History: The schools of Riverton Township

October 16, 2019

Morton School, 1907 or 1908. Roxie Ewald, teacher. Front row, from left: David Livingston, Wesley McClatchie, Fred Wright, unknown, John Scanton, Bernard Murphy, Barney Buck, Lillian Boucher, Margie Stickney, Hazel Haughey, Georgianna Haughey. Back row, from left: Unknown, Esther Boucher, Beaulah Morton, Edna Magnusson, unknown, Margaret Anthony, Bessie Buck, Jesse Williams, James Morton, Dean Morton, Jennie Cribbs, Stella Wright, teacher Roxie Ewald, Amanda Hedstrom, Blanche Shappee.

History: The schools of Riverton Township

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.

Editor’s Note: MC History Spotlight is a regular history column brought to you by Ludington Woods Assisted Living and Memory Care.

Prologue: Public education in Mason County today looks much different than it did in the 19th century and first half of the 20th century. In the mid- to late-1800s, transportation and roads in Mason County were much different than they are now. Schools were built in the center of populated areas, with the intention that children wouldn’t have to walk more than 2 miles to get there. Essentially, each rural school building was its own district with each having a three-person school board.

The first records of public schools in Mason County date back to when the county was organized in 1855. Some of the first schools were established in modern Pere Marquette, Custer, and Victory townships.

By the early 20th century, the county had 69 separate school districts with 74 buildings.

In the early 1900s transportation and roads improved while populations shifted and consolidation of the rural schools started taking place, a process that continued for almost 70 years.

These stories are not complete. I am always in the search for more details and more first (or second) hand accounts about the schools. The ultimate goal is to compile these school history stories into a book.

In these articles names of modern roads are used to describe where the school buildings were located. Many of these roads were merely trails back in the 1800s and early 1900s and few of them had names. Most roads in Mason County did not get named until the late 1940s. Also, the term “fractional” means that the district was split between at least two municipalities.

Riverton Township was organized in 1868 and named after the fact that the Pere Marquette River forms its northern border. It is bordered on the south by Washington Road on the Oceana County line (Weare Township), the east by Scottville Road (Custer and Eden townships), and the west by Brye Road (Pere Marquette Township).

Riverton Township District No. 2, West Riverton (Butler)

Riverton West, Butler

The earliest accounts of a school in Riverton Township date back to 1861, when school was held in a building on the Tim Barber farm, on what is now the southwest corner of Chauvez and Lister roads (later the Ory VanNortwick farm and now land owned by Sheri and Arthur Lister). Eva Glassmeier (also written as Blassmyer) was the first teacher.

The school year of 1862 was taught in an “Indian shanty, vacated by Indians on their retreat to the backwoods,” as recalled by Helen Cooper in a 1944 newspaper article. This was across from the farm owned at the time by Albert Storm, in section 5 “southeast 1/4 of the northeast 1/4”, most likely along Chauvez Road but closer to Morton Road. The shanty was built of cedar logs with a basswood bark roof. It had a dirt floor, fire pit in the center of the flow with a hole in the roof above it.

Again, the building was used for one year with Lavina Parker (later Foley) as teacher.

School was then held for three years in the home of Ben Bates on Morton Road, with Jessie Bates teaching.

In 1866, a log shanty on the John McGrath farm along Chauvez Road became the fourth Riverton school. Lavina Parker continued to teach there. A notable student of that school was Kate Purdy, described as one of the first white children born in Mason County.

Riverton West, Butler

A fifth school was built and opened in 1867 with Josie Bates as teacher.

In 1880, a half acre of land was purchased on the east side of Morton Road, between Chauvez and Kinney roads, for the building of West Riverton School (township section 4). The school was built near the Mason-Oceana Railroad track and the district was formally organized as Riverton District No. 2. The first school board members included Ben Hall, director; David Baird, moderator; and Charles Wagner, treasurer.

A new frame construction building was built near that location by Henry Butler in 1883 on land owned by Peter Brassau. Pason Bidwell was the first teacher. The building was expanded in 1900 to two rooms.

In 1931 the name was changed to Butler School in honor of pioneer James Butler.

In 1949, Riverton Township School Unit District No. 2 was formed, combining students from Butler, Jones, Morton, Wiley schools, along with the Mason County portion of Buck School. Earl Farrell was the last teacher at West Riverton (Butler) before it closed.

West Riverton remained open until 1956 when students were moved to the newly built school on South Stiles Road between Hawley and Meisenheimer roads. In 1966 the school district, along with the new building, consolidated with Mason County Central School District.

