FADING RECOLLECTIONS OF ONE-ROOM SCHOOLS - Snake Root To Upper Rush

(05/10/2010)

Fairview School 1943 - First Row (L-R) George Stallman,
Letricia Bennett, Agnes Kendall Lewis, Lowell Roberts;
Second row: Argle Lee "Pete" Stump, Kathleen Bennett;
Third row: Mildred Stallman, Darrell Kendall, Dewey
Gayle Harris, Clarence Wilson, and Daris Kendall

(Photo Courtesy of Argle "Pete" Stump)

Bob Weaver 2010

Lower Rush Run School, about 1915 - First Row (L-R) Frank
Vanhorn, Hugh Wilson, Salome Vanhorn, Genevive Bennett,
Oleta Bennett, Edna Stump, Lowman "Wood" Fowler, Velma
McEndree, Gladys Fowler; Second row: Beulah Stump Godfrey
(teacher), Sylvia Cain, Melba Shock, Hattie Bennett, Mary Cain,
Treacy Wilson Stump, Ina Bennett Hannah, Lelah Bennett Vannoy,
Jerrine Stump Brinninstool, Ina Fowler Stump, Lona Cain, Erma
Minney Starcher, Mary Stump; Third (short) row: ______ Bennett,
John (son of Clayton) Stump, Mary Rutherford Stump; Fourth row:
Minter Stump, Earl Minney, Victor Stump, Fred Robinson, John (son of
Levi) Stump, Carl Stump, Nina Barr, Eda Stump Knotts, Buena Stump,
Vista Stump, Celeste Cain; Fifth row: Royce Fowler, Dona Fowler,
Leonard Fowler, Minnie Barr, Gladie Stump, Bob Stump, Willard Stump

(Photo Courtesy of Virgie Minney Harris)

By Bob Weaver

One-room schools were the bedrock of education in West Virginia since the late 1800s through the early part of the 20th century.

At one time over 100 one room schools in county.

They recall an intimate teacher-pupil relationship, with a single teacher for grades one through eight.

Saturday, Calhoun's last standing community school reunion had a get-together at Grantsville's senior center, sharing their memories.

Many of them attended Upper and Lower Rush Run. Fairview, Union (Snake Root), and Russet School, among others.

Public education laws allowed a new school to be created for ten or more children in a community. That is why Calhoun had over 100 one-room schools in the early part of the 1900s.

Road improvements allowed for consolidation, which began in force after World War II. Many one room schools were closed before 1940, and by the 1970s, the last small school closed its doors.

Pictured (L-R) Osa Fowler, Jackie Robinson and Bernice Stump

Osa Wilson Fowler, now 89, recalls school days at Lower Rush Run, "Falling down trying to climb up the hill to the outhouse."

"We made great-tasting potato soup twice a week," she said.

She recalled her early teachers, Lurland Stump, Esta Ford, Hanning Poling, Alva Riddle, Paul Brannon, Nelsa Stump, Irene Stump and Jim Wilson, "who was a really old man at the time."

Union (aka) Snakeroot School in Sherman District 1919-1920 - Photo taken just after World War I. Teacher was Onie Vanhom. First row, left to right, Thelma Godfrey Siers, Sylvester Stump, Mona Vannoy, Syloma Vanhom, Tracy Stump, Wilda Conklin, Mildred Conklin; Second row, John Harris, Ruth Stump, Omie Summers, Ermal Metz Westfall, Alta Conklin, Della Stump, Waneta Stump Collins, Opal Bennett; Third row, Coy Godfrey, Levy Vanhorn, Frank Vanhorn, Susie Bennett, Charlie Harris, Alma Vannoy Godfrey, Rufus Vanhorn, Ray Conklin, Nellie Harris, Ernest Wilson, Martha Stump Vannoy; fourth row, Onie Vanhorn (teacher), Delphia Summer, Velma Stump, Mary Stump, Manie Stump, Ethel Vanhorn Roberts, Alda Vannoy Kendall, Opal Bennett, Georgie Stump McCartney, Bethel Bennett Suttles, Willa Vanhorn, and Forrest Vannoy Witt

(Photo from the Martha Vannoy Collection)

Upper Rush Run School in Sherman District

(Photo Courtesy of Tom Kearns)

"It was cold inside in the wintertime, and we huddled close to the pot-bellied stove," Ocie said. "I'm proud of that little one-room school" she concluded.

Russett resident Jackie Robinson attended the Upper Rush Run school. "I only went seven years, because I was smart," she laughingly said.

Jackie recalled the sternness of teachers, and outside activities like ice skating, sleigh riding, grape-vine swinging, fishing, ball playing and drinking water from the hand-pump.

"Now it seems like kids don't really do much together," she said, focusing on Facebook, tweeting, video-games and the like.

Jackie recalled teachers Roy J. Stump, Irene Stump, Paul Bush, Harley Vannoy, Jerrine Stump and Eula Ferguson.

"We were all equal, equally poor, but we learned the basics of readin', ritin' and 'rithmatic," she said.

Well-known retired Calhoun teacher Bernice Stump, 85, recalled her one-room school days at Fairview School, where "I got my yearning for education."

Bernice taught at Upper Rush Run for 17 years, before moving to Russett and Grantsville.

"Students actually had to take a diploma and promotion test before graduation, and going on to high school," she said.

"It was a pretty tough test, too," she recalled.

A dwindling number attended this reunion, but a decision was made to have another one in a couple years.

Dozens of old school photos and hundreds of historical Calhoun photos can be found under Norma Knotts Shaffer's Photo of the Day, on the Hur Herald menu.

See   OLD SCHOOL CHUMS REMEMBER BACKWOODS SCHOOLS

ONE-ROOM SCHOOL REUNIONS - Old-Timers Like To Reminisce, Snake Root And Russett To Union And Trace

COUNTY SCHOOL REUNION BRINGS FORMER STUDENTS TOGETHER - Union, Russett, Apple Farm And Fairview


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