Tradition in One-Room Schoolhouse

Schoolteacher in one-room schoolhouse was tricked for a treat.

| Good Old Days

I first attended school in a little one-room schoolhouse in 1901. I had many experiences there during my school years. One I especially remember involved my best friend's uncle, a very strict man, who was teaching at the school.

It was just before Christmas and it was the custom of all of the teachers to "treat" each of the kids with a bag of candy just before school let out for the holidays. Our teacher, however, had hinted that he was not going to "treat."

When the older boys learned of this, they decided they would get their candy one way or another. So when the teacher went to the nearby coal shed, the boys skipped over and locked the coal shed door behind him. He pounded on the door and demanded to get out, but they refused to let him out until he promised to "treat."

As it turned out, and to the boys' embarrassment, our teacher had planned all along to give us candy.

Edith Willcut
Mound City, Kansas
(Editor's Note: Mrs. Willcut wrote this letter to Heart of the Home in 1979, but has since passed away. This story is reprinted with permission by E.R. Willcut.)

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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