History of The Lincoln School District American Township Sacramento County California

Privacy Level: Public (Green)
Date: 1855 to 1957
Location: American Township Sacramento County Californiamap
Surnames/tags: Strauch Johnston Schandoney
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History of The Lincoln School District, American Township, Sacramento County, California

David Strauch (1830-1896) emigrated from Germany and established a dairy farm on the Marysville Road 9 miles north of Sacramento in what would become American Township, Sacramento County, California (1856). He and the other German speaking emigrants in the area; Jacob Scheidel who came from Alsace-Lorraine, Germany, the Charles Schmittmeyer family and David Strauch (1830-1896) family both from Bavaria, Germany wanted a school for their growing families. They built a wooden one room school on the northwest corner of David Strauch’s homestead about a half mile from the house. There was no plumbing and no electricity. Very few of the students could speak English because their families were all German speakers.

The Original Lincoln School House on the Strauch ranch From Thompson and West's History of Sacramento County, California 1882

In 1860 the school was formalized and a school district was created out of Township. No. 12, North Range, 6 East, Mt. Diablo Meridian. It became District No. 23, known as Lincoln School District. [1]

Location of original Lincoln Schoolhouse

Student attendance was very sporatic as the children all had to participate in the work of the family farms. Albert Scheidel had to help with the spring planting and other regular farm work. Charles Christopher Strauch (1867-1958) had to churn butter before school, wash the milk pans at lunch break, and hurry home after school to help with the milking. His daughter Pearl relates: “Pa received a music box in the 5th grade there for being the best speller. He was proud of that. We kids got to turn the handle to play a tune once or twice a year when Ma cleaned the dish cupboard.” Thomas Johnston (1855-1904) was also a student who did not attend very often although his younger brothers and sisters seem to have attended more. Thomas was 18 when he was in the second grade. Eventually his own children also went to the Lincoln School when their farm work allowed. The children often had farm work from sun-up to 10 PM daily. Added to their farm work, some of the students had to walk more than 3 miles each way to school! In addition, the school terms were very short, from 6 to 8 months a year. An 1873 report says that the school year ran from August 5th to March 3rd.

The teachers also had a difficult time doing their job. The 1873 report says teacher George Smith earned $60 per term. Due to lack of transportation, teachers often lived with one of the local families. The Charles Strauch family housed teachers.

By 1873 the large Schandoney family started adding to the school population.

In 1874 there was a kerfuffle at the schoolhouse. Apparently a fistfight broke out. Wm. E."Tule" Johnston, was charged with battery. Thomas Johnston was charged with the battery of Mr. Wallace and disturbing the peace and George Smith was charged with battery against Thomas Johnston. O. W. Wallace was convicted on a charge of battery of Tule Johnston. Justice Conger who heard the cases, delivered some appropriate remarks on the occasion, bearing upon the inopportueness of a free fight at a meeting held tor the purpose of organizing a Sunday-school. [2]

On January 12th 1885 a dance held at the Lincoln School was mentioned in E. S. Drivers Journal His children Bud, Grant, Lizzie and Harry Nelson attended. [3]

The school was used for community meetings and as election polling place, and for political gathering for the township. For example William Ekenhead Johnston (abt.1821-1898) , Inspector, Victor Friedrich Strauch (1850-1914), Judge are mentioned. [4]

In 1895 the school was broken into and a number of books were taken, most of them being the histories of different European countries. [5]

In 1897, the school house was moved to one acre of land donated by Victor Friedrich Strauch (1850-1914) and Emma (Steinmuller) Strauch (1854-1933) located on the corner of Elverta Road and Elwyn Avenue. The land was deeded to W.S. Wait and C.T Horgan, the Trustees of the Lincoln School District dated October 19, 1901 from Victor Fredrich Strauch and Emma Strauch. The document stated that if the land was not used for a school at any time, the ownership would revert to Victor Strauch. [6]

The second and larger one room school house was constructed for Lincoln School on the Elverta Road site.

In the late 1890s the student population, though not always attendance, was such that a second school was created in the American Township called the Alpha School. The original Alpha School in Placer County was a two-room school house on Baseline Road between Elder Street and Pleasant Grove Road At this time the word “Joint” was added to the District’s official name because the District now included parts of two counties.

In 1919, the Elverta community started looking for a larger tract of land for the Lincoln School. [7] The community chose from 4 designs for the school. One of the designs was shown in a newspaper article. In the early 1920’s, the new Lincoln school was built on Rio Linda Boulevard, and the old school on Elwyn Avenue and Elverta Road was used as a lodge hall for the Modern Woodsmen of America. The new school which was wood and stucco had one small classroom and one large classroom with large folding doors to make two classrooms when needed. In the larger classroom there was a stage where silent movies were screened for the community for night recreation. Desks were one piece, bolted to the floor and the school was heated by coal stoves.

