Apple Farm Remembered (Part I) in 1968

(07/26/2002)

Transcribed by Norma Knotts Shaffer from microfilm of the Calhoun Chronicle dated 3/21/1968.

Apple Farm was Once a Very Busy Community
by Treacy J. Stump
A Lifelong resident of Apple Farm and its postmistress for many years

Part I

One passing today through what was once the village of Apple Farm could hardly imagine the busy and well populated place it was some fifty to sixty years ago.  The village drew people for miles around from over the hills and in the hollows, some came on foot, some came horseback, to do their milling and marketing.  There were no mansions for homes, and some had a mere three rooms, some larger, yet most all boasted of large families.

The village was located on Rush Run, a tributary of Steer Creek, about halfway between the head of the run to the mouth.  On Sunday morning the young people up run started down the road and they would be joined with others from each house so that by the time they reached the mouth of the run at Rush Run church on Steer Creek road, there would be a good congregation.  The older folk usually went on horseback.  After the services ended, so called "meetin" in those days, the young folk would gather at one of the homes, usually the Ellsworth Stump or S.W. Dobbins home as they were most centrally located, and there they enjoyed the day.  If in the mood for picture taking, some one would go for Claude Gherke or the late Okey Dobbins, both photographers.  Their cameras were big objects placed on legs and covered with black cloth while camera was in motion.  They did good work and their price was one dollar a dozen for post card size pictures.

School Days

The first school was held in a log cabin on the farm of the late Ellsworth Stump about 1890-91.  Frenchie Dobbins and Georgia Marshall, both deceased, taught the first two years.  Of course that was before I was around.  Later a lot was secured and a new school building was erected nearby.  Etta Johnson taught several first terms.  This school had an enrollment of 40 to 60 scholars.  They came by dozens, bringing their lunches in lard pails and coffee buckets.  Hot lunches were unheard of.  The room was heated by a pot bellied Burnside stove placed in the middle of the room, and while one side scorched, the drafts on the other side froze the pupils.  Water was carried from a nearby farm house.

In the late 1940's a more modern building replaced the old one, a well was drilled, gas and electricity installed.  However, the population was decreasing, now we had a good building and no pupils, so the school was discontinued and the building moved away.  Mrs. Marguerite Underwood was the last teacher.  Mrs. Bernice Stump taught more years than any other teacher.  It would be impossible to mention all the teachers, but some of the older ones were Okey Dobbins, Valeria Poling, D.W. Shock, Mac Barr, Lloyd Stemple, Vena Poling, Howard Barr, Hanning Poling and many, many more.  One thing:  despite the disadvantages, lots of teachers and prominent citizens had their earlier training at this little country school.


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