I have been invited to write of some of my early experiences of life especially of my public school teaching on the Odin area.
I have received my education at Carrigan School receiving my first teacher’s certificate April 1, 1896, or three days after I reached the legal age (18 years) for teaching. My grades were good for the first grade certificate but only had grade work hence a second grade certificate was issued by Superintendent Burdick.
I applied for several places but my appearance being as it was, I failed to place.
My certificate was renewed and I got my first place, Temple, Carrigan Township, 1897.
I taught school for 10 years staying usually two years at one place. I’ll confine my writing mostly to Odin Township.
I taught two terms at Lake View District 1902-3-4. I had nearly 50 pupils there. They were a fine bunch of children. There was as usual a shortage of books, and as an aid for books and supplies we usually had a pie supper. The boys usually were good bidders for their girl friend’s pie; also a cake for the prettiest girl—voting at one cent a vote brought some spirited voting. Sometimes $40 to $50 was raised and a new supply of writing material, spelling blanks, geographical maps and other supplies helped make the work more interesting.
One winter we had Literary and Debating Society at "Bumkum" School (Love School). Among the debaters were Mr. V. V. Hawley, ex-county superintendent of schools, Mr. Jackson, the Thompson Brothers, Frank Arrowsmith, Isaac Ross, Jesse Deadmond, John Deadmond, myself, and some others. Some members were expert musicians—fiddlers, guitar, banjo players and some singers.
Good literary programs were enjoyed by the houseful.
The second winter we had our literary at Barr School with nearly the same crowd. Sure was a happy time of my life!
Many of my pupils still live in their home district; many have succeeded in various positions and occupations in various capacities, teaching, mining, farming, housekeeping, home making and various other kinds of work.
My pupils have done their part with their children keeping public and civic life on a standard that makes America great.