The Consolidated School
A was built in 1895 at Clematis and Poinsettia (Dixie Highway), on the site of the pioneers’ cemetery. The bodies were moved in April to the new Lakeside Cemetery, presently the site of Norton Gallery of Art.
Lula Marion Angevine Currie came to West Palm Beach to visit relatives and stayed to teach for about eight years, as she related in 1962:
[I made] about $40.00 a month. I lived with my relatives and it didn’t cost me much. Round steak was about 20 cents a pound. And bread, of course, was five cents a loaf. I taught the first three grades at first, and then as the school grew and they had more room, they divided it. There was a second grade room and third and fourth. They finished up the upstairs rooms and had two more rooms up there. [One room was dedicated to a high school.] Before that, though, the high school pupils had gone to Stetson [in Deland] and Rollins [in Winter Park] when they finished the eighth grade.
In 1902, the four rooms were used to consolidate some of the lake schools, closing Palm Beach and Mangonia. Stella Ezell came from Mangonia:
After we came down here, they tried to grade it and call it a high school. As near as I can remember, our graduating class, the year or so after that, was about three children. Well, we had different teachers down here. Grace Lainhart [was] my teacher at one time. And one time I had an Ada Meritt, a sister of our [Dade] county superintendent, old Zachary Taylor Meritt.
Julian M. Rowley was awarded the contract to deliver the children from Mangonia and Palm Beach by boat to the West Palm Beach city dock at 8:15 a.m. and return for them at 3:15 p.m. for $60.00 per month. The large launch furnished by the school board was not ready when school opened, so the mail boat was used temporarily. Although Stella Ezell was then a student, she had good reason to remember the school boat: “[It was] open, just the cabin over it and seats all around. After I left school in 1909, Mr. Rowley and I were married.”
Lula Angevine Currie recalled:
Some of us teachers were delegated to meet the boat to see that the children came up [on the dock] safely. And that always amused the captains because they thought they were just as capable of taking care of the children as we were. Because we couldn’t swim if any of them fell in!
© Historical Society of Palm Beach County.