Third Lincoln School

In 1921 this letter to the editor appeared in The Sacramento Bee: WATER LACKING AT SCHOOL To the Editor of The Bee--Sir: It seems almost inconceivable that a state of affairs could exist in our most modern Twentieth Century schools as that which reigns supreme at the Elverta School at Elverta Cal. Through my sister and her children who attend school there I learn that drinking water is not much in evidence unless the good Lord sends wind as a means of utilizing the windmill The lack of motive power for the only means of securing water has resulted in no drinking water for periods of two weeks or so. The flushing bowls in the toilets have no water making the place the most nauseating and unhealthful feature of it all. Conditions such as these require the immediate attention of the county health authorities Normal progress in education is impossible under such a shocking state of affairs. D.M. [8]

The people started calling the school interchangeably Lincoln School or Elverta School, and in 1922 the residents petitioned for the Lincoln School District to be formally renamed Elverta School District. This served to differentiate the district from the City of Lincoln Schools up the Marysville Road from Elverta. [9]

On December 2, 1924 the Lincoln School was closed by a diptheria outbreak for a week. While it was not deemed critical, the officials thought it wise to close the school to prevent the spread of the disease. [10]

On November 23,1927, the school burned to the ground from a fire starting in one of the coal stoves. Only a few desks, the piano and phonograph were saved from the building. [11] The students were to return after Thanksgiving vacation to the old one room school building and the Methodist Church for classes. About 50 children attended the school and after awhile the following situation developed: the first, second and third grades were taught in the home of Albert Scheidel on Rio Linda Boulevard; the fourth and fifth grades in the home of William Boolinger on Eloise Avenue; and the sixth, seventh and eighth grades were taught in the Elverta Community Church. When the school was opened in September 1928, it was equipped with steam heat which rendered it fireproof.

Rebuilt after the fire, 4th Lincoln School. This new school had 3 classrooms, an auditorium, a library, rest rooms, a kitchen and a cafeteria.

Throughout the years, members of the Strauch and Scheidel families continued to support the school, serving as school board trustees. Charles Strauch and Albert Scheidel were both trustees.

In 1956, the last remnant of the Lincoln School was erased when a petition was submitted by 36 members of the Community Club of Elverta and approved, to formally change the name of the school from Lincoln School to Elverta Elementary School, Elverta School District. [12] On November 15, 1957, three classrooms were completed; and on November 15, 1960, three classrooms, a kindergarten, administrative office, multi-purpose room and kitchen were added, giving a total of 13 classrooms. The Cornerstone Ceremony for the Elverta Elementary School was held Saturday, April 30, 1977. [13]

Newspaper Reports of Attendance and Enrollment

The following attendance information was gleaned from local newspapers. I have included the Alpha School because some of the students were former Lincoln School students. Profile links added as available.

c.1868- August 1872
Teacher: George Smith
Number enrolled, 17; average daily attendance 7-10, being 57 per cent of the enrolled.
Second grade, first division, 4; second division, 2; third division, 4;
Third grade, first division, 4; second division, 1; third division, 2

1870 27 pupils enrolled with total expenditures for year were $339.[14]

April 1873
Teachers: Mrs. Billett removed for nonperformance, Miss Clara Walton appointed.
Frank W. Gliddon – passed to first division third grade
Martha Johnston(abt.1859-1925)- assigned to second division second grade
Thomas Johnston (1855-1904) -assigned to third division second grade
Matilda Johnston (1868-1959) -assigned to first division third grade
Robert Johnston (1864-1940) - assigned to first division third grade
Nathaniel Johnston (1862-1926) -assigned to first division third grade
Jennie Drummond -assigned to third division third grade
There is an insufficient supply of school apparatus. [15]

June 1873
Teacher: Miss Clara Walton
Samuel B Slight- first grade second division
Vivia C Slight- second grade first division
Rudolph Strauch (1864-1962) - second grade third division
Nathaniel Johnston (1862-1926) - second grade third division
Robert Johnston (1864-1940) - second grade third division
Matilda Johnston (1868-1959) - second grade third division
Lizzie Schandoney (1866-1952) – third grade third division
Charles Schandoney– third grade third division
Emma Wallace– third grade third division
Charles Strauch (1867-1958) – third grade third division
There were other pupils whom the teacher reported as deserving of promotion, but they failed to appear, and by the school regulations the teacher is required to retain them in their proper division until they have been regularly graded. A globe and a new library case for the 80 volumes were added to the school’s resources. [16]

