The White School

     One place to start telling the story of the White School in the Town of Verona, Wisconsin, begins in 1599, over 415 years ago, when Thomas White was born in a place called Tickelford, England. He w
Stephen White Sr. 
as the patriarch of this particular White family in America. He arrived at Plymouth, MA in 1625 just four years after the Pilgrims. Five generations later his direct descendent Stephen White Sr., after serving fifteen months with the Continental Army, fought in the Battle of Yorktown when General Cornwallis surrendered to General Washington. Stephen’s son Stephen Jr. enlisted and fought in the War of 1812. His son Warren White enlisted and served as a bugler in the 2nd WI Calvary Regiment until he was disabled and discharged. Stephen Jr. his wife Mary and their son Warren are all buried in the Verona Cemetery. Just think that’s son, father and grandfather who felt it was their duty and volunteered to serve in three major wars. I cannot help but wonder if there were any other families with that distinction.

     There is abundant evidence to support the fact that Thomas White, who was called Captain White, was born in 1599. Some researchers trace his ancestry all the way back to Walter de Whyte who was born in 1215 in England. Other researchers continue the search to Geraldo Gherandini who was born in 980 in Italy. If this additional information ever becomes conclusive, my great grand daughter Phoebe Magnolia Rogers would be a 33rd generation descendent of Geraldo, a total of 1034 years, as of 2014. It should be noted that tracing ancestry involves discovering discrepancies as well as factual data. That’s why genealogy is such a fascinating avocation.
     But, let’s go back to Stephen White Jr. and his wife Mary who had thirteen children when having large families was not that uncommon. There is some evidence that indicates their son Brayton, who was also known as Peter, arrived in Verona in 1841 and married a Jessie Black, however it is not conclusive. Their son Addison did arrive in Middleton shortly after and then settled in the northwest corner of the Town of Verona. A short time later Solomon decided to join his brother and they acquired adjoining farms on which today, the Goodman foundation has built a large swimming pool and community campus area (The Goodman Jewish Community Campus). Then later in 1849 Stephen Jr. and other members of the family arrived. According to over 800 individuals are researching this remarkable family.
     When these New Englanders left Fitzwilliam, NH, a very picturesque little colonial village, with untold numbers of granite boulders, and arrived at Nine Mound Prairie, they must have been amazed at the fertile, black prairie soil. Their journey in wagons pulled by oxen is best described in a marvelous narrative written by their sister Martha.
     In the history of Verona, a mere five years after John Stewart and James Young arrived; a log schoolhouse was built on the west side of the Sugar River. After deciding it was not in the right place a second one was built on county land that became the Dane County Poor Farm. Once again it was decided to abandon the location. To determine how long they operated, who attended and who did the teaching would be an interesting project. By now Addison White had built a comfortable farm house and his sister Marietta taught school there in 1848/1849. Addison’s family was growing and the inconvenience of a school room led to a meeting on April 20th 1850 to organize the first school district. Addison was elected to head the school board and a decision was made to build a school house for $160.00 on a site Addison donated. The site was located on a road that later became County Trunk PD and just before it intersected with what became Timber Lane. It was about four miles northwest of the little community, called at that time, Verona Corners. The district was named the White School District and the building the White School.
     With all that as a background, I’m sure there
Ed Faber
are many colorful and lovely stories surrounding this beautiful little one room schoolhouse that operated in the same location for almost one hundred years. What wonderful memories all the various teachers and students must have? As we reminisce let us not forget, we are indebted to the Goodman Jewish Community Campus that currently maintains the site. Is it possible, consideration should be given to recognizing the site for its historical significance?

Ed Faber - February, 2014

Send New Info

If you have any further information and/or photos pertaining to Verona's White school please share them with me. I can be contacted at

Please include the works WHITE SCHOOL in the subject line. Thank you, Georgia

Winter term closed at the White school

     Hannah Drasslngton's winter term closed at the White school, Verona, last Wednesday and there was a school exhibition of recitations and juvenile oratory. 

 Wisconsin State Journal - March 6, 1902

Around The County

     Ross Shuman teaches the winter term at the White school, Verona.

