Epps recalls going to school in one-room schoolhouse
Recently my grandaughters Beta and Lani were visiting me, and we were talking about schools. They wanted to know about when I first went to school.
I told them I walked 2 1/2 miles. Which made it five miles every day. Now children think they cannot walk two blocks.
Mother didn’t want to send us to school. Was quite sure she could teach us every thing we needed to know. One year, Mother didn’t like the teacher. And refused to send us children to school.
I remember Dad trying his best to send us to school. But we didn’t go. Mother just refused to let us go. Mother could not get away with that now. Thank goodness. Many people think we have too many laws. But we need those laws.
It was a one-room schoolhouse, with two out houses, which someone had put a Sears Roebuck catalog in. The school was called Bay Springs. I think I was late every day. As mother could always think of something else I should do before I went to school. As I remember I ran every step of the way to school.
Oh yes, when Mike and Corey were first here, I said OK, we are going to walk to school. I told Don to meet us at the school and we wouldn’t need to walk back home. Mike and Corey really thought I was kidding when I told them I walked that every day. And we didn’t miss a day. It could be raining, snowing, whatever we still went to school. And hot, was it ever hot in the school house. We were always happy when winter came. Even though we had to walk in the snow or whatever. I am really happy the some of the “good old days” are gone.
There were a number of one-room country schools back then. I think about 30 students in school when I went. I think a crazy bunch of kids had a beer party and burned the school house down years ago. Oak Ridge had been turned into a home. I do not know if there are any other school houses left around here now.
Had a music teacher that came once a month I think. Otto Alderich was the County Super. He did visit once in awhile.
Oh yes, I have five of my report cards. Which I am quite pleased with. Oh yes, when I was getting ready to go to nursing school, the children were quite sure I would not pass all of the tests I would have to take. Of course I did!
— Irma Houts Epps
Poplar Bluff, Mo.