Teacher F. A. Butler
Enrolled 12 Six pupils in the second grade and six in the third grade.
Average Attendence 9 ...The school is supplied with maps, charts, globe, and a good library. The discipline of this school is very good. Pupils he made marked improvement, considering that the terms are so short (six to eight months) and the irregularity of attendance consequent on the great distance many of the pupils must walk.[17]

The Lincoln School District is too large and the number of scholars too great for one teacher. There is some talk of having a graded school established, which would measurably remedy the evil; but if this is not done the district will probably be divided and a new school house built. There are nearly 230 scholars in the district, between the ages of 6 and 21. and some of them have to travel full three miles in order to avail themselves of the privileges of the single school existing there. . . [18]

Teacher: Mr. George Smith,
Matilda Johnston (1868-1959) -Second division, first grade
Nathaniel Johnston (1862-1926) -Second division, first grade
Robert Johnston (1864-1940) -Second division, first grade
Rudolph Strauch (1864-1962) -Second division, first grade
Lizzie Schandoney (1866-1952) -Second division, first grade
Charles Schandoney-Second division, first grade
Peter Schandoney – First division, second grade
Charles Strauch (1867-1958) – First division, second grade
Lillie Johnston (abt.1870-1938) - Second division, second grade
Nina M. Smith - Second division, second grade
Emma CarolineStrauch (1869-1942) - First division, third grade
Katie Schandoney - First division, third grade
Gustave Strauch (1871-1951) - Third division, third grade
Henry Harms- Fourth division, third grade
Lena Harms- Fourth division, third grade
The examination showed that considerable advancement had been made by the pupils during the short term since the last examination. The attendance is quite regular and the pupils attentive and industrious. [19]

Teacher: Miss Annie Stanfield
Pupils: 21[20]

Emma Strauch (1879-)
Katie Schandoney
Mary Schandoney
Louisa Strauch (1873-)
Lena Strauch
Lizzie Harms
Annie May Strauch (1876-1967)
Sophie Harms
Annie Harms
Emma Caroline Strauch (1869-1942)
Carrie Harms
C Schandoney
Rudolph Strauch (1864-1962)
Charles Christopher Strauch (1867-1958)
Gustave Strauch (1871-1951)
Peter Schandoney
John Schandoney
George Strauch (1875-1928)
Henry Harms
W Miller

Teacher Etta Feeney
George Strauch (1875-1928), 75 Promoted to Second grade
Louisa Strauch (1873-), 75 Promoted to Second grade
Helena Strauch (1876-) 78. Promoted to Second grade

1894 June
Teacher: Miss Mamie Feeney
Violet Johnston (1886-1975) - Promoted to second grade
Sarah Jane Johnston (1885-1966) - Promoted to third grade
Lorena Johnston (1884-1964) - Promoted to third grade
Victor Strauch (1886-)- Promoted to third grade
Maggie Johnston (1881-1973) - Promoted to fifth grade
Flora Strauch (1883-)- Promoted to fifth grade
Rena Harmes- Promoted to fifth grade
Albert Schiedel- Promoted to fifth grade
Etta Schandoney - Promoted to sixth grade
Fanny Schandoney- Promoted to sixth grade
Fred Schandoney - Promoted to sixth grade
Emma Strauch (1879-) - Promoted to seventh grade
Rosa Strauch (1882-) - Promoted to seventh grade [22]

Teacher: Miss Mamie Feeny,
William W Strauch (1888-)—Promoted to second grade
Charlie Scheidel—Promoted to second grade
Sarah Johnston (1885-1966) - To fourth grade
Victor Strauch (1886-)- To fourth grade
Willie Scheidel- To fourth grade
Bena Harms -To fifth grade
Flora Strauch (1883-) -To fifth grade
Maggie Johnston (1881-1973) -To fifth grade
Albert Scheidel -To fifth grade
Fannie Schandoney - To seventh grade
Etta Schandoney - To seventh grade
Freddie Schandoney- To seventh grade
Emma Strauch (1879-) — To eighth grade
Rosa Strauch (1882-) — To eighth grade [23]

1895 September
Teacher Ella Metcalf (abt.1875-abt.1937)

Teacher: Miss Elenor Heintz,
Belle Colburn-Promoted to third grade
William W Strauch (1888-)-Promoted to third grade
Bertha Jones-Promoted to third grade
Charley Scheidel-Promoted to third grade
Willie Scheidel -Promoted to fourth grade
Victor Strauch (1886-)-Promoted to fourth grade
Jessie Jones -Promoted to fourth grade
Flora Strauch (1883-) - Promoted to sixth grade
May Schandoney- Promoted to sixth grade
Bena Harms - Promoted to sixth grade
May Jones -Promoted to seventh grade
Etta Schandoney-Promoted to seventh grade
Fanny Schandoney-Promoted to seventh grade
Rosa Strauch (1882-) - Promoted to ninth grade
Emma Strauch (1879-) - Promoted to ninth grade
Clarence Thomas- Promoted to ninth grade [24]

