52 Ancestors Week 37: Back to School

+11 votes

Time for the next 52 Ancestors challenge...

52 Photos and 52 Ancestors sharing bacgesPlease share with us a profile of an ancestor or relative who matches this week's theme:

Back to School

Share below.

You don't need to share every week to participate, but those who do will earn badges. If this is your first time participating and you don't have the participation badge, or if you pass a milestone (13 shared profiles in 13 weeks, 26 in 26, or 52 in 52) let us know here. For more about the challenge, click here.

in The Tree House by Eowyn Walker G2G Astronaut (2.5m points)
Just a quick comment Eowyn. It is a bit disappointing that people are selecting the best comment, when I, and I'm sure others, haven't even received their weekly Wikitree Family News yet. It would be nice if everyone got their emails at the same time, but I understand that this may be just part of the system. But perhaps, if a best story is to be selected, perhaps it could be selected at the end of the week. Anyway. Thank you for your time quickly. (I would say too, if you are to select a best story, please do it on the merit of the story, and not the score. The scores here to a degree, reflect who posted first.)
yes, Ben, I agree. And I'd like to see a comment from the person who chose the best answer, explaining why it was chosen.
It always surprises me to see that happen. It seems like this challenge has nothing to do with questions where the person who asks it is looking for the right answer. That being said Joyce's answer is a fine story.
Not that this is the case here, but I have sometimes wondered if the "best answer" choice is a click oops. I know I did it once.
I would rather have a comment from someone who has actually read my answer, than an anonymous vote. Looking back at some of the photo answers, there are votes for pictures which no one can see.
Thank you Joyce. It certainly isn't that your answer isn't good, or that I need further recognition. I think you already know that. I just think it is discouraging to come on to give an answer, and you see that it has already been decided. And perhaps Lyn is right. It may have been done by accident, but then it has been happening consistently over the last couple of weeks.
I'm confused by this discussion. We can still add our own answers.The best answer selection just shows what is at the top, other than that it changes nothing, right?
You can still add answers Rob. However, the best answer is manually selected, and isn't based on which answer has the most votes, or which answer was first. Marking an answer as 'best' will cause it to display first, and will give it more points. Not that probably any of us are chasing the points. The point of this discussion is, that people are selecting the best answer, within a couple of hours of the question being posted, when the question is being posted for replies, for a week. If you are reading and enjoying the answers to these weekly posts, which we all hope people are, then give the answers an up vote, or respond to the answers with a comment. But please don't select 'best answer', because not all the answers have been given yet, and if best answers are being selected, everybody would like the chance to be in the running, not just the first two or three people who answer.

28 Answers

+11 votes
Best answer
My mother-in-law, Henrietta Kaufmann, left school after the 8th grade to work for the telephone company. When she was 70 years old, she made a big decision: to get her high school diploma. After two years of study, she completed her General Equivalency Test and received her diploma.
by Joyce Vander Bogart G2G6 Pilot (199k points)
selected by Elizabeth W
Joyce thank you for sharing your remarkable mother-in-law Henrietta Kaufmann. She certainly is to be commended. I was a GED teacher in my community for 29 years, and I also have been doing the same teaching for the last eight years in my county jail. I know that over 550 of my students passed the test, but I very seldom had older students. I did have one man that was 94, but he never went to take the test.
+11 votes

Wild Days at the Schoolhouse! Sentenced.— Justice Conger's Court Saturday, Wm. E. Johnston was fined $10 for disturbing the peace, and Thomas Johnston $5 for battery. The trouble occurred, it will be recollected, in Lincoln School District, American Township. The Judge delivered some appropriate remarks on the occasion, bearing upon the inopportueness of a free fight at a meeting held for the purpose of organizing a Sunday-school. [4] Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 47, Number 7189, 20 April 1874

by Lyn Gulbransen G2G6 Mach 4 (49.4k points)
I'm sure at the time this incident was not funny but told now it is hilarious. Reminds me of a heated philosophical group discussion I observed when I was on a trip abroad. The discussion blossomed into an outright argument. The topic was about the meaning of "Dona nobis pacem." When we learned what it meant, (give us peace) the argument was over we all had a good laugh.

It's interesting that the earlier articles about this incident start with what could have had a different end...  "Justice Conger yesterday, on the complaint of Wm. E. Johnston, issued a warrant for O. W. Wallace for battery; and another, on the complaint of Thomas Johnston, for George Smith, on a like charge. It appears that there was a difficulty at a school-house in American District, on the 5th instant, and quite a row took place. Constable Harvey left with the warrants yesterday afternoon to make the arrests, and the cases will probably come up in Conger's court today." [1] Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 47, Number 7181, 10 April 1874

+16 votes

My great grandmother Clara McIntire did not marry until she was 27, and she taught school for several years in Pike County, Illinois. She kept a small autograph book for her students to write in, and this is a photo of a page from her book written in 1882.

by Alexis Nelson G2G6 Pilot (847k points)
What a wonderful family archive, Alexis.