 Wisconsin State Journal - October 31, 1910

Students and their teacher in the White School in 1913.

First row, from left, are Eileen O'Connor, Truman Sharer, Herman Schmid, Hazel Nieland, Delmar Sharer. Second row, from left, are Rosa Strassman, Merle Way, ? Zurbuchen, Walter Hoffman, Edmund Hoffman, ? Gleason. Standing and in third row, from left, are Orville Himsel, Henry Strassman, Ralph Gust, Algernon Sharer, Mary O'Connor, ? Beckwith, Melvin Schwenn. Fourth row, from left, are Mildred Gust, Dora Updike and ?. Fifth row, from left, are Clarence Goth, Ruth Himsel, Harriet Sharer, August Strassman, Grace Haseltine Himsel (teacher) and Anna Strassman Remaier. The first meeting of citizens to organize White School was held April 20, 1850 in the home of Addison White. The invitation to the meeting was extended April 11 by order of the Town superintendent. The notice went to residents of District No. 4. Names of Donkle, Thomas Gordon, John Bowen, Erastus Richardson, James Waddel, John Waddel, Walter Waddel, John Rutherford, James Cummins, Magnus Leslie, John MacDonald Sr., and John MacDonald Jr.

Second Day At The Fair


     Seed corn rack: First, Kenneth Stevensonn, Dane; second, Marvin Francois, Brooklyn; third, Elmer Lanneleig, DeForest; fourth, Emmet Erfurth, Verona.  
     Rope halter: First, Clarence Nelson, Stoughton; second, Charles Dahlk, Riley, Rodney Sorenson, Oregon; fourth, Kenneth Stevenson, Dane. Bird houae: First, Clarence Nelson, Stoughton; second. Charles Dahlk, Riley; third Emmett Erfurth, Verona; fourth, Hobert Vinjy. Stoughton Orphan's Home.
     School paper: First, Asbion Times; second, Roxbury Berry News; third, German Valley News, Blue Mounds; fourth. White School News.

Wisconsin State Journal August 25, 1920

Kiddies Contribute To Make Hot Lunch Plan Success

     The rich odor and white steam floating up from hot chocolate in the air carried a most direct appeal to one who had ridden for an hour or more over rough country roads on a brisk autumn afternoon. The last child of 86 which attend the White School in Verona Township was just being served by a tail young man, Elmer Gordon, his teacher.
     The child took a cup and spoon from a small table in front of the tiny kitchenette and handed it to Mr. Gordon who filled it with coco and gave him a paper napkin and straw with which to drink his milk. Every child is required to bring his own bottle of milk to school daily. Then the child marched back to his desk, spread his napkin on top of it and took the food from his tin dinner pail which he had brought to school. When, all of his classmate were ready he began to eat.
     "The aim of the hot lunch is first of all to 'keep good health. As the children are not allowed to eat before every one is ready and not allowed to go before everyone is through it not only insured a slowly eaten meal and thus better health but also encourage better table manners," said Mr. Gordon.
     The children do all the work from making the tables and shelves to the cooking of the hot lunch, and cleaning up afterwards. Besides the hot lunch to insure better health conditions in his school Mr. Gordon has a tooth brush and fingernail policeman. Each morning the toothbrush policeman goes to a chart which is on the wall and calls the roll. If the kiddie whose name called has brushed his teeth twice before he answers "Present" and receives a gold star. If he does not answer he does not receive a star and is punished for not having brushed his teach by having to wash the woodwork in the kitchenette or some like task.
     As soon as this policeman has finished performing his duty each child places his hands on top of his desk and the finger nail policeman inspects his fingernails. If they are not clean the child must go clean them.

Capital Times - November 10, 1923

Progress in Health Work to Win Banners for Grade and Rural Schools Today

     With the close of the school year, the public health work of the county nurses will be brought to a climax today at the field in Vilas park with the awarding of a health banner to each of the two rural schools, and each of the two graded schools in the county which have shown the most distinctive progress in health, and which have submitted the most perfect health records for the year.….

