Bancroft News

Kruger School No. 1 donated as monument to rural education

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Billie Sergant was the speaker at the Presbyterian Church on Nov. 21 with a very timely address, “an attitude of gratitude” this Thanksgiving Day. We should not be like the little boy who always said “skivin' Day.” He forgot the “thanks.”

As I was on my way to church on the 21st, there was a herd of eight deer along the road. They were going northeast, not northwest, or I may have hit one or two of them. Now that's an attitude of gratitude!!!

Micah Perry of Lennox was a weekend guest of the Linda and Vin Perrys, doing some hunting.

Linda Perry and Rose Grothe helped Arlene Harty celebrate her birthday on Thursday.

I received word last week that two more Bancroft alumni have passed away, Ruth Dirksen Leidholt on Nov. 15, 2021, and Lavern “Vernie” Tibbetts on Nov. 16, 2021.

Ruth was born at Bancroft to Henry and Alma Dirksen, graduated from Bancroft High School and then went to Pierre where she worked for the state for over 40 years. She was active in the Faith Lutheran Church for over 70 years and also volunteered at St. Mary's Hospital. She was preceded in death by two brothers, Merle and Delbert, also Bancroft residents and alumni. Her sister-in-law, Donna Currier Dirksen, (also a Bancroft resident and alumni), of Faulkton survives her.

Lavern, “Vernie” Tibbetts and twin sister LaVaye were born in Huron to Donald and Ruth Tibbetts. He lived in Bancroft, graduated from Bancroft High School and married Twila Farmer of Iroquois. They moved to Blue Earth, Minn., in 1959, where he worked for Pooley's Scrap Iron and Telex Communications for 27 years. He was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Blue Earth and a member of the volunteer Fire Department, serving as chief, a position he still held until retirement. He is survived by a sister, Charlene, of De Smet. “Vernie” was preceded in death by his parents, twin sister and her husband, sister Margie and two brothers, Craig and Don.

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Kruger School No. 1 was not a small school. There were 23 pupils enrolled therein. I had all grades but grade 6. The numbers were as follows- by name. 1st grade; Arnold Rusche, Lynold Foote, Virgil Forbes and Eldon Dirksen. 2nd grade; Deora Dirksen, Doris Rusche, Tressa Forbes and Delmar Forbes. 3rd grade; Donald Foote. 4th grade; Ruth Rusche and Robert LaBore. 5th grade; Edmund Rusche, Lorena Forbes, Letha LaBore and Verne Forbes. 6th grade; none. 7th grade; Ferne Kruger, Lloyd Kruger, Kenneth Taschner, Brunza LaBore, Everett LaBore and Lester Forbes. 8th grade; Amy Forbes and Cliff Richards.

Some of the above pupils I have not seen since the last day of school in 1928. Some pupils I have seen and visited with. Robert LaBore became sheriff of Kingsbury County and served many terms as sheriff. Several have passed away. Last summer when I was in the hospital-a victim of cancer-Ferne Kruger visited me. Lorena Forbes Jencks' son Anthony is an accountant in Webster, and I have visited with her and her family several times. It is a pleasure to meet pupils and students of yesteryear.

The school building housing Kruger School No. 1 has endured by virtue of generosity of two to three persons. The school building was sold to Albert and Margaret Rusche, who donated the building as a monument to rural education. Ray Smith, an outstanding SDSC Alumnus, contributed a large sum of money to restore the building. Aubrey Sherwood, publisher of the De Smet “News,” conducted a splendid publicity drive on behalf of the school, so that old school now stands in the big park in De Smet. (The old schoolhouse is now part of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society and is located across the street in the park, currently used for activities.) It is a splendid monument to the old one-room schoolhouse that so many of us had attended. I urge you to visit this fine monument to education. It is worthy of your interest. (Continued next week)

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