Ionia County School Districts

With the passage of the Primary School Law in 1837, followed by Public Act 50 of 1843, the growth of school districts in Ionia County began.  The law said each township was responsible for establishing districts within its borders.  The districts could be either whole, that is entirely within the township, or fractional.  Fractional districts were shared with other townships.

All districts, once approved by the township, needed to have a public meeting of the residents of the district to elect a school board composed of a moderator, assessor, and director.  Districts were also required to have at least one annual meeting where the voters of the district would elect the school board for the next year and decide on important issues.

Once formed, the district could begin collecting money from the state Primary Fund as long as it met basic requirements, such as minimum number of students, and provided a suitable school house.

Districts had an official name composed of the township and an assigned number.  Most districts also went by common names, often the person who donated the land that the school house sat on.  Numbers and names would sometimes change as new school houses were built or district boundaries changed.

(The following is a work in progress -- Information, especially common names are appreciated.)

Berlin Township    
School

No.

Location/History

   Eddy School

2      Located in section 11 on the SE corner of David and Airnsworth Rds. Established by 1860.
   Coon School 3f      Located in section 24 on the west side of M-66 1/4 miles north of Grand River Rd.  K-8 school.
   County Farm/Sessions 4      Located in section 34 in the north part of the township on south side of Riverside Rd. near Sessions Creek.  Currently this is in the Ionia State Recreation Area.  Established by 1860.
   Benedict School 5f      Located in section 1 on the NW corner of David and and M-66.
   Berlin Center School 6      Located in section 21 on the SW corner of Peck Lake and Jordan Lake Rds. Established by 1860.
   Hartwell School 7      Located in section 5 on the NW corner of David and Hartwell Rds. Established by 1860.
   Henderleiter School 8      Located in section 29 on the NE corner of Portland and Bliss Rds.  Established by 1860.
   Durkee School 9      Located in section 34 in the south part of the township on the south side of Portland Rd. 1/4 mile west of Ainsworth Rd.  Established by 1860.
   Mud Street School 10      Located in section 18 on the SW corner of Bliss and Bennett Rds.
   Randall School 11f      Located in section 19 on the NW corner of Grand River and Bliss Rds.
     
Boston Township    
School

No.

Location/History
   North Bell School 1      Located in section 20 on the NE corner of Kyser and Grand River Rds. Established by 1860.
   South Bell School 2      Located on section 29 on the north side of Portland Rd. 1/4 mile west of Bell Rd.  Established by 1860.
   Saranac School 3f      Established by 1860.
   Boston Center School 4      Located on section 22 on the NW corner of Gould and Nash Rds.   Established by 1860.
   Waterville School 5f      Located on section 14 on the NW corner of Morrison Lake and Peck Lake Rds.  Established by 1860.
   Sage School 6      Located in section 26 on the NW corner of Morrison Lake and Portland Rds.  Established by 1860.
   Ware School 7f      Located in section 7 on the NW corner of Conklin and Ware Rds. Established by 1860.
   Pearsall School 8f      Located in section 5 on the east side of White's Bridge Rd. 1/4 mile north of M-21.  Established by 1860.
   Hahn School 9      Located in section 8 on the SE corner of Riverside and Hotchkiss Rds.
     
Campbell Township    
School

No.

Location/History
   Bushnell School 1      Located on section 12 on the SE corner of Clarksville and Elm Rds.;  Originally located on a now abandoned portion of Clinton Trail in section 11. Established by 1860.
   Nash School/Clarksville 2      The Nash school was founded in 1849.  It was located in section 10 on the NW corner of Robbins and Nash Rds.  In 1890-91 it moved into Clarksville and evolved into the Clarksville School.
   Pleasant Valley/Fish School 3      Located in section 20 on the NW corner of Thompson and Bell Rds.  Established by 1860.
   Lake School 4      Located in section 9 on the SE corner of Robbins and Bell Rds.  Established by 1860.
   Darby School 5      Located in section 35 on the SE corner of Tupper Lake and Darby Rds.; Original school house was in section 27 on the NW corner. Established by 1860.
   Mill School 6      Located in section 23 on the Campbell Rd. miles east of Darby Rd.
   Jennings School 7      Located in section 30 on the SW corner of Thompson and Hastings Rds.; Original school house was on the NW corner.
   Rosenberger School 8      Located in section 8 on the east side of Hastings Rd. mile south of Clarksville Rd.
     
