The One-Room Schoolhouse and the Pot-Bellied Stove

Pot-bellied stove was the source of heat in our one-room schoolhouse.

| Good Old Days

In 1906 I was a first grader in our one-room country school on the southern Illinois prairie. The schoolhouse was heated by a big pot-bellied stove. Seats for younger pupils surrounded the stove while older pupils occupied those in far corners of the room. They often put on their coats while studying and at the same time we found the heat stifling.

A couple of years later we came to school to find the old pot-belly gone and seats where it had been. In the corner was a big, round apparatus; they told us it was a jacketed stove. What a difference; far corners of the room were just as warm as the center. I best remember that stove by how glad I was to see it gone.

Florence Palmer
Paris, Illinois

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. 

Mother Earth News Fair Schedule 2019


Next: April 27-28, 2019
Asheville, N.C.

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!


Subscribe today

Capper's FarmerWant to rediscover what made grandma’s house the fun place we all remember? Capper’s Farmer — the newly restored publication from the rural know-how experts at — updates the tried-and-true methods your grandparents used for cooking, crafting, gardening and so much more. Subscribe today and discover the joys of homemade living and homesteading insight — with a dash of modern living — that makes up the new Capper’s Farmer.

Save Even More Money with our automatic renewal savings plan!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $6 and get 4 issues of Capper's Farmer for only $16.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and I'll pay just $22.95 for a one year subscription!

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds