Kinmundy Historical Society





       Meacham Township, Marion County, Illinois


                        Remember that you can use CTRL-F to find a particular surname within these pictures.

                              There is also a Grade School Index available on the "Photo Catalog" page.


                                         Click to return to   Schools Page



        We are looking for photos of people and/or places from around Kinmundy & Alma.  Can you help?

Or maybe you have stories or memories from the "Good Old Days"?  What do YOU remember?

        The Kinmundy Historical Society would be honored to preserve your memories and stories.  We also have the

equipment to scan (or copy) your photos so that they may be enjoyed now as well as for generations yet to come!

        We would love to hear from you!  For more information, please contact: 


   Dolores (Ford) Mobley –

                       208 Joan Dr.; Divernon, IL  62530; (217) 625-7527



            Gladys (Corrie) See –

                                         408 S. Washington St.; Kinmundy, IL 62854; (618) 547-7731



Teachers from CAMPGROUND SCHOOL - District #15 (Meacham township)


(1903-04)   Myrtle Rogers ($29)

(1904-05)   Rose Farthing


(1914-15)   Miss Dorothy Doolen


(1919-20)  Georgia Nirider


(1930-31) Ben Millican

(1931-32) Maxine Edwards


(1933-34)  Ted Mangner


(1935-36)  Ben Millican

May 7, 1936: Camp Ground: The directors met at the school house Saturday and discussed plans for re-decorating

       the school house and digging a cistern, which is very much needed, as water must be carried for the school use




(1939-40)   Miss Lucille Hays

(1940-41)   Miss Lucille Hays




(1944-45)   Mrs. Bertha See

(1945-46)   Velma (Edwards) Wilkinson

(1946-47)   Velma (Edwards) Wilkinson




(1950-51)   Bill Soldner

Oct. 4, 1951: Petitioned to be annexed into Kinmundy


(The above information was gathered from "The Kinmundy Express" articles, school photos, County Directories of School Teachers, and information from those who had attended school there.)




Camp Ground School; Meacham twp., Marion Co, IL;  1895

Salem Times-Commoner - Oct. 22, 1980

“A Bit of History” - (Historical sketches of the Salem area’s past.  We welcome your comments and contributions.")

“Camp Ground School” by Estel Smith

            The accompanying photograph of Camp Ground School was taken in 1895.  The occasion was, most likely, “Last Day of school” of the fall term.  School sessions then were normally suspended during severe part of winter, and resumed for about three months in March, appropriately called “spring term”  Much of the area of old Camp Ground community is now occupied by Forbes State Park, and the site of the pictured school is inundated by the north end of the lake.

            This photo has been with the Craig family, descendants of James Craig who settled in that section in 1837, reported at some length in Brickerhoff’s History of Marion county.  Mr. and Mrs. John Craig are in the back row at center, and their children are seated among the tots in the front row.  They are Roy, Edna and Everett.  No persons in this photo are known to be living in 1980.  To date no one has been able to identify the teacher.  Some of our older retired teachers might say reflectively, but not in bitterness, that the distinguished looking gentleman at extreme right - with heavy watch chain and union officer’s hat - looks rather too prosperous to have been the teacher.

            We do not know how soon after 1837 it was that the Camp Ground people started their wilderness school, when land clearing had only begun and home life was about as primitive as our people ever knew it.  It is well known in our history that they were concerned about some “book larnin for the younguns,” starting just as soon as they could get a roof over their families and then raise a school house.  Many of them had less formal education than their parents or grandparents, but they were aware of it and they intended for their own descendants to not only close the gap, but to forge ahead.

            Today, Fred Hankins of Omega, who has been a discerning observer of local history for most of his 87 years, remembers seeing an abandoned log cabin that was well known then as “Old Camp Ground School.”  The “new” school, in above photo, was located a bit to the northeast of it.  Around the turn of the century, a third Camp Ground school was built, adjoining the old Booker district in Meacham township.  Records in the County Superintendent of Schools office show that Camp Ground School was in session up to 1934 with 32 pupils.  The teacher was Fred Mangner, who eventually became a well-known farm advisor, hosting a popular early morning program on radio station KMOX - in the fifties.  (DFM note: It was Ted Mangner, not Fred Mangner.)

            Whatever the best arguments for or against one room school may be “those of us who have attended both kinds, rural and urban, feel that we lost something that was not entirely improved upon by a five acre parking lot full of yellow buses and hot rods.  Here in Salem we have often paraphrased a common tribute to great teachers by saying, “The most effective school of English composition that one could have would be composed of a bright student on one end of a log with Herbert Davis sitting on the other end.”  We were not always so lucky as to have had a Herb Davis or a Fred (Ted) Mangner in our one-room schools but we do not recall any who were less dedicated.  There was something about having the entire responsibility for the education of a little band of children that brought out the best in these.  As for community participation, you could not beat it.  Take another look at this eighty-five year old picture!


Camp Ground School; 1908

Camp Ground School; Meacham twp., Marion Co, IL;  taken on May Day 1908

Third row: Ed See, Fern Stokely, Hazel See and baby sister (Eva), Rose Farthing - teacher, Leona Pugh, Dosh Stokely

Second row: Bessie Stokes, Grace Stokes, Georgia Pugh, Mary Wantland, Monna Ayers, Dorothy Wantland, Minnie Pugh

Front row:  John See, Fred Collier, Steven Stokely, Clay Simer, Everett Ayers, Frank Simer



Camp Ground School; Meacham twp., Marion Co, IL;  Lucille Hays - teacher; 1939

Back Row: James Lewis, Thomas Edwards, John Smith, Cleta Mulvaney, Lucille Hays - teacher, Velma (Edwards) Wilkinson, Margaret Potter, Ruth Mulvaney.

Middle Row: Robert Fenton, Ross Mulvaney, Leo Mulvaney, Tom Potter, Ila Mae Edwards.

Front Row: Betty Lewis, Veda Potter, Bessie Mulvaney.



Camp Ground School; Meacham twp., Marion Co, IL;  Velma (Edwards) Wilkinson - teacher; 1945-46

1. Betty Lou Simer (8th grade)                  6. Raymond Harris (4th grade)

2. Billy Harris (6th grade)                          7. Henry Edwards (2nd grade)

3. Bud Gilbert (6th grade)                         8. Ray Mulvaney (2nd grade)

4. Billy Pat Caughlin (5th grade)                9. Edward Monical (2nd grade)

5. James Lewis (4th grade)                     10. Alice Mulvaney (Primary) 



Camp Ground School; Meacham twp., Marion Co, IL;  1945-46

Betty Lou Simer & Velma (Edwards) Wilkinson



Camp Ground School; Meacham twp., Marion Co, IL;  Velma (Edwards) Wilkinson - teacher; 1946-47

1. Alice Mulvaney (1st grade)                        9. James Lewis (5th grade)

2. Larry Caughlin (1st grade)                       10. William Wantland (5th grade)

3. Nellie Johnston (2nd grade)                     11. Inez Johnston (6th grade)

4. Iris Johnston (3rd grade)                         12. William Caughlin (6th grade)

5. Roy Mulvaney (3rd grade)                      13. William Harris (7th grade)

6. Henry Edwards (3rd grade)                    14. Vardie Johnston (8th grade)

7. Edward Monical (3rd grade)                  15. Donald Finckbone (4th grade)

8. Francis Wantland (4th grade)                 16. Alice Finckbone (3rd grade)     


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(Information and photos on this site are not to be used for any commercial purpose.  It is free for the enjoyment and research of community and family information.)