West Riverton, Butler, year unknown

West Riverton/Butler teachers and board of education officers, 1883 to 1949:

  • 1883: Parson Bidwell, teacher; Godfree Erne, board.
  • 1894: Nora Tagney, teacher
  • 1895-1896: Bill Small, teacher
  • 1897: Maud Medcalf, teacher
  • 1898: Harry Mustard, teacher; Henry Dittmer, director; John Rineboldt, treasurer; Jerome Harmon, moderator
  • 1899: Estella Rose, teacher
  • 1900: Gertrude Darr, teacher
  • 1901: Clayton Whitney, teacher
  • 1903: Mae Harrington, teacher; Mott Butler, director; John Rineboldt, treasurer; Jermone Harmon, moderator.
  • 1904: E.P. Bidwell, teacher; Henry Dittmer, director; John Rineboldt, treasurer; Jermone Harmon, moderator
  • 1905: Clayton Whitney, Lizzie Bailey, teachers.
  • 1906: Jolly Tibbs, Lizzie Bailey, teachers
  • 1907: Gustie Stahlin, Gladys Cribbs, teachers; Henry Dittmer, director; Henry Butler, treasurer; William Wadel, moderator.
  • 1908: Mabel Olson, Laura Shelly, teachers
  • 1909: Gladys Cribbs, Lulu Gebot, teachers
  • 1910: Adine Kistler, Irene Darr, teachers; Henry Dittmer, director; James Butler, treasurer; William Wadel, moderator
  • 1911: D.U. Jones, Adine Kistler, teachers; Henry Butler, director; James Butler, treasurer; William Wadel, moderator.
  • 1912: Marie Larsen, Adine Kistler, teachers.

West Riverton (Butler) School. Photo by Don Klemm.

  • 1913: Elsie Wicklund, Eva Peterson, teachers; H.M. Butler, director; William Ebersole, treasurer; A. Gamertsfelder, moderator.
  • 1914: Ruby Kistler, Eva Peterson, teachers; Jerome Harmon, director; William Ebersole, treasurer; A. Gamertsfelder, moderator.
  • 1915: Minnie Knoll, Christine Christensen, teachers; Jerome Harmon, director; William Ebersole, treasurer; Henry Dittmer, moderator.
  • 1916: Eva Martin, H.D. Stowell, Christene Christensen, teachers; George Kiefer, director; W.H. Brown, treasurer; Henry Dittmer, moderator.
  • 1917: Lobeth Taylor, Bernice Horn, teachers; George Kiefer, director; W.H. Brown, treasurer; George Wagner, moderator.
  • 1918-1919: Mary Kilpatrick, Lobeth Taylor, teachers.
  • 1920-1922: Catherine Kilpatrick, Edna Olmstead, teachers.
  • 1923: Sara Hubell, Hazel Hanson, teachers; Eli Hansen, director; E.E. Olmstead, treasurer; George Wagner, moderator.
  • 1924: Sara Hubell, Hazel Hansen, teachers; Eli Hansen, director; E.E. Olmstead, treasurer; James Pedersen, moderator.
  • 1925: Harry McFarland, Florence Tyndall, teachers; Eli Hansen, director; George Wagner, treasurer; James Pedersen, moderator.
  • 1926: Mrs. Frank Kibby, Eunice Briggs, teachers.
  • 1927: Mrs. Frank Kibby, Beatrice Hannah, teachers; Eli Hansen, director; George Wagner, treasurer; Elery Harmon, moderator.
  • 1928: Ella Dittmer, Beatrice Hannah, teachers; Maurice Butler, director; George Wagner, treasurer; Elery Harmon, moderator.
  • 1929-1931: William Buffenbarger, Edna Schalhorn, teachers.
  • 1932-1934: Earl Keith, Inez Huddlestun, teachers.
  • 1934: Maurice Butler, director; George Wagner, treasurer; Eli Hansen, moderator.
  • 1935: Mila Larsen, Inez Huddlestun, teachers.
  • 1936: albert Johnson, Inez Huddlestun, teachers.
  • 1937: Albert Johnson, Inez Huddlestun, teachers.
  • 1938-1942: Cyril Hemmer, Ruth Smedberg, teachers.
  • 1941: Maurice Butler, director; Emma Wagner, treasurer; Eli Hansen, moderator.
  • 1943: Berniece Chase, Elvie Young, teachers.
  • 1944-1946: Berniece Chase, Geraldine Johnson, teachers
  • 1944: Maurice Butler, director; Edith Goff, treasurer; Eli Hansen, moderator.
  • 1947-1948: Earl Farrell
  • 1949: Consolidation. Last school board: Harold Pedersen, director; Ray Sherburn, treasurer, Chas Harley, moderator.

