Schoolteacher in One-Room Schoolhouse Fell for Pranks

Older boys in one-room schoolhouse loved praying pranks on schoolteacher.

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My husband likes to tell this story about his days in a one-room country schoolhouse.

In his school there were 33 boys and girls ranging in age from five to 16, as many of the farm boys went to school in the winter to keep from having to help their fathers put up the wood for fuel. Also they liked picking on the pretty young teachers who were unable to cope with so many big boys as well as the little beginners.

Having successfully "run off" two young ladies in one year, the director hired Mr. Anson, thinking a man would be able to keep order. This was quite a challenge, but soon the boys were able to win his confidence and got him to play games outside with them.

One day they were playing "hide and seek" and one boy coaxed him into the woodshed. With him safely inside, he locked the door from the outside, keeping him there until 4 o'clock when they let him out and all went home.

The teacher quite naturally was angry and frustrated as he was not quite sure whether he should report the incident. Strange as it may be, the very next day the same thing happened as the boys promised not to do such a thing again. Even the third day the same thing was in progress when an angry parent came on the scene and caught them in the act. It seems there was a little girl who had "tattled," thus ending their "vacation."

At the end of the term another teacher came who was able to take care of any situation. Naturally there were not so many big boys attending that year.

Mrs. Glen Oliver
Moorhead, Iowa

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.