Alpha School began the 17th inst. with Miss Dyer as teacher; Miss Lucy opened school in Lincoln district, Sacramento county, also on the 17th.[25] Placer Argus, Volume 24, Number 52, 28 August 1896

Teacher Lucy Estelle
Ethel Colburn –to second grade
Lizzie Scheidel –to second grade
Alice A Strauch (1890-) –to second grade
Charles Scheidel –to fourth grade
William W Strauch (1888-)–to fourth grade
Belle Colburn–to fourth grade
Fred Strauch (1886-)-To Fifth Grade
Albert Scheidel- To Sixth Grade
May Schandoney -To Seventh Grade
Flora Strauch (1883-)- To Seventh Grade [26]

Alpha School
Teacher Blanche E. Lovell
Leland Comstock- First Grade
Robert Johnston (1892-1981)- First Grade
Earl Tilton - Second Grade
Lewis Kelley- Second Grade
Charlie Johnston- Second Grade
Archie Kelley Fourth Grade (second term)
Violet Johnston (1886-1975)- Fourth Grade (second term)
Fourth Grade (first term)
Harry Tilton- Fourth Grade (second term)
Tommie Johnston (1888-1958)- Fourth Grade (second term)
Alfred Folger - Fourth Grade (second term)
Annie Johnston (1889-abt.1903)- Fourth Grade (second term)
Leland Kelley - Fifth Grade (second term)
Nellie Comstock- Fifth Grade (first term)
Frances Tilton- Fifth Grade (first term)
Earl Comstock- Fifth Grade (first term)
Vina Tilton - Sixth Grade (second term)
Sarah Johnston (1885-1966)- Sixth Grade (second term)
Lorena Johnston (1884-1964) - Sixth Grade (first term)
Flora Folger -Seventh Grade
Grace Kelley - Eighth Grade [27]


  1. Placer Herald, Volume 8, Number 37, 19 May 1860
  2. Sacramento Daily Union, April 1874
  3. page 638 Elisha Sample Driver's handwritten daily farm journal 1879-1886 photocopied by GGrandson Melville Edward Driver (1932-2014) in the early 1960s. Copies in the possession of GGGranddaughter Melanie Driver, and GGranddaughter Lyn Sara (Driver)Gulbransen. All transcriptions by Lyn Sara (Driver)Gulbransen are exactly as originally journaled by E.S.Driver. The whereabouts of the original journal are currently unknown.
  4. Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 83, Number 136, 28 July 1892
  5. Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 89, Number 39, 8 April 1895
  6. Sacramento BeeThursday, Oct 24 1901 Sacramento,CA Page 6
  7. The Sacramento Bee PAGE 10 Sacramento, California  Tuesday, October 07, 1919
  8. The Sacramento Bee Sacramento, California 09 Nov 1921, Wed • Page 16
  9. Sacramento Bee Monday, Aug 21 1922
  10. The Sacramento Bee PAGE 22 Sacramento, California Tuesday, December 02, 1924
  11. Sacramento_Bee_1927-11-23
  12. Sacramento Bee Wednesday, Feb 08, 1956
  13. https://core-docs.s3.amazonaws.com/documents/asset/uploaded_file/592302/2011-2012_Elverta_Elementary_SARC.pdf
  14. Sacramento County Public School Districts 1850-1993-A Brief History.
  15. Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 45, Number 6874, 15 April 1873.
  16. Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 45, Number 6924, 12 June 1873
  17. Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 3, Number 207, 17 October 1877
  18. Weekly Bee Saturday, Oct 05, 1878 Sacramento CA Page 7
  19. Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 7, Number 271, 11 January 1879
  20. The Record-Union PAGE 3 Sacramento, California  Friday, September 21, 1883
  21. The Pacific Bee Sacramento, California 02 Dec 1886, Thu • Page 5
  22. Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 87, Number 134, 24 July 1894
  23. Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 89, Number 131, 24 July 1895
  24. Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 91, Number 143, 19 July 1896
  25. https://cdnc.ucr.edu/?a=d&d=PWA18960828.2.2&srpos=2&e=-------en--20--1-byDA-txt-txIN-%22Alpha+School+%22-------1
  26. Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 93, Number 140, 12 July 1897
  27. The Press-Tribune (Roseville, California) · 21 Feb 1940, Wed · Page 1
  • An unsourced newspaper article retrieved from Rio Linda/Elverta Historical Society Historic Dry Creek Ranch House & Museum at: 6852 Dry Creek Road, Rio Linda, CA 95673.


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