YSLA History — Part 6 (Final)

Part 1Part 2Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5

Like its predecessors over the years, the Library Association raises money through dues as well as the sale of various items. Its annual fundraiser is the Founders’ Day Books and Brownies Sale, which takes place each January right where the library got its start — Deaton’s Hardware. The Association also sells t-shirts, sweatshirts and notepaper as well as a tote bag with the Tree of Knowledge logo.

The Tree of Knowledge. It is an appropriate symbol for an Association that got its start 100 years ago with a group of women who believed it was important for Yellow Springs to have a place where people could read and learn, where they could borrow and share books, and experience the power and the pleasure of the printed word. The Yellow Springs Library was born out of that belief and has been nurtured by it over the years. That same belief echoes in the purpose of the Library Association today and in the words of Dr. Boris E. Nelson, who spoke in 1966 at the dedication ceremony for the then new library building:

“The vitality of a community is mirrored in an active library, whose function exceeds the mere storing of books. With imagination and inventiveness, a library can be and should be a veritable beehive, a nerve-center of a community, where the mature seek answers and where the young can first learn the meaning of history and adventure. . . . This facility, may it be blessed with many customers and the continuing consideration of those who have planned and worked for it, but also of the community-at-large, which can show its pride in it by making full use of it and keeping it well-supplied with books.”

Membership

There are about 150 members in the Library Association at present. All interested persons are invited to join. Dues are $3 per year and include a subscription to exLibris.

Meetings

The Association meets on the second Wednesday of each month, October through April, for a short business meeting followed by a program that includes time for friendship and discussion. Meetings are open to all; one does not need to be a member to attend.




The library today, as photographed by Paul Cooper (available as full-color postcard at the front desk
Posted in Narratives | Tagged , | Leave a comment

1870s Sketchbook — Part 10

Posted in Artifacts | Leave a comment

Surprising Suffrage History in Yellow Springs

Remember that the Yellow Springs Historical Society will be hosting a special program tomorrow at the YSAC Gallery in connection with the closing of the current exhibit of art quilts on the theme of the suffragists.

Serendiptiously, Historical Society board president Dave Neuhardt came across a series of items from the Lebanon Western Star detailing lively suffrage events in Yellow Springs almost 50 years prior to passage of the amendment recognizing women’s right to vote. It is not known whether or not the suit mentioned was brought.

March 2, 1871

Susan B. Anthony lectured at Yellow Springs on the 21s ult.

April 13, 1871

Greene.

The right of woman to vote was tested at Yellow Springs, on last election day. A grand procession of ladies surrounded the polls about five o’clock, and demanded that their votes should be received under the 14th amendment. The terrified judges not knowing exactly what to do under the extraordinary circumstances, challenged the votes, and invited the ladies into the large hall so that they might explain themselves, and why they attempted to break the law. After some parleying, Prof. Weston offered himself attorney ad tempore for the ladies, and addressed the judges in quite a lengthy harangue, setting forth the women’s cause in as good a light as possible. But it was no use. The judges sternly refused to take the votes from the fair hands, saying that they would suffer prosecution to its bitterest end before they would forfeit their oath and receive the vote of a woman. These ladies will at once proceed to prosecute the judges.

April 20, 1871

NEIGHBORING COUNTIES.

Greene.

Xenia has a colored Councilman.

The subject of woman’s suffrage is at the boiling point in Yellow Springs; it is talked in the pulpit and from the rostrum, in the debating societies and social and family circles, in the routine of business and everywhere it is the all-absorbing topic.

A lady lecturer, Dr. S. M. Organ, has been delivering a course of free lectures on woman’s suffrage in that place. The lectures were held in the Christian church (the largest in town). Immense and eager audiences attended. The lecturer was attired cap a pie in a close fitting suit (men’s style) of broad cloth, the coat being buttoned at the waist and throat leaving the bosom ajar, thus revealing the front of the snowy white skirt. Add to this picture the cuffs, white collar and the rose-tinted neck-tie and you have a youth of eighteen summers of the masculine gender, rather than a woman of thirty autumns.

June 21, 1871

At a recent anniversary of the Womens’ Rights Society at Yellow Springs, many circulars were read from prominent persons, congratulating the ladies on their late attempt to vote, and assuring them that the cause was progressing rapidly. On motion it was voted “that the society empower the executive committee to bring suit against the judges who refused the ballots of some of the members at the last election. This is to be done as soon as convenient.” Several new members were added to the society. By the above it will be seen that the ladies have not been idle, but have been preparing for earnest business.

