Lane County Historical Museum Dighton, Kansas home of the Lane County Bachelor
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Publisher: LCHS                Volume: 43                 Issue: 2               Date: April  2017

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SPRING TOUR

MAY 7, 2017

How many miles did you walk, ride your horse, or ride your bicycle to school?  Was it up hill in both directions through the snow?  In January for our Kansas Day program at the museum, we presented what it was like to go to school in a one room school house for the Dighton and Healy grade school students.

To continue with this theme, we have decided to plan our Spring Tour around the one room schools in Lane County.  This year we are focusing on SE Lane County.  The schools we have been researching are:  Pleasant View District # 44, Darr Creek District # 2, Evergreen District # 23, Pioneer -Filmore District # 12, Cleveland District # 9, Buffalo Valley District # 17, Hackberry District # 5, West/Spring Creek District # 31, Temple District # 3, Hackberry – Excelsior District # 14, Juniata District # 39, Alamota District # 1, unidentified District # 43, and Dighton District # 4.

We will visit the schools that are still standing and some of the sites where the other schools were.  We hope that if you or your family attended one of these schools, you will be willing to share some of your memories and maybe some pictures of the schools.

We will gather at the museum at 1:45 PM on May 7th to begin our tour.  One of our speakers will be a former teacher at Pleasant View School.  Following our tour, we will return to the J.O.Y. Center at 5:30 PM for a meal of baked ham, potatoes, green beans, rolls and pie.  At this time, there will be more time for reminiscing and looking at the school picture display.

To find out more about the one room schools in SE Lane County, we hope you will join us on our tour.  We will be sharing who some of the teachers were, their salaries, and length of school year.  How did they teach 8 grades in the same room at the same time?  What did they do for sports?  What were games that were played at recesses?  Learn all of this and much more on our tour.

If you have pictures of these schools or memories that you would like to share, please contact Sonya Thomas at the museum (620) 397-5652 or Janis Reed, evenings at (620) 397-2494.

Annual Meeting

The Lane County Historical Society’s annual meeting was held at the J.O.Y. Center on Thursday evening, January 12. Despite extreme cold temperatures, 62 members and visitors enjoyed a delicious meal along with an entertaining program.

After the meal, consisting of brisket, Western beans, coleslaw, and cobbler, a short business meeting was held. President Joel Herndon recognized Pam Jennison, whose term had expired, with a plaque for her service to the Board.  Gerald Fay auctioned off another of his unique, handmade knives.  Monty Moore from Monument, KS, won it with a $155 bid. This money will be placed in the general fund for the operation of the museum.  A gift basket door prize was won by Bob Fox.  To close the meeting an election of Board officers was held. Nancy Norby was elected and will serve as treasurer. Janis Reed was re-elected and will serve as secretary.  With no further business, the meeting was concluded.

President Joel then introduced the “Wagons Ho” entertainers, Virginia, wife of David Hefner of Hays and Barbara Hefner from Albuquerque, NM.  Their presentation brought to life the covered wagon experience along the Butterfield Trail.  Many stories were shared not only by them but also from visitors in the crowd. To add to their presentation, they sang trail songs which everyone enjoyed.

The evening passed quickly as another successful Annual Meeting came to a close.

A special thank you to the members, the Board members, and the presenters for their participation.

Kansas

History Comes Alive in a One Room School

Healy and Dighton elementary students were treated to a day at the Lane County Historical Museum to learn about education in a one room school house on January 26 and 27.  As students sat at desks and benches in the replicated one room school, they learned from Tamie Linenberger, the presenter, that their day probably began around 5:00 as there were cows to milk, eggs to gather, animals to feed, water to collect, and breakfast to be eaten all before they could make that long walk to school.

Upon arrival at school, students were warmed by a pot-bellied stove that occasionally served as a means to provide a warm lunch. They would hang their wraps on hooks at the back of the room, take their seats, and wait for the teacher to ring the “tardy bell” at which time all would rise for the opening exercises, which may have been reading scripture from the Bible or reciting “The Pledge of Allegiance”.   Linenberger shared that their school teacher would generally have been a young, unmarried woman that often lived with the families of the students she taught, especially those that had the most children.

Students found that all ages participated in the learning process with older students helping the younger ones.  Primary subjects taught were the three R’s – reading, writing, and arithmetic, but, penmanship, spelling, geography, memorization and other subjects would also have been included.  The Bible was probably the primary source of reading material in the early years, and with the absence of paper, slates and slate pencils would have been used for most writing assignments.

Discipline was strict in early classrooms. Students were expected to sit up straight, face forward with their feet on the floor and only spoke when called upon by the teacher or requested permission to speak.  On the occasion a student chose to act up in class they might receive a wrap on the hand or knuckles with a hickory ruler, stand in a corner with face to the wall, wear a dunce cap while sitting on a high stool, or stand with an arm outstretched, palm up, while holding a heavy book for a long period of time.  The dunce cap was very popular with the students as many waited for their chance to wear the hat and sit upon the stool.

