The Stump Ranch

Family & Community History
of the Upper Skagit Valley
Birdsview School District #22

(Royal Stump Ranch 1927)

Birdsey Minkler Lewis A. Boyd

History Of Birdsview School District #22
Part 1- Origins and First Years
© Dan Royal- The Stump Ranch

      ..."Father did some carpentry and taught school when the mill was down, usually during the winter months. Although the teachers' pay at that time was almost nothing, it did put a few staples on the table.
      Bird Minker helped build the school house, which was on the south side of the Skagit River. The school classes were made up of six children from our family, three from the Minker family, four of the Pressentins, and five of the Savages. The Indians hadn't taken to educating their children yet."
from History of the Boyd Family by Mabel Boyd Royal-Steen

The building here was used as a home-Holy Roller Church and social hall on the Savage homestead. I think somewhere along the line something happened to the school over here and a new one was built on the north side of the river. The Boyds had moved to Nookachamps by then and I think the school moved over there because there was no teacher over here. The Kemmerichs had kids by then and the Savage and Pressentins were the only ones here on the south side. I think Georgetta died here...she was living with Harry Savage at one time here. Mom (Dorothy Savage) used to sneak up and watch the 'holly rollers' when they had their church meetings.
edited note from Barb Thompson; great-granddaughter of George & Georgetta Savage.

      Howard Royal has mentioned that when he would try to tell his schoolmates- or to impress the teacher, that his grandfather L. A. Boyd was the first school teacher in Birdsview, he'd usually get raised eyebrows and looks of doubt. But how improbable would it be that a man educated in France, having just taught nearly ten years of college in Nebraska-would not be asked to educate the children of the area?
      "From the time of the earliest settlements, Skagit County families had been starting schools, using makeshift buildings and any teacher who could be found, sometimes sixteen year old girls. When possible they improved the buildings and raised teacher standards. After Washington statehood in 1889, the central government was interested in education and had some money to support it since the federal goverment reserved one section in every township of national lands for the support of public education."
from Skagit Co. Historical Society Series #7, Skagit Co. Grows Up 1917-1941
      Section 16 of Township 35 North was the designated school land for this area and would end up playing a significant part in Royal family history when the government in 1925 was auctioning off the acreage. But from all accounts, no school was ever built on Section 16.
      When institutions were established by 1888-1889, an annual school census report was decided on and the district clerk would turn a report in to the County School Superintendent, usually by the end of June, sometimes the first of July. The report would show residents in the district between the ages of five and twenty-one years of age. The clerk would list the child's name, age and sex, name and residence of parent or guardian, and days of school attendance. Birdsview district was numbered 22.
      Both the Minkler and Boyd families had moved from the area by the time the first report was turned over to the Superintendent in July 1888. The first two years show only the name of the male head of house, with number of males or females in the household, no names until the 1891 report. The 1890 census report seems to have been lost to time for all districts in Skagit and Whatcom Counties.
      George Savage is the first name on the first report with 7 male children and two females in the family. The Charles von Pressentin family show with 6 males. August Kemmerich have a son and daughter under the age of 5, not attending school.
      Significant to the Boyd family history is Adolph Behrens- with one male child under the age of 5- having been the mail carrier who guided Alex Boyd with his son's Archie and Jim up-river from Mt. Vernon to their Savage family cousins in October 1882.
      Adolph Behrens is also the clerk of record the first two years with H.D. Cole as Director of School Dist. #22. The receipts show at the beginning of the school year with $3.68, added with appropriated funds of $106.49 from the district by the Superintendent, followed by $175.00 from a special tax- for a total of $285.17 to start the school year with. The Series #7 book also states- "the tax base was highly varible and insecure" in the different districts.
      One female teacher is recorded with no name paid $120.00 for a three month school year. An average $40.00 a month, less than the average $60.00 mentioned in the Series #7 book. The teacher, if not the daughter of one of the families, may have been boarded by the various families on a month to month bases. Also, if she married during the term of the school year, she could be let go, with the contract null and void. But most families felt that it was a "privilege" to board the teacher.
      The Boyd Family came back to the Birdsview area sometime late 1890 to their old home- their in-laws the Savage family at the time in LaConnar, where Catherine Jane Savage is born 28 Febuary 1892.
      Father Alex thought he would try his hand at the Minkler/Savage Mill. A deal work out with Minkler, he could not make a go of it and returned to their Nookachamps home during an extremely cold, harsh and bitter winter. The children are recorded on the 1891 census report 29 June, Archie is still home with the family at 20 years of age. Mabel Florence Boyd would come into the world 14 November. Whether this winter was a potent of things to come. A very harsh economic depression was just around the corner in 1893.

end part one, first draft on a "History of Birdsview School Dist. #22"

Sharing in the Genealogy Community

      Since starting my research on Birdsview School District #22, I've been really excited about this great treasure to the genealogist and researchers of family history. I thought it would be a great thing to share & contribute to folks looking for their family in this area. The District Clerk's Census Reports from years 1889-1932- can be found in their original form at the State Archives at Western Washington Univ., Bellingham, WA.
      I will be recording year to year from 1888-1932 the names found- which if you are reading this- you happen to come across a family member you are searching, please feel welcomed to e-mail me. I will be glad to share the information with you, the only thing I might ask of you in return is a family tree or profile/biography of the individual searched. I would also welcome copies of photos pertaining to Birdsview school or families & individual to add to the photo gallery below.
      At this time I will make every effort to record one year a month. Eventually, I'd like to record Hamilton and Concrete School Districts also.