Posted in Narratives | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Yellow Springs Was Her Stage

Another excerpt from Women of Green County of 1994 shines a spotlight on someone who was a force in many Yellow Springs arenas, but was mostly known for her work with Yellow springs Center Stage over several decades, especially the run of Gilbert and Sullivan operettas. Jean Hooper’s Yellow Springs News obituary can be found here, and previous posts on the work of Center Stage can be found under the “Blog Multi-Part Series” tab toward the bottom of the page.

Jean Goff Hooper

An inspiring Dayton, OH, high school drama teacher, Bertha May Johns, launched Jean Goff Hooper on a life-long adventure in theater. Hooper arrived in Yellow Springs in the summer of 1948 as a member of the Yellow Springs Area Theater Summer Company. A splendid opera house built around the turn of the century was its home. After that summer, winter, and another summer season—with over thirty productions—the opera house was closed by state officials and later demolished when funds to meet required repairs were not forthcoming from Village government, college, or theater supporters. Although the opera house was no longer home, theater in Yellow Springs carried on. After several seasons of movement—from the local movie theater to a winter in the Dayton Art Institute and a summer on the front steps of Antioch College—Shakespeare Under the Stars debuted and the foundry building on campus became the new home.

Jean had married Bill Hooper, an Antioch graduate who left a promising career in theater as a techical director to become a contractor in Yellow Springs. Never far from the theater, he was delighted when he was afforded the opportunity to interpret a Greek design into modern materials and construct the Amphitheater at Antioch. A son and daughter were born, but Hooper kept a hand in theater activities and community affairs. She was co-chair of the Community Chest Fund Drive and a League of Women Voters member of the “Garbage Ladies” committee which secured a Village referendum to remove the open dump and raised funds to replace it with the first integrated public swimming pool in the area. She was an instructor in the ensuing Village swim program, a Girl Scout Leader, a resource person for the Community Nursery School, Antioch School, and Yellow Spring High School. She also served as coordinator for the Bryan After School Program and Community Youth Summer Program, as Coordinating Committee Chairperson for school issue levies and bond issues, and was a member of the committee to helop integrate Black Studies into the high school curriculum.

As president of the Band Parents Association, Hooper originated and coordinated the fundraising Band Fair for five years. She was a founder of the Trotwood Circle Theater, served on the board of Springfield Civic Theater, and founded Yellow Springs Center Stage in 1971. For twenty-three years she has been its president, producer, an actress, technician, and noted director of forty-nine plays and musicals, including the total works of Gilbert and Sullivan which gained state-wide recognition for creativity and excellence. Additionally, she performed with the nationally-known Mad River Theater Works, founded by her son Jeff in 1978, touring throughout the Midwest. Today, Hooper continues theater and community activities, launching others as she herself was almost fifty years ago.

Posted in Narratives, People | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Work of Spreading Sunshine

Historical Society board president Dave Neuhardt ran across the following article from a Springfield periodical of March 1902 – Home and Flowers – in which Yellow Springs is mentioned.

Meeting in members’ homes with refreshments to follow was a standard way for social organizations to operate at this time. In Yellow Springs the Social Culture Club, which later became the Yellow Springs Library Association, held their meetings and programs in this fashion.

In the decades to come this spirit of humanitarian optimism would be challenged by world wars, but the idea of organizations created to lift the spirit continues, today expressed and facilitated by social media.

Ours is an age of organization. This has been said before; indeed it has grown trite. But it explains so many things and accounts for so many others that one is constrained to repeat it yet again.

If this were not an age of organization there would be no International Sunshine Society, for “sunshine” means “organized good cheer.” No one, the members of the society least of all, would claim that “sunshine” inaugurated a new departure in principles. Its founders simply fell into step with the march of the time, and organized to do corporately and systemically what had been done individually in a “hit and miss” fashion by kind hearts and willing hands since the world began—or at least for a very, very long time.

The history of the race is stained with blood and tears, but scattered through the mighty volume, are pages shining and beautiful. These pages record the gracious deeds done and the noble gifts poured out by great souls who, in their day, “scattered sunshine” as they walked—but they walked alone. Today we walk together. We have the International Sunshine Society and.this is how it came about.

One Christmas a certain well known newspaper woman received, among a host of beautiful cards, on the majority of which were written the name and good wishes of the donor, one whose face bore an exquisite poem while its back was free of inscription. She thought of an old uncle sure to enjoy the card and at once decided to “pass it on.” The old gentleman, as expected, enjoyed the poem. He enjoyed it so much that, like the lady, he thought of a friend. He copied the poem and once more it was “passed on;” Eventually this one card gave pleasure to no less than six different persons that holiday season. She who first received the card, Mrs. Cynthia Westover Alden, had been for some time impressed by the possibilities for continued pleasure-giving incident to many possessions. She explained her idea to friends and confreres. They “fell in with it;” and thus was the work begun.

