Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Chariton High School #7 Senior Class of 1913 - 100 Years Ago

Below are the pictures of the 1913 class 100 years ago:

Senior History by Dagmar Johnson (1913, a year going but not soon to be forgotten)

   We Seniors well remember the fall of 1909, when as Freshmen we began our High School life. We marveled at our teachers and upper classmen, who seemed to find us rather amusing. Now we know that the attention they gave us was interest, because even then, they recognized the possibilities in us. Gradually the trembling feeling left us as we became more accustomed to our surroundings.

   Our school year gone and we were Sophomores. Although this name (“Wise Fools”) was translated for us by our assembly speakers and impressed upon our minds in many ways, we are today proud of that eventful year. Our class, unusually resolute in spirit, and influenced by a will to do things, decided to come into a closer social contact with each other and form a club. But alas! As our organization was not appreciated by our faculty, our club was abandoned. Feeling ran high for a time, but it gradually subsided. As there were more good times in store for us, we forgot about our would-be club and entered into all fun with a true class spirit.

   When we were Juniors, consent was given to us to organize in a proper and fitting manner. We assumed a motto, “Harder work and less fun,” but in spirit the motto read, “Harder work and more fun.” This year we displayed our dramatic art for the first time in our High School career. It is useless to repeat what renown we won in presenting to the public, “The Private Secretary.”

   At the close of our Junior year, we kindly consented to give a banquet and reception in honor of the Seniors whose departure did not cause us any grief, for we knew then that the next year we would be Seniors.

   At last, that year has come, 1913, and it is our last year we have tried to make it an enjoyable one and we certainly have succeeded. We have had parties, dinners, and bob rides. Our class play, “Miss Hobbs,” was a greater success than we had hoped for. If our audience enjoyed the presentation half as much as we enjoyed the rehearsals, we feel well repaid for our effort.
  But now book reviews and orations must occupy our minds until we have, to our credit, completed our High School years. Then “We Finish to Begin.”
   The first annual we have of the graduating class of Chariton High School is 1913. They began their Freshman year 100 years ago. Below is the picture of the school then.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Columbus School Bell

Frank Myers has a very interesting article about the bell in front of Columbus School.  If you would like to read it click here:   Columbus School Bell

Below is a picture of the old school where this bell called in the children.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Cory School #6

Cory School #6 was located west of Chariton in Whitebreast Twp.  These pictures were obtained from the Lucas County Genealogical Society.  
From the Chariton Leader  May 17, 1949 -  Cory Pupils enjoy all Day Outing Friday - Twelve pupils of the Cory School were taken on a tour of Chariton Friday by their teacher, Miss Minne Lee Reeves.  Included on the tour were the Chariton Ice Company, Steinbach Lockers, Quality Bakery, Chariton Newspapers and the jail.  A picnic dinner at the East park was followed by the group attending the matinee at the Ritz theatre.  Pupils taking part were, Ruby Cook, Mabeth Henderson, Ronny Tanner, Sharon Cook, Roger Collins, Dannie Trumbo, Richard Tanner, Roland Collins, Barbara Tanner, Vera Cook, Beverly Tanner and Betty Tanner.
Fire Destroys Rural School
From the Chariton Leader  April 24, 1951

Fire about midnight Friday entirely destroyed the Cory School house west of the county home.  It is not known how the fire started, but it apparently spread from an adjoining coal shed to the building.  The CharitonVolunteer Fire department answered the call but the fire was too far along.  Miss Minne Reeves is the teacher and there are 19 days of school remaining.  The pupils are being transported to Chariton for the remaining school period and a room in the Columbus School has been assigned for this work.  The township board is to meet Thursday evening to determine future plans.  There are 15 pupils in the school this year.

Pictures from the Past  by Sanda Stump appeared in paper on April 19, 2012.

