Best Seat in the One-Room Schoolhouse

Finding the perfect seat upon arriving at the one-room schoolhouse on the first day of school was important.


| Good Old Days



As our summer vacation was coming to a close, it was time to get new dresses, shirts and pants, stockings and shoes, and also a new shiny round dinner pail or an empty syrup pail, lead pencils, big chief tablets, a new pencil box, a bottle of ink and an ink pen holder, and some extra pens. On the first day, there was much excitement. Mother would have dinner pails ready and remind us not to forget anything as we headed toward our little one-room schoolhouse.

On arrival at school, the teacher would be in the door to greet you. If she or he was new, she would ask your name, age and grade. Then you put your dinner pail on the shelves behind the door. As you go to the desk you had dreamed all summer of occupying, you are in luck - no one had taken the side you wanted, as they were double desks. One liked to sit by the window for a cool breeze.

Mrs. Tone Aalbers
Monroe, 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. 





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