The incident related occurred only a few years ago, but today sunshine has crossed the ocean to beam in Europe and Africa; it lightens the dim old civilizations of Egypt and Japan, it brightens life in Hawaii and the Philippines;p and all the while it is quietly leavening these United States of America so that there is promise that before a great while the “whole lump” will be permeated with its sweetness and light.

Because Sunshine is young yet—in its present form and under the present name it dates back no farther than 1896—its aims and working plans are not generally known or understood by the great public. It is safe to take it for granted that readers of HOME AND FLOWERS, who are interested in the things that make for “a more beautiful American life,” will enjoy hearing about this organization. We go farther. We are taking it for granted that our readers will be glad to hear regularly of the doings of “Sunshine,” and that many of them will be glad to co-operate through this magazine with the society. The motto of this society is “Good Cheer,” and its sole object is “to make others happy as well as ourselves.”

“Have you had a kindness shown?

Pass it on.

‘Twas no given to you alone.

Pass it on.

Let it travel down the years,

Let it wipe another’s tears

Till in heaven the deed appears.

Pass it on.”

The above lines may be said to embody Sunshine’s creed. They explain why its members claim its platform is so broad that it offers meeting ground for all races and for people of all religious beliefs and of no religious beliefs at all.

Sunshine reports are sad, glad reading. In this old world there is much sin and sorry, and many hearts hungry and broken; but there is much goodness and brightness, there is much sympathy and helpfulness, and many kind hearts and outstretched hands. Sunshine branches all over the country are busy as the proverbial bee carrying out multitudinous plans devised in council for making “happy days.”

To read about Sunshine always means to want to be “of it” to some. The society expects this and plans for it. It extends a cordial invitation to all who sympathize with its object to become members by helping in such ways as may be convenient to them to carry on its work. The membership fee concists in”some act or suggestion that will carry sunshine where it is needed.” It is added that this may be “the exchange of books, periodicals or pictures, etc; loaning of useful articles or giving those that have ceased to be useful to the owner; suggesting ideas that may be utilized for the benefit of the sick, work or employment that can be done by a ‘shut in;’ giving fancy work or materials for it; holiday suggestions; flowers; a general exchange of helpful ideals.”

When HOME AND FLOWERS decided upon a Sunshine circle it communicated its intention to Mrs. Cynthia Westover Alden, the president-general of the International Sunshine Society in America, and received from her the following gracious letter:

“It is with great pleasure that I learn that HOME AND FLOWERS will hereafter publish Sunshine news. I hasten to send you news not only of the general work, but also facts relating to the different branches. It will delight every branch to learn that your publication will print news of their particular workers. We cannot have too many papers, and Ohio, although one of the sunniest states in the union, is yet only beginning its sunshine work. Anything we can do here at headquarters to help you will promptly done. If you will only let us know what assistance you need.

“Thanking you and the editor of the publication for this great help, and wishing you a most prosperous New Year, believe me,

“Faithfully yours in sunshine and shade,

“CYNTHIA WESTOVER ALDEN,

“President-General.”

It was intended to inaugurate this new feature of HOME AND FLOWERS in February, but circumstances compelled its postponement. This delay crowds us somewhat this month and also robs of their interest many of the news notes kindly furnished by Mrs. Alden. Gleaning from them we are glad to tell the friends that Sunshine justified its name at the holiday season and that it is gaining in numbers and influences right along. Here in Ohio Sunshine branches are well established in various centres. The Yellow Springs Sunshine Branch, of which Mrs. Mary Ellis Tucker is president, is one of the most active clubs in the state.

The members of the Yellow Springs Branch put the quilt together, and it was forwarded from the New York headquarters to an invalid in Buffalo, N.Y., who spends most of her time in a wheel chair. This branch meets regularly every two weeks at the homes of the different members. They do all kinds of fancy and useful work and remain to tea with the hostess. The president writes that they do not do big things—only little things, like cheering and taking care of a family quarantined with scarlet fever; making little winter dresses for children who go to school poorly clad; visiting old ladies and the sick; taking dainty things to the hospitals; forming plans to take care of the children of overworked mothers so that they can get out occasionally to an evening entertainment, etc., and she adds, “We have never had such a happy year in our lives.”

This is one of many reports, each of which is equally pleasant reading. Whether the report be of some specific work, like that of the Yellow Springs band, or of a determination such as that expressed by the new Sunshine branch of Springfield to “brighten the lives of those who are unhappy and to do some good deeds each month,” all alike breathe good cheer.

