Morrison School District (No. 22) Records, 1874-1950 (Bulk 1900-1950)
Scope and Contents
The collection has been divided into ten subseries, each of which is described in detail below.
Subseries 1—Teacher’s Registers, range in date from 1899-1900 through 1949-1950, with many gaps. Registers changed over time, but some information was basic to all registers such as students’ name, age, address and daily attendance by month. Pages at the end include visitor lists, summary enrollment and attendance statistics for the year, subjects, textbooks and teacher information. In most registers through 1907, the only information recorded was students’ name, age and attendance, and some summary information. Registers were filled out more completely by the school over time. By 1908, registers included space for student entry and withdrawal dates, boys and girls were entered on separate pages, and the registers included instructions. By 1911, registers included columns for grade, parent’s name, and students’ scholarship and deportment by month. By the 1930s, summaries were more detailed. By the 1940s a record of students’ work was added. Some registers include loose papers such as student work, newspaper clippings, book inventories and notes to the next teacher. A few registers have incomplete or no school years on the cover and/or title page, while others have confusing cover dates. If a year is totally missing from a register’s contents, the most likely date for such year is shown in brackets. One register shows 1948-1950 on the cover and title page, but the monthly pages are completely filled in for 1949-1950. This register is most likely -1950. Another 1949-1950 register shows Ruth Goodner King on the cover as the teacher. The entire inside portion of the register shows Mrs. M.E. Morrison as the teacher, including her signature.
Subseries 2—Census Lists for 1902, 1903 (two copies), 1905, 1909, 1922, 1925-1937, 1940-1945, 1947-1950 and one undated from the early 1900s. Censuses from the early 1900s include student name, age, residence, a summary report, and an oath to be signed by the person conducting the census. Names are in alphabetical order by last name with boys listed on the left page and girls on the right. By 1909 the census booklet included a page for deaf or blind children. By 1922, columns were added for place and date of birth, nativity of parents, and last school and grade attended. A parent’s name was often listed for residence. State guidelines were to include all individuals living in the district between the ages of 6 and 21. By the late 1930s, the booklet asked for nationality of parents instead of nativity, and noted if parents were illiterate. The pages for deaf and blind also included mute and crippled children. Residence was changed to post office address, which usually listed parent’s names. Some censuses contain loose handwritten notes with census information about some of the students.
Subseries 3—School Reports to County Superintendent. Teachers were required to file periodic reports with the County Superintendent. The 1900 and 1903 reports were for the fall and spring terms and included enrollment and attendance statistics. By 1905 teachers filed monthly reports with this information. A principal’s or teacher’s annual report was required and contained summary statistics along with teacher information, textbooks, subjects and general school information. An annual report completed by the board included similar statistics along with financial information.
Subseries 4—Correspondence. Arranged chronologically in folders by topic. The folder entitled Created by the School consists mainly of unfinished drafts. The General School Business folder contains letters pertaining to tuition matters, bids for work and supplies, a letter of resignation and letters from a teacher’s association and placement agency. Correspondence from Jefferson County offices consists of letters pertaining to tax levies and financial matters from the Treasurer, Assessor and Commissioners. Correspondence from the County Superintendent covers topics including tax levies, tuition, recommended textbooks and a plat of the district. The Teacher Employment Applications, Principal Employment Applications, and Employment Acceptance folders relate to school personnel. They include application letters for teacher and principal positions. Some applications include recommendations. A few include a two-cent stamp or a self-addressed, stamped envelope for a reply from the district. The Employment Acceptance folder contains letters from hired applicants. The Advertising folder contains catalogs, order forms, flyers and a sample Omaha spelling booklet. In the Insurance folder, policies are attached to the correspondence.
Subseries 5—School Documents and Ephemera include a perfect attendance certificate booklet dated 1915, with names of students who received awards along with a few completed certificates that weren’t given out. Also included is an unused, undated perfect attendance certificate signed by the County Superintendent. Another document is a special school meeting notice for ordering tax for the 1913-1914 school year. Some examples of student work, one from 1900 and others undated, are included, along with blank, unused district forms.
Subseries 6—Photographs include J. Bertram, who sent a photograph with his application letter in 1915. He served as principal beginning circa 1915. There are seven undated photographs of members of the Nelson Family, and one photograph of Rose (last name unknown), 1947.