From the Chariton Leader dated May 17, 1949:  Pictured is Cory School #6 which was located west of Chariton in Whitebreast Township.  Also pictured is Neva Holder Duer's class picture.  On April 24, 1951 (from the Chariton Leader) about midnight the Cory School House, west of the County Home, was entirely destroyed by fire.  It was not known how the fire started, but it apparently spread from an adjoining coal shed to the building.  The Chariton Volunteer Fire Department answered the call but the fire was too far along.  Miss Minnie Reeves was the teacher at the time and there were 19 days of school remaining.  The pupils were transported to Chariton for the remaining school period and a room in the Columbus School had been assigned for this work.  The Township Board was to meet to determine future plans.  There were 15 pupils that attended Cory School #6.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Arnold School #3 - 1910

This school was located in Liberty Township in Section 7, the northwest corner of the township.
This picture was taken from the Lucas County History 1978 Book.
The children and the teacher are listed here:  Front row:  Myrtle Gillespy, (Loney), Robert Gillespy, Vera Vawter, Alice Hoover (Curtis), Willie Chandler, Ethyl Wilson (Carter), and Etha Vawter (Law), Row 2:  Harold Wilson, Ruby Haley (Williams), Glenn Vawter, Blanche Chandler (Niswender), Gerald Chandler, Laura Hoover (Curtis), and Eugene McCoy.  Row 3:  Mrs. Pearl (Ada) Hancock - Teacher - Pearl Chandler (Krutsinger) - Ruth Hoover (Elmendorf), Hazel Vawter (McCoy), Ruth Haley, Iva Vawter (Ruis) and Orrel Hoover (Westerly).

Center #7 (Hayden) School - 1915

This school was located in Ottercreek Township.  Note the name Center #7 above the blackboard in this picture.

 The following are the children and the teacher:
From left in back row:  Edna Roe, Alvin Nine, Marvin Mills, Bessie Harvey, Willa Duntley, Merl Puderbaugh - Teacher:  Hazel Nine - Juanita Harvey, Margaret Harvey, Margery Boston
Front Row:  Wayne Sones, Virgil Roe, Merl Mills, Alice Sones, Eloise Nine, Wanda Sones, Leola Nine, Faye Houseman, June Harvey.

The picture and the names were gotten from The Lucas County History 1978 Book.

The Norwood School System #4

The Norwood School System in Norwood, north Lucas County just east of Hwy 65, in Ottercreek Twp.

A frame schoolhouse was built at Norwood in 1860.  At first it was only boxed but later weather boarded and sealed.  A large stove, that stood in the middle of the room, burned wood provided in turn by each family and heated the room.  The trees were cut and dragged to the school ground then chopped by the older boys, as wood was needed.

Planks pegged into the walls served as seats and desks.  Pupils wrote on their laps or knelt on the floor and used the seat as a desk.  Books were kept on a shelf at night.  The teacher had a homemade desk with one drawer for supplies.  There were no pictures, charts, maps or window shades.  A bunch of cornstalks or Buckeye brush beat in strips served as a broom.  Water was carried in a tin bucket from a distance of forty rods and served from a common dipper.  Each pupil was allowed to go at his own pace on any subject he cared to study.  Older pupils studied History, Geography, Arithmetic and Reading.  The Readers were McGuffey's and Wilson's Mental Arithmetic was taught.  Pupils used slates.  Later they had a space on the wall painted black for a blackboard.  Still later they had pen, ink and paper.

For recreation, in summer the children played with homemade yarn balls and sticks for bats.  In winter, they usually built a Snow Fort and held snowball battles.  Once they had a home made Merry-Go-Round made by putting a plank on a stump and placing a peg in the middle.

At lunch time each family brought out one tin pail in which were cornbread and sorghum or crabapple butter.  The school was supported in part by taxes and part by subscription.  A different teacher was hired for each term, a man for winter and a woman for summer.  During the winter term enrollment averaged between sixty and sixty-five and in summer it was eight or ten - children aged 5 to 21.  The farthest distance the pupils came was three miles.  Their clothing was home made.  Much of it made of sheep's wool and some of the boy's boots were made at home.  During winter evenings Spelling Bees, Ciphering Matches and Singing Schools were held at the school building.  Homemade candles furnished the lights until the Kerosene Lamp was introduced.

This information from Mr. Tom Ashby's Story of Early Norwood Community Education  - From a History of Early Rural Education in Lucas County as told by Pioneer Residents by Helen Pfrimmer Price.

In 1882 on new grounds of 1 acre, located about a quarter mile east of the original building, a new school building was erected.  This served until 1916 when the grounds were enlarged to 5 acres and the Norwood or Wells, Wileston or Bond, and Hayden Schools formed the Norwood Consolidated School District and a third school building was constructed.  A house from the Lon Rouble farm and the Hayden schoolhouse were moved to the school grounds furnishing housing for school personnel.

