County of Ponoka GenWeb Project: Potter Creek School District
The History
The Teachers
School Building Picture School District Map
District Quick Facts

Navigator Bar for site HomeDistrictsPioneers indexBiographies IndexHistory IndexLinks IndexLocal Business Indexponokagenweb@yahoo.comPonoka County QueriesResources IndexSchool Index

The History of Potter Creek School District #1791
In 1907 when a school was being talked about there was a difference of opinion as to where the school should be built. Louis Stevems offered to donate five acres of land on the hill for a school building spot, but others thought the school should be built farther west. Jason Williams offered land near Potter's Creek. A meeting was organized by Wm. Connors. There were eight men and ten women present at the meeting, (but women were not allowed to vote at that time), and the men voted - five men voted in favour of building the school near Potter's Creek, and three in favour of Steven's Hill. The school that was to be built was to be named Potter Creek School.
In 1908 William Connors, Jason H. Williams and Tom Mowbray organized the Potter Creek School District. The schoolhouse was built on an acre of J.H. William's land, and the school was named after Dr. Potter, the first settler in the district.
The carpenter for the school was Mr. Sinclair Mellis (father of Tom Mellis and Mary Grinde). The school was built for $500, as much of the labor and material were donated.
The school became the hub of the community, and the major part of the settlers' social life centered around it. Church services were also held in the school by Rev Patstone, who was the first minister in the Rimbey Anglican Church. His field included several outlying districts as well.
Here is an outline of some of the teachers who taught at Potter Creek.
Mr. Craig, our first teacher was from Dundee, Scotland. He was kind and patient, but did not teach long enough for us to really know him, because after a month or so, he became ill, had a severe heart attack, and died in the Conner home where he boarded. Mr. Connor made the funeral arrangements as well as making a trip to Lacombe, forty miles each way, for a doctor, and numerous trips to Rimbey for medicine. He made the casket and Mrs. Connor trimmed it in crepe. Mr. Craig was laid to rest in the Rimbey Cemetery in 1909 on a cold December day with a scattering of people present - people who had become friends with a man despite knowing so little about him.
Miss Florence Hall, our second teacher came from Iowa, USA. She lived with her mother and uncle on their homestead farm ten miles or so southeast of Rimbey. She boarded at Connors farm while she taught at Potter Creek School. After leaving Potter Creek School, she taught for many years in the surrounding area. When she became ill and finally agreed to enter the Rimbey Hospital, the shock of being examined by a doctor, probably for the first time in her life, was too much for her. She grabbed a hot water bottle and threw it, hitting the doctor. Then and there, she was placed in the mental hospital in Ponoka, Alberta.
Thomas Randall, a little bouncy fellow from London, England, was the next teacher. In the school room he was insecure and the pupils sensed it at once. Many times when he came late to school, the older pupils would congregate on the school steps refusing to let him enter the schoolroom. He did not know how to cope with the situation. At first he would laugh and plead, eventually he would become frantic, warning the pupils he would tell the trustees. It was then that they would let him in.
In those years discipline was the order of the day, and children could he punished when unruly. Usually teachers were respected.
Mr. Charles Huggard, who came from Hamilton, Ontario, was not only knowledgeable but an experienced teacher. Mr Huggard took politics seriously and from time to time lectured on higher education. He also had one other profound interest and that was spiritualism.
Miss Pearl Everhart - was a quiet, unassuming, young woman. To her advantage, she did not have the problems to face that the former teacher had had. She was a daughter of a pioneer family in Rimbey, and later married Carl Cox, also of Rimbey.
Mr. Charles Bowker was our eighth grade teacher. He was a knowledgeable, friendly person with a pleasing outlook on life. Mr. Bowker and his wife lived in Rimbey and he taught school at Potter Creek, driving 6 miles to and from Rimbey each day. He was late many times. Often we saw Mr. Bowker coming around the bend in a cloud of dust, leaning forward in his springwagon, grasping a line in each hand and urging his already galloping team to go faster. He would hastily unhitch the team, tie them to the wagon wheel, then rush to the desk all out of breath. Mr Bowker was of good character. After teaching many years in the country schools, he and his wife moved to Edmonton where he entered the business world. He lived to be 98 years of age.
Mr. Gillun taught at Potter Creek in 1917. Some of the pupils were Les and Lawrence Uhl, Jean Connors, and Joe, Gertie, Sherman and Roy Hohn.
Miss Turney came from Calgary to teach at Potter Creek . She was a beautiful young lady and boarded at Uhl's. When a new baby was born at Uhls, Mrs. Uhl asked Miss Turney to name the baby. Miss Turnev had been admiring a handsome young man when she went to church with Mrs. UhI. She named the baby "Vincent Jerome." The handsome young man at church was Jerome Don-nelly. Miss Turney had an attack of appendicitis followed by influenza and passed away in Calgary in 1919.
