Montgomery, Nelle


Birth: August 8, 1901, Corydon, Harrison County, Indiana
Death: November 23, 1990, Mineral Ridge, Trumbull County, Ohio
Burial: Brookfield Cemetery, Trumbull County, Ohio
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Nelle Beatrice Lotich was born in Corydon, Indiana to Frank P. and Ursula Lotich. She married Lewis Montgomery in Trumbull County on August 3, 1923 and together they had one child, William.

Mrs. Montgomery attended Central Normal College in Danville, Indiana. Her first teaching assignment was in a one-room school in Harrison County, Indiana. She taught there for two years until moving to Ohio. She attended Kent State University, then Youngstown State University and received a teaching certificate. She taught 3rd grade students in the Brookfield School District in Trumbull County. In the fall of 1928, after two and a half years at Brookfield, she got a teaching job in the Vienna Township Rural School District. During the first half of the 1928 school year an addition to Vienna Centralized School was underway with Mr. Ithel Mathews teaching 6th grade in the basement of the school, while Mrs. Montgomery taught in the upstairs of what is known as the Copper Penny Masonic Lodge.

She was a beloved, dedicated teacher who influenced and inspired many of the students she taught throughout the years. She taught many of her former pupils' children during her time at the Fowler-Vienna School District (now Mathews Local School District). A special honor was bestowed upon her by former pupils when the Future Teachers of America was organized at Mathews High School in 1958. The group was nicknamed the "Nelle Montgomery Future Teachers of America."

Mrs. Montgomery spoke about how much teaching had changed since the beginning of her career, "My first teaching position was in a one-room country school with a big stove in the middle of the room, a wood shed on the back and outside restrooms. There were no supplies of any kind and the pupils had to buy their own texts as well as all other needed supplies. The only way you were able to get any library books was to have a pie social and buy them yourself. I had a pie social each of the two years and with that, we bought library books and a Victrola and records." She recalled that she had to clean her own classroom too, and at one point she hired a boy for 10 cents a day to build a fire and sweep her room.

In 1968, her final year of teaching, she taught a 5th grade class at Baker Elementary School.

She was a member of the Brookfield Methodist Church and participated in the Woman's Society of Christian Service group there. She also belonged to the Fowler-Vienna Parent Teacher Association, Fowler-Vienna Education Association, Trumbull Education Association, Delta Kappa Gamma Honors Society, and when she retired, the Ohio Retired Teachers Association.

Contributed by: Christine Novicky

Updated 8/29/2022
Pilarcik, Frances, "Nelle Montgomery to end 40-Years as Vienna Teacher," Warren Tribune Chronicle, circa 1968.