Thank you C Ryder for your nice comment. For some reason it made me remember that I found a profile that matched one of her other students writings. William A. Pine in 1881.

I have my grandmother's autograph book.  Here is an autograph from teacher to student :) (Teacher later married my grandmother's brother.)

Thanks, Alexis, for another trip down Memory Lane. My mother had an autograph book, too, and I remember many of those cute verses.
Lyn thank you so much for sharing your grandmother’s autograph book. The message to your grandmother is beautiful.  I love it, so glad you have it!
Joyce thank you for your comment. Yes, the cute verses and the penmanship are so interesting.
I have my grandmothers book and it gave me information on names for some of her relatives.  Hooray.  It was for others besides schoolmates I guess.  And some of the art work is fantastic in it.
Thank you Beulah for your great comment. There probably are things in her book that you could share photos of—possible other answers to these questions. I was an art education major in college, so I know I would love it to see your grandmother’s book. It is wonderful that you have been able to get information on relatives with it.
I can't share any thing that requires photos.  My camera doesn't work and my phone is too old.  I can't get cell service within one eighth of a mile of the house.  Stickers were favorite
adornments, some did hand designed flowers and really flourished writing.
Beulah, I can relate, I love my old phone. Glad you told us about your grandmother’s book, and I hope you will write more comments about other interesting things in your family.
Wow what a great treat to keep, it is wonderful Alexia thank you for sharing this
Thank you Susan for your always sweet comment.
+11 votes

Dr. Emma Lipps was an educator like her mother before her.  Cousin Emma was was born in Alexandria, Virginia on February 8, 1919 and died in Rome, Georgia on July 19, 1996. 

Dr. Lipps was a professor of Biology at Shorter College in Rome, Georgia, for more than forty years. Previously, she graduated from Wesleyan College, worked in the medical school in Augusta, Georgia, and taught at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia. She earned her masters degree from Emory University and her PhD from the University of Tennessee.

During her forty plus years at Shorter College, the main body of her work came to fruition. Her career was dedicated to ecological interests and promoting the well being of the Earth. Many of her endeavors in the field of ecology were visionary and have since become part of everyday concerns about the environment.

One area of local interest for Dr. Lipps and her students was the Marshall Forest, a tract of land located in Floyd County, Georgia that had never been cleared for cultivation. Dr. Lipps used the forest as a natural lab for teaching biology and a great ecological resource. To quote Dr. Lipps in reference to Marshall Forest, “it will provide answers to questions we are not yet able to ask.” In 1979, the National Council of State Garden Clubs honored her for 25 years of work on behalf of the Marshall Forest.

Dr. Lipps’ ecological interests are also reflected in her geological work at Ladd’s Quarry in Bartow County, Georgia. A report in The Smithsonian Torch of June 1968 announced the discovery on this site of perhaps the largest Devonian fossil fauna ever unearthed in the Southeast. In fact, Dr. Lipps and her students sent from Ladd’s Quarry enough fossil specimens to fill several drawers in the workroom desks of the Smithsonian Institution.

Through the scope of her distinguished career, Dr. Lipps sought to increase awareness of our dependency on the Earth’s resources and to encourage our acceptance of shared responsibility for its upkeep. With a combination of energy, enthusiasm, perseverance, and a few eccentricities, Dr. Lipps became a leader and legend in her field. Her students, many of whom are themselves leaders in many fields, will carry on her torch for generations to come.

by Dorothy O'Hare G2G6 Mach 8 (87.9k points)
edited by Dorothy O'Hare
Dorothy the link doesn't open her profile page, at least not for me.
Thanks for letting me know.  I think I've got it fixed now.
Yep, it looks good. :)
+11 votes

My father, Gerald Hill, spent his working life as a math teacher with the Scarborough Board of Education in Metropolitan Toronto: first with Agincourt C.I., then (as department head) with Sir John A. Macdonald C.I. He was apparently taking after his 3rd great grandmother, Martha (Veal) Harris, who (per the 1841 England census) was a schoolmistress in Southampton, Hampshire.

by Richard Hill G2G6 Mach 9 (94.8k points)
FYI - for those you who are non-Canadians, C I stands for Collegiate Institute!!
+11 votes
In some winters, my dad trudged trudged through five feet of snow to get to the schoolhouse in Mancelona Townzhip, Michigan
by David Hughey G2G Astronaut (1.7m points)
+10 votes

My great grandmother Amelia Bushnell [https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Bushnell-507]became a teacher in a one room school at the age of 16.  There came a vacancy, and it was decided that 'Melia could be teacher, because she had read all the books.  She was a tiny person, perhaps a little over 5 feet tall, and had pupils both taller and older than she was. Yet she kept discipline and completed her term as teacher.  Her teaching career ended when she married, not yet aged 17.  