Mrs. Margaret Eaton came to Potter Creek in 1919 and taught until 1920. She and her husband Lou lived west of Potter Creek on N.E. 5-42-3-5.
George Spargo came to teach in 1921. He was from England and a veteran of World War I. He boarded with Mrs. Joe Hohn. ln later years he was connected with the Dept. of Fisheries.
Mr. Pederson taught in the Potter Creek School from January to June in 1922. He was a veteran of the Boer War.
Miss O'Brien was the next teacher. She came in September, 1922 and left in October. 1922.
Mr. Adam was the next teacher. He came in the fall of 1922 and left at Christmastime.
Mrs. Letroy taught a year starting in September. 1923. She rode horseback from Rimbey.
Mr. MacDonald (called "Little Mac") was Potter Creek's next teacher. He taught from September, 1924 until June. 1925.
Mr. Sweeney taught at Potter Creek for a year starting in September. 1925. He boarded with Alvin Stutheit, when he was baching. They had many happy times together. Several of the young male teachers of Rimbey and district spent many week-ends at the Stutheit home. Some of them included Jack Badner, Suzie Marrott, Mr. MacDonald, Jack Manson and Sweeney.
Mrs. Dundas taught at Potter Creek School from September. 1926 until Easter of 1927.
Miss Minnie Page finished the year. She was very well liked by the children. Bryantons moved in that year and brought eight children to the school.
Miss Murchison came in September of 1927 and taught throughout the year.
Miss Bernice Iddings came from home to teach Potter Creek in 1928. She drove her car in the fall and spring, and a horse and cutter in the winter. She was a very capable teacher, and the children loved and admired her. She took all the Potter Creek pupils to a pictureshow in Rimbey. It was "Ben Hur." The children greatly appreciated it, as this was the first show some of them had ever attended.
Miss Hildred Cumberland taught at Potter Creek School in 1929. A short time later she married Martin Parker.
Miss Eva Tona taught Potter Creek School for three and a half years in the early thirties. She rode horseback from home.
Miss Margaret Lambertus taught from1933 to 1935. She married Tom Bones and moved to Ottawa.
Mr. Bill Dorne was a very popular young teacher who taught the year starting September, 1935.
Miss Eva Tona returned to Potter Creek in September, 1936, and continued until June 1939. She taught a total of six and one-half years, which is the longest any teacher ever stayed at Potter Creek. She was a very efficient teacher. She taught all the grades from one to eleven. The students in Grades 8, 9, 10 and 11 all wrote departmental exams at that time. Miss Tona taught baseball and hockey, and also tumbling.
In September. 1939, Miss Hackett came to teach Potter Creek School. She boarded at Burchnalls. She taught until June 1940.
From September, 1940 until June, 1942, Mrs. Florence Stewart taught at Potter Creek. She lived in the district.
Miss Grace Kaekle was the teacher from September, 1942 until June, 1945. Francis McVittie stayed with her in the teacherage in the schoolyard.
Mrs. Alma Von Tettenhorn taught Potter Creek School from September, 1945 until June, 1946. She was the last teacher as the school was then closed.
The children were bussed to Rimbey as of 1947.
The school and yard were sold to the people of the district. The ladies cleaned the building, and several dances were held there. Later the building wasn't used much and windows were broken, along with many other acts of vandalism. The people of the district sold the building to be torn down, and sold the acre of land to Mr. Bauer.
The Teachers
Mr. A.B. Craig
Miss Turney
Mr. MacDonald
Miss Margaret Lambertus
Miss Florence Hall
Mrs. Margaret Eaton
Mr. Sweeney
Mr. Bill Dorne
Thomas Randall
George Spargo
Mrs. Dundas
Miss Eva Tona
Mr. Charles Huggard
Mr. Pederson
Miss Minnie Page
Miss Hackett
Miss Pearl Everhart
Miss O'Brien
Miss Murchison
Mrs. Florence Stewart
Mr. Charles Bowker
Mr. Adam
Miss Bernice Iddings
Miss Grace Kaekle
Mr. Gillun
Mrs. Letroy
Miss Hildred Cumberland
Mrs. Alma Von Tettenhorn

Potter Creek School (circa 1911)
This photo courtesy of "Over the Years: A History of the Rimbey Area"

Potter Creek School District #1791 Map
Potter Creek School District Map
To see full size readable version of this map, click here

District Quick Facts
District/School Nbr:
First school year:
Original name:
Potter Creek
First teacher(s):
Mr. A.B. Craig
Date established:

built on an acre of J.H. William's land

Last school year:
Name changes:


Last teacher:
Mrs. Alma Von Tettenhorn


Later Bldg Usage:
The school and yard were sold to the people of the district
Mr. Sinclair Mellis
Additional Information:
Later the people of the district sold the building to be torn down, and sold the acre of land to Mr. Bauer
School tax info:

Looking for more information ? Check out these sites....
Come, visit our Archives site for more bakground info about the County of Ponoka
County of Ponoka ARCHIVES
Come, visit our Historical Archives for more about the development of the County of Ponoka
Visit the Alberta GenWeb Project
Visit the Canada & Alberta GenWeb Projects...
Visit the Canada GenWeb Project
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.