 

Riverton Township District No. 1, East Riverton, Fractional

East Riverton School, 1902, taught by Albert Steuber. Front row, from left: Walter Pleiness, Marion Michael, William Thurow, Floyd McCumber, Joel Harley, Hazel Schumacher, Leon Schumacher, Minnie Thurow, Frank Bosworth, Duane Durham, Fairy Durham, Emil Hess, George Watson. Middle row, from left: Walter Hess, Fred Hess, Florence Bidwell, Elsie Green, Pearl McCumber, Leo Pleiness, Iva Scott, Ethel Harley, Leona Gring, Belle Quinn, Stella Harley, Clyde Quinn, Walter Langfeldt, Walter McCumber, Roy Quinn, Henry Schwass. Back row, from left: Albert Steuber, Fred Englebrecht, Carl Schwass, Albert Langfeldt, Nate Michael, Albert Tonn, Mary Michael, Robert Watson, Maude Bosworth, Max Rahn, Fred Rahn, Ella Hess, Bertha Pleiness, Herbert Hess, Harddy Bidwell, and Minnie Langfeldt (out of picture).

East Riverton

The first East Riverton school was located in a log building built in 1870 on the north side of Chauvez Road near Riggle Road. The building had rough log desks and three-legged stools for seats. A board fence, with a stile in front of the school, was placed around the school. Della Perkins was the first teacher.

The building burned and a new log building was built in 1873 in the same location. Its first teacher was Emma Burgey. By 1890 the school housed 80 students.

In 1893 the log building was moved to the west to make way for a new frame building. The old building was then used as a church. In 1910, the frame building was enlarged to two rooms, accommodating grades kindergarten through 10 with 130 pupils.

By 1941, the school only had 17 students and one teacher, Mildred Thomas. The district was annexed in 1955 by the newly formed Mason County Central School District and the school stayed open until 1960. The last teachers were Grace Clark and Gladys Eikenberry.

The district consolidated with MCC in 1966.

The building was then used as a private residence for several years until it was demolished in the early 1990s.

East Riverton School, fourth grade, 1958 taught by Grace Clark. Front row (on step), from left: DeEtta Fletcher and Linda Dobias. Second row, from left: Susan Cameron, Kay Thurow, Doug Larsen, Roger Thurow, Kenny Davie, Penny Williams, Gloria Hernandez, Lorna Dobias. Third row, from left; Janet Billings, unidentified, Mike Dongvillo, Gary Knudsen, Meredith Knudsen, Greg Patterson, Lee Rozell. Fourth row, from left: Beverly Young, Magdalino Corillo, Warren Reader, Joyce Ager, Diana Lemire, Karol Blackaby. Back row, from left: David Conrad, Merry Smith, Tony McCumber, Suzanne Wilson, Grace Clark, teacher.

 

Riverton Township District No. 3, Center Riverton (Jones)

Riverton Center (Jones), 1907-1908. Front row, from left: Myrtle Lockhart, Madaline Herr, Merle Oldt, Rosco Morell, John Bradbury, Alric Morell, Harrison Forbes, Wesley Morell, Michael Murphy, and Foster Bryan. Second row, from left: unidentified first name — Simon, Theresa Murphy, unidentified, Josey Peck, unidentified, Nellie Bryan, Fern Oldt, Eleanor Schwass, Ila Harley, Marie Herr, Victoria Simon, Phoebe Forbes. Third row, from left: Lillian Smith, Alta Baylor, Nettie Squire (teacher), Victoria Herr, Bertha Schwass, Florence Baylor, Hazel Oldt. Back row, from left: Eva Bradbury, Bill Smith, Roy Morrell, Herbert Lockhart, Howard Black, Bill Laude.

Riverton Center, Jones, 1888

The first Center Riverton school was a log building built in 1868 along Schwass Road along the Mason-Oceana Railroad in section 11, near Hawley Road. The building burned after the first year and a new log building was built in its place.

Mary St. Orr was one of the early teachers at the school. She earned $22 a month for the winter term and $16 a month for the summer term.

In 1883, a new frame building was built on the southwest corner of Hawley and Schwass roads. The school had two different names, Jones and Center Riverton. Its namesake was Sam Jones, likely the person who sold the property to the township.