School Images

  • Class of 1904

  • Class of 1912

  • Birdsview School 1916

  • Class of 1926

  • Class of 1932

  • Class of 1933
  • District Clerk's
    Census Report

       click photo for large image file

    District Clerk's
    Census Report

       click photo for large image file
    Birdsview District Clerk's Census Report Name Index
    Birdsview School

    Birdsview School 1904

    In the spring of 1904 the puplils of the Birdsview School gathered outside the school building for a big occasion-a photographer was going to take their pictures! Lined up for the cameras are:
    Front row left to right: George Savage, Warren Savage, Gertie Russell, Edith Whitehead, Clara Kemmerich, Julius Kemmerich, Miss Lois M. Johnson. Second row: Will Whitehead, Fred Russell, Carl Russell, Janie Thompson, Katie Savage. Back row: Frank Whitehead, John Savage, Annie Kemmerich, Joe Kemmerich, John Kemmerich. Miss Johnson, teacher, is now Mrs. C. W. Baxter of Concrete.
    from unknown newspaper spring of 1904
    Return to index
    class 1912

    Birdsview School 1912

    Names found on this page: Clarence Rueger, Miriam King, Will Savage, Maurice King, Laura Savage, Carl King, Carl Pape, Howard King, Helen Savage, May Savage, Iris Rueger, Algro Wilson, Charlie Pitman, Ella Poe, Myrtle Johnson, Etta Pitman, Rose Poe, Winnie Alberty, Roy Hightower, Kathryn King, Pansy Poe, James Savage and others.

    photo from Skagit Co. Historical Society Series
    Return to index
    new school1916

    New Birdsview School 1916

    I've heard it said the school used before this new one- built in 1916, was the Wildwood Church. But have nothing to verify that at this time. Picture come from the Skagit Co. Historical Society Series #7, Skagit Co. Grows Up 1917-1941.
    Return to index
    Birdsview School

    Birdsview School 1926

    Rear row left to right: Meldrum Bates, Donald Wilson, Ray Stephens, Alta Savage, Howard Auburg, Clayton Wilson, Bill King, Mack Johnson, George Gallager. Second row left to right: Georgia Hoy, Maudie Royal, Ad Bates, Ila Wilson, Wilma Johnson, Lois Wilson, Lena Balzer, Russell Bloom, Jack Royal, Nora Stephens, Russell Wilson, Kenneth Gowan, Mr. Dorgan. Front row left to right: Ben King, Howard Royal, Bill Gallager, Shorty Stephans. photo courtesy of Lena Balzer Scales.

    Return to index
    These folks here are just some of the family names I'm researching for Birdsview, I have interviews lined up with a few folks and descendants, some already done for research and postierty. Please contact me if you can help, as I've got some great resource material or if your looking for a family member who may have gone to school here. Thanks, Dan
    Birdsview BasketballJack Royal

    Birdsview School 1932

    "...Now, back to our sports, Milton and Walt Gilmore, they were just small kids, but they were great basketball players. They were fast and real accurate in their shooting. Mel Bates and Benny King also played on the team, so did Ray Fredericks; he was always a husky boy. We had a baseball team, too, but we just didn't win many games. I don't know if we won any of them. But it was a lot of fun and we were able to go to Big Lake and some of those places and play, and upriver, we played a lot of those. It sure was great for us." Howard Royal

    Pictured left to right: Mel Bates, Mac Johnson, Ray Fredricson, Howard Royal, Donald (Art) Wilson, Milt Gilmore, Mr. Jacobus. Missing from picture are Walt Gilmore and Benny King. Jack Royal in gym gear.
    photos courtesy of Dorene Royal Kartes
    Return to index
    class 1933

    Birdsview School 1933

    Rear left to right: Ernie Johnson, Mr. Jacobus (teacher). Row Two left to right: Esther Good, Mary Blanton, Gladys DuFrene, Velma Blanton, Ray Fredricson, Russell Bloom, Eugene Pape. Row Three left to right: Kenneth Balzar, Ruth Fredricson, Betty Brayton, Alma Stevens, Helen Good, Hazel Stevens, Martha Daves. Row Four left to right: Bill Morgan, Donald Blanton, Jack Royal, Milton Gilmore, Elmer London, Burlon London.
    photo courtesy of Jack Royal
    Return to index
    The Stump Ranch ®
    The Stump Ranch On-Line Magazine ®
    Dan Royal, Editor & Webmaster
    38090 Kelly Ln. Concrete, Wa. 98237
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