2 - 524 sq ft.
As a whole - 1208 sq ft.
Ventilation - Door and windows
Numbers of Patent Desk - Singles 48, Double 25
Source of Water - Spring
Toilets - two
Area of Ground - two acres
Valuation of Building and Heating - $1,500.00, of grounds $100.00, numbers of books at beginning of year 104; end of year 116.

Thought For The Week:

If we really want to live, we'd better start at once to try.

Cowell's Chapel School

Cowell's Chapel School, teachers are Queen & Clarence Cowell


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Brian Nichols

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