Barreville School- Another One Room Schoolhouse
Memories of a
first grade student, Barreville village and
in 1945 and later.
In 1945, Barreville
School had 7 students, 1 boy and 6 girls. The youngest was a first
grader, there was at least 1 3rd grader and there were 2 6th grade
and 2 8th grade students. Mrs Ottoson was the teacher, the last one
as this small school consolidated with
at the end of the 1945 school year.
Many of the
students had farm chores to do both before and after school, and had
to walk to and from the school. Farm children enjoyed being at
school as it released them from doing chores all day! The school was
1 room, and had 1 teacher. The boys would bring in wood each day for
heating. They would start each day with the Pledge of Allegiance.
There was a blackboard and a small piano. The hill across the street
was a favorite sledding spot during the winter. The teacher would
come out at the end of lunch recess and ring a bell to call the
students back inside. This group of students would often ignore this
summons if they were having fun sledding!
Her family lived on
a farm on the north east corner of Justen and Wright, where they
raised and milked dairy cows, and raised chickens, pigs, ducks and
geese. They also had a very large vegetable garden. They made their
own lye soap, and hauled water from the milk house.
That first grade
student remembers that she and her sisters had to walk the cows up
the street from their farm to a pasture off of Justen Road every
morning before school opened. Then they would turn around, walk back
down Justen to Wright, turn west on Wright to Barreville Rd, then
walk south to the school which was on the corner of Barreville and
Ames. The building is now a home. Wright was often very swampy so
she would have to wear black buckled boots, which she hated. In the
winter they would break through the ice that covered the road. She
remembers sleeping behind the piano on a rug.
Barreville was a
very rural community. Most people lived on farms. There was a small
cluster of houses at the corner of Barreville Road and Nish Road,
some of which still exist. There were threshing bees, where
community members would gather at 1 farm to gather in the crop. The
women would provide a huge meal. Children would earn some spending
money by digging worms and selling them to fishermen who came to the
Fox River to fish.
After the school
year of 1945,
School was consolidated into Prairie Grove School District and,
except for the ones who had been 8th graders, the students had to
repeat their previous grade level. Miss Feffer was the principal and
only teacher at the school and she was very strict. The school
served about 20 to 25 students, all in 1 room! After the students
hung up their coats in the cloakrooms, a typical day would begin
with the pledge of allegience to the flag. Then reading would begin.
Miss Feffer would start with the youngest grade and go up to the
highest, while the other students worked in workbooks. Writing,
arithmetic and other subjects would be done the same way.Traveling
art, music and physical education teachers would come once a week.
They had typing in the upper grades, for 15 minutes each day using a
big black typewriter. There was a Christmas program every year, with
grab bag gifts and students singing. Students received their
vaccinations at the school. There were very few days missed due to
snow; on very snowy days a farmer might hitch up some horses to a
wagon filled with hay and take children home. In the spring there
was the Maypole. The students would dance around the pole holding
onto ribbons and singing until the pole was covered. The playground
was on the west side of the school and contained a basketball hoop.
The boys would play basketball, and the girls would play baseball or
just talk. Once a month the students each brought a potato, which
they baked in the oven of the stove and ate with their lunch. The
smell was wonderful! Punishment for for bad behavior was stern. A
few boys were caught smoking behind the trees by the playground and
had to pick up the cigarette butts and chew them.
Drawing of the
on the corner of Route 31 and Edgewood, operated at the same time as
This is the inside of Barreville School's one room during the
last year it existed, 1944-45, as described by Marge, who was a
first grade student that year.