She had four children, but only her son William would give her grandchildren, four girls.  Of those granddaughters, the eldest became an elementary school teacher, the second became a high school home economics teacher and college teacher, and my mom was also a high school English teacher.    Of her great grandchildren, one became a science teacher, and another, yours truly, was a Latin tutor for about as long as Amelia taught at the one room school.  Maybe it is in the genes.  

by Carolyn Adams G2G6 Mach 9 (92.3k points)
edited by Carolyn Adams
+10 votes

In my family there was an old 'story' that said Anthony Burns had taken his two youngest sons back to his homeland of Durham England from India, that when Anthony died a short time later my Great Grandfather(Anthony's Son in Law) Charles Walter Hardie had to pay to have the boys returned to India. 

For years we couldn't find any proof of this. We did manage to find Anthony's death certificate so that was our first break through, it ment he had indeed gone back to England. A few months ago, thanks to Find My Past, we found school records for William Leslie and John Lionel Burns!! They attended school in 1904 - 1906, with their record stating "departed to India" about 6 months after Anthony's death. We're yet to find any shipping record for the boys to show their return to India. But thanks to the school records we can see they were in England for a short period. 

by Elizabeth W G2G6 Mach 2 (27.8k points)
Isn't it wonderful when you find a little tidbit that actually confirms a family story?
+8 votes

My Grandmother, Ethel, was a teacher for many years. She taught in Wisconsin and Montana, in one room schools and more modern schools. 

Ethel Sties

by Chandra Garrow G2G6 Mach 7 (70.5k points)
+8 votes

My great-uncle William Lawrence Musick was at Public School Teacher in a local elementary school who died at the age of 23 from blood poisoning. That cause of death isn't specific, but it's very likely that he would have been treated and survived if our modern medicines were available in that day.

The circumstances of his death reminds me of our current Coronavirus Pandemic, because that was a time when there was no known cure for simple bacterial infections. Although we are creeping up on 200,000 Covid-19-related deaths in the US, it's hard to imagine how many people would have died without the availability of modern hospitals, pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, and machines, along with the technical expertise of doctors and nurses who have put their own lives at risk to save others. How deadly would our current pandemic have been without all of those treatment options?

All three of his surviving younger siblings went on to graduate from Western Kentucky Normal College (now Western Kentucky Universityand receive Teaching Certificates.

by Bill Vincent G2G6 Pilot (173k points)
edited by Bill Vincent
+9 votes
My old high school is currently planning its 175th Anniversary Reunion in Dunedin (NZ) for next year - 2021. My mother and sister have both registered to attend.

Naturally I cannot go since I no longer live in NZ and I am unable to get back there easily.

In 2015, my father attended the 150th Anniversary of his Primary school, also in Dunedin (NZ), along with his cousin as well as 1 nephew and 1 niece.

I myself have never been to any school reunion event in NZ.



The links above show photos of my father at his primary school reunion and also one of his old class photos.
by Robynne Lozier G2G Astronaut (1.3m points)
+11 votes
One of my mothers ancestors, Johann Georg Friedrich Lucas, born 28 Aug 1789 went only two years to school and then he learned a craft as windmiller.

In 1816 he tried to become a teacher, Because he was very clever he got a scholarship.

And he was successfull: his first job was in Lühe (a small village), the second in Gommern, in 1820 he became third teacher in Altenplathow and his last job was in Genthin, where he died in 1867.

All theses villages/towns are in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany not far away frome Magdeburg.

At that time it was a big step from a windmiller to a teacher.
by Dieter Lewerenz G2G Astronaut (3.1m points)
+6 votes
What was school like for my grandfather in the 30s before the second world war and the 60s at the height of social change? Mmm.....turbulent? https://allroadhaverhill.blogspot.com/2020/09/52-ancestors-week-37-back-to-school.html
by Chris Ferraiolo G2G6 Pilot (763k points)
+8 votes
Week 37 - Back To School. I'll have to do a repeat for the second time. John William Russell-16370, was an itinerant teacher in country Victoria, from about 1867 to probably after 1900. At one stage he received an award, for one of the best teachers in the state. He also wrote a help for teachers and students for arithmetegram.

