The town of Texas
III. Schools, pp. 19-36
TOWN OF TEXAS SCHOOLS 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 60. :'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 outhouses. 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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