School Children Saved the Rural Schoolhouse

Schoolteacher was caught smoking by school children when his pants caught fire.

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My husband was not sent to school until shortly after his seventh birthday.

The teacher told him where to sit but did not give him anything to do. He listened for quite awhile to the older students doing their lessons, but he got bored with nothing to do so he just got up and walked home. Nobody had explained to him that you have to wait to be dismissed by the teacher.

Many years later he taught in a school. He smoked at that time and one noon he went into the basement for a quick smoke. He didn't want his students to see him smoke – bad example; but he heard two of his fourth grade boys coming down the stairs and put the cigarette in his pants pocket. Shortly, one of the boys became excited, saying, "Teacher, your pants are on fire! "

Jane Waldroop
Norman, Oklahoma


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.