Individuals who have been little Sunshine societies “all by their lone,” as children say, may be brought into congenial relationships through the medium of this society. When through its reports one learns that another in the same town is moved by the same spirit the formation of a circle will be likely to follow. We hope that when Ohio readers in Westwood, Sidney, Mechanicsburg, Steubenville, Congress, Bascom, Easton, and other places read this they will communicate with us that we may put them in communication with each other. Mr. Jacob Quintus of Dayton is a Sunshine host in himself, Daytonites who are working away alone should see him and join hands. And there are others. Now let us hear form our readers who are interested in Sunshine. All letters concerning Sunshine should be addressed to Mrs. Jessie Mackenzie Walker, 1028 Greeley Ave., Kansas City, Kans.

Posted in Narratives | Leave a comment

From the Antioch Bookplate Archives — 1990s Part 13

This selection of bookplates from the late 1990s introduces three developments in how bookplates were being printed and sold:

  1. Increasing sophistication in printing technology allowed for enhancements like the prismatic foil used in the “Rainbow Fish” bookplates.
  2. The increasing dominance of the big chains meant more designs specifially created for a single customer (0125-2).
  3. Bookplates increasingly began to be sold in different packaging amounts, requiring two different ISBN numbers. At this point certain designs were sold in the original box of 30 and in the new sleeve of 12. By the 2000s the box of 30 would be discontinued and a sleeve of 6 added.

0125-2 — A design taken from a popular children’s book of the time, Rainbow Fish by Maurice Pfister and specially printed for the Barnes & Noble chain with some of the scales rendered in prismatic foil.

0126-0 (box of 30) and 0190-2 (sleeve of 12) —Hymnal dedication design for church use.

0127-9 (box of 30) and 191-0 (sleeve of 12) — A Garfield design created especially for the U.K market.

0128-7 — Another Rainbow Fish design, this time for general sale.

0129-5 — A design from the illustrator of gift items Flavia

0130-9 — A design licensed from the Hallmark Company.

Posted in Antioch Bookplate Archives | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

A Village Arts Event in the early 1940s

A portrait of a rather stern and weatherbeaten unidentified gentleman by Robert Whitmore led to an article from the Antioch College Alumni Bulletin of March 1945 in which Professor Whitmore was shown in the process of creating the portrait of the man identified in the article as Mr. Shellhaas at a remarkable town/gown arts event established by the Little Peace Conference.

Today the village’s attention to the arts is no less enthusiastic, but is more diffuse, with exhibits and classes scattered among various organizations and locations.

Thanks to Antiochiana archivist for providing the article.

On the Campus

Home of the Arts

In a town where the local doctor cuts silhouette portraits and carves tiny ramping horses in Ivory soap, where the chairman of the College English department is a cabinet-maker at heart and the physics professor does art photography, villagers no longer take anyone at face value. Behind their neighbor’s innocent lace curtains, she may be hacking away at bigger-than-life sculptures for all they know.

In Yellow Springs’ first home-produced art exhibit in January, sponsored by the Cultural Committee of the Little Peace Conference, some hundred bankers and housewives, college professors and grammar school children, professional artists, retired school teachers, and Antioch students displayed art work which ranged from designs for stained glass windows to pieced quilts.

In a village of 1800 inhabitants, at least ten professional artists were discovered dwelling largely unknown. Professionals and amateurs alike were limited to one selection apiece in each art form, with one exception: in a special memorial corner were hung all the water colors and oils which could be asembled of Sgt. Harvey Koolpe, ’43, who had died in battle in France six weeks before.

Each evening during the week-long exhibit, the professionals gave lecture-demonstrations—in portrait and landscape painting (Professor Whitmore and Paul Mannen, Wright Field worker); designing of stained-glass windows (Robert Metcalf); loom-weaving (Emily Bookwalter); modeling (Professsor Stites; and photography (H. Lee Jones, ’26, and Jarvis Couillard, Wright Field worker).

Among the several dozen kinds of arts and crafts on exhibit were architectural drawings by Max Mercer and Mrs. Elizabeth Stites, metal work by the father of Christabel Grover Rohmann, ’42, quilt-piecing by Mrs. Jessie Armstrong, Antioch trustee, cabinet-making by Professor Liddle, oil paintings by Professors Whitmore and Stites, Sue Shepard, ’43, and Sara McKnight Igo, ’29, photography by Professor Owen, H. Lee Jones, Axel Bahnsen, and Russell Stewart, soap-carving and silhouettes by Dr. Wingfield, pen-and-ink abstractions by Agnes Forrest, ’38, sculpture by Jean Thalinger, ’36, Winky Champney, grammar-school daughter of Freeman and Marjory Winner Champney, ’29, and Amos Mazzolini, etc., etc.

