Schoolteacher in One-Room Schoolhouse Surprised

Students surprised teacher in one-room schoolhouse with birthday celebration.


| Good Old Days


My second year of teaching I accepted a position in a one-room schoolhouse with 26 students. Five girls and 21 boys, hence my older sister warned me I was asking for trouble. Talk about waving the red flag in front of the bull! I was determined to succeed and thought I was, when a whispering campaign started during recesses and noon hours. When I approached a group of students they laughed and broke up, only to regroup at a more distant area.

Twinkling eyes and sly grins led me to believe trouble was afoot and the longer it went on the more nervous I became. Finally one morning as I called my students to order, the biggest boy in school stood up and started approaching my desk. Others followed suit, each carrying a piece of fruit or a candy bar and singing Happy Birthday!

Fern Kenkel
Woodbine, 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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