Bethany School Douglas County MO

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: [unknown] [unknown]
Location: Brush Creek, Douglas County, MOmap
Surname/tag: Bethany
This page has been accessed 376 times.

Bethany school (originally called Bethany Hall) in the Bethany community, Brush Creek township, Douglas County, MO. Located near the west junction of 181 & 14. Go south on 181 at the junction, past the Bethany Baptist Church, then turn right on the first road (CR-350) and go about a half mile back. The school building (which is no longer there) was located in that area. Dora is about 3 miles south on 181.

About 3-4 miles away was Old Richville. From Bethany go west on 14 to W.

Most of the information about Bethany school in the Douglas County Herald (Ava) was either under the column called "Richville" or "Bethany."

One of the early teachers at Bethany school was John Lindesmith, who received his certification in 1898 from the Teacher's Institute in Ava, Mo., along with his future wife, Myrtle Pease and her brother, Walter Pease. A state law in 1889 required teachers to pass an exam. John probably taught at Bethany around 1909-1911

Douglas County Herald[1] (newspaper in Ava, MO)

  • Nov 26, 1891 - Richville – "We have two schools conducted by F.M. Smallwood and D.O. McMurtry in a manner entirely satisfactory to the patrons and pupils." [Prob one of these was Bethany]
  • Jan. 6, 1898 - Bethany Hall School – Report for the month ending Dec 28. Enrollment, male 31, female 33, total 64. Number of days attendance by all the pupils for the two months 1802. Average daily attendance of pupils 45. Roll of Honor: Mrs. M.M. Pease [age 29], Misses Sina and Laura Cearley, Vona Parsley. Messrs. T.G. Harrison, Jerry Lindersmith [age 55], Luther Black, Walter Pease [age 20], Hiram Rice, George Gibbing, Ed. Doolin [age 27], Phineas Reed, Clint Wilson, Rich Dobbs, and Oscar Bragg. Laura Judd, Teacher.
  • May 5, 1904 - "This tells where the following teachers will teach: Ida Sturgeon, Bethany Hall..."
  • Nov 9, 1905 - Richville – "School dismissed this week to finish the schoolhouse. School is progressing nicely under the management of Mr. Hopkins."
  • June 14, 1906 - Richville – “There are several schools in this part of the country that have not had an application.”
  • Sept 8, 1910 - Richville – "Bethany school is progressing nicely with Arlo Huntsman at the helm."
  • Nov 20, 1913 - Mary McLaughlin, who had taught two years at Bethany (not sure which years) and other schools, died Nov 12, 1913. She was 22 years old.
  • May 4, 1916 - "Mrs. [Nellie] Doolin will teach the Bethany school this year."
  • Feb 8, 1917 - "Six Houses destroyed by Fire During Week – During the heavy winds of last week five country residences and one school house in the east end of the county were totally destroyed by flames….The school house that burned was that of District 105, known as the Bethany school, the upper story of which was used as a Masonic hall."
  • Apr 26, 1917 - "Alice Doolen of Dora Wins Four Year Scholarship - ….Miss Alice Doolen, age 14, daughter of Mrs. Nellie Doolen of Dora, and graduate from the Bethany school has made the highest average in the county. Miss Doolen will be awarded the four year scholarship offered by the Ava High School to the student making the highest average in the county in the 8th grade examination. Her average was 95 5-7." [Alice later became a teacher and in 1926 she married teacher, Allen Rankin.]
  • May 10, 1917 - "There will be Eighth grade graduating exercises held at the Bethany school on May 17th. Six graduates of the school will receive diplomas. The school is holding local exercises because all of the graduates could not attend the county exercises to be held in Ava next Saturday night."
  • Aug 30, 1917 - "The Bethany school house and Mason’s Hall combined are very near completion. Some say we are going to have a nicer building than the old one."
  • Sept 20, 1917 - Richville – "The Bethany school teacher, Mr. Harold Smith was called away from his school to go with the Ozark Co., boys to Ft. Riley Kansas for training.... The new school house and Masons’ Hall is slowly progressing. The farmers are so busy they cannot help any."
