Howard County, Missouri Genealogy Trails

 

The First School House in Howard

Source: Stevens, Walter B.; CENTENNIAL History Of Missouri ( THE CENTER STATE) One Hundred Years in the Union; Vol. II; St. Louis-Chicago, S. J. Clarke Co.; 1921
[Transcribed by: Candi H. 2008]


 

 

Walter Williams, describing the first school house in Howard county, said:
" It was built of round logs, the space between them chinked and then daubed with mud. About five feet from the west wall on the inside, and about five feet high, another log was placed, running clear across the building. Puncheons were fixed on this log and on the west wall on which the chimney was built. Fuel could be used any length not greater than the width of the building, and when it was burned through in the middle the ends were crowded together. In this manner was avoided the "necessity of wood chopping. There was no danger of burning the floor, as it was of earth. The seats were stools or benches constructed by splitting a log and trimming off the splinters from the flat side and then putting four pegs into it from the round side for legs. The door was made of clapboards and there were no windows. Wooden pegs were driven into a log running lengthwise, upon which was laid a board that constituted the writing desk."

One of the pioneer schoolmasters was Burr Harrison. He taught from the "Introduction to the English Reader," "The English Reader," "The Moral Instructor," which contained many of the sayings of Benjamin Franklin. Harrison also used in his curriculum "Walker's Dictionary" and "Smiley's Arithmetic." Harrison left the tradition of his expertness in making goose quill pens  and ink from copperas and maple bark.


 

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