This article is a compilation of two separate pieces. The first section is a clipping from the |
Mae Peck Conn scrapbook donated to the Hancock County Historical Society by Marilyn Shelley. This news item is from an unknown original source and print date, verbatim transcription.
The second portion is part of an article in Siegfried volume XIX, page 138, from the Hancock County Historical Society in Carthage, discovered and shared by Ron Bryant. Authorship is attributed to Doris E. Pogue and part of the verbiage in both items is identical, so perhaps Doris contributed all or a portion of the first article to the newspaper.
Review of the listed attendees indicates this reunion was held between July 1920 and July 1937.
HELD REUNION AT WOODVILLE SCHOOL JULY 4
200 PERSONS ATTENDED ANNUAL EVENT
July 4th was the _____nt day and a company of more than 200 gathered at the Woodville school house in Hancock township to live again the happy times they spent there in days gone by. A bountiful dinner followed by an interesting program made it an occasion that will be enjoyed over and over again in the memory of those who were there. Mrs. Clara Barbe conceived the idea and found many willing helpers to assist in making it a day long to be remembered.
"Forty Years Ago," was sung by Mrs. Doris Pogue, "A Smack in School" read by Mrs. Clara Barbe and music by Mrs. Pearl Willis, Glen Barbe and Chellis Mesick. The following registered:
Mr. and Mrs. Finis E. Nichols, Mr. and Nrs. Norman Barbe, Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Barbe of Peoria; Mr. and Mrs. W. C. Wheeler, Mr. and Mrs. Jim Wheeler, Mr. and Mrs. Will Vance, Mrs. Sophia Smith Fisher of Galesburg; Mrs. Lorellie Mesick of Monmouth; Frank Melleney, Mary Farrell Melleney, Mr. and Mrs. Roy Peterson and Leroy of Alexis; Mr. and Mrs. Glenn C. Barbe, Milton and Oren of Keokuk; Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Jones, Mr. and Mrs. Everett Harness of Cantril, Iowa; Mrs. Rebecca Dillard, John Dillard of Durham, Mo.; Sophia Dillard Wiseman, Freda Dillard Wiseman, Chas. Webb, Mrs. Martha Dillard of Edgecomb, of Hannibal, Mo.
Mr. and Mrs. Chellis Mesick and family, Mr. and Mrs. John Ullrick, Mr. and Mrs. [illegible, maybe Mr. and Mrs. Robert C._______; the copy ends here and appears to be incomplete]
The first school house for Dist. 5 (as this district was then called) was of frame construction, and in 1872 furnished with several "patented
seats that cost $5 each," instead of the backless benches that here-to-fore
had served the busy scholars. The money to purchase them, $50, was borrowed
from William Willis, and Charles Way was hired to haul them from Carthage;
all this is duly recorded, but we wonder if many a spirited argument, pro
and con for this new-fangled luxury was not offered before the debt was
Progress and education must be served, however, and in 1879 a new
schoolhouse was built, and the old one moved away to serve as a barn for
one of the neighbors, though no doubt the patented seats were removed first.
This second schoolhouse is the one that practically all of us old pupils,
and newer ones too, that are here today remember, and it was at this time
that the name WOODVILLE was given to this school, which previously had been
known as Cedar school. No explanation for the change of name is given in
the book. Perhaps a fine new schoolhouse called for a new name; perhaps it
as called Woodville because it is near the woods; or according to another explanation that I have heard, it was named in honor of a Mr. Woods who
lived near, and owned a small farm in the immediate vicinity who gave a bit
of his land for the school site.
The contract for the building of the new schoolhouse was awarded to T.
Mourning at $390; the foundation was let to Jim Sammons for $40. In
November 1879, the directors met and settled with the builders and for the
purchase of another batch of patented seats and the repairing of the old
ones and repainting of the blackboards. Schoolhouses seem to have received
extra hard use in those days, for the old one is recorded as frequently
needing repairs, such as a new roof, shutters, and so on. E. S. Martin
taught the first term in the new building.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The first recorded school tax was sixty-five cents on the hundred dollars
valuation; during Civil War times the tax dropped to twenty-five cents on
the hundred but soon rose to forty-five cents and from then on kept on
rising the common habit of taxes.
The first teachers name in the old record is that of G. W. Perky. His
schedule was signed by directors S. R. Arrison and James Gosnell, and he
taught the winter term of 1861-62 or 67 schooldays for the sum of $67. Registered in his classes were 28 boys and 24 girls, but the average daily
attendance was only a trifle better than 23 pupils. Small children attended
the summer term that Mr. Perky conducted the next summer; it began in June
and he received $18 per month. Miss Mary B. Witherow taught the next term
of school for the large salary of $15 per month. She wore out two brooms at
twenty cents each and it might have been because of this feminine
extravagance that she was succeeded by three men teachers, John Martin, M.
J. Palmer and James Gosnell no other reason is given and she taught
several terms at Woodville during the late sixties with no further mention
of brooms. Wages had risen even for lady teachers by this time, the average
being bout $25 a month. About this time, too, the teacher ceased to "board
around" among the school patrons, and the stipulation that the teacher
should board himself was inserted in the contracts. Wages for teachers
gradually increased, and during the seventies a salary of $33.33 per month
was, for some reason, highly popular. Following is the list of Woodville