A partition was added in the 1930s dividing the building into two rooms. The partition did not go all the way to the ceiling or to the floor, causing sound to carry between the two rooms. It was removed in the 1940s.

The school closed in 1949 when the Riverton Township School Unit District No. 2 was formed, combining students from Butler, Jones, Morton, Wiley schools, along with the Mason County portion of Buck School.

In 1978 the building was purchased by the Amish community and was used for a couple decades as a school. Today it is a private residence (and is for sale).

 

Riverton Township District No. 4, Morton

Morton School, 1907 or 1908. Roxie Ewald, teacher. Front row, from left: David Livingston, Wesley McClatchie, Fred Wright, unknown, John Scanton, Bernard Murphy, Barney Buck, Lillian Boucher, Margie Stickney, Hazel Haughey, Georgianna Haughey. Back row, from left: Unknown, Esther Boucher, Beaulah Morton, Edna Magnusson, unknown, Margaret Anthony, Bessie Buck, Jesse Williams, James Morton, Dean Morton, Jennie Cribbs, Stella Wright, teacher Roxie Ewald, Amanda Hedstrom, Blanche Shappee.

 

Morton School after 1905 addition of “L”.

Morton School was located on the southwest corner of Morton and Deren roads. The school was organized in 1870 and the first teacher was Miss Avery (first name unknown). A log building was built in 1883 which housed the school until 1890 when a frame structure was built.

In 1905, an addition was built in an “L” shape allowing for a second room and accommodating grades kindergarten through 10.

Some of the early teachers also included Margaret Brown, Maggie DePeel, Arthur Squire, Edna Olmstead, Roxie Ewald, Eunice Briggs, Estella Johnson, Blanche Stauffer, Viola Hawley, Mary Kelpatrick, Sarah, Hubbel, Helen Hoganson, Nora Anderson, Bessie Peterson, and Henry Johnson.

In a 1941 Ludington Daily News article, Margaret (Brown) Jamieson (age 90 at that time) recalled moving to Riverton Township with her family in the early 1870s and accepting a teaching position at the school for two terms. She stated the children were seated with their backs to the teacher and the classroom had a globe, which was considered a source of pride in that era.

The school closed in 1949 when the Riverton Township School Unit District No. 2 was formed, combining students from Butler, Jones, Morton, Wiley schools, along with the Mason County portion of Buck School.

 

Morton School, 1925. Front row, from left: Vera Jameson, James Verschuren, James Jameson, Harold Thomsen, Gerald Dawson, Donald Buck, Roland Gifford, Lewis Wright. Second row, from left: Hazel Silvis, Marie Magnuson, Marcel Verschuren. Third row, from left, Margrith Brennan, Lucine Verschuren, Marguerite Magnuson, Margaret Race, Alice Silvic, Lena Young, Mary Verschuren, unidentified first name – Anderson, Elenor Sibley, Caroline Dawson. Fourth row, from left: Estella Johnson, Eunice Briggs, Carl Sellner, Morris Wiley, unidentified, Kathleen Depeel, unidentified first name – Anderson, Ruby Silvis, Clarence Yaple. Fifth row, from left: Edwin Harley, Wilma Jameson, Vera Stickney, Marie Anderson, unidentified first name – Anderson. Back row, from left: Lillian Brennan, Viola Young, Grace Silvis, Agnes Brennan, unidentified first name – Anderson, Leland Daunt, Tom Scanlon.

Morton School souvenir, 1899-1900 school year.

 

Riverton Township District No. 5, Fractional, St. Mary’s Lake.

Riverton St. Mary’s Lake School, 1901. Teacher, Pearl Mead, is standing on the right. Front row, from left: Lila McCumber, Nettie Huftile, Robert Knapp, William Schultze, Howard Wicklund, Rob McCumber, Bill Iteen, unknown first name — Freeland, unknown, Carrie Beard, Elenore Dow, Maude Freeland, Charles Freeland, Lena Freeland, Victory Munson, Victoria Munson, unknown first name — Knapp. Second row, form left: Esther Munson, Elsie Wicklund, Olive Carroll, Pauline Freeland, Edith Towns, Mae Sorenson, Edith Wicklund, Amanda Freeland, Rex Carroll, unknown, unknown, unknown, Earl Dow, Fred Sorenson, Emma Wise. Back row, from left: Frank Freeland, unknown, Evan McCumber, unknown first name — Beard, unknown first name — Knapp, Rudolph WIcklund, George Beard, Elmer Wicklund, Willie Beard, Knapp, Sid Carroll, George Beard (?), Alfred Wicklund, Beard, Beard, Lena Sorenson, Beard, Edna Bickford, Hazel Dodd.