Danby Township    
School

No.

Location/History
   Compton School 1      Located in section 33 on the SW corner of Tupper Lake and Charlotte Hwy.  Established by 1860.
   Abbey School 1f      Located in section 36 on the NE corner of Vedder and Sanders Rds.  Established by 1860.
   Grubtown School 2      Located in section 23 on the NE corner of VanBuren and Frost Rds.  Established by 1860.  Also known as the Pryer School. May have gone by the name of Pence at one time.
   Frost School 3      Located in section 11 on the east side of the intersection of Peake and Grand River Rds.  Established by 1860.
   School Section 4      Located in section 16 on the SW corner of Towner and Okemos Rds. (see note 1)
   District No. 5 5      Located in section 10 on the east side of Charlotte Hwy, 1/2 mile south of Peake Rd.  Established by 1860.
   Lockwood School 6      Located in section 4 on the NE corner of Clarksville and Kent Rds.; Original school house was located in section 8 .  Established by 1860.  May also have gone by the name of Barr at one time.
     
Easton Township    
School

No.

Location/History
   Prison School 1      Located in section 23 on the SW corner of M-21 and Wall St.  Original school house was in section 24 on the NE corner of M-21 and Haynor.  Established by 1860.
   Dexter School 2      Located in section 30 on the NW corner of Sayles and Johnson Rds.  Established by 1860.
   Dildine School 3      Located in section 10 on the SE corner of Bellamy and Dildine Rds.  Established by 1860.
   Goodwin School 4      Located in section 7 on the SW corner of Johnson and Dildine Rds.  Established by 1860.
   Welch School 5      Located in section 21 on the NW corner of Ballamy and Potters Rds. Established by 1860.
   Haynor School 6      Located in section 11 on the SE corner of Haynor and Dick Rds. K-6.  May have gone by the name of Grove at one time.
     
Ionia Township    
School

No.

Location/History
   Loomis School 1f      Located in section 30 on the SE corner of M-66 and Belleview Rd.  Established by 1860.
   North LeValley 2f      Located in section 6 on the east side of M-66; K-5
   Welch School 3      Located in section 3 on the east side of Welch Rd. at Ernest Rd.  Established by 1860.
   Holcomb School 4      Located in section 6 on the west side of Jefferson Rd.  Established by 1860.
   Spaulding School 5      Located in section 15 on the west side of Stage Rd., south of M-21.  Established by 1860.
   Badder School 6      Located in section 33 on the SE corner of Clyde and Kingston Rds.  Established by 1860. Annexed by Ionia June 1971.
   Oak Grove 7      Located in section 23 on the north side of Riverside Rd.
   Stone School 8f      Located in section 1 on the north side of Stone Rd. between Olmstead and Westbrook Rds.  Established by 1860.
   Gorham School 9f      Located in section 34 on the SW corner of Sunfield and Clyde Rds.  Merged with Lyons.
   Prairie Creek School 10      Established after 1878
     
Keene Township    
School

No.

Location/History
   Potter's Corners School 1      Located in section 23 on the north side of Sayles Rd. 1/4 mile west of Hawley Rd.  Established by 1860.
   Sayles School 2f      Located in section 30 on the north side of Sayles Rd. 1/4 miles west of White's Bridge Rd.  Established by 1860.
   Day School 3      Located in section 27 on the SE corner of Sayles and Harley Rds.  Established by 1860.
   Culter School 4f      Located in section 33 on the north side of Centerline Rd. 1/2 miles east of Pinckney Rd.  Established by 1860.
   Marble School 5      Located in section 17 on the south side of Richmond Rd. 1/4 mile west of Marble Rd.  Established by 1860.
   Tasker School 6      Located in section 11 on the north side of Scott Rd. 1/4 mile west of Hawley Rd.  Established by 1860.
   Stevens School 7      Located in section 26 on the NW corner of Rickert and Hawley Rds.  Established by 1860.
   Wilkinson School 8      Located in section 21 on the SE corner of Marble and Potters Rds.  Established by 1860.  May also have gone by the name of Bowen.
   District No. 9 9      Located in section 15 on the west side of Higgins Rd. 1/4 mile south of Richmond Rd.
     
