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Dexheimer, Florence Chambers, 1866-1925 / Sketches of Wisconsin pioneer women
([1924?] )

Alexander, Lewis M., Mrs.
Frances J. Morrill,   pp. 89-94 PDF (1.2 MB)


Page 91


which was a solace to me in the olden times, when great
forests, rushing torrents and Indian camps were the lot
of the pioneers of more than fifty years ago."
    Her teaching and being "school ma'am" carried with
it a good deal of importance in those days. Coming from
the "East" and "bringing her own melodeon, playing it
and finding it the first one in town", was prestige in itself.
The stories she told of early schools and teaching were
many: the log school-house, none too warm; the plain,
straight benches for seats with no backs, all good enough
for the tall ones, but the poor little short ones had to put
up with their legs dangling. She often spoke of her
scholars of the olden days, and often mentioned the
handsome "Little boy with big brown eyes," who was a
special pet with all the rest, and never could she forget
the early days when little Frank Garrison was the baby
of the school and many were the requests to "let us take
care of him today."
    Her length of time to board and room in each home
or family was regulated according to the size of the
family, and the coming after school for the school ma'am
to take her home, with horse and sleigh, robes and sleigh-
bells, made a wonderful memory picture to her, as she
often related it when telling of early days, and added,
"How things have changedl"
    About this time it was necessary to have a district
school in French Town, now Port Edwards. Frances
Morrill had met John Edwards, Jr., who had found his
way to Wisconsin from California where he had been
one of the many "Forty-Niners", and contrary to the
quotation,
      "East is East and West is West,
      And never the twain shall meet,"
the two young people, one from the East and one from
the West, did meet in French Town, when each first
called it home. John Edwards was the school treasurer,
and gave her her first salary certificate for teaching in
the district school in French Town. He liked music, so
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