This school, now being used as a farm building, is six miles south of Knoxville at 2028 Hwy 14. It originally stood on the farm just north of this one.
A Knoxville Journal article of 1880 reports there was a Valentine spelling at the school. Also a new branch (subject), card playing, has been introduced at the school. (Let’s hope the students studied this new branch at recess)
According to a school record book the value of the school in 1884 was $300.
From the Knoxville Journal Of Aug. 1885 we note that J. H. Moore has a contract to dig a well at the Albany school.
In Sept. 1887 the newspaper correspondent says that “The directors of New Albany are awake to the interests of the school. In addition to cleaning, white washing, and papering the school they have purchased a set of anatomical charts.
“One of the Albany school boys carries a black eye caused by a collision with the teacher.” Knoxville Journal, March 1888. In Feb. 1889 the correspondent expresses a resistance to change in writing that Liz Wilson closed with an “old fashioned sock hop” --something new but hardly worthy of imitation.
In 1923 the teacher’s report lists 8 volumes in the library. (not nearly enough, but the teacher probably checked out library books for the students).
In the spring of 1936 8th grade grads were Mary Catherine Fortner, Dana Oneida Bebout, and Wilma Jones. Helen and Charlene Rinehart graduated in 1938.
I talked with sisters Dolores Schuring and Rose Marie Briggs who, along with brother Richard Mathes, attended this school. Here are some excerpts from the e-mail which Rose Marie sent: “One time as I was excused to go to the bathroom, as I started to sit down, I noticed a huge snake in the hole. I ran screaming back to the schoolhouse and teacher sent one of the boys out to survey the situation. All they did was get the snake to wrap around a stick and threw it over the fence. “A harmless bull snake”, they said. I honestly think I waited until I got home to relieve myself.”
“As I look back, we got to do things that kids today don’t even get to do: enter things in the fair, entertained our parents with skits on the holidays, had family potlucks, and even go on field trips. Mrs. Kenney took us to the new Hy-Vee store in Knoxville, right across from what was the old Junior High building. As we entered the store, the door opened up, but all of a sudden it started to close behind me. I didn’t want to get stuck in the store all by myself so I took a dart back out the ‘in door’ and almost got stuck. Modern inventions!”
“Once there was a furious storm outside and my folks came to pick me up. Every time we would open the door to go out the coat room and get outside, the coat room would move away from the schoolhouse. We finally opened a window and crawled outside to the car.” Dolores recalls that Rose Marie was so small that the wind lifted her off her feet and their dad carried her to the car. (Since most country schools lacked a basement people often ask what teachers and students did if there was a tornado. I remember being told to seek cover in the ditch. If such a storm had been spotted I’m sure our parents would have been there to rescue us. They didn’t always have radio warnings so they kept a close eye on the sky.)
Rose Marie closes with this sentence. “Country school was like being on a field trip every day, out in the country enjoying nature and fresh air. I thank God every day for the opportunity I had to enjoy country school and for the wonderful teachers who worked so very hard for all of us and especially for the valuable ‘lessons’ learned.”
Teachers who taught at New Albany were Mr. A. C. Keithley 1879, Mrs. Charles Griffin, Mrs. Frank Conrey 1880, Miss Maggie De Moss, Mr. David McGinnis 1881, Miss Alice Scales 1882, Miss Addie Burnett, Nellie Boyston 1883, W. D. Jones 1884, Clarence Cole, Eva Elder 1885, I. G. Agan 1886, Della Smith 1887, Della Smith, Surrie S. Wilson 1888, Liz Wilson, Cora Venable, Della Smith 1889, Della Smith, Adda Young 1890, Nora Venable, Maude Spiren 1891, Nora Venable, Dora Heavner 1892, Julia Ruckman 1894, Corda Venable 1895, Mary Roller, Julia Ruckman 1896, Julia Ruckman 1898, Julia Ruckman, Fannie Gelderblom 1899, Lulu Townsend, Art Betterton 1900, Julia Ruckman, Art Betterton Maude Inskeep 1901, Maude Inskeep 1902, Nora Pringle 1903, Mae Moon 1904, Fannie Benifield 1905, W. H. Conrey 1906, Maude Brubaker, Gertrude Dykstra 1907, Mabel De Witt 1908-09, Beulah Stuff 1910, Jo Mendenhall 1911, Birdie Fast 1912, Clella Andrews 1913, Clella Andrews, Rhea Wilson 1914, Rhea Wilson, Mrs. Marshall 1915, Laura Taggart 1916, Grayce Rowland 1917, Hester Hyslop, Ruth Flanders 1918, Ruth Flanders 1919, Gladys Schelle 1920, Faye Kenney 1921, Avis Van Loon 1922, Ell Fitzpatrick 1923, Merle Witt 1924-25, Thelma Maddy 1926, Edith Agan 1927, Theo Witt 1928-29, Ruth Dennison 1930, Madge Wilson 1931, Iva Bingaman 1932, Faye Wynn 1933, Oletha Lenning 1934, Ruby C. Finarty, Ruby Seaman 1935, Theo Witt 1936-37, Mrs. Ruby Ver Steeg 1938-39, Bernice Dennison 1940-43, Mrs. Ruth Kenney 1946-53.
Contact me at 641-628-4716 or firstname.lastname@example.org with information and pictures about your school.