Lyons Township    
School

No.

Location/History
   Pewamo School 1

    The first Pewamo school house is thought to have been built shortly after the founding of the town in 1859.  The first mention of a school was in 1872 when a school house on the north side of town was erected at a cost of $1,800 on the northwest corner of North and Higham Streets.
    The first commencement at the school was held in 1888.  By 1895 the school had been moved to the present location of Pewamo Elementary at the west end of Main Street.
     The school consolidated with 5 other districts in 1941 to form the Pewamo Rural Agricultural School district.  In 1959 it merged with Westphalia to form Pewamo-Westphalia Community Schools. 

   Lyons School 1f      The Lyons school was created in the late 1830's.  Lyons High School attracted students from the Crane, Keefer, Murphy, Kimball, Oak Grove, and Gorham Schools.  Merged with Muir to form the Lyons Township Unit Schools in 1942.  It later merged with Ionia.
   Maple Corners School 1f      Located in section 34 on the north side of Maple Rd. mile east of Devine Hwy.  The old district is currently divided between the Portland and Pewamo-Westphalia school districts.
   Ross School 2      Located in section 4 on the north side of Ross Rd. between Struble and Grandal Rds.  It is currently part of the Ionia school district.
   Little Brick School 3      The Little Brick School was in operation by 1865.  The district used three school buildings with the last a brick school house on the northeast corner of Cook Road and Blue Water Highway just west of Pewamo in section 11.  The district consolidated with Pewamo in 1941.
   Spaulding/Townsend School 4       The Spaulding School was located on the northeast corner of Spaulding Road and Dexter Trail south of Pewamo in section 25.  The district consolidated with Pewamo in 1941.
   Kimball School 6      The Kimball School was organized on October 7, 1844 with a school house known as Saw Mick School located near Greenview Point.  Around 1864 the district split and the new Kimball school was built just west of the intersection of Kimball and Divine Highway in section 15.  The district consolidated with Pewamo in 1941.
   Crane School 9      Located in section 32 on the SW Corner of Peckins and Staley Rds.  The school closed about 1935 and merged with Lyons.
   Muir School 10      Muir originally was a part of the Lyons school before breaking off to form their own district.  Muir High School attracted students from Hayes, Schaeffer and Ross schools.   Muir joined with Lyons to form the Lyons Township Unit Schools in 1942.  It later merged with Ionia.
   Murphy School 11      Located on section 21 on the west side of Murphy Road at Dexter Trail.  The school closed in the 1930's and merged with Lyons.
     
North Plains Township    
School

No.

Location/History
   Hayes School 1/1f      Located in section 30 on the NW corner of Hayes and Schaeffer Rds.  Merged with Ionia after 1972.
   Stone School 2f      Located in section 18 on the west side of Olmstead between Borden and Hogan Rds.  Merged with Palo.  May also have been known as Newman.
   Stoughton School 3      Located in section 10 on the NW corner of Borden and Obrien Rds.  Merged with Carson City.
   North Plains Center School 4      Located in section 16 on Hogan Rd. just west of Beachan Rd.  Merged with Carson City.
   Matherton School 5f      Located in Matherton and included one section in Lebanon Twp., Clinton Co..  Merged with Pewamo-Westphalia in 1965.
   Schaeffer School 6      Located in section 34 on Omara Rd, 1/4 mile south of Schaeffer Rd.  Merged with Ionia June  1969.
   Baker School 7      Located in section 6 on the NW corner of McKenna and Hayes Rds.  Merged with Carson City.
   Hubbardston School 8f      Located in Hubbardston and included two sections in Lebanon Twp., Clinton Co.. Merged with Carson City.
   County Line School 9f      Located in section 3 on Bricker Rd. between Obrien and Beachan Rds.  Merged with Carson City.
   Sessions School 10      Located in section 23 on the NE corner of Charles and Brayton Rds.  Merged with Carson City.
   Vance School 1f      School house was located in Lebanon Twp., Clinton Co. on the NE corner of Hubbardston and Colony Roads.  The district merged with Pewamo in 1941.
     
Odessa Township    
School

No.

