County of Ponoka GenWeb Project: Park Springs School District
Park Springs School District
The History
The Teachers
The 1st Students The Last Students
School Building Picture School District Map
District Quick Facts

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The History of the Park Springs #1963 School District
The early years of the century found many families moving into the area and 1908 the Park Spring School District #1963 was formed. The origin of the name is unknown, but it is likely from the lovely spruce groves and the numerous springs that flowed from surrounding hills at that time. The school was built on the north-east corner of the N.W. 1/2, 22-43-28-W4th in 1909 by Mr. Richard Hannus. The original location was probably chosen because it was the only dry location in the area at that time.
Park Springs opened its doors in 1910 with Mr. Vernon Gilbert as the first teacher, who also held church and Sunday School. He came from Lamerton, Alberta.
As was usual in those early days, the school term was governed by prevailing weather conditions and available funds, so school was not held in the cold months of the year. The taxes for land in 1909 were 6 per acre, and for the following four years it was increased to 7 per acre. There is no record for later years. As with many of the rural School Districts, Park Springs had many teachers over the years as retaining teachers for more than a few months at a time was difficult, due to funding and local conditions.
The school had double desks and the usual stove in the centre of the room that burned the faces of those sitting nearest it, but did little for the comfort of those at the front and back of the room. It didn't do much to thaw the frozen lunches that were stacked around it on the floor either. One teacher, upon arriving at school in the morning, always threw a pail of snow on the floor to keep down the dust while sweeping it. Aching feet and numb fingers were usual for the children that had to ride horseback such long distances.
In 1922, because the playground was so hilly and rough, the schoolhouse was moved, using horses and a stump puller, to the northwest corner of the same land. The building was renovated, painted and a foundation was put under it. Mr. Monroe McLoed was the first teacher after the school was moved and renovated.
Playground amusements at the school were very scarce, so the teachers were taxed to the limit, not only finding ways to keep the children occupied during the noon hour and at recess, but also with teaching all the grades up to grade nine in one room. Many teachers were forced to serve as "jack of all trades", filling the roles of teacher, janitor, etc
The Priebe home, just across the corner from the school, was home for a time to many of the teachers. Water had to be carried from Prieve's well and though some teachers tried to make each student use his own cup, who had time to get a cup when games were waiting? They just used the dipper. In the summer one pail of water didn't go very far so the students were often thirsty.
In 1928, when Mrs. Smith was teaching, there was not a sufficient number of students to keep the school open, so the few that did attend were sent to Crystal Springs School instead. By 1930, there was once again enough children as Mrs. Virginia Kirk (Ray Kirk) brought some of her own children with her, when she accepted the position of teacher in the district. For a few years the attendance continued to grow, and then once more declined. In 1944, the Park Springs School officially closed its doors forever.
In 1954 the school was purchased from the County with contributions from members of the district and it became a Community Centre, and was also used for church services and daily vacation Bible School during the summers.
The Teachers The 1st Students
A.M.O (name unknown)

Miss Mable Hemeyer

Alfred Edinger
Tillie Sauer
Miss A. Archibald

Miss Minnie Henderson (Mrs. Long)

Bertha Kuhnke
Carl Stuef
Mr. Bailey

Mrs. Virginia Kirk

Clara Priebe
Walter Stuef
Miss Billsten

Miss Laval

Richard Priebe
Willie Stuef
Owen Brown

Miss Dorothy LaRoche

David Sauer
Miss Jessie Crandall (Mrs. Ingraham) Mrs. Beulah MacKenzie The Last Students
Mrs. Davidson

Miss Louise Martin (Mrs. Sagert)

These students went on to Crystal Springs School:

Cecil Bieber

Miss Elsie Davis

Mrs. Muriel McCleary

Edward Bieber

Miss Marie Donnelly (Mrs. Olsen)

Miss Rosemary McGillis

Norman Bieber

Miss Eva Farnell

Miss Millicent Millikin

Pearl Bieber

Wm. Ferguson

Steve Petryk

These students went on to Wilmot School:

Alice Lick

Miss Fife

Miss Alice Porter

Edith Lick

M. Gardner

Mr. C.E. Purdy

Left school:
Ted Tucker

Miss Isobel George

Mrs. Sharp

Went to Ponoka:
Herb Wilson

Miss Grant

Mrs. Smith

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Mrs. Hall

Miss Olive Sweet

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Park Springs School
Coming Soon...!
This photo courtesy of

Park Springs School District #1963 Map
Coming Soon...!
To see full size readable version of this map, click here

District Quick Facts
District/School Nbr:
First school year:
Original name:
Park Springs
First teacher(s):
Mr. Vernon Gilbert
Date established:

N.W. 1/2, 22-43-28-W4th

Last school year:
Name changes:


Last teacher:

built in 1909

Later Bldg Usage:
Community Centre
Mr. Richard Hannus
Additional Information:
School tax info:
> 1909 taxes = 6 per acre, >1910 - 1914 = 7 per acre

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Deb's logo... All articles & graphics were developed, compiled or created by D.A. Owens. 1997 - 2002. All Rights Reserved. The information provided is for research purposes only, and it's accuracy is subject to confirmation. Commercial use of this information is prohibited.