That Old Country Schoolhouse

A poem about an old country schoolhouse.

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That old country schoolhouse
Was not like one in city or town,
It's no longer in the spot where it stood
For it has now burned down.

But, oh so many memories linger
About that schoolhouse on the hill,
And even though it is there no more,
In our minds we see it still.

Inside, the pull-down maps were up front,
Pictures of Washington and Lincoln on the wall,
The old bench for lunch buckets to be set,
Our study books were ready for school in the fall.

Most teachers were very nice -
Sometimes a different one each year.
They all did their best to teach us
The importance to learn, they made it clear!

If we failed in getting our lesson,
Perhaps we'd have to stay after school
And we'd soon learn by obedience
That we must respect the teacher's rule.

But there was always time for play.
When noon hour and recess came,
We were all anxious to run outside
And be ready to play some game.

We played baseball, dodgeball,
Blackman, dare base and many more -
What a big happy family we were -
Then the bell rang and we headed for the schoolhouse door.

I remember the old heating stove
With a tin jacket all around -
It was there to keep us warm
When the snow was on the ground.

Many a day we walked to school-
For there were no school buses then to go -
In the sunshine, rain, and cold,
In all weather, including snow.

School took up at nine o'clock
Five days of each week,
Studying our lessons for the day-
Being dismissed at four, a welcome treat!

Perhaps we'd have a Christmas week vacation
And at Thanksgiving a day or two,
But most of the school term
Was a study course, each day through.

Each Christmas we gave a program
Our parents and neighbors came to enjoy;
Also a pie and box supper was exciting –
Hoping our box would be bought by that favorite boy.

In the yard was the old stile
Just outside the schoolhouse door;
Also trees, the coal shed and water pump –
Why need we ask for more?

We would pledge allegiance to the flag
Outside the door - waving bright and clear
I thank God for that old school
With all these memories I hold dear.

The teachers taught grades one through eight
And for three girls Bernice Fortner, Mildred Shipley, and Edna Flanary
There came a special date
When we had gained the goal to graduate.

Oh what good times with school chums we had!
In my memories they'll always be,
It stood amidst those Amarugia Hills -
That old Oak Grove SchoolHouse District 83.

 

Edna Flanary Cantrell
Archie, 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.