In the summer of 1948, the people of what is now part of Akin Community Consolidated School District #91, voted to consolidate and build a new school house at Akin. Bonds to the amount of $50,000 were issued in February of 1949 and work on the new school was begun. Later, parts of the other districts asked to be annexed. As of now, Akin District 91 consists of all or parts of districts formerly known as Akin, Akin Center, New Harmony, Old Akin, Bethel, Ridge, Willow Branch, Brush Prairie, Knob Prairie, Auten, West Point, Independence, East Crown Point, Manion and Franklin. The combined assessed valuation of these districts was about $4,000,000. The original bonded indebtedness has now been reduced from $50,000 to $38,000.
The first school board members were, Lloyd Pickard, Harry Bayless, Marion Harris, Roscoe Payne, Lowell Williams, Ellsworth Biggs and Dalton Holloway.
Teachers who served the district all or part time since its beginning are: Lucian English, Irl Sneed, Wilma Eldridge, Roy Hall, Arvel Kern, Allene Parker, Hattie Hicks, John Hatchett, June Phillips, Tim Hall, Edith Ward, Anita Grubb, Helen Bowman, Damon Summers, Rolla Pierce, Arley Neunlist, Donald Darnell, Ruth Smith, Dean Abendroth, Eugene Moore, John Wormley, Kenneth Miller, Pearl Briley, Kathryn Briley, James McHaney and Harvalee Turner. One of the present teacher, John Hatchett, has served the school from its beginning.
In passing from the one room school to the consolidated school many adjustments had to be made in the thinking of the people, especially in the matter of finances. People who were used to a school budget of $3000 were at first horrified by a $25,000 budget. They were, of course, thinking in terms of a $20,000 district instead of a $4,000,000 district. Many never realized that their tax rates were cut in half after the consolidation. Many too, never took into consideration the new services they were getting such as, transportation, lunch room, music, art and athletic programs.
Akin Consolidated School has had its growing pains and may still have a few but it is the type of school that best fits today’s conditions. The one room school served its purpose and served it well in its time, but the passing of large families and abolition of small farms made it an impossibility.
It is well to constantly remind ourselves that Akin Consolidated School is not an expense but an investment; an investment in the lives of the future citizens. “…..and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light, and that light groweth brighter and brigher until the perfect day.
(Written by John Hatchett)