By Sarah Whitehead
Earl School on Boonville New Harmony Rd half way between Earl (Gabtown) and Browning Rd. White weatherboard facing east, bell on top as you went in this door you enter a hall where you put your coats and hats and dinner boxes. There were two doors one on each side that entered the one big room. No covering on floor, two rows of double seats that were fastened to the floor. A stove in middle of room that heated the room in winter – seats faced east and teacher’s desk in front, black boards around side and back. Windows on each side of room. No door in back. Cistern behind school, water brought in, in the winter one cup for all. Warm weather you went to the pump and pumped your own. A coal shed back of this on each side there was a building for the convenience of the pupils one for boys and one for girls.
The children were taught by teachers not long out of school. She or he had to take a teachers exam if they passed and a school was available she or he would get it. She or he taught eight grades 1 through 8.
Some children had to walk maybe two miles, through fields or mud roads-no paved roads then. No telephone, no radio, no TV no automobiles. The trustee would drop in unexpected once in a while to see how things were going and if the teacher needed any supplies. You bought your own books, pencils and paper. He would observe how the teacher taught and how the pupils reacted.
No problem on what to wear if you had two dress you were lucky and an apron or two. Home made; material for our dress about 25˘. School was from 8 am to 4 pm with 15 minutes middle of morning one hour at noon 15 minutes in afternoon.
To get your diploma you must take a written exam in another school that was given for all Scott Township pupils of the 8th grade. If you didn’t pass they gave it over. A new one. These are the subjects= Spelling, Reading, Penmanship, Arithmetic, Geography, Grammar, History, Physiology.
On the last day of school there was always a picnic at the school every family brought baskets of food, games were played good time for all.
For a time the school house was used on Sunday afternoon for Sunday School-neighborhood-at this time the school had an organ. It was well attended – 29 with Easter & Christmas programs.
For a while a picnic reunion for all students of Earl School was held in the summer for a get together and to reminisce and all the goodies.
Teachers 1902 on to consolidation of Scott Township.
Clara Hornby (Dr. H.V. Whiting)
Miss Lydia Johann
Mr. Ambrose Hornby
Maud Johnson (Cabel Fisher)
Florence Fisher (Loren Peck)
Doris McCutchen (Lee Barley Sr.)
Myrtle Wilson (Mr. Jordan)
Teachers 1905 took teachers exam if they passed the license lasted for one year – then the next would last for 1 year on this starting pay was $42.00 a month if you boarded which was often the case board & room $2.00 or $3.00 a week if you taught long enough you might get $75 a month. Maud Johnson, Doris McCutchan, Myrtle Wilson and Burton Benton boarded with Whitehead Family – Miss Johann boarded with Fisher Family through the years.
The janitor had to clean the school and tend to the fire. Go early build the fire stay late to do the cleaning. Usually one of the older children sometimes the teacher.
Games baseball, anti-over the school house, crack the whip and etc.