  • Oct 4, 1917 - State Money Apportioned [for Douglas County schools] – District 105, Bethany – 175.45
  • Aug 8, 1918 - Bethany – “The Bethany school began Monday Aug 5th. Miss Lela Breckner is the teacher.”
  • Aug 15, 1918, pg 8 - Bethany - The school house is receiving a new coat of paint this week. School is progressing nicely, thanks to Miss Lela.
  • Sept 5, 1918 - "The Bethany school is progressing nicely with Miss Lela Breckner as teacher...Mrs. Nellie Doolen and daughters Lucille and Alice and Blanche McMurtrey moved to Ava last Saturday."
  • Dec 19, 1918 - "Mr. Alva Bennett and Lela Breckner were married last week. The school children were all sad because she gave up her school."
  • April 24, 1919 - "The Bethany School is progressing nicely. Mr. Allen Rankin is teacher."
  • May 1, 1919 - “The Bethany School closed April 23. The scholars who took the 8th grade examination are: Lawrence Biggs, Harold Bayless, Lorena Lawson, Opal Pease, Blanche McMurtrey and Eva Lindesmith.”
  • July 10, 1919 - Topaz - "We feel proud to state that a student of Mt. Arrat school, Eva Lindesmith won the free business course awarded for the best grade made by the 8th grade graduates of Douglas County. Miss Eva went to school most of the year at Bethany and once when congratulated upon her success, she modestly replied, 'Mr. Rankins did it.'" [Mr. Rankin started teaching at Bethany prob in Jan, 1919, after Miss Breckner got married in Dec. Then Eva moved before school was out, so he couldn't have had that much influence on her education.]
  • Aug. 14, 1919 - "School is supposed to start the second Monday in August with Allen M. Rankin as teacher. Mr. Rankin taught a very successful term of school here last spring."
  • Aug 28, 1919 - "Bethany school began Monday with Allen Rankin as teacher."
  • Jan 1, 1920 - "Bethany school was dismissed Xmas week as Mr. Rankin wished to spend the holidays with home folks."
  • April 1 1920 - (p3): "The pie supper at the Bethany school was well attended and the proceeds were $30.00." (p8): "Mr. Allan M. Rankin will close a very successful term of school at Bethany April 2. The 7th grade examination will be given on the last of the week."
  • April 8, 1920 - Richville - "Bethany school closed Wednesday, March 31st, but some of the scholars went back Thursday and Friday to take the 7th grade examination."
  • May 6, 1920 - Bethany - "Bethany school is unable to report having a teacher yet."
  • Sept 9, 1920 - [The list of county teachers does not include Bethany]
  • Dec. 2, 1920 - Bethany - "School at Bethany is still progressing. The county Supt. was a visitor at our school one day last week."
  • May 5, 1921 - Richville - "Bethany school closed last Friday evening."
  • Aug 25, 1921 - Richville – "Bethany school house is getting a new coat of paint."
  • Nov 10, 1921 - Richville – "A colored jazz band stopped at Bethany school last Wednesday and advertised their show by playing and singing a few pieces of music. Several of the pupils had never seen a negro."
  • Dec 22, 1921 - List of Douglas County school - Bethany - Teacher: Blanche McMurtrey; School Board President: M.M. Pease; school address: Richville
  • Mar 30, 1922 - Richville - "Bethany school will be out 2 weeks earlier than was expected, since the clerk received a new statement of the school funds."
  • April 27, 1922 - Richville - "New Jail and Bethany both have their teachers employed."
  • April 26, 1923 - Bethany - "Miss Lorene Lawson has been employed to teach Bethany school this year."
  • July 12, 1923 - Employed to teach at Bethany school - Florence Lawson
  • Sept 27, 1923 - Richville - "E.G. Sparks, Ames McMurtrey, William McGee and Dale Osborn painted the inside of the school house Saturday 22nd."


  1. Douglas County Herald online -

  • Login to edit this profile and add images.
  • Private Messages: Send a private message to the Profile Manager. (Best when privacy is an issue.)
  • Public Comments: Login to post. (Best for messages specifically directed to those editing this profile. Limit 20 per day.)


Leave a message for others who see this profile.
There are no comments yet.
Login to post a comment.