The exhibit, under the chairmanship of Mrs. Esther Corey, Antioch teacher of Russian and German, was so enthusiastically received that it is planned not only to make it an annual event but also to establish a year-round workshop where everyone with the urge can foregather, palette on arm or stone chisel in hand, to express their souls in artistic media

Soul Expression on Campus

Antioch students have been talking about it too. What with the old barn at the Foundry, once the hangout of campus artists, now turning out airplane engine parts, students have slowly caught on, over the past two or three years, that if they want to do carving, modeling, painting, or whatnot, there wasn’t much of any place to do it in.

Soberly they cased the joint, studied the possibilities of the ex-boiler-room in the basement of the main building, and finally settled for two rooms in the first floor of South Hall, complete with lathe and potter’s wheel. Students hope that maybe, if they show their forces strong and their urges irresistible enough, they may some day have more space cleared or, dearest dream of all, built for them.




Farmers and bankers, housewives and college profession exhibited their art work in Yellow Springs’ first home-produced art exhibit this winter, which honored the memory of Sgt. Harvey Koolpe, ’43, who died of wounds in France on November 29.
Here Profession Whitmore makes a portrait sketch of Mr. Shellhaas before onlookers’ fascinated eyes. In the audience are Mrs. Barbulesco and Mrs. Kingsley, faculty wives. On the wall behind them are portarits and landscapes—the one on the left of Mr. Whitmore’s small daughter Dianthe, the landscape on the right of a summer storm by Professor Raymond Stites.
Posted in Narratives | Tagged , | 1 Comment

A History of Hyde School

Since it’s the season of the start of school it’s an opportune time to share a slim volume about the history of one of the village’s early schools. The building exists today as a private residence.

PREFACE

This sketch was written by Ruth Welch and read as a paper for the Thanksgiving Exercises, the fall of 1910. A number of visitors present that day thought that it ought to be published. It was voted upon at the next business meeting of the “Marigold Society” and so this booklet came to be.

The history is authentic for John Graham, the donor of the school land, was Ruth’s great-great-grandfather . Her great-grandfather was Isaac Baker. Her grandmother, Hester Baker Hutchinson, and her mother, Nettie Hutchinson Welch, attended this school. Ruth’s father, L. D. Welch, has been a member of the Board of Education for a number of years. The family has the school records back to 1856, as Isaac Baker was also a member of the School Board.

Ruth became a Boxwell Patterson graduate a member of a class of ten from Miami Township, the spring of 1911. Thus far she has made a splendid school record. She acknowledges the great help of her mother in preparing this paper.

Mrs. W. C. Lacey

Ruth’s teacher

and

Supt. Of Miami Twp. Schools, 1910-1911

Not many district schools can hold a place in history as does the little red brick school-house situated in District No. 5, Miami Township, Greene Co., Ohio.

About the year 1815 or 1816 John Graham with his family moved from Kentucky to Ohio. When first coming to Ohio, they lived in what is now known as the “Gregg” farm on the Clifton Pike. Later Mr. Graham bought four hundred acres of land in the part of Miami Township where the “Hyde” School I located. There being no school close by at that time, he gave and set apart a plat of ground for school purposes.

It is hard to get the exact date of the year that the first school-house was built; but it was somewhere in the thirties, as Fergus Graham was the only child of the donor of the school land who was young enough to attend school from this family. It was at that time called the “Brown”School. Mr. James Brown owned the farm now occupied by Mr. J. B. Stevenson. Mr. Brown gave the first stove for the school-house. It was what they called a ten-plate stove, having a large oven to it: and the wood that it took to feed that stove was astonishing. There are perhaps five or six people still living who attended this school in the thirties.

Later when Mr. Thomas Goe, who had married Margaret Graham, built the house now occupied by Mr. J. H. Hyde, the school was known as the “Goes” School. Some time during the fifties Mr. Robert Hyde came here from New York and bought the farm of Mr. Goe, and from that time to the present, the School has retained the name of “Hyde”>

The first building was a frame structure and it was situated a few rods west of the present building. The conveniences of the first building were very few, compared with the model equipments of our modern school rooms. There were no desks, tablets, or steel pens and many other things that we would find impossible to do without. In place of desks there were shelves that were fastened to the walls extending around three sides of the room; long benches hewn out of logs were used for seats; these were for the use of the older pupils; for the little ones, they used just the benches and these were made smaller.