Now with a state accredited High School pupils in the area could continue their education and live at home.  Buses provided transportation for the pupils in the district.  When roads were muddy horse drawn buses were used.  High School students from nearby rural schools often rode their ponies to school.  A barn was built for them too.

One Primary; one Upper Grade and three High School teachers were hired.  Also a Janitor was hired.  The High School teachers taught all required subjects including Manual Training and Home Economics and served as Coaches.  High School enrollment averaged around forty.  Approximately 160 students had graduated when the High School closed in 1945.  The Grade School ceased to operate at the close of the 1965 school year.  The building has since been razed.

Puckerbrush School #3 and Its Move to the Museum

From the Lucas County Genealogy Newsletter  Volume 15  Issue 2  2010
Written by Elizabeth Tuttle "To Get A Prairie Chicken"

 Puckerbrush!  What a Name!  Tangled undergrowth, dense, forbidding briars, the lair of reptiles, rabbits, chipmunks, frolicking squirrels and other denizens of the woodlands.  Even an ideal hideaway for old time horse thieves!  The crackle of dry leaves and falling nuts, long curing canes of wild blackberries; the hush of deep snows, yet, in nature's expertise with the bitter and the sweet, there were wild flowers, blue birds, the whispering wind and the twitter and chirp of early spring.

Whence the name?  The early history of any community is shrouded in the mists of human memory, family traditions and legend.  There seems to have been a feud between two families, the name Puckerbrush was coined, resented but caught on.  In time it was accepted, became popular and eventually was applied to the whole community.  Today there is considerable pride in having been a resident or the descendent of a Puckerbrush ancestor.

A former resident, Dr. J.R. Johnson, Professor of history in the John F. Kennedy College at Wahoo, Nebraska, has written a book titled "The Puckerbrush Kid".  Dr. Johnson lived there until he was 15 years old.  He says, "the book has all the characters I knew as I grew up and it's full of folklore.  More than half of it deals with people and events.  Some names that appear are:  Haltom, Benge, Marker, Doherty, Nine, Cackler, Bennett, Penick, Ashby, Pennington, Clore, Blackstock, Barger, Sones, Edwards, Baker, Nicholson, Harvey, Mills and Webster."

Mr. William Osenbaugh was born and reared in this community and has given us much of interest.  His grandfather with three sons migrated from Illinois in 1873 looking for a location in brush and hill country devoid of chills and fever and where there was less danger of prairie fires.  The rest of the family came the following year.  At the time of statehood the Federal Government set up 'School 80's' in checkerboard fashion over the state.  After the district was laid out, the location of the building had to be decided upon.  It was not always possible for it to be in the exact center of the district.  Some children would have to walk farther than others.  A battle raged over this matter and one man blocked the road.  He was fined $30 and had to haul 13 bushels of corn to Chariton in the bitter cold of winter to pay the fine.  The school was built in 1874 and it was named 'Hazel Dell', later changed to Otter Creek No. 3, then to Pleasant Ridge No. 3 and finally  by common usage to Puckerbrush.  In 1889 the land passed into private ownership of Mrs. America Blackstock.

The boundaries of the school district were definite but of this unique community, they were singularly undefined.  The whole region was individual, even queer in some ways, but of good citizenship.  Most of the people had little education but were substantial, honorable and kind-hearted.  Being removed from urban life, they were very appreciative.  High academic standards were not required of the teacher.  Any person 18 years or over who could pass the County Superintendent's examination could teach.  This was standard practice in that day.  However, the lack of formal education was in part made up by the emphasis on basic subjects plus the building of good character, exemplary conduct, personal honor and integrity.  There were many capable and dedicated teachers whose high ideals thus came an integral part of the fabric of our culture and national life.

The name of the first teacher is not available, but one of the earliest was Miss Lydia Lel Pfrimmer who taught in 1876-7.  Her certificate is dated March 15, 1876.  She later became Mrs. Thompson David Ashby, Sr. and in the fullness of time, two of her children, George and Nina Hanks followed in her footsteps and taught at Puckerbrush.  Until about the turn of the century, all rural schools had three terms each year - two months in the fall - November was corn husking month, and thus no school.  The winter term filled the next three months and this was the term when older pupils were in large attendance.  This was followed by the spring term of two or often three months.

