Winter - School
One teacher describes her class
and school in Seward County, adjoining York County.
"The schoolhouse was a large
one-room building with windows on each side.
It was heated by a coal stove. We did not have
a well on the school grounds so the children
would take the pail and go for water over to
the adjoining farm house. The children were
from 5 to 16 years of age, in classes ranging
from first to eight grade. Two of the boys were
taller than I. The children would come to the
front of the room for classes. They played games
at recess and noon, such as Andy-over, baseball,
hide and seek, keep away, and kick the can.
My salary was $72 a month for nine months, and
I was to do my own janitor work; sweep the floors
and get the goal for the stove."
Pioneer Schools, Produced by York Area Retired
Nebraska Historical Society Collection
Cold and snow were not excuses to stay home from school.
Only illness or a blizzard kept children home from school.
The teacher rang the bell and school began. When the weather
was dry, children played outside at recess. On the rainy or
sleeting days, students played word games or had spelling
bees at recess.
Merna Bailey taught school. She rode her horse the two and
a half miles to school and was paid $50 a month for nine months.
Later she made $75 a month at a school near York. She taught
reading, spelling, penmanship, geography, history, and arithmetic.
Herbert Heine remembers school in the winter.
had chores in the morning … take care of the horses,
and there's always cattle to feed. And we had to see to
it the dog got something and the cats. Eat breakfast and
take off for school…We walked to school, about two
miles… And then there was a time we had snow or too
much rain, Dad would take us to school with a horse and
a sled [or] a kind of buggy
we had… He would give us a ride to school, put some
hot bricks for us to stand on … to keep [our feet] warm."
Heine (Quicktime required)
Mystery Number Game
Take any number up to a thousand.
Multiply it by 7.
Multiply by 33.
Multiply by 9.
Multiply by 481.
Take the last 6 figures of your result and add them to the
The last 6 digits of the answer will be 285,714.
When the weather was bad in the winter, the teacher would
invent work for students to do at their desks. Here is a sample:
|On cold winter days the
classes would stay indoor during recess.
- Take a page from your reading lesson and arrange the
words in alphabetical order.
- Make a list of all the words in your reading lesson containing
a given sound. Example: K sound (corn, car, king, cracker)
- The teacher put a list of words on the blackboard. Pupils
copied the list and then wrote the opposites. Example: Up
- Write the names of creatures that: fly, run, jump, swim,
- Write the names of animals that growl, purr, cackle, sing,
laugh, neigh, bark.
Written by Claudia Reinhardt.