Teaching Kids During the Depression Era

Iowan recalls the hardships of teaching kids during the depression era

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Imagine teaching kids from all grades during the Depression.

Days were long and work hard and pay poor - first 2 years $75 a month, then $69, then the last year $39 per month.

If kids didn't mind they would have to stand in the corner facing the wall, a punishment they didn't like so they behaved.

Teacher came early - to get in coal, start the stove, hang out the flag and bring in a pail of drinking water. Then it was time to ring the bell.

Many kids played tricks, but other kids would tell on them, so they had to stand in the corner, or miss recess or stay after school.

Helen Whitty 
Webster City, 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.