Memories of Etna 1882-1953
Provided by Mary Lou (Fields) Sheldon
The first pioneer school of the community was known as the Baxter or Old Brick School, located on the late Wm. Livesay Farm now known as the Feuber Farm. The district was divided with Spring Branch and one acre was bought from Joe Webb for $25.00, where the school now stands. The surrounding was covered with heavily wooded hazel bush and large forest trees. The building was 20 ft. by 18 ft. and was constructed by Mr. Wheat and Mr. John Ford. Named Etna because of the strong winds. The first board members were Joe Rogers, Nelson Adams, Wm. Livesay and Mr. Dowing.
In 1882, Miss Hortense Gallagher was employed as teacher, October 1st, she began school in the new building with few desks, a wood stove, a high rolled top desk, seventeen pupils, three texts; Ray’s Arithmetic, McGuffeys Speller and Appleton’s Reader. School was called by beating on the house with a stick. No graduating system was used. Promoted as they learned. Discipline was the goal.
Water was supplied from a spring on the Roger’s and Dowing’s farm, carried with pleasure, in a pail by the older pupils. A ½ mile when trip was made.
Twenty-six years passed with 30 capable teachers teaching spring and winter terms. Salaries were low and little changes were known, every year many instances occurring, that room can not be given to relate. Boys and girls attended school until 20 years of age.
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