The school was made of pupils who came from far and near to obtain their limited education; and yet from just such surroundings as these in early life have come our strongest and best men and women who have done more good for our country than tongue or pen can tell. A singing school was also an interesting feature of this school, a meeting being held one night of each week and one who was good in music was generally chosen leader. The lights for these evening gatherings were home-made candles set in blocks of wood. Water for the needs of the school was carried from the Goe home.

Preaching services were also held here, the people bringing their dinner as the meetings lasted all day. Reverends Hill, Newsome, and Gowdy were among those who conducted services. Camp-meetings were held in the grove during the summers. It was then heavily wooded all about with only paths instead of roads. The Shawnee Indians were neighbors to these people and their trail ran not a great distance away from the school, along the Little Miami River.

Mr. McHatten, General Isaac Sherwood, and Miss Sally Grant were among the first teachers. At that time and until the year 1870, the teachers were hired for only a quarter of the year. Very seldom would on teacher be employed for a longer time.

The present building was erected during the fifties and the furnishings must present quite a contrast to those of the old building. Now we have blackboards on the three sides of the room (a good slate board in front), roomy single desks and comfortable seats, a globe, up-to-date maps and charts, free text-books and library books, and a stove that is a splendid heater, requiring little attention and practically as safe as far as setting the building on fire is concerned.

This school was not lacking in brave soldiers, for, when the call came for volunteers at the beginning of that long four years of strife, not less than seventeen gallant young men offered their services to their country. Four of these soldiers, Messrs. Baker, Musselman, Hume, and Horney gave their lives for this cause.

In the year of 1861 a library society was organized and they had their society paper and conducted their meetings m much the same manner as at present. While their society paper had quite a gruesome name being called the “Casket”, it was nevertheless a very instructive and interesting paper. To them, however the name “Casket” meant a jewel box, and it is only our association of the date and what the name has come to mean since that we find it a bit incongruous. Some of the contributors to the first issue of the “Casket” are still living in the village of Yellow Springs. Two of the writers are now living miles away.

Following is he editorial taken from the first issue of “Hyde’s” first “School News”:—

Prospectus

“Friends,

“The first number of our little paper ‘The Casket’ is now before you, fresh from the hands of our young editors. Its columns are closely filled with gems of thought, bright and warm as the pure young hearts of its youthful band of contributors.

“The object of our school sheet is not to instruct the public in religious or political affairs; we are all young and there are many questions in reference to these subjects, that we have not yet sufficiently considered to enable us to decide in respect to them. Neither can our paper be regarded as a news paper; it has a higher end in view. ‘The Editors’ have felt that there is a portion of the community called ‘The Little Folks’ or ‘New Begnners’ who have no opportunity of making their debut into the literary world and yet be strictly under the guidance of their teachers or parents. It is for the special benefit of school boys and school girls that we have decided to publish a school paper.

“As most of the readers of our little journal will be the parents and immediate friends of our contributors, we trust that youthful errors will be kindly excused. In spite of the most watchful care on the part of the teacher, there will no doubt be many errors plainly observed by you, such as imperfections of style, and want of judgement in selections of subjects, etc. Our motto is ‘Try, Try Again’: so our friends may hope that the imperfections of this number of our ‘Casket’ will be very much lessened in our next.

“We aim to make our paper the very best published in our vicinity, and with such a school band as ours we have no fears for our success. No gentle remindings of arrears unpaid will ever be found in the columns of the ‘Casket’. Our paper is free to all who will come and lend a listening ear, without money and without price.”

One article, dated March 2nd, 1861, gives an idea of how our free school interested newcomers to this country. It is headed as an Extract from a Note-book of a Traveller.

“It was when in the United States traveling through Greene County, in the south-western part of the state Ohio, I had passed south of Yellow Springs about two miles I should think, when I saw a sight which much interested me. Having heard much of the free schools of America and being quite a devotee of education myself, this system excited my liveliest interest and attention; as I travelled through the country , I found it dotted all over with little brick school-houses, and many times I would stop when passing one of them and watch the children at play. This day that I was speaking of was a beautiful day in March; it was pleasantly warm and the horizon was bedimmed with a delicious haze and I was enjoying the delightful weather and viewing the beautiful scenery as I jogged slowly along, thinking how much more the soil would produce subjected to English cultivation. After making about six turns in the road, I suddenly stumbled upon one of the little brick school-houses. It was noon as the Americans call it. All the boys were out playing ball; there was nothing peculiar about them as I know of excepting their dress, which struck me rather oddly, as they were mostly dressed in a kind of woven jacket which displayed their different tastes. One I noticed had a light blue, another a green, another a brown, one red, one which I noticed more particularly had on an indigo blue, which fitted very tightly. Calling up one of the little boys I said to him;—’My little fellow, what do you call that garment which the larger boys wear?’ ‘Why,’ he says, ‘they wear breeches.’ ‘No, no’ say I, ‘I mean that garment which covers their upper extremities.’ He stared at me in utter astonishment as if he did not know what to make of me. Say I to him again, ‘I mean that garment that they wear where other men wear coats.’ ‘Oh,’ say he, ‘why,—why,—that is a warmus.’ ‘A what?,’ says I. ‘It is a warmus,’ he replied; ‘I think they are mighty purty; I wish pap would git me a right yellow one with a red edge and then we would have all the colors of the rainbow in our school.’ I took out my note-book and set down Mr. ‘Warmus,’ for fear I would forget it. As I looked around more particularly I saw some of the larger boys chewing tobacco which made me feel sad and turned my thoughts in a different direction as I jogged on.——C.——“

