1898 Bursley School - Final Day of School

On left - Liberty Tanner Bursley (Beardsley) after whom the school district was named
Teacher Martin M. DeGraff and some of the students: Louise Vanstratt, Albert Wierenga, Lula Bursley, Henry Marken, Maggie Vredeveod, Martin Andre, Lucius Jenison, Julius Green, Peter VanderHeuvel, Clara Hulst, Jessie Vanstratt, John Devreis, Bliss VanderHeuvel, Ida Andre, Adrian Doornbush, Stella Hulst, Cora Oostland, Baltus Doornbush, Rennie Wierenga, Dena, Wierenga, Ruth Green, Andrew Beukema, and Maud Bursley.
Others included Mabel Cole, Herman Devreis, Eva Doornbush, Crist VanderHeuvel, Martha Doornbush, Theo Jenison, Bennie Cole, Josie Vanstratt, Philip Wierenga, Ray Cole, Clyde Jugle, Alice Victory, Joe VanderHeuvel, Dora Ladde, Clarence Hulst, Hiram Andre, Garret Bursley, Cora Andre, Walter Decker, Ora Cole, Mary Whipple, Nellie VanderHeuvel, Nina Roberts and Maud Vanaken.

For over 125 years the Bursley School on Port Sheldon Road has served the children in the area west of Grandville and Jenison.

The school was named originally after Liberty Tanner Beardsley, who homesteaded land in the 1840's at 12th Avenue and Port Sheldon, on the south side of the corner. Beardsley was mostly called Bursley, as his father had been before him when he had settled in Stratford, Conn. By the time Liberty's granddaughter, Maude, married Kiah Green in 1901 nobody even remembered the original name.
Land for the school was donated by the Jenison family, who already had an Ottawa County school named after them, so the district was called after their neighbors, the "Bursleys".

The original building was a log cabin at 8th Avenue and a one room frame school was built on the present site about 1837. In the year that Martin DeGraff was the teacher (1988-1999), there were 47 students and Lavern Cole, Albert Oostland, and H. S. Jenison were on the school board. About 1900, Maud Bursley Green recalls, Bachelor Bigly suggested that to alleviate overcrowding the building be cut in two and the center section expanded. This provided a two-room school until 1950 when it was replaced with the first part of the present building.

Transcriber: ES
Created: 25 December 2009
URL: http://ottawa.migenweb.net/schools/georgetw/Bursley.html