One-Room Schoolhouse Had Troublemaker

One mischievous boy in one-room schoolhouse enjoyed playing pranks.

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I shall begin with my first one-room schoolhouse experiences in 1912. One mischievous boy liked to play pranks on the girls. One time he put five of us girls on his little pony then made it buck us off. His desk was behind mine. In those days each desk had an inkwell. I had long braided hair that he stuck in his inkwell. I had a pretty new pencil box that I thought a lot of but I broke it over his head. I was sure I'd be in trouble and get punished - but I didn't! I don't remember whether this was the time the teacher tried to whip him or not. He was always doing something not allowed. Everybody was scared he was going to knock the big stove over or he would tear the teacher's dress off.

The big boys had knives that they used to cut switches for the teacher to use for a whip. They were kept in the corner back of the book shelves to remind us of our behavior.

Emma May Schell Carroll
Jasper, Missouri


Back in 1955 a call went out from the editors of the then Capper’s Weekly asking for readers to send in articles on true pioneers. Hundreds of letters came pouring in from early settlers and their children, many now in their 80s and 90s, and from grandchildren of settlers, all with tales to tell. So many articles were received that a decision was made to create a book, and in 1956, the first My Folks title – My Folks Came in a Covered Wagon – hit the shelves. Nine other books have since been published in the My Folks series, all filled to the brim with true tales from Capper’s readers, and we are proud to make those stories available to our growing online community.