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   Feature Article on an early school. Topic: EDUCATION
Compiled by Jim Sayre in July, 1998

TREES BLAZED TO MARK THE WAY

Water break at a one-roomer - 1916. McClure School. Edna Wintringham, teacher. Gathered at the outside water pump from left are first graders Frances Richards, Clarence Schwartz, Loella Pressler, Natilda Chancellor, Howard Fugate, Jeanette Richards, and Ruth Tearnon. Miss Wintringham (in back) was 19 years old at the time. The one-room schoolhouse still stands on Society member Vera Hall’s farm on State Route 705 northwest of Sidney. It is used for farm storage. Miss Wintringham, now Mrs. Lewis F. Warbington, recently celebrated her 102nd birthday. She resides at Fair Haven Home.

schoolchildrendrinkingfrompump.gif (36344 bytes)

John Munch’s daughter, Nancy Denning, was born near Xenia in 1831, but lived most of her life in Anna. She recalled her early life there, including school days, in a Dec. 22, 1905, interview with the editor of the Shelby County Democrat:

"John Munch built a cabin on the corner of his land (160 acres north of Anna pike and east of the Wapakoneta pike) and moved into it when Mrs. Denning was eighteen months old. The forest was cleared away and other families came into the neighborhood. She said deer was so plentiful that her father sometimes went out and killed a deer before breakfast, and one time she saw five bears pass their home near where the Lutheran church stands. And that Indians camped on the Gueth farm...What is now the Wapakoneta pike (25-A) was a way cut out through the almost unbroken forest between Sidney and Wapakoneta...

A school was organized and a log school house built about three miles north west of where Anna now stands... about the same time the church (Anna M.E.) was organized. She and the other pupils in the vicinity of where Anna now stands had to walk three miles through the woods and the trees were blazed along the way so the children would not lose their way. The fire-place of the school house occupied about one half of one side of the building. The windows were made by cutting out a log in the side of the building and greased paper was used in place of glass in them. The writing desks were held to the wall by forked sticks pinned into the wall. The pupils set at them facing the wall. The seats were without backs and made of split logs. She was ten years old before she began going to school, but had been taught to read by an older brother...This was many years before the C., H. & D. railroad and before Anna was laid out."

 

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