St. Mary’s Lake School was originally located at the northeast of LaSalle and Beard roads. The first building was log and was built in 1878. Mary Squire served as the first teacher and received $18 per month. The school district rented the land for $1 a year until 1887.

In 1888 the district purchased one acre from Edwin Bickford at the southeast corner of LaSalle and Marrison roads for $10. Lorin Bickford then build a frame school building. The first teacher in the building was Donna Taylor.

In 1959, district voters chose to annex to the Mason County Central School District and the school was closed. Alice Bahr was its last teacher. The district consolidated with MCC in 1966. In 1998 the building was destroyed by fire.

Riverton St. Mary’s Lake School, 1935. Front row, from left: Augusta Lentz, Emi Lou Sorensen, Mary Lou Bowden, Patricia Wicklund, Marianne McEmber, Norman Bickford, Russell Lentz, Kenneth Sorensen, Neil Fricke, Billy Pontious, Walter Schober, Charlies Pontious, Charles Bowden. Middle row, from left: Donald Sorensen, Lorin Bickford, Robert Petersen, Erma Shilander, Frances Sorensen, Helen Iteen, Arlene Bowden, Joyce Petersen, Jeanne Sorensen, Hattie Lentz, Eileen Wicklund, Nellie Fricke. Back row, from left: Otto Munson, Hallack Pontious, Clyde Iteen, Stephen Pontious, Carlyn Petersen, Charles Bickford, Francis Wicklund, Bud Lentz, Chris Sorensen, Roy Shilander, Robin McEmber, teacher Mr. Sherburn.

 

Eden Township District No. 3, Fractional, Wiley (also called Thomas)

Wiley School, year unknown. Edith Holly, teacher.

Wiley School was located in Eden Township, on the east side of Scottville Road just south of Hawley Road. The two-room school building was built in 1887 for kindergarten through eighth grade. Its first teacher was Mary Landon (Kaye Brown).

Other teachers over the school’s lifespan included: Maggie McDonald, Minerva Hubbard, Lester Scott, Ruby Lampmanp, P.H. Hall, Artie Bates, Dora Wesley, Jessie Falconer, George Briswald, Gertie Shaw, Robert Wowns, Maude Wilson, Jennie Smith, H.H. Hawley, William Griffen, Alida Green, Harriet Allison, Edith Holly, Gladys McFarland, Pearl Mead, Mabeel Landon, Anna Rinebolt, Iva Wadel, Clahton Rinebolt, Winnie Noyer, Evie Tufts, Cecelia Giel, Tressia Kehoe, Bertha Schwass, Mary Nelson, Anna Spuller, Maude Bosworth, Eva Deling, S.A. Landen, Linda Bahr, Lula McGhan, Neilie Quinn, J. Hanna, Josephine Myler, Margaret Miller, Viola Wyant, Marvel Rutty, Nellie Griffith, Ruth Estlow, Alice Gerbers, Bernice Fitch, Paul Bedker, Don Wilson, Evelyn Janousek.

Wiley School, 1905

In a letter addressed to one of the school’s reunions, Alice Bedker recalled teaching at the school from 1936 to 1937. “At that time it was a one-room school with grades primarily through the eighth grade. I believe that enrollment was about 20 pupils.

“The building had been built for a two-room school, but because there were fewer students in the district only one room was used as a classroom. The other served as a storage room and also as a recreation room for the pupils. There were indoor toilets, but no running water and of course no electricity at that time.

“In those days every effort was made to keep the school open regardless of weather conditions. During the school term there was one winter day I didn’t get to school due to icy road conditions. My father and I started out that morning driving at a snail’s pace and after sliding off the road two or three times and getting started again we decided to give up. The day was made up at the end of the school term. Several pupils had some to school that morning, but had to return home. 

“The school had an active PTA organization and that year they entered a float in the Scottville Harvest Festival parade.

“Those who served on the school board were Mrs. Effie Bigsby, director; Louis Genter, moderator; and Charles Quinn, treasurer. My salary was $65 per month, including my janitor work.”

The last session of Wiley School was held in 1941 when declining enrollment forced it to close. The school building was sold to a man named Mr. Buckingham who apparently moved it to Scottville and used it as a barn or stable for horses, according to a published article.

In 1949, the school district joined with the newly formed Riverton Township School Unit District No. 2.