Location/History
   Lake Odessa School 1      Located in section 27 on the NE corner of Jordan Lake and Bonanza Rds.
   Bretz School 2      Located in section 35 on the SW corner of Tupper Lake and Harwood Rds.  Original school house was in section 25 on the NE corner
   Baird School 3      Located in section 20 on the SE corner of Bippley and Bliss Rds.  Original school house was in section 17 on the NE corner. 
   South Cass School 4      Located in section 15 on the NE corner of Bippley and Shilton Rds.  May also have been known as Odessa Center.
   Algodon School 5      Located in section 6 on the NW corner of Clarksville and Bliss Rds.
   Limerick School 6      Located in section 3 on the NE corner of Clarksville and Jordan Lake Rds.
   Bippley School 7f      Located in section 13 on the NE corner of Bippley and Harwood Rds.
   Nye School 8      Located in section 29 on the NE corner of M-50 and Bliss Rd.
   Carr School 9      Located in section 2 on the NW corner of Clarksville and Harwood Rds.
     
Orange Township    
School

No.

Location/History
   Steele School 1      Located in section 17 on the NE corner of Peck Lake and Kelsey Rds.
   Keefer School 1f      Located in section 1 on the SW corner of Reeder and Keefer Rds.  Annexed to Ionia & Portland August 1971.

   Ritenburg School

2      Located in section 20 near the NE corner of Kelsey and Grand River Rds.
   Coleman School 3/3f      Located in section 26 on the SE corner of Sunfield and Grand River Rds.
   South LeValley School 5      Located in section 5 on the NE corner of David and Kelsey Rds.
   Kilmartin School 7      Located in section 33 on the SW corner of Portland & Millstead Rds.
   Riker School  9      Located in section 11 on the east side of Sunfield Rd. between David and Goodwin Rds. Annexed by Portland August 1969.
   Pierce School 9f      Located in section 35 on the north side of Grand River Trail, north of the intersection with Knox Rd.
     
Orleans Township    
School

No.

Location/History
   Lambertson School 1      Located in section 31 on the west side of Johnson Rd. 1/4 mile south of of Seeley Rd.
   Dorr School 2      Located in section 8 on the west side of Johnson Rd. 1/4 mile south of Kiddville Rd.
   Orleans School 3      Located in section 21 on the west side of Orleans Rd. south of M-44.
   Heald School 4      Located in section 33 on the NW corner of Heald and Hoyt Rds.
   Blanchard School 5      Located in section 34 on the NW corner of Hayner and Peterson Rds.
   Hall School 6      Located in section 25 on the north side of Hubbell Rd., east of Hoppough.  Original school house was located in section 36 on the SW corner of Hubbell and Hoppough Rds.
   Greene School 7f      Located in section 18 on the NW corner of M-44 and Johnson Rd.
   Chittle School 8      Located in section 4 on the NW corner of Kiddville and Orleans Rds.
   Piper School 9      Located on section 14 on the NW corner of M-44 and Decker Rd.  Original school house was located in section 23 on the south side of M-44.
   Shiloh School 10      Located in section 2 on the NW corner of Long Lake and Decker Rds.
     
Otisco Township    
School

No.

Location/History
   Cook's Corners School 1      Located in section 9 on the west side of White's Bridge Rd. 1/4 mile north of M-44.   Established by 1860
   Hoppough School 1f      Located in section 32 on the west side of White's Bridge Rd. 3/4 mile south of 5 Mile Rd.
   Smyrna School 2      Located in section 28 on the SE corner of Button and White's Bridge Rd.  Original School was in section 21 in Smyrna.  Established by 1860
   District No. 3 3      Located in section 5 on Fisk Rd. 1/2 miles east of Jenks Rd.  Established by 1860. 
   Cole School 4      Located in section 1 on the west side of Kiddville Rd. south of Long Lake Rd.  Established by 1860.  Also known as the Kemp School. Consolidated with Belding.
   Kiddville School 4f      Located in section 34 on the NE corner of Miriam and Krupp Rds. Established by 1860. May also have been known as Oakwood.
   Brink School 5      Located in section 23 on the NW corner of Palmer and Hawley Rds.  Established by 1860
   Seeley School 6      Located in section 36 on the SE corner of Seeley and Hawley Rds.  Original school house was on the SW corner in section 25.   Established by 1860. Consolidated with Belding.
   Button School 8      Located in section 19 on the NW corner of Button and Bartonville Rds.  Established by 1860
   Belding School 9      Located in section 11
     
Portland Township    
School

No.

