Pella Chronicle

Days Gone By

June 25, 2010

Looking back at the one room school

Pella —  

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.”

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