Subseries 7—Publications, State of Colorado: School Laws of the State of Colorado, U.S.A. published in 1909 is a compilation of statutes that pertain to schools, including required district and teacher forms and provisions from other state and federal laws that apply to schools. The Rural and Village Schools of Colorado published in 1914 discusses an eight-year survey on rural schools in Colorado.
Subseries 8—District Secretary’s Record Books: The first Record Book, 1874-1921, has the following chronological order: Minutes for September 17, 1874 through March 30, 1878 are enclosed in a folded paper labeled Property of School District No. 22, Jefferson County, Colorado. This folded paper is loose in front of the book. The two earliest meeting minutes are at the back of this folder on pages numbered 1 and 2. Minutes continue at the front of this folder on pages 3-19. The folder says “This register dates from 1874-1914.” However, it contains minutes through October 1921. The bound part of the book, following the loose folder, begins with minutes for July 22, 1913 and continues through October 6, 1921. These pages are numbered beginning with 11 and ending with 100. Beginning on page 101 are minutes for June 29, 1878 which continue chronologically through May 31, 1913. Numbering stops with page 103. The last part of the book includes financial records from 1876-1914, with numerous gaps which are not always in chronological order. Also included are a plat and description of District 22. The second Record Book contains meeting minutes for June 1924 through February 1925. The third Record Book contains meeting minutes for May 8, 1938 through May 1940, a loose paper with meeting minutes for April 1941, and a map of all the school districts in Jefferson County. The fourth Record Book contains meeting minutes for September 21, 1944 through March 20, 1946 and April 20, 1950 through December 1950, and a loose paper with meeting minutes for November 1946. Loose items found in the 1874-1921 record that don’t relate to minutes are in a separate folder. Loose items found in all the record books that relate to minutes are kept in the books. They include copies of newspaper clippings, district election ballots, letters regarding tuition and school attendance, a tax levy report, two teacher’s contracts and student work.
Subseries 9—Financial Records. Two financial record books used by board treasurers. One was used from 1936-1944; the other was used from June 30, 1948-June 30, 1949. A tax levy report for 1902 is in the financial records; another is in the 1874-1921 record book. The County Superintendent completed forms periodically to inform the district of its apportionment, valuation and financial condition. The district prepared Annual Financial Reports for Publication and yearly budgets as required by law. Invoices and statements, receipts for money received and items purchased, and paid orders on the county treasurer all represent a part of daily life in the school district. The County Treasurer provided monthly, quarterly, and annual financial reports to the district. These reports listed taxes collected, warrants paid, receipts and disbursements.
Subseries 10—Personal Correspondence and Ephemera, Rooney Family: The personal correspondence to Alice Rooney Derby is dated 1881-1924 with some undated. Ephemera belonging to Eloise Derby Nelson and Berta Lou Nelson are from 1935, 1943, 1947 and some undated. War Ration Books belonging to Charles Nelson and Roger Nelson are from 1942 and undated. The Neighbors of Woodcraft records include meeting minutes, correspondence and miscellaneous documents from 1909-10, 1925-28 and some undated.
- Majority of material found within 1900-1950
- Jefferson County Public Schools. (Jefferson County, Colo.) (Organization)
Conditions Governing Access
Archives collection material is non-circulating, requires staff retrieval and is available for use by appointment in the reading room.
Federal law regarding personal census information about an individual requires that such information not be released until 72 years after it was collected. The Jefferson County Archives will follow federal law regarding the release of census information.
Biographical / Historical
School District No. 22, Morrison, Jefferson County, Colorado Territory, was established under the laws of the Colorado Territory in early 1874 and a Board of Directors was chosen. On August 20, 1874, twenty voters of School District No. 22 requested in writing that the Board of Directors call a special meeting to vote on the issue of bonds for constructing and furnishing a school building for the District. Within ten days, an election was held and the majority of voters authorized the Board of Directors to issue such bonds. On or about October 1, 1874, the Board hired C.D. Platt as the first teacher for the district for a term of six months. School opened on October 5, 1874 in a rented room.
District No. 22 was one of numerous small school districts created in Jefferson County and throughout Colorado under the laws of the territory and then the state of Colorado. As the population of the area increased and new communities were formed, new school districts were also formed. Each district had its own elected board of directors. At one time there were 54 such school districts located within Jefferson County.
