Schoolteacher in One-Room Schoolhouse Had to be Strict

One-room country schoolhouse was different than schools of today.

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If you were to attend a one room schoolhouse, like so many of the country children did, you would find it quite different from the schools you attend today.

In that one room the teacher had to be very strict, in order to be able to teach so many different grades. When she told you not to do something, you didn't do it. If you did you were punished. Some of the methods were: keeping you after school, missing your playtime, or last but not least a spanking. If you got one in school, you most likely got one when you arrived home.

One day at noon, while everyone was outside playing, some of the older boys had a ladder and placed it up the side of a shed. This was where the wood was kept for the stove. The teacher had warned us the next one to climb up would be spanked. Since I had played with my brothers I wasn't afraid of most things. The boys dared me to climb the ladder. You guessed it, I did. Did the teacher spank me? Yes she did!

Mildred Swinford
Keokuk, 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.