An Illustrated history & description Of Schools in the 18th & 19th Centurys.

Home Main Menu Order Support About Search

Share page  

Previous Contents Next

102 Old-time Schools and School-books
and other material needs of the school. His edu­cational qualifications were likely to be meagre, and some of the local committeemen were very rude and ignorant. The district system resulted in many a tea-pot tempest, for every person had decided ideas as to how affairs in his or her own neighborhood should be managed, and whatever action the committeeman took, he had to run a gauntlet of criticism that was often far from judicial or gentle. To settle the question of where one of the little frame schoolhouses should stand has been known to require ten district meetings scattered over a period of two years; and the meetings would be attended by men from the mountain farms for miles around. Some of these men had no children to be schooled, and some of them were not interested enough in national affairs to vote in a presidential election. The one point on which all could agree was that the schoolhouse should be built where the land was as nearly valueless as possible. Any spot was good enough, provided it was in the geographi­cal centre of the district. If the schoolhouse was not thus centrally located, and the rights, real or fancied, of individuals were set aside for the con­venience of the majority, then there was trouble that might smoulder almost interminably, ready to blaze forth at any time.
Most of the buildings were erected close to the highway, and they encroached on the adjoining field very little. Usually they formed a part of the line fence. A favorite situation was at the meeting of two or more roads, and sometimes the building
Previous Contents Next