Wessels Living History Farm - York Nebraska Farming in the 1920s
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Fall - School

Was school different in the 1920s?

Kenneth Jackson describes a typical school day.

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Kenneth Jackson Video
Country grade schools were located so most of the farm children didn't have to walk or ride more than two miles to school. High schools were often in town. In the country schools, there was no electricity, and the only heat came from a stove. Students walked, rode their ponies or biked to school. Kenneth Jackson remembers riding his pony to school.

"Used to ride them to country school and even rode them to high school some… When I went to high school I went to McCool, which was six miles from home. Rode the Shetland pony there quite a few times; sometimes when it was 10 below zero… My grandfather lived in McCool, and he had a barn… So we kept our ponies in the barn there during the daytime. That was the trouble with country schools, it got cold … there wasn't any place you could put the pony in out of the bad weather, so we had to walk when it was cold and stormy." -- Kenneth Jackson Quicktime Logo (Quicktime required)

What's for lunch?


Try this!

Click below to pack a virtual lunch bucket from the 1920s.
Virtual lunch bucket

Albert Friesen Photo"You had a little syrup bucket. That was your dinner bucket. And you had a slice of bread with it, maybe with syrup or…lard from the hog. Just plain lard. We didn't have peanut butter and jelly. Well, jelly they made quite often because there were wild grapes or wild plums on fence lines so we'd get wild plums, and the women would go and pick those sometimes and make jelly out of it." -- Albert Friesen Quicktime Logo (Quicktime required)

If you think you've had some strict teachers, wait until Walter Schmitt tells you about his.

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Walter Schmitt Video

Blackboard Slogans
Here are some sayings the teacher would write on the blackboard in the front of a 1920s country school in York. Read these sayings and then make up your own:

"A thing done right today means no trouble tomorrow."

"Words spoken, like eggs broken, are hard to repair."

"What you are to be, you are now becoming."

"Nobody stumbled into anything sitting down."

"It's very nice to be important, but more important to be nice."

"Even a fish wouldn't get hooked if he kept his mouth shut."

"The only way to have a friend is to be one."


Written by Claudia Reinhardt.


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