School District No. 22 was established in the small foothills community of Morrison, Colorado, which was named for George Morrison, an early pioneer to the area. Mount Morrison, which rises in the area behind Red Rocks Park, known in the past as Garden of the Angels, was also named for him. He was a stone mason who immigrated to the Mount Vernon area in 1859. Later he moved to the Bear Creek area and founded the Morrison Stone, Lime, and Town Co. The town of Morrison was platted in 1874, the same year that the school district was established. The town was known as Mt. Morrison for a period of time. The school district and school also used the name of Mt. Morrison at times.
In early 1875, the school board accepted George Morrison's bid to build the school house. Located on a bluff overlooking the community, it opened in 1875. It was built of stone from Morrison’s red sandstone quarry at the end of the Dakota Hogback. Morrison constructed a two-story building, which was uncommon among small rural schools of that time period. There were two classrooms on the lower floor, and one large room on the upper floor. The upper floor room was used as a classroom and auditorium. Part of the floor in this room was raised eight inches to serve as a stage. The building had two staircases and wooden oak floors. It was heated by one coal stove and lighted with oil lamps. There was only one door to the building, located at the front, through which to enter and exit, which made the building a fire hazard, eventually necessitating the addition of a fire escape. A bell tower was on the roof of the building, and the bell was rung every morning to announce the start of school.
Classes were held for students in Grades 1 through 8. Students could continue their education by attending high school in one of the larger communities nearby. During some school years, there were three teachers in the school, one of whom also served as principal. During times of lower enrollment numbers, there were only two teachers. The building was used as a school house from its opening in 1875 until 1955 when a new school building opened. In 1949 the Colorado legislature passed the School District Reorganization Act which encouraged the small rural school districts in Colorado to consolidate with other schools to form larger districts. In 1950, only 39 of the 54 small districts were still in existence in Jefferson County. In that year District No. 22 and the other 38 remaining districts were consolidated and reorganized into one county-wide school district known as Jefferson County R-1 Schools. This county-wide school district still serves Jefferson County today.
The Morrison School building still stands today and serves as a private residence. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974 and is one of several historic landmarks in Morrison.
Text References: “All About History from Morrison, Colorado, USA.” Historic Morrison. Morrison Historical Society, n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2013 http://morrisonhistory.wordpress.com/>
“Jefferson County Public Schools (Colorado).” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 24 Oct. 2013. Web. 21 Nov. 2013. /en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jefferson_County_Public_Schools_%28Colorado%29>
“Morrison, Colorado,” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 7 Nov. 2013. Web. 21 Nov. 2013. /en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morrison,_Colorado>
Rohrer, Dan. Morrison Collected Papers. A photocopied collection of writings, 1976.
“Rural School Buildings in Colorado.” History Colorado. State of Colorado, n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2013. http://www.historycolorado.org/archaeologists/rural-school-buildings-colorado>
3.23 Cubic Feet (Eight boxes: One 18½ x 14½ x 3 storage box, five 15¼ x 10¼ x 5 legal size Hollinger boxes, and two 15¼ x 10¼ x 2½ legal size Hollinger boxes, 3.23 cubic ft.)
Language of Materials
The Morrison School records include documents created by the school as part of their activities as an educational institution serving the Morrison community and surrounding area. Records include teacher’s registers, school census records, school reports, correspondence, photographs and various school documents. Also included are documents pertaining to the legal and financial aspects of running a school, such as State of Colorado publications, district secretary’s record books, financial records and county treasurer’s reports. Additionally, some personal correspondence and ephemera of the Rooney family are part of the collection.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
This collection was donated to the Jefferson County Archives by Sally L. White and Burdette Weare through a Deed of Gift Agreement dated February 4, 2013.
Processed by Marie McNew in 2013.
- Correspondence Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Derby, Alice Rooney, 1865-1929
- Ephemera Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Jefferson County (Colo.) -- Genealogy Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Maps Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Morrison (Colo.) -- History
- Neighbors of Woodcraft -- Colorado -- Records (Documents)
- Nelson, Eloise Derby, 1903-1974
- Photographs Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Rural schools -- Colorado -- Jefferson County (Colo.) Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- School boards -- Jefferson County (Colo.) -- Records (documents) Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- School buildings -- Jefferson County (Colo.) -- Morrison (Colo.) Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- School census -- Jefferson County (Colo.) Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- School districts -- Colorado -- Jefferson County Subject Source: Local sources
- School districts -- Jefferson County (Colo.) -- Records (Documents) Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Teachers -- Jefferson County (Colo.) -- Registers (Lists) Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Language of description
- Script of description
Part of the Jefferson County Archives Repository
3500 Illinois Street
Golden CO 80401 United States