Shoes Were Necessity at One-Room Schoolhouse

Remembers need for shoes while playing in the yard at the one-room schoolhouse.

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The first day of school in the country meant new shoes from a catalog since we had gone barefoot all summer. Arriving at the one-room schoolhouse the first day we soon saw that shoes were needed as the yard had grown up in weeds all summer and the mowing machine had left large stubble that could easily cut bare feet.

The schoolroom smelled of varnish as the school board members had varnished the desks and benches making them look almost new.

There was great excitement as we picked the desk we wanted, but usually the teacher soon changed us around. After a week the weed stubble was worn down and we discarded our shoes until cold weather.

The last day of school meant practice for another program and a big dinner. Everyone brought a big box of delicious food. All the mothers tried to outdo each other with their favorite dishes.

Vera Wells
St. Joseph, 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.