Hanchett / Lawrence / South Evergreen

One Room Schoolhouse Reunion

Stories - South Evergreen School

Mary (Holms) LeMieux


While I was at South Evergreen we had a teacher, Miss Burke, I think.  She had red hair and was very strict.  She lived in a small house trailer on the school property.  My brothers & I cleaned the school to earn some extra spending money.  We usually played ball on recesses & jumped rope.  I was the only girl in my grade along with Eugene Lemieux & John Spinner.  At the end of my 6th grade year our school annexed with Coopersville where we finished our education.

Doug Hehl


When Doug Hehl was 12 years old & in the sixth grade (1950-51) he became the South Evergreen school janitor.  Doug was responsible to keep the fire burning in the woodstove that heated the school & to sweep the floor everyday.


Since school started at 9 AM, his day started at 8 AM.  He would build the fire using wood that he’d hauled in from the school’s woodshed the night before.  (He hauled in enough wood to last for the day).  He remembers stoking the fire 4-5 times a day.  At the end of the school day, he would sweep the floor & carry in the wood for the next day.  Doug locked the school & headed home.  He hired his sister, Theda Kay to help him.  He was paid $8.00 a month.  He paid her $2.00 a month.  At the end of the 9 mos. He had $54.00 & Theda Kay $16.00.


Doug’s mother took him to Grand Haven & he purchased a new Schwinn bike for $56.00, borrowing $2.00 from his mom.  The bike became his transportation during his 7th & 8th grade years at South Evergreen.


His janitor job ended at the end of 6th grade since an oil furnace was installed.

Ester (Hintz) Rodgers


Some of my memories of South Evergreen School are as follows:


School was a challenge because my parents were deaf mutes.  Mrs. Rankins was one of my teachers who lived next to school – she would let us pick wild flowers for her.  I recall the school house was heated with a big pot belly stove.  I did not like sitting beside it because the heat would make me sleepy.


During the cold winter months I would help younger students take off their boots.  I enjoyed the school picnic where girls made box lunches – and decorated them and then the boys would have to bid on them.  A sadder memory… was when my best friend died his name was Edgar Tikkanen he was 10 years old at the time.


The end of the school year was a happy occasion.  We were treated to homemade ice cream by Charles and Kay Hintz.


At my age – 95 – it is hard to recall a lot of memories.  I feel blessed to have gone to school at South Evergreen and pass along pictures of that era in my life.


                                                      Ester Hintz Rodgers

More South Evergreen Stories can be found on the South Evergreen Schoolhouse website