A meeting was held on April 8, 1879 to organize a school district in the Oakridge community of Rock Township. Emmanuel Beck, Charles Henke and Milton Sharpe were elected to serve on the first board of directors. The school was originally named Mt. Pleasant School, however, as early as 1883 the name was changed to Bowen School.
A tax of 50 cents was assessed to fund the new district and although the law only required a four month school, the progressive directors of this district voted to hold six-month terms.
The school opened in 1880 with a Miss Baker as the first teacher, followed by George Frederick and Lizzie Anewald. The teachers earned $30.00 per month.
In 1933, a new concrete platform was put around the new well, the ceiling was painted and two new cabinets were built–one for supplies and one for books. New bulletin boards had also been installed.
During WWII, Mrs. Emma Beck, owner of nearby Beck’s General Store, donated a ham bone to the school every Wednesday. She cooked ham and beans to sell to the students. The proceeds from the lunch went to the Red Cross war relief effort.
The School was located west of Highway 61-67 and north of Telegraph Road. The school served students who lived in the Telegraph Road, and Richardson Road area. The school closed in 1948 when the Fox Consolidated School District formed.
On June 19, 1949, newly formed New Hope Methodist Church held their first church service in the old Bowen School building. In 1950, the church purchased the old school and property, promptly adding a white wooden church spire to the building. The building was used until 1960 when the present church building was completed. The original Bowen School was eventually torn down