Hattie Deibler

Hattie M. Deibler was a teacher in the rural schools for fifty years. She was the daughter of James and Eva Deibler, who were of Pennsylvania Dutch descent. Hattie was born at Forreston, Illinois on September 30, 1881, the youngest of ten children.

Besides farming, her father was a carpenter and a wagon maker. They lived in a seven-room home, lighted with homemade tallow candles, and a fireplace to keep them warm at night.

In 1886, the Deiblers moved to Vritt, Iowa, where they settled on a farm. The land was low, there were ponds everywhere, and no roads. They traveled cross country wherever they went, and the wagon wheels would often fill with mud, so they carried spades to dig it out from the spokes. Fourteen or more oxen were used to place and dig ditches to drain the land, and sometimes the oxen would get swamped. Next, they moved to Corwith, Iowa.

Hattie M. Deibler was christened at Zion Brethren Church. She attended a rural school near Corwith. Her first teacher was Miss Welty, who later homesteaded near Sawyer, North Dakota. Hattie graduated from Corwith High School in 1902, and that fall, she taught at a school near Corwith, for which she was paid $32 a month.

In the fall of 1903, Miss Deibler boarded a westbound train, arriving at Granville, North Dakota on September 12 while a snowstorm was taking place. She spent the rest of her life in McHenry County, North Dakota.

She stayed at the home of her brother-in-law and sister, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Shipman, along with their family of four children: Bertha, Willard, Ethel, and Vernon.

She taught her first term in School No. 1 in North Prairie School District No. 19. The one-room school house had been built that summer, and had only the minimum necessary furniture, books and supplies. The walls were so bare that she ordered pictures of the presidents, bought picture moldings, and made frames for them.

Her first pupils were Martha Jurgens, Mello Byerly, Elida Skarison, Martin, Anton, Anna and Arthur Hjertaas, Bertha and Willard Shipman. The school put on plays and programs for Christmas, Mother's Day, Arbor Day, Memorial Day, Valentine's Day, and Easter. There were also basket socials, spelldowns, ciphering downs, question boxes, water coloring, drawing, and several other games and activities.

Miss Deibler renewed her teachers certificate every two years by writing on teachers examinations held at the courthouse in Towner. She always received an excellent rating whenever the county superintendent visited her school.

Her pupils sold Christmas Seals, contributed to the American Red Cross, the Crippled Children's Home, and were active in the Young Citizen's League. They took part in Declamation Contests and music festivals. Miss Deibler was a member of the North Dakota Education Association.

For fifty years, Miss Deibler devoted herself to the rural schools of the North Prairie Township, Granville and McHenry County area. On her retirement in 1954, her name was included in "Who's Who in North Dakota".


George Hammer presented her with a wrist watch on behalf of all the pupils of North Prairie School District No. 1, and presented it to her with all of the cards that she received that day.

In her later years, she made her home with her nephew and niece, Mr. and Mrs. Vernon Shipman. Then, in the spring of 1956, she moved into a home of her own in Granville. She was a member of the Hope Congregational Church of Granville.

After a prolonged illness, she passed away on November 5, 1963, at the age of eighty-two.

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