During the days of the one-room school, a teacher’s biggest concern was a surprise visit from the superintendent.
County superintendents are the fear of the rural schoolteacher and here is a story of his visit:
I was teaching in this rural school, which had a lean-to filled with coal and kindling. A neighbor's dog was always getting into it and causing all kinds of confusion. One day I was having class; there was quite a commotion in the lean-to. I turned to the children and said, "Just a moment, there's that pesky dog again and I'm going to let him have what's coming to him." I opened the door to a surprised (and so was I) county superintendent. I don't know who was more embarrassed, he or I. He came in, sat down in a chair, and whirled the ring on his finger again and again. I tried to conduct school as usual but it wasn't easy. He stayed until school was dismissed and after all the children were gone. Surprise of all surprises, he asked me for a date. I must have done something right.
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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