Schools Days In Mendon —
It was the spring of 1892. My twin brother and I had just passed our sixth birthday the previous April 24th. Our oldest sister Millie assisted by Ella Bird drug us along to school. We bawled and didn’t want to go. Lila Johnsen, a beautiful girl in her teens was the teacher. Miss Johnsen boarded with Emerine Bird. She taught us in the west room of old rock building. The next teacher was Mercy Baker, taught us the second, third grade. Miss Baker stood at door at the close of school and kissed each child as they passed out. I dodged her one night and she came to mother about it. Mercy who taught us a song for close of school “Teacher dear, good night, good night etc.” Mercy allowed me to draw a picture of George Washington on the black board. It was a very close likeness. She told the children not to mar it. It stayed on the black board all winter.
The next teacher was Stella Egbert. The rock schoolhouse became so crowded Miss Egbert taught the fourth and fifth grades in the city hall or jail. I enjