Sunday, January 3, 2021

The Bullitt County News was a short lived paper published in the early 20th century. The following entries that were identifiable as being written by my Great Great Grandfather Charles Wesley Ridgway were excerpted from the existing remnants of that paper housed on microfilm at the Ridgway Public Library in Shepherdsville, KY. Transcribed by Anthony Foster from 2008-2009.

 The Bullitt County News  September 23, 1904 BN 

The Old Log School

The old log school occupies many happy memories. Many a child passed through its doors has made a mark on the world. Members of the community furnished it with a heating stove and carved wood desks and a black board behind the teacher’s desk. Each seat would accommodate three of four children, and the younger ones always were to sit in the middle of the three rows of desks. The boys sat on one side of the room and the girls on the other. 

The children would walk to the old log school, and I being the eldest, kept watch on the others. We would take along our lunch with us, which consisted of all good things to eat like rye bread and butter, cookies, and sometimes a slice of pie. We would sometimes find crinkleroot, a mustardy herb, along the way to eat with our bread and butter or johnnycake. There was a neat little spring for drinking water near the log school. It was a prized chore to be able to fill the drinking water bucket.

We began our attempts at writing by drawing slant lines and upside down pothooks on the slates, making our course hand letters on it before we turned to fine hand or using the handmade pens our teacher made of the goose quills we brought to school. He would take his pen knife and cut them for us to use. We used pokeberry juice for ink when ink was in short supply.

We used Clarks Grammar, and Olney’s Geography for lessons. Reading was learned from McGuffey’s Readers, Writing, Ray’s Arithmetic, History and Drawing were taught at the old log school. Oh how I would like to have a set of those old readers now as they had the most beautiful poems that the children memorized and recited. When the sun light hit the notch in the window, we all expectantly waited for the teacher to break for lunch and play. We children would play marbles, pompom pullaway tag, peg in the ring, mumblety-peg, and ball. We would also play riddle me this. 

Troublesome boys were punished by being required to sit with the girls. At times this provided more consternation on the part of the girls than of the one being punished. The most petulant boys were given the cane for misbehaving. The girls responded more to a tongue lashing, and these were in good supply as I recall.-CWR

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