Location/History
   Howell School 1      Located in section 24 on the NE corner of Barnes and Spaulding Rds.  Merged with Portland.  May also have been known as Howe.
   Hamlin School 2      Located in section 15 on the NW corner of Marsalle Rd. and Devine Hwy.  Merged with Portland.
   Portland School 3      Portland; organized in 1837
   Probart School 3f      Located in section 30 on the SW corner of Ionia and Friend Rds. Merged with Portland.  May also have been known as Friendbrook.
   Christian Bend School 4      Located in section 17 on the W side of Maynard Rd. 1/2 mile south of Goodwin Rd.  Merged with Portland.
   Gibbs School 4f      Located in section 18 on the north side of Peck Lake Rd. 1/2 mile east of Keefer Rd.  Merged with Portland August 1970.
   Collins School 5      Located in section 5 near the NW corner of David Hwy and Staley Rd.  Merged with Portland.
   Knox School 5f      Located in section 31 on the NE corner of Keefer and Knox Rds.  Merged with Portland.
   Miller School 6      Located in section 13 on the SE corner of Goodwin and Spaulding Rds.  Merged with Westphalia.
     
Ronald Township    
School

No.

Location/History
   Palo School 1      Palo.   K-8 district.  Closed in 2013 and annexed by Carson City-Crystal on June 10, 2016.
   Long Plain School 2      Located in section 24 on the SW corner of Martin and Westbrook Rds.  Merged with Palo.
   Ronald Center School 3      Located in section 16 on the NW corner of Luce and Powell Hwy.  Merged with Ionia.
   Mattison School 4      Located in section 28 on the SE corner of Steadman and Charles Rds.  Merged with Ionia.
   Hardscrabble School 5      Located in section 4 on the west side of Steadman Rd., south of VanVleck Rd.  Original school house was located in section 9.  Merged with Palo.
   Case School 6f      Merged with Ionia
   Literary Hall School 7      Located in section 26 on the SE corner of Stage and Charles Rds.  Merged with Ionia.
   Hubbell School 8      Located in section 30 on the NW corner of Hubbell and Jefferson Rds.  Merged with Ionia after 1969.
   Woodard Lake School 9      Located in section 17 on the north side of Woods Rd. east of Woodard Lake Rd.  Merged with Ionia
   Dye School 10      Located in section 7 on the SE corner of Woodard Lake and Jones Rds.  Merged with Palo.
   Little Brink School 11      May also have been known as Normington School.
     
Sebewa Township    
School

No.

Location/History
   High School 1f      Located in section 24 on the west side of Keefer about 1/3 of a mile south of Bippley Rd. Annexed by Portland February 1970.
   Goddard School 2      Located in section 32 on the SE corner of Tupper Lake and Goddard Rds. Original building built in 1853 was one mile east of Goddard Rd.
   West Sebewa School 3      Located in section 5 on the NE corner of Clarksville and Goddard Rds.
   Sebewa Center School 4      Located in section 22 on the SW corner of Bippley and Sunfield Rds. Established in 1847 with original school on Sunfield Rd. halfway between Musgrove and Bippley.
   Bishop School 5      Probably the school located on section 34 near the SE corner of Tupper Lake and Sunfield Rds.  Consolidated with Sunfield in the late 1940's.
   Halladay School 6f     1n 1875 was located in section 25 on the NW corner of Tupper Lake and Keefer Rds.  Moved by 1905.  Built by 1863.  Called the Blue School at one time because it was painted blue.
   Baldwin School/Johnson School 7      Located in section 20 on the north side of Musgrove Rd. just west of Kimmel Rd.
   Travis School 8      Located in section 11 on the SE corner of Sunfield and Clarksville Rds.  Established 1868.

Note 1: (Portland Review, Thursday, January 21, 1965) "BURNED TO THE GROUND---The Section School burned to the ground Tuesday afternoon about 5 p.m. The school is one of the last remaining one-room school houses to be operated in the county. According to Portland fire officials, the blaze was started in a defective oil burner. By the time that firemen arrived on the scene, the blaze was out of control. It is not known whether the school will be rebuilt or not. The board of education for the district met Wednesday night to consider the matter. A total of 30 children are involved in the decision. The building was mostly of wood and was approximately 100 years old.

 

Last update January 15, 2017