Here is a pun taken from the same issue. “Why should our school be a good judge of fruit?: Because the applegate is always open.” Howard Applegate and his sisters attended school here.

Beginning with the year 1856, the following teachers have been selected to teach this school:—

Miss Ellen Ewing, Absom Pearson, E. Sowers, M. L. Brown, Miss Deming, Mary E. Hyde, Mrs. J. D. Milliken, Mary E. Condon, Miss Emily Currier, Mr. Eli Jay, Miss Etta Huntington, Miss Ciara Leonard, Miss M. Kieffer, Miss Hirst, Manuel Lawrence, Marion Lawrece, Miss Ella Kieffer, Warren H. Wilder, Miss Ella Davis, Miss Kate Leonard, J. P. Miller, Miss Gerturde Ward, Miss Dora Minton, Mrs. McNair, Miss Lockwood, Miss Mary Currie, Georgia Jackson, Miss Mary Mitchell, Mary J. Hand, Amos R. Wells, Electa Johnson, Della Miller, Cora Funderburg, Anna Speer, Miss Krepps, Nettie Hopping, Grace Welch, Sue M. Hagen, Thos. H. Berryman, Miss M. Weaver, Miss Hardy, Mr. W. C. Lacey, and Mrs. W. C. Lacey.

The school is now under the supervision of the Supt. Of the Miami Township Schools. All the schools have a regular course of study with music and drawing a part of the curriculum. There has been a number of Boxwell-Patterson graduates who have done and are doing good work in the Yellow Springs High School. Some have received a college education and others are now pursuing the course. Some of the pupils of the earlier days are now holding position of honor and trust. Hyde sees to it that the foundation work is well done. The present teacher is very careful to develop the pupils naturally along physical, intellectual and moral lines.

The literary organization of Hyde School to-day is called the “Marigold Society” and the paper is the “Hyde School News.” The “Yell” is as follows:—

“Hyde! Hyde! Hyde!

Hot, cold, wet, or dry,

Get to school or die!

Hyde!

Hurrah for Hyde School!!!

Do right! Do right! Do right!

When? Now! Who? Everybody!

Who’s everybody?

Hyde School!”

When they boys play ball, they change the third line of the yell to “Play ball or die.” Our base-ball nine is hard to beat! Whatever we do, we do to the best of our ability and try to remember and to obey our motto, “Do Right!” Hurrah for Hyde School!

Ruth Welch

Posted in Narratives, Places | Tagged | Leave a comment

Job-Hunting Advice from the Hooey

The C.C.C. camp newsletter was used as a motivational tool as well as a source of information about camp activities and culture, as is demonstrated by this article from Hooey 553 of February 12, 1936:

HELPFUL HINTS FOR YOUNG JOB HUNTERS oF THE C.C.C.

CHINS ARE IMPORTANT IN JOB HUNTING

By Parker Lovell

Pay particular attention to your chin when you venture forth on your hunt for a job.

Keep your Chin UP.

Keep it up even after you have been turned down at several places. Don’t cary a expression of discouragement from one employment office to another. Thisw idea is not original with me, but it’s a good one just the same. It was advanced by Clark Belden in his book, “Job Hunting and Getting” forf older and more experienced men who find themselves looking for jobs. It gaveus the idea of jotting down these simpler suggestions for young men not being trained in the “Blue Denim University” of the C.C.C.

Avoid any display of nervousness.

As this fellow, Clark Belden, says: “Don’t tell your troubles – sell your services. Pretty good, eh?: He probably remember that old gag: “Laugh and the world laughs with you; Weep and y ou weep alone.”