The district was six square miles instead of the standard four, thus including more families and resulting in larger enrollment.  The reason at that time there was a state law to the effect that children could not be required to cross a running stream.  Otter Creek divides about two miles north of the schoolhouse, one branch, called North Otter, running almost due west, the other running mostly south and along the east edge of the district.  The school lay inside that fork.  At one time there were 50 pupils and two teachers, each taking turns at conducting classes and keeping order.  Ages of pupils ranged from five to twenty one years.  Some seats held five pupils, other three.

In the school reorganization of the 1960's, Puckerbrush was the last to close its doors.  As with all rural school buildings, this one was put up for sale.  The local Historical Society wanted to purchase it and Mrs. Ralph Pim and Mr. and Mrs. William Osenbaugh raised the money in the neighborhood to buy it.  There were no other bidders so the school board sold it to them for $1.00.  The money that had been raised to purchase it then was allocated for its restoration.  Much more money and more work were needed. 

On February 1968 Puckerbrush schoolhouse became part of the Lucas County Museum complex.  Untold hours of hard work and a generous quantity of devotion had gone in to the preparation of the old building for the trip - the jacking up and reinforcement of decayed timber to stand the strain of 22 miles.  The day was cold, crisp and beautiful.   The historic task was heart warming.  This school is to be a symbol of all rural schools in this county.  At 9 o'clock every man was at his post.  Keith Kent of Lucas, whose mother had been a teacher there, had his big machinery lined up with his customary precision.  The coterie of helpers was: Glen Burgett, L. H. Dearson, George Durham, Elmer Fullmer, Herbert Hamilton, George Kinkead, Frank L. Mott, Charles C. Noble, Bill Osenbaugh, Vernard Oxenreider, Louis Pearson, Young Pearson, Don Super and Carl Taylor.

There were men from Clark Electric Cooperative (it was in this school house that the Clark Coop held its first sign up for electric service) Iowa Southern Utilities Company, Lucas Co. Road Maintenance Crew, Deputy Sheriff Albert Johnson, telephone men - all working together to accomplish a velvet smooth piece of history.  Mr. Kent skillfully maneuvered the long lo-boy under the building without shaving off even a toothpick.  Soon the heavy support timbers and jacks were removed and the building eased into her 'saddle'.

Not a movement was lost.  At 10 o'clock, the circuitous passage began - down the slope, curving across the ravine where it had been necessary to cut one tree and trim another, gently gracefully winding out to the steep incline where a 'cat' waited to hook on and give the added power pull to the highway.  The procession was on its historic way.  First the Sheriff's car with blinding light atop, next the 'caution' car furnished by Mr. Kent and carrying the huge warning sign.  Next came Puckerbrush in all the dignity of her 94 years of history and sentiment, riding majestically as a queen, her carriage so expertly making the curves and turns that she never once wavered.  A queen must have her retinue and this one no less - three truckloads of heavy cribbing material which, with certain tools were furnished by Renus Johnson, who also furnished the permit allowing the building to be moved through the streets.  Jeffries Construction Company and the Gillespy DX Station of Oakley also loaned equipment; as did Dave Halferty.  At the city limits, the police met the procession and escorted it to the museum grounds where the work of restoration began.  While the foundation was being run, the building rested on long strong timbers furnished by Ray Daugherty.

There were 56 overhead wires where linemen lifted wires, either with long poles or with an Iowa Southern Utilities cherry picker for the building to pass under.  Three bridges were crossed, some with very limited clearance and a few signs had to be trimmed a little:  Otter Creek, Whitebreast, and the Golf Club Lake Bridge.  Crossing a railroad with a house on board is quite involved.   Don Fuller, the local Agent operator, too had carefully anticipated this.  He had arranged with Walter Lauer signal inspector out of Chicago who just happened to be here; D.E. O'Brian, signal maintenance man and C.C. Smith, Division Lineman - all of whom most cheerfully gave their assistance.  This project was community effort at its best.  Every man was there because he wanted to be and because of the satisfaction of doing something for the community in which he and those who follow can take just pride.

Teachers that taught at this school through the years are listed on the Teachers Blog.  Click here to reach that site:  http://lucascountyteachers.blogspot.com/

Pleasant Ridge (sometimes called Puckerbrush) was located in Ottercreek Twp three sections  due west of Norwood.  

