Washington County, Illinois

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Pleasant Hill School
District 32

Written & Furnished by : Roscoe E. Peithman

District No. 32, Hoyleton Township
Washington County, Illinois

Pleasant Hill School District No. 32 had two different locations over its existence. The first location was not far from the second. I am not sure of the exact location of the first.
The second location was about two miles south of the town of Hoyleton and adjoining the William Garnholz farm on the south. The information about the school contained in this treatise is, for the most part, that of the second location.

Pleasant Hill School, District No. 32
Hoyleton Township, Washington County, Illinois
c. 1947

Heinrich and Luise Schnake, my great grandparents, lived nearby so their children would have attended this school. Later Hermann and Louisa Peithmann, my grandparents, lived in the Schnake home and their children also attended the school. The grand children of Hermann and Louisa who lived in this district also attended Pleasant Hill School. They were the children of Lydia, Edward, William, and Arthur Peithmann. Lydia married George Hake so their children had the surname of Hake. One of their children, Gladys Hake, attended the school and later taught there. The photo shown on page 621 of the Washington County, Illinois 1979 History is of the students of Pleasant Hill School, District 32, February 28, 1892.

I once read the ledger containing the school board minutes of Pleasant Hill School, District No.32. These minutes provided such details as the dates of the beginning and ending of the school year and the name and salary of the teacher. Items of expenditures including the purchase of firewood for the stove or chalk and erasers for the black board were also listed.
Pleasant Hill School, District No. 32
Hoyleton Township,
Washington County, Illinois
c. 1925

From this ledger I found the following for the eight years (1918-1926) that I attended:

Louise Brink September 16, 1918 to April 16, 1919
Ada Cohlmeyer  September 15, 1919 to April 15, 1920
Ada Cohlmeyer September 13, 1920 to April 13, 1921
Marion Weinlein  September 6, 1921 to April 5, 1922
Thelma Eise September 5, 1922 to April 4, 1923
Gladys Meyer September 4, 1923 to April 3, 1924
Gladys Hake September 2, 1924 to April 1, 1925
Gladys Hake September 8, 1925 to April 7, 1926

The school term was seven months long. The ending of the school term in April allowed the children to be home during the time of planting the crops and preparing the vegetable garden. Nearly all of the food required by the people and animals for the following year was produced on the farm.

The teacher would have been a high school graduate with some college attendance. To obtain a teaching credential, they would have passed a teacher's examination and had attended a few terms or a summer school session at a teacher's college. The salary during the times shown above was usually about $63.00 a month for seven months.

At Christmas time it was customary for the teacher to give each student a bag containing candy, cookies, nuts and an orange. Oranges were not commonly found in stores in the winter but enterprising merchants had them shipped in as a special item at Christmas.

The Christmas program was held at night and was followed by a "Box Supper." The young "eligible" women would bring a "Box" containing cookies, cake and other food that each had prepared. Young bachelors could then bid on a box. The successful bidder would then proceed to eat the food in the company of the young woman who had brought the box. At the time of the bidding the name of the woman who had brought the box was not known. Young men would try to guess the owner of the boxes and would bid accordingly. If a young man's sweetheart had brought of a box he would try his best to identify it and to out-bid all others.

Despite the lack of many of the items which today we consider imperative for teaching and learning, the students of these six teachers in the years 1918-1926 all became productive citizens. Some became successful in farming and others in business enterprises. At least a dozen of them taught in schools anywhere from elementary to college level. Among the professions one would find two college professors, an attorney, a curator and writer in the field of Native American Archaeology and possibly others that I can not remember. By any measure one can say that these teachers were successful.

Roscoe E. Peithman
September 16, 2006



2006-2007 Wayne Hinton

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