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ONE-ROOM SCHOOL MEMORIES

These heartwarming schoolhouse memories were gathered by the Museums staff in 1995. Except where noted, all counties are located in Iowa.

Enjoy!

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"The School Board Directors thought it was time for a telephone to be installed in our one-room school around 1922 or 1923. It was so exciting ..."

Gritter Creek, Iowa County

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"Because we attended a country school we had to take a county examination to see if we would be able to continue on to high school."

Mt. Vernon #9, Black Hawk County

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"The first day of each week a different student was assigned specific chores that they were responsible for doing for the week like erasing the chalkboard at day's end, emptying the ash bucket and bringing in wood in the winter, dusting erasers, carrying in water, emptying waste baskets, etc."

Alice, Linn County

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"Before Christmas vacation, we always had the Christmas Program. All the parents, grandparents, etc. enjoyed these so the school would be packed."

South Fork #4, Jackson County

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"For drinking water we used a bucket and poured it into a cooler. Each had a cup or glass. For heat we had a stove that used wood or coal..."

West Concord, Oak Grove, Green Valley, Clarke County

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"Our school ground was mowed once just prior to school starting. This created havoc with going barefoot on account of the stiff stalks of grass and it also harbored several bumble bee nests. Needless to say, there were several bee stings."

Franklin, Davis County

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"Every morning we had health check. We were to have washed faces and hands, brushed teeth, combed hair, cleaned fingernails and have a clean handkerchief in our pocket."

Melrose #3, Grundy County

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"I feel the first 8 years of my education was very important and has really helped me in my life."

Marshall #5, Pocahontas County

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"As I reflect over those school years, I am amazed that one teacher could teach that many classes in addition to firing the furnace, scooping snow, overseeing recess and lunch time, and cleaning the school at the end of each day."

Floyd County

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"If you got to school early, what a privilege it was to be chosen by the teacher to raise the American flag -- or take it down at close of school hours."

Riverton No. 2, Clay County

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"In the eight years, I had a total of six teachers all were high school graduates except one."

Bow Creek, Sheridan County, Kansas

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"A timber wolf followed us to school one day. Dad took us in the bobsled and told me not to leave school until he would be there to pick us up. I'll never forget this."

Griggs No. 2, Ida County

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"Books were scarce and one family's relative boxed up many discarded books from a city school library and sent them to us and we had a real reading feast."

Woodland, Wayne County

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"The Iowa Wage scale had been cut or eliminated in the depression - thus I signed a contract for $40 a month, signed I would not marry during the term, and that I would do the janitor work."

Fairview Rural, Wayne County

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"The teacher sent two boys to the coalroom at the rear of the classroom to get a bucket of coal. They didn't come back and she discovered they were smoking."

Gunning, Warren County

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"On more than one occasion we trapped skunk and came to school bearing odor of skunk and were sent home to clean-up."

Brick School, Van Buren County

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"On overcast days or dark winter days the teacher would say, 'Put your books away, it is to dark to read.' We had no electricity."

Union Prairie #6, Allamakee County

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"Getting big enough to be selected as water monitor and thereby being one of two students (always boys, as I recall) to walk to the nearest farm house to bring back a pail of drinking water."

Taylor Township #4 (Wetherbee School), Marshall County

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"I remember the many snow days I encountered walking a mile and a half to school. Building a fire and having it warm for the children."

Teacher, Warren and Madison Counties

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"Everyone memorizing and saying their Christmas pieces and playing in the Christmas pageant. This was the most exciting time of the year as the school was decorated with red and green rope, with Christmas wreaths and bells everywhere."

Washington #7 and Grant #4, Buena Vista County

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"When I was in 6th grade, I had a teacher full of fun and personality plus. At Easter, she gave each of us a pretty Easter card, mine was a picture of a pretty decorated egg. On the inside the verse read, 'I might be hard boiled, but I'm too soft for you.'"

Marshall Center #5, Pocahontas county

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"A neighbor to the school had an orchard. For years, we kids stole apples. Years later, he said he saw us and would have given the apples, but knew we had fun stealing them."

White Oak, Washington County

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"We had to take 8th grade tests in every subject. Had a nice graduation in our local theater and had a class picture taken on the courthouse lawn by a professional photographer."

Nishnabotna #2, Crawford County

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"Decorations were few - this was the Depression! Books were few and never taken home. Too much danger of damage from weather during the long walk."

Sunnyside, Fremont County.

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"We carried water from a near-by farm; sometimes baked potatoes and heated soup on top of the stove."

Center No. 4, O'Brien County

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doris mitchellMarshall Center School Contact:
Doris Mitchell, Secretary
319-273-2188 or doris.mitchell@uni.edu

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Marshall Center School history
One-room schools in Iowa
One-room schools resource list

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