St. Mary’s Lake School, late 1800s.

Weare Township District No. 1, Fractional, Buck School

Buck School

Though Buck School was in Oceana County, it sat on the border with Mason County and the district included Riverton Township students.

At one time, the area at the intersection of Stiles and Washington roads was known as Squiresville and later Buck’s Corners, named after the Buck family who lived in the vicinity. It included not only a school but also a general store and pickle station.

Squiresville (Buck’s Corners)

The first log school building was built west of the intersection in 1859. Prior to that, school was held in the Harold Birdsall home, also west of the intersection. Fire destroyed the log school building and a new frame building was built in 1886 on the southwest corner of Stiles and Washington roads.

Teachers included Wila Squire (who taught at the school more than any other teacher, returning four times, first in 1897 and then last in 1928), Ellen Aldrich, Minnie McClatchie, Emma Sibley, Linda Lohr, Ray Sherburn, Yvonne Maynard, Sylvia Jensen, Edna Boulton, Jenny King, Anna Benson, and Evelyn Haberichter. Early board members included S.A. Buck, William Gilchrist, P. Squire, Elwyn Kass, Frank Areklet, and Joseph Astraukas.

In 1949 several Riverton Township schools formed the Riverton Township Unit. Students who had been attending Buck were then moved to other schools. The school closed in 1962 and became part of the Pentwater School District. The closing of Buck School meant the end of Buck’s Corners as well. The general store closed and the pickle station moved to another location. In November 1966, Pentwater Schools sold the school building for $803 to Burton Coon and it became a private residence.

Buck School 1913: Front, from left: unknown, Lillian Birdsall, Clifford Sibley, Herb English, Lulu Gifford, Idona Schmideknecht, Dorothy Reynolds, Darwin Van Brocklin, Clark McKay, Harriet Schmiedeknecht, Ivan Rickley, Teresa DeRooy. Second row, from left: Selma Hurthle, Iva Birdsall, Evelyn Gilchrist, Sadie Sibley, Doris Lambrix, Ward Reckley, Stanley Gifford, Arthur Matson, Jessie Reynonlds, Dan Leggett, Harold English, Parnell. Third row, from left: Otto Hurthle, Eva Munson, Chister Iteen, Grace Schmiedeknecht, Harold Gifford, Zelma Squires, Lois Sibley, Delmar English, McKay, teacher Jenny King. Back row, from left: Carl Lundberg, Nellie Ervin, Joanna Wyns, Lois Greening, Hazel Iteen, Mary Matson, LaVina Iteen, Emily Matson, Elmer Ervin, Herman Hurthle, Delbert Rickley, Evelyn Birdsall.

 

Riverton Township Unit District No. 2. (Riverton Elementary)

Riverton Township Unit School No. 2 (Riverton Elementary). Photo by Don Klemm

In 1949, Riverton Township Unit District No. 2 was formed, combining students from Butler, Jones, Morton, and Wiley schools, along with the Mason County portion of Buck School. District No. 1, East Riverton, Fractional and District No. 5, St. Mary’s Lake, remained independent.

Students attended West Riverton/Butler until a new school opened in 1956 on the east side of Stiles Road between Hawley and Meisenheimer roads. The building cost about $110,000. An addition was built in 1961 that added two classrooms and a storage room. By 1962, 215 students attended the school and it employed nine teachers, two custodians, two cooks and four bus drivers. Teachers included Earl Farrell, Opal Bailey, Janette Harley, Marie Bentz, Myrtle Brown and Bessie Peterson.

In 1966 Riverton Township Unit District No. 2 consolidated with Mason County Central Public Schools. MCC then used the building as an elementary school until 2008 when it built a new upper elementary school in Scottville, housing grades third through fifth, and also increased the size of Scottville Elementary, housing grades kindergarten through second. Riverton Elementary was then sold.

Sources: Mason County Historical Society, Mason County Press (newspaper), Ludington Daily News, master thesis of C. Howard Hornung, Don Klemm.

Presented by Ludington Woods Assisted Living and Memory Care, 502 N. Sherman St., Ludington, MI 49431; 231-845-6100; www.ludingtonwoods.com.

Celebrate Riverton Heritage Day on Saturday, Oct. 19 at the Riverton Township Hall from 1 to 4 p.m. Read more here.

This story is copyrighted © 2019, all rights reserved by Media Group 31, LLC, PO Box 21, Scottville, MI 49454. No portion of this story or images may be reproduced in any way, including print or broadcast, without expressed written consent.

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