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The town of Texas

III. Schools,   pp. 19-36

Page 19

There were eight one-roomed rural schools
organized in our Township. They were:
Trappe School, District 1; Jefferson
School, District 2; Granite School,
District 3; Marshall Hill School,
District 4; Twin Oaks School, District 5;
Husting School, District 6; Butternut
Grove School, District 7; and Riverview
School, District 8.
Before any of these schools were organ-
ized, we are told that a log school house
was once located on the now Raymond
Gohdes Farm. It should have been of
service to the boys and girls of both
the Towns of Hewitt and Texas. We
couldn't find any information on it, but
residents remember the remains of building
foundations found here.
Our one room rural school leaves us with
many memories, so here are a few facts,
lest we forget.
There were all eight grades in one room.
The enrollment ranged anywhere from 3 to
:'The school bell was located in the bell
tower. Ropes were pulled to make it
ring. The school bell was rung at 8:30
and again at 9 O'Clock. The neighbors
could check on the teacher's punctuality
by listening for the bell.
The first desks were double. If lucky,
you could sit with your best friend. The
desks were screwed on slats so they could
be moved. Usually three desks were in a
row. Sometimes the children rolled their
pencils on their desks to disturb the
other pupils. Sometimes mice chewed paper
and made nests in the teacher's desk.
The first schools were heated with
jacketed stoves. A wood box was near the
stove. The children and teacher carried
in wood daily. Every morning before the
fire was built, the ashes had to be
carried out. The teacher had to arrive
early so the room would be partially warm
when the children arrived. The kids would
put their rubbers against the hot stove
to dry, almost suffocating the rest of the
pupils with the smell. Long stockings
(home knit) were worn by the pupils to
keep warm.
The school halls were cold as walk-in-
freezers during the winter months. The
children sometimes had to march around
the school room to keep warm. The room
became dark during storms and during the
winter months.
The children and teacher had to carry in
the water. Sometimes the water was
obtained from a neighbor. The pupils
drank water from a pail with a dipper.
The water had to be emptied every night
after freezing weather arrived.
The teacher was her own janitor. The
pupils were assigned jobs to help the
teacher. The teacher or children
shoveled a path through the snow to the
The children carried their lunches to
school in tobacco pails. Dinner pails
were lined up in the school halls.
During the winter months, the pails
had to be brought into the school room.
The pupils had to walk to school.
The teacher also had to walk to school.
The teacher usually boarded in the
District. The pupils were excited when
the teacher walked home with them to be
a supper guest.
The classes were held according to the
daily program chart posted in the room.
Certain poems, pictures and stories were
taught every month. The older children
helped the younger children. The pupils
arranged little squares of letters to
reproduce their reading lesson. The
pupils memorized the time tables.
Penmanship (Palmer Method) was taught.
Spell downs were held. The children had
arithmetic drills on the board each day.
Assignment questions were put on the
board. The pupils sat on a recitation
bench to recite. The sixth and eighth
graders wrote County exams to see if they
would pass. The teacher walked around
the room with a pointer.

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