This picture is of a 4th of July picnic at the Puckerbrush School, about 1914.  The only people that are known by the presenter of this picture is the little girl in the middle of the bottom row sitting on her mother’s lap is Wanda Crooks.  Her mother is Amy (Roberts) Crooks. According to the school census of June 1914, the families with children in school were the Kelley’s, Osenbaugh’s, Black’s, Dyken’s, Haltom’s, Nine’s, Doherty’s, Anderson’s, Penick’s and Crawford’s.  This gathering of families in the Puckerbrush school area gathered for several years on the 4th of July to have a picnic and a day of fun.

The Puckerbrush School is on the Lucas County Historical Museum grounds.
1956 picture given by Sharon Garrison

Back row: Peggy Ashby, Glen Black, Bobby
Ashby, Judy Blankenhagen, John Osenbaugh, Mrs.
Leta Nicholson (teacher).  Next row: Rex Marker,
Bess Osenbaugh, Richard Marker, Sharon
Pfrimmer, Charles Osenbaugh.

Next row: Jimmy Ashby, Karen Haltom, Kathy
Haltom, Denny Kent, Carl Weakland, in front of
Carl is Terry Ashby.
Front row: ___, ___, Martha Black, ___

NOTE: Puckerbrush was in Ottercreek Township #3 – (Pleasant Ridge School)
Lucas County Notes   Shakin’ the Family Tree Volume 16 Issue 3 July – August – Sept. - 2011

2013 September written by Frank Myers The Lucas Countyan

If only the floors could talk ...

The guys from G M Builders started work inside Puckerbrush School on Tuesday, carefully removing the top layer of flooring --- narrow strips of oak nailed during the 20th century crosswise over original lengthwise floorboards put into place 140 years ago.

The floor has to come up so that work can begin on repairing and replacing the building's underpinnings, badly compromised by time and inadequate underfloor ventilation. We hope to reinstall the oak flooring over a new subfloor once the building is back on its feet.

One of the guys, after turning a short strip of flooring over to knock loose the three-inch nail that had secured it, saw this penciled note: "Laid July 29, 1941, John Haltom and Bown Boys."

So there you have it --- the floor spoke and we know now when it went down: During summer recess 72 years ago, Pearl Harbor just four months into the future.

Puckerbrush, known more formally as Pleasant Ridge, occasionally as Cackler Hall, replaced an earlier building and was completed in time for the first day of classes during the fall of 1874. There had been a neighborhood skirmish about its location, but an acre of virgin soil covered by hazelbrush in Section 17 of Ottercreek Township was selected. 

The new location resulted in consolidation of one rural district with part of another, so as many as 50 students crowded into the building that first year with two teachers, one at each end of the building.

The name "Puckerbrush" came along during the 1880s --- and was bitterly resented by those who had built the school and named it, euphoniously, Pleasant Ridge. My grandfather taught his first term as a school teacher here during the early 1890s.

After World War II ended, rural populations declined and the process of school consolidation began. The last term in this building was taught during 1962-63 by Frances Snuggs. Her students were Kathy, Mike and Linda Patterson, Steve and Janice Haltom, Denny and David Rosenberger, Ed Osenbaugh, Betty Black, Gene Pettinger and Ronnie Penick.

The building was moved to the campus of the Lucas County Historical Society in Chariton during 1968.

By the time all is said and done, we'll spend many thousands of dollars to ensure that this old building --- symbol of a vanished way of life --- can stand for another 140 years. Armed with this much cash back in 1874, most likely we could have built several townships worth of one-room schools.

When the work's done and the floor goes back down, we'll re-install this small strip of wood with a message and ask whoever is nailing the floor back down to autograph and date an adjoining board.

Go to the following website to see the original article

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Braden School #l - 1901

This school was located in Section 17, western/middle section of the Benton Township.
The following picture was taken from the Lucas County History 1978 Book


Standing in front of the school are:  Front row:  Fannie Redlingshafer, Bernice Arnold, Earl Anderson, Chester Rosa, Emory Arnold, Fred Rosa.  Back:  Blanche Mitchell - Teacher:  Harley Shore - Theo Rosa, Gail Arnold, Clair Arnold, Lillie Arnold, Carrie Redlingshafer, Maudie Mitchell.