Dexheimer, Florence Chambers, 1866-1925 / Sketches of Wisconsin pioneer women
Alexander, Lewis M., Mrs.
Frances J. Morrill, pp. 89-94 PDF (1.2 MB)
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 91
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