Teaching Career Began in One-Room Schoolhouse

Remembers rough beginning teaching at one-room schoolhouse.


| Good Old Days



My teaching career began in the Fall before my 18th birthday. My first term was in a one-room country schoolhouse eleven miles from my home. I had pupils in all eight grades, including eighth graders taller than I, and two dear little Beginners - both girls.

My three-man Board consisted of men who evidently didn't realize how much a new teacher would have appreciated being greeted on her first day by a cleaned school room, so the activities of the first day consisted of scraping two bird nests off the top of the blackboard, emptying desk drawers of field mice homes and babies, dusting and arranging the few precious books, and washing windows and the floor. A note was sent home to the Director that a broken window pane (entrance of the sparrows) needed to be replaced. I took the dingy curtains home to be washed and ironed. Thus ended the first day!

Bessie Lanz
Bassett, Nebraska 


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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