Former students are gearing up for the annual Stella all school reunion, slated for Sunday, Sept. 4, at the Triway Elementary cafeteria.


Former students are gearing up for the annual Stella all school reunion, slated for Sunday, Sept. 4, at the Triway Elementary cafeteria.

The doors open at 1 p.m. and a potluck dinner will be held at 5 p.m. The meat, drinks and service will be furnished.

“It is something that they started and the first one was in the early 1970s. They used to have entertainment, and a speaker. Today, they more or less want to visit and catch up on the whereabouts of everyone,” said Phyllis Cullers, vice president of the Stella all-school reunion, said. “The class of 1961, which is the 50 year graduating class, will be recognized. Just bring your favorite food and enjoy a time of fellowship and visiting.”

Stella has a rich history of schools. The first school dates back to the 1900s, when the citizens of Stella decided to build an academy. According to the book “From Buzzard Glory to Seed Tick: A History of the Schools in Newton County, Missouri” (page 246), “although a grade school had existed in the area for some years, this was the first attempt to offer a high school education. Tuition for the year 1900 was $18, six months tuition was $15 and less than six months was $3 a month.”

Cullers said the first high school was a two-story building, located where the Stella Baptist Church sits. Some of the students played basketball and to practice, they would play outside, as there was no gymnasium.

“There was a community building where Taylor Tax Service is now,” said Cullers. “And that is where they had the activities.”

The first high school burned in 1935. In 1936, a new structure was built with the help of WPA labor. It was located on the same site as where the Triway Elementary School is now located. The second school was a one-story 12-grade level school. However, the second school burned in 1959. The last graduating class of Stella was in 1964. Stella joined with Fairview and Midway (near Stark City and Newtonia) to form Triway School District. Triway joined with Granby to form East Newton School District in 1967.

For more information about the reunion, contact Cullers at 628-3498.

“If they want to bring yearbooks and things to display, then we encourage that,” she said.