     In western Dane the Helland school of Vermont township is the winner ol the banner this year. Last year the White school, of Verona, of which Elmer Gordon is the teacher, won the banner, while the year before the Hellaud school had the banner. Thus, an exciting rivalry exlsists between these two schools which has kept the banner flying back and forth between them. 
     Each teacher, according to the county health nurses, has been left to work out her own methods of interesting the children in health and wellness.....

Wisconsin State Journal - June 6, 1924

Western Dane County Wins First, Second In Badger Schools Show

     Western Dane County brought home a bit of pride and considerable bacon from the premiums awarded on educational exhibits at the State Fair. Western Dane stood fourth among 26 competing counties. White School, Verona, under the supervision of Elmer Gordon, won first place in the state on rural school exhibits. Ashton school took second place in the state Asland is taught by Sister Celesta.....

 Wisconsin State Journal - September 2, 1924
Pupils of White School to Entertain Thursday

MIDDLETON — Pupils of the White school will present  Christmas program  on Thursday at 8 p.m.  A quilt raffle will be held following the dramatic performance.

Wisconsin State Journal - December 21, 1932

Madison Area Safety Patrol Group in Trip

     A group of 18 school boys and girls, including 15 from the Madison area, left the Milwaukee road station Thursday to join 15,000 others in a five day trip to Washington in recognition of their work in school safety patrols.
     The Madison group joined in Chicago with 26 pupils from Wausau, and proceeded to Washington under guidance of Henry Empey, Wausau.
     The Washington meeting is the 10th annual school patrol assembly, sponsored by the American Automobile Association. The trip is financed by local clubs, lodges and civic groups. The three-day Washington program includes a parade Saturday and sightseeing trips. The pupils return to Madison Monday. All were chose in contests in their local schools.
     The junior patrolmen, ranging from 9 to 16 years old, come from 15 states and represent 300,000 members who guard some eight million school children.
     Ernest Kahl, Old Halfway Prairie School, Mazomanie; Forrest Bethel, Paoli Graded school, Basco; Vernon Buppler, Paoli graded school, Verona; Donald Raisbeck, White School, Verona; Francis Statz Verona shool; betty Genis, Schaller school, Verona; Richard Leicher. Reedsburg public school, Marcia Sutter, Spring Valley school, Mt. Horeb;……….

Capital Times - May 9, 1941

Children Mar Five Schools

    A brother and sister, about 11 years old, were turned over to juvenile authorities today for the damage they admitted wreaking on the Pleasant Valley school, town of Oregon, prior to and during Halloween. The pair was questioned fay Undersheriff Elmer Ottum.
     The youngsters admitted smashing windows, ripping out parts of a piano, scattering books and pouring paint and chalk on them, tipping over desks, and smashing plates. The school is not being used this year.
     Sheriff John R. Arnold reported today that two other schools had been visited by Halloween vandals. They are the Gordon school, Town of Verona, where eight windows were smashed and two privies tipped over, and the White school, near Verona, where several small windows were smashed. Earlier damage to Pleasant Springs school and Maple Grove school was reported.
     Ten youths. 14 to 15 years old, vho were taken into custody by Madison police for smashing a window with tomatoes and lowering a street light, also admitted daubing paint on walls at East high school They were turned over to probation authorities.