Students were happy to hear that there was a mid-morning recess time when all would go out to the school yard to either play organized games or have free play.  Ringing of the teacher’s bell signaled the end of recess and the return to class until lunch time which usually consisted of last night’s leftovers.  At this point, our visitors were treated to an old-fashioned molasses cookie provided by Historical Society volunteers.

After experiencing the one room school, classes were divided into two groups to tour the rest of the museum and the sod house, which is always a treat.  Celebrating and sharing our Kansas and Lane County heritage with the school children is always a pleasure here at the museum.

The replicated one room school and “This is Kansas” exhibit will be on display through the end of May.  Stop by and check it out.

Constructive Thoughts on a Beautiful Spring Day

Hey Folks!  Several things to mention this time.  None large enough to warrant its own article, so we’ll have several semi-related elements under one blanket umbrella this time around.

I

First of all, I want to thank folks for coming out to the Annual Meeting a few weeks ago.  There was something really special about this one.  The speakers had a wonderful time.  They were very impressed with us and will be making a return trip this spring to see all the things they didn’t have time to see while they were here.  We made quite an impression and I think they did too.  So again, thanks to all who participated and we’ll have our work cut out for us topping that one for next year.

II

During the next year we have a number of projects to work on.  First and foremost are a few improvements to the museum itself.  This shifts us into the building update portion of this article.  We are still looking down the road for Kinney Glass to come install our first door of two doors.  He is currently finishing up Boot Hill Distilleries in Dodge City.  We are next on his big project list and we have been for a few weeks.  Mr. Kinney admits that having staff out with the flu and Ashland Wildfires have slowed that project a week or more, but he promises this will be done by the first week of April.  When this is done, we’ll have to make another modification to the front of the building to allow installation of a second door, which when installed, will give us an airlock in the front of the building.  There will also be double-paned UV protected glass on this front door for further climate control and long term protection of the collections.  The minor modification mentioned above will allow this to also meet current ADA requirements.  Look for the first steps in this process to be occurring relatively quickly.

III

The other improvement currently in process would be the installation of the back-up generator.  There has been a great deal of head scratching on this one, for you see, the wiring at the museum has a few curiosities.  The original museum has a main line that feeds its needs and there is another main line that feeds the needs of the new addition.  Curiously, there is a 208 watt wild-leg that seems to be an afterthought, as it seems unnecessary...possibly for area lights?  After several electricians stood back in the alley with a perplexed look on their faces, Charlie Bower deduced the true intention of this third line.  It supplements the antique air conditioners that service the front half of the building.  These are the same air conditioners we are trying so hard to replace.  If we replace those air conditioners, the curious wiring conflict ceases to exist and the backup generator can be installed to function as intended.

In the meantime, Charlie has installed some minor additions to the wiring that will allow us to run the heating system from a portable generator.  This is only half the solution.  Yes folks, we need to get those old air conditioners replaced.  No ifs, ands, or buts, we need to get them replaced.  As you might expect, this has become our primary focus for 2017.  You will hear about this again when we do our Memorial Day mailing and you will hear it at our Spring Tour.  It’s something we just have to get done, folks.  We need to raise somewhere in the vicinity of 7-10 thousand dollars.  We can probably do some of that with grants and possibly with a quilt raffle (those are legal now you know,) but this is one we really need your help with.  So we are announcing this here, but it will be a strong topic of focus throughout the coming month.

IV

We have another new project to announce as well.  I have to give credit for this one to Sonya and Vicki.  They had a wild thought that turns out to be a really brilliant idea.  As part of our transition into the efficient use of the new addition, there also exists the question of how to more efficiently use the pre-existing storage space.  The girls came up with a doozie.  It has been suggested and approved that we make a few improvements to the small storage room.  With a few minor changes we can make this space a textile room.  The plan is to line the walls with cedar paneling and turn the room into essentially a large cedar chest.  We’d have a dedicated space for the quilts and wedding dresses and military uniforms that are currently shoe-horned into a walk-in cedar lined crate in the larger storage room.  It promises to be a significant improvement without a whole lot of modifications required.  Some funds have already been allocated for this, and anything left over from the AC project can be used here.  We are coming along folks.  Good things are happening.

V

Your participation has made a difference and will continue to do so.  We hope you’ll join us for the rest of that journey.  And the next event will be in May with the School Tour.  More information on that is presented elsewhere in this newsletter.  We hope we’ll see you there.

One final note.  It is an unfortunate coincidence that we decided to have this tour in the very area that was so recently stricken with tragedy.  Our hearts go out the victims of the wildfires, some of which are and have been board members, staff, and neighbors of our little family.   It is difficult to find words to express the magnitude of how this has affected each and every one of us.  None more so than those on the front lines, who woke up one day with the wind blowing and went to bed under a strange roof with a life time of memories and keepsakes turned to ash.  I hope you know you’ve got friends and you’re not alone.

Joel S.  Herndon

Board President-Lane County Historical Society

 

© 2015 Lane County Historical Society

Dighton, Kansas