However, other newspaper articles present that he had abandoned his family, and that he forged a signature for moving expenses from one school to another, for which he was charged.

For the amount of information available about John from the papers, it was very difficult to trace his family any further back, until I bought his wedding certificate, which helped greatly.
by Ben Molesworth G2G6 Pilot (162k points)
+10 votes

Grandma Eileen's untraditional and tumultuous life story would never have been predicted if you had known her when she was a school girl on the honor roll. Here she is president of her 1925 senior class, top left.

Eileen Pierson, president senior class

by C Ryder G2G6 Mach 8 (88.2k points)
edited by C Ryder
Thank you C Ryder for sharing the great newspaper story about your grandmother Eileen. You got my interest when you wrote untraditional and tumultuous. I really enjoyed reading the fabulous profile you wrote about her, so I had to read about your mother and grandfather. Thank you for sharing their fascinating stories.
Thanks, Alexis, that's sweet of you to take an interest. The world is full of women who did well in school then fared less well. I already shared on here a great grand auntie who was a successful school principle, so this time it was Grandma Eileen's turn — less successful but a memorable lady.
+10 votes

After having five children, my grandmother decided to go back to school to study psychology.  She told me the reason she chose that topic was because she couldn't for the life of her, understand why her five children were all so different.

by Caroline Verworn G2G6 Mach 9 (91.6k points)
One of the wonders of the world!
Did she ever find out?
Haha.  You know, I should ask her that!
+10 votes

My grandmother, Leona Bailey Sanger, was born in 1900. She attended Normal School after graduating from High School, got her teaching certificate, and joined an uncle in Wisconsin to teach for a year or two. She came back to Michigan when her grandfather and mother both died in a house fire. She knew my grandfather as she was good friends with his oldest daughter. His wife had died, and he was looking for someone to help him raise his six children. He married my grandmother in 1922, and she gave up teaching to help raise, not only his six but the 10 that they had together. He died in 1958. She went back to school, and got her teaching certificate renewed and spent a couple of years in the early 1960s teaching in a one room school in Michigan's Thumb. This was about the time the last of the one room schools closed and consolidated with the larger schools. She moved back up north to her home, and took a person with learning difficulties on as a student and taught her to read and write a little. I don't know the extent, but Grandma said everyone else told her the girl couldn't learn anything at all. 

by Arlene Thompson G2G3 (3.6k points)
+7 votes
My family has a family history book published in the early 1900s.  I was amused to read that one of my ancestors, whose family settled in New Haven, Connecticut in the 1600s, was one half of the graduating class from Yale.  The other member was the son of Yale's teacher who held classes in his home.  I'm not sure if it was Elihu Yale or not.  How
education has changed to today's classes in the thousands.
by Beulah Cramer G2G6 Pilot (567k points)
edited by Beulah Cramer
Beulah that is wonderful that you have a family history book. Also that they were educated people in the 1600s. I recently found ancestors three generations back that spelled their surname three different ways—I have decided that they could not read. Yes, education has changed.
+7 votes
My grandmother, Bird Smith Dawson, was a teacher in Brooklyn, New York USA. She taught subjects like math, penmanship and English to her students.


After she married and moved to Eastport, Suffolk County, Long Island, New York State, USA, she continued her teaching activities, not in a classroom but on an individual basis as a tutor, and was responsible for helping failing students learn enough to pass their tests.
by Marion Ceruti G2G6 Pilot (357k points)
+9 votes

Several of my ancestors were teachers ... my grandmother, Oma M Allison-Rammel (1895-1995), is the one that I was closest to ... in fact, I lived with her during my high school years.

She went "back to school" each year for over 30 years ... after her husband, Harold 'Hal" Knott-Rammel (1892-1930), left this earth at a young age in 1930, she returned to teaching.

She taught first grade in Assumption, Christian, Illinois all those years ... this included a span of 3 generations of families' first graders.

I recall one kind of humorist incident while I was living there in 1958 ... One of the young students didn't ask to go to the restroom in time ... so GdMa then tried to call the janitor, but could not find him ... so she went to the principal's office ... there she was told to get a mop and cleanup the mess ... it is told that she told the principal "mop be dammed ... there is a need for a shovel".

Later in life she was named the "Alumni of the year" ... she had also graduated from the High School in Assumption ... below is a photo with her holding the plaque.

by Bill Sims G2G6 Pilot (126k points)
Thank you Bill for sharing your grandmother Oma and her great story. Glad you had the opportunity to live with such a wonderful lady.

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