Wisconsin State Journal - November 2, 1943

Mary W (Waddell) Lloyd -- Early History of the White School District

     Mrs. Mary Waddell Lloyd, 99, died at her home in the city Tuesday, November 23. For the past 13 years she had been a resident of Durand where she made many friends. She was a member of the Congregational church and the Eastern Star chapter of Winona.
     Mary Waddell was born on a farm near
Verona, Wis., July 30, 1849, of pioneer parents, James and Isabelle Borthwick Waddell, of Scotch descent. She was married to Charles Wesley Lloyd in 1865, who preceded her in death many years ago. Of the children, Mrs. H. H. (Evalyn) Home of Durand is the only survivor, and helped care for her mother the past six years. Preceding her in death were Mrs. C. A. (Irmina) Ingram; Dr. James W. Lloyd, Mrs. E. W. (Cora) Barrett and Fred C. Lloyd and William and Jessie who died in infancy.
     In 1910 Mrs. Lloyd joined her son, Dr. J. W. Lloyd in
Buenos Aires, S. A., where they lived until 1915 when they returned to this country because of the war. For a time then Mrs. Lloyd lived at Bowman, N. D. Mrs. Lloyd and the son, Dr. J. W. came to Durand in 1935, but he died a month later. In 1925 they had visited in ancestral Scotland.
     Mrs. Lloyd leaves besides the one daughter 10 grandchildren: Miss Fanniejean Home, Durand; Mrs. Lee Owen, Springfield, Minn.; Mrs. Arnold Rosaan, Evansville, Ind.; Mrs. Orvin Melby, Madison; Mrs. Karl Parish, Eau Claire; Dr. Wm. Cutler, Portland, Ore.; James W. Lloyd, Cudahy; Mrs. Mary Lloyd Schacherl, Harry Cutler and Mrs. J. Harold Bumby of Milwaukee. Among the 15 great grandchildren are Maxine Owen, Springfield, Minn.; Mrs. Leon Pease, Olivia, Minn.; Mrs. L. Laws, Holt, Mich.; James Melsby, Carroll College; Robert, Russell and Gail Parish, Eau Claire; Adain, Bruce, Mary Jane and Beverly Bumby, and Karlee and Ralph Schacherl Jr., Milwaukee; Andrea Rosaaen of Evansville, Ind.; and Wm. Cutler Jr., Portland, Ore. Also two great great grandchildren, Terry Pease, Olivia, Minn. and Gregory Laws, Holt, Mich.

Verona Centennial Souvenir 1847-1947
History of
Page 21

• • • • •

Early History of the White School District

     In a recent letter from Mrs. Mary Waddel Lloyd, who is now living at
Durand, Wisconsin, she tells of some recollections of her early days in the White School. Mrs. Lloyd is the daughter of James Waddell, who entered the Richardson Cave about 1845. That story has been recorded in a previous paragraph. Mrs. Lloyd was 98 years old on July 30, and her daughter, Mrs. Home, writes that her mother is in excellent health, but her sight is not as good as in earlier days. She knits afghans and when the weather is nice, she walks around the block near her home. Mrs. Lloyds story follows:
     Before the school was built Miss Mary Etta White taught three or four pupils in a room of her brother, Addison White's, home. Two of them were Belle Waddell and Warren White. Later at the school house (built in 1850) the following were the teachers, Miss Lucinda Bartlett, Miss Atwood, Miss Jaynes, Miss Dorothy Charlton. They taught a term of five summer months, receiving $1.25 a month and board one week for each pupil at the various homes.
     At one time there was a fight among the school board members, some demanding the hiring of a man teacher and the others wanting to keep Miss Atwood. The discussion lasted so long that Miss Atwood accepted another school. The teacher they hired after that had no discipline and the big boys would snowball her and thus kept her from returning to the classes. Grandfather Waddell was on the school board at the time so we heard it all talked over at home.
     Miss Elizabeth Parks was my favorite teacher. In 1905, Mrs. Tom Stewart (Jessie Rutherford) and I spent an afternoon with her in
Verona. She was married and had two grown sons. (Editor's Note: She married John Rowell) Other teachers as I recall were Abigail Ingles by, a cousin of Miss Parks, Miss Augusta Van Buren, Miss Roxanna Sayles, Charlie Smith and Dave Newman.
     The pupils which I remember are Bill, Anna and Ellen Brown, Warren, Charlie, Alzina, Emma and Martha White, Jessie and Jane Rutherford, Jim Leslie, Charlie and "Looney" Wheelie; Mary, Hannah, George, John, Jeremiah, Melvina and Melvin Proud; Belle, Mary, Jessie Waddell; Jessie and Isabelle (twins) Dorothy and Maggie Compbell, Moses Hedeman, Jessie Lindsay, Walter Waddell, Jr., John Bowen, Harriet Bowen, Henry, Charlie and Mary Himsel.
     The Waddell family lived where the Mauritz Lamberty family live now, in fact the farm corners the towns of
Verona, Cross Plains, Middleton and Springdale. Mr. James Waddell, the father of Mrs. Lloyd, came here from Scotland in 1842. He built a log house on the farm and later, in 1856, he built the stone house that is still in use on this farm,