We can’t all get a hearing on Major Bowes’ Amateur Hour, but we can stick a smile on the front of our respective faces and keep it there, evenb though it hurts, until we finally hear these longed-for-words, “Yes, I’ve got a job for you. Will you take it?”

And can we take it – we in the CCC?

Keep smilinjg. Keep up your courage.

Remember Jonah

Swallowed by the whale, life looked plenty dark to Jonah.

He was “down in the mouth,” I might say. In face I WILL say it;. (Am I not writing this story?”)

Jonah was “down in the mouth,” but he came out all right.

Keep on keeping on. Make new contacts. Don’t wait for better times. Now is the time to hunt for the job you want.

Posted in Narratives | Tagged | Leave a comment

J. Peery Miller Memoirs — Part 12

In which Miller describes more schoolchildren’s entertainments.

For those interested, an in-depth Smithsonian article on shape-note singing can be found here.

SINGING SCHOOLS AND SPELLING MATCHES

Singing as a day-school exercise was not considered, but regular singing schools were much in vogue during my country school experience. A winter seldom passed without a night singing class being organized at Bethel. The teacher best remembered by me was one Jacob Athy, who lived in Madriver township about four miles east of Enon. He was an excellent teacher as music was taught those days. Being a skilled violinist he was ready to entertain the class with an occasional instrumental solo as well as to accompany the class singing.

No public money was appropriated to pay the singing teacher. He must look to iindividual subscriptions for his pay. Generally $1.50 to $2.00 per pupil was charged for, perhaps, ten or twelve lessons. If a sufficient number of pupils could be obtained at the above rates to justify, a class was formed and one night per week was selected for practice. This gave the teacher an opportunity to organize classes in other districts through out the county to fill in the remaining nights of the week.

The principles of music were taught then as now, but more attention was paid to singing by syllables – do, re, me, fa, sol, la, se, do. While the round note system was taught, the square or patent notes were thought best adapted to large classes of country scholars. Each note had a different shape and their names could be learned as you would learn the abc’s. Fortunately I still have in my possession my old song book, “The Ohio Harmony”, used over sixty years ago. This will give my grandchildren an idea of the patent or buck-wheat note characters as they were called.

Spelling schools or contests were a part of the winter’s entertainment. An evening spent at one of theses contests was an event long to be remembered. Bethel School possessed some noted spellers, and when these were properly divided according to talent an exciting match was sure to follow. The teacher named two persons familiar with the spelling ability of the school as captains, their duty being to divide the scholars for the spelling contest. The right of first choice was determined by lot, usually by handling a three-foot rule or stick in this manner: – One captain would toss the stick in a perpendicular position to his opponent who would catch it as near the bottom end as possible; then the stick was measured off by each alternately grasping it, hand over hand, until the top end was reached. The captain getting the last grip with closed fist sufficiently tight to hold the weight of the stick perpendicularly suspended, won the first pass. But the rule required that the stick be passed three times if necessary. The captain securing the top two times out of the three tosses secured the right of first choice of the good spellers.

This was an exciting time for us youngsters, for the captain that got first choice of the good spellers was the hero of the evening. If good judgment was exercised by the leaders in alternately selecting the spelling talent an exciting match was sure to follow.

Those deserving special mention as good spellers were Harrison Smith, Ozias Smith and their sister Minerva; John Babb, Eliza and Clara Miller. It is not modesty alone that prevents me from adding my name to this list. There are other reasons sufficiently valid to debar me from honorable mention.

McGuffey’s Speller was generally used, commencing with the common words easily spelled. Then the poor and moderately good spellers were spelled down, the real contest among the first chosen began. Then the teacher was privileged to turn the pages rapidly in search of more difficult words – keeping in reserve a few of the real hard ones for the final test. Sometimes, for the sake of variety, a selection from the Sixth reader would be chosen as a spelling test. The teacher would read such portion of a sentence as could be easily retained in mind and the pupil would spell the words just read. I favored this method of pronunciation as the use of the words in a sentence aided me in spelling them.

Spelling matches were frequently held between chosen spellers of different districts in response to challenges. This widened the scope of the contest and created a spirit of friendly rivalry in the community similar to that of base-ball and basket-ball games of today.

The social features of these country school meetings must not be ignored. Here the young people got together for a good time, and I can testify to the fact that we had it.

An intermission of fifteen of twenty minutes between singing or spelling periods was always given. This period gave opportunity to the young men of proper age to chat with the young girls of ditto age. If chances were favorable and courage not lacking, the young man might get permission to accompany home the girl of his choice. If arrangements to that effect were not made at recess the chances were that some other fellow would head you off at the time of final dismissal.

Posted in Narratives | Tagged | Leave a comment