1/29/1998 NOTES From The White County Historical Society Library

White County Historical Society Library
by Charlene Shields!
This article appeared in THE CARMI TIMES
January 29, 1998

Last fall, Mary Sue Rodgers Dildine and her daughter visited our library

Last fall, Mary Sue Rodgers Dildine and her daughter visited our library.

The former Miss Rodgers cherishes her days at a country school and was kind enough to share them with us:
"Some of my fondest memories of school are of the country school called Greene. It was located in the small community of Iron in White County, Ill.

The last time I was through there, the old building was still standing. When I began school there at the age of five, it was 1941. My great-aunt, Mildred Hoskins, was the teacher.
She had moved back to White County after teaching for years at the Mary Hardin Baylor College for young women in Belton, Texas.

The school was a wooden structure of two rooms. At the time I went to school there, we had only enough students for one room.
It had a huge coal furnace in the front of the room.
There was a cloakroom and a small library off the main room.
We had an upright piano.
On really bad days, we used the other room for our recess room.
Of course, there were the two outhouses.

Some of the students I remember were Phyllis and Donna Bishop; Howard Austin; Delmar McGhee; Ronnie and Marilyn Austin; Clarence Smith; Dee Howard and Frances Hoskins; Dean Pearce; Patsy Buttry; Glen Wilson; Sybil Wilson; and Jackie Sutton. And I am sure others.

I remember Aunt Mildred had to build her own fires and do the janitor work.
Every year a school board member would come and have a talk with her about whether she would take the school the next year. They would walk around out in the yard until they came to their conclusion.
One of the things I really enjoyed was the Christmas time that Aunt Mildred piled all of us in her car so we might listen to the Nutcracker Suite on WGN on the car radio.
On Washington's birthday, she always baked cherry pies and brought [them] to school to celebrate.

These were the war years, so she took us on field trips to pick milkweed pods.
These were used to make parachutes for the paratroopers.
We also saved newspapers and tied them up in bundles.
I'm not sure what they were used for, but it was for the war effort.

One of the techniques she used in teaching reading was that each one read on his or her own level regardless of the year in school.
This kept reading classes very interesting.

On Fridays, we had such activities as spelling and math bees, and this was the day that we generally had any ball games with other country schools.
They would either come to our school or we went to theirs.
Everyone played, because there weren't enough people for a team otherwise.
Aunt Mildred taught at Greene until I was in the sixth grade.
Maurice Mobley taught the year I was in that grade.
Aunt Mildred was teaching in either Springerton or Mill Shoals at that time.
James Rankin taught the year I was a seventh grader.
Then Aunt Mildred began taking my sister, Patricia Rodgers, and me to Norris City to school.
My sister was in the fourth grade. We finished grade school there.

I have very fond memories of my days at Greene School--even the days it was bad weather and we had to walk to school because Aunt Mildred got her car stuck in the mud.
I would have to say now, after retiring from teaching school myself, that I would put my country school education up against anyone's education.

(The author's address is
Route 1, Box 150A,
Patterson, MO 63956)

The Genealogy Library will be closed until Feb. 4, 1998.

We continue to be comfortably busy with letters and visitors to our Genealogy Library. We're open from 11 to 5 on Wednesdays. Come join us.

Notes from the Genealogy Library
White County Historical Society
located downstairs in the Ratcliff Inn, downtown Carmi

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