Obituary (unknown source, from family scrapbook)
Durand, Wisconsin
Thursday, December 2, 1948
(Find A Grave Memoria l#41380091)

Hope School Wins - Conservation Award

     Hope school, in the town of Cottage Grove, has won a new FM radio for school use for its work in conservation in connection with the radio program, "Afield With Ranger Mac," heard over Wisconsin State Broadcasting service radio stations.
     The radio is among the $1,000 in prizes awarded to schools through the state conservation department by Conservation Commissioner Guido Rahr, Manitowoc. The Hope school was one of the Class A award winner. Blenore Dahl is the teacher.
     Class B awards of copies of the "Handbook of Nature Study,".for school libraries, were won by Punkin
Hdllow school, Route 1, Madison; Oak Park School, Deerfield, and Verona state graded school Verona.
     Honorable mentions were won by White School, Verona, and the Morrisonville school, Morrisonville.

Capital Times - June 1, 1951

22 County Schools Honored for Protects on Conservation

      The Madison Lions club honored 22 Dane County grade schools Tuesday afternoon for their work in telling the conservation story.
      White School, Verona, topped the schools of western Dane County with its model community that showed conservation applied in everyday life, and Frank Allis school, Monona village, took the eastern Dane County for the development of its theme: “The Soil Is Our Trust.”
Prizes Total $100
     Checks totaling $100 were distributed to the schools as prize money in the contest.
     At the recognition program in the Park hotel, the pupils of White school, who have Doyle Alexander as the teacher, told the story of their model community and how they gained the principles of conservation from their project.
     “It was so much fun” remarked Dorothy Keller, Route 2, Cross Plains, “that we didn’t realize all we were learning when we set up the project.”
     Although conservation was the main theme, the pupils in the sixth, seventh, and eighth grades used arithmetic in constructing their scale model buildings, got art training in laying out the display, got exercises in language and spelling as they wrote up their reports. 
     “And we learned to work together,” Dorothy commented.
      The pupils of German Valley school, Mt. Horeb, were recognized for turning in some of the finest art work in the contest. They were Robert Hiltbrand and
Lamont Paulson, both of Route 3, Mt. Horeb.
     In the western Dane County ratings German Valley school received first prize for its frieze, Mazomanie was second: Daleyville, third: and Elm school, Lodi, fourth.
     McPherson school, Verona, was first in the scrap book division of the western section: Kerl school, Cross Plains, second; Malone school, Mt. Horeb, third; and Meadow View, Blanchardville, fourth.

Best Corner 
     The top conservation corner was that of the White school, Verona, and Springdale Center, Verona, was second.
     Eastern Dane County’s Vincent school, DeForest, was first in the friezes; Box Elder, Bristol, second; Albion, third, and Smithback at Cambridge, fourth.
     Waubesa school, McFarland, topped the eastern entries of relief friezes, and Rockdale school was second. 
     The best conservation corner was that of the Hope school, Cottage Grove, and Lakeside school, Stoughton, was second.
     More than 50 persons, including the winning school pupils, were guests of the Lions club at the dinner program.

Wisconsin State Journal - April 21, 1954

Miss Schmidt Is Recent Bride Of Calvin O.

     Huber The nuptial service of Miss Gladys Ruth Schmidt and Calvin 0. Hubeb was performed Saturday afternoon, July 3, at Zion Evangelical United Church, Reedsville. Dr. Lance B Latham of North Side Gospel Centerm Chicago, was officiant at the 2.30 o'clock ceremony. Principals are the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John A. Schmidt, Reedsville, and the son of Mr. and Mrs. Calvin H. Huber, Potter. A buffet supper was served at the church and the reception took place at the home of the bride's parents. Verona, Wis, is the place of residence of the couple since returning from a trip to Lake Kusbachein in northern Wisconsin. The bride is a graduate of Manitowoc County, Normal School and is a rural school teacher at White School near Verona. Her husband received a degree from Wheaton College, Wheaton, Ill, and is doing postgraduate work at the University of Wisconsin. 

Sheboygan Press – July 21, 1954

Current Events

     Mrs. Herbert Einerson, Mt. Horeb, teacher at White school, Rt. 2, Verona, points to State Journal clippings on a bulletin-board in her classroom. She uses The State Journal in conjunction  with her current events classes. The pupils are left to right, Jayne Henderson, sixth grade, Howard Hagen, fifth grade; Gloria Henderson, seventh grade; and Phillip Hagen, sixth grade.

Wisconsin State Journal – January 15, 1961

Two Hendersons and “Family” School

     This little white-painted school house, appropriately named White school, has seen two generations of Hendersons. Mr. Jay Henderson, Jayne, and sisters, Gloria and Becky, are all graduates. Eight year-old Richard Henderson is the 18 student school’s only second grader.

     The three proud graduates of White school are shown at right with their teacher, Mrs. Francis Keller. They are, left to right, Phillip Hagen, son of the Art Hagens, Rt. 1, Verona; Jayne; Mrs. Keller; and Frankie Andree, son of the Art Andrees, Rt. 2, Verona.
     The commencement address was delivered by Robert Van Raalte, assistant superintendent of the State Department of Public Instruction, and Miss Blanche Losinski, county schools superintendent, gave out diplomas.
     For their class trip, the three White and the Verona school graduates will tour Milwaukee. Mr. Henderson, a driver for Badger Coaches, will take them, and Mrs. Bertha May Henderson will chaperon.

     The three proud graduates of White school are shown at right with their teacher, Mrs. Francis Keller. They are, left to right, Phillip Hagen, son of the Art Hagens, Rt. 1, Verona; Jayne; Mrs. Keller; and Frankie Andree, son of the Art Andrees, Rt. 2, Verona. Jayne, who admitted to being "a little nervous" before the ceremony, said she wasn't glad it was over. "I'd like to do it all over again."
     The commencement address was delivered by Robert Van Raalte, assistant superintendent of the State Department of Public Instruction, and Miss Blanche Losinski, county schools superintendent, gave out diplomas.
     For their class trip, the three White and the Verona school graduates will tour Milwaukee. Mr. Henderson, a driver for Badger Coaches, will take them, and Mrs. Henderson will chaperon.

Wisconsin State Journal – Sunday, May 26, 1963

Teachers Reunite at One-Room School

      One of the last traditional "one-roomer" school houses, White school, located on Highway PD between Verona and Mt. Horeb, closes at the end-of this school year. 
     Saturday afternoon the present and former teachers of White school gathered on the school lawn for a reunion picnic. 
     Teachers present, from foreground to back, were Eric Nemoc, present teacher; Beatrice Keller, teacher from 1962 to 1963; Rose Einerson, 1959-62; Phyllis Pautz, 1957-59; Gladys Huber, 1954-56; Doyle Alexander, 1949-54; Laura Norslien, 1941-44; Alice Paulson, 1939-41; Ethel Gust, 1925-27; Elmer Gordon, 1922-25: Martha Dolohanty, 1918-19; Pearl Carpenter Thompson, 1916-18; Thea Offerdahl, 1914-15; Jeannie Ferguson, 1902; and Mabel Pierstorff Hammersby (not shown), 1909-10.

Wisconsin State Journal - May 23, 1965

REUNIONS (see TAB at top of blog ):

  • White School Reunion Will Be Held Aug 11 - Capital Times - July 31, 1940
  • Over 150 Former Teachers and Pupils at Fish Hatchery Event - Capital Times - August 15, 1940
  • White School Alumni To Have Picnic - Wisconsin State Journal – August 12, 1942
  • White School Reunion Held - Wisconsin State Journal - August 20, 1942
  • Teachers Reunite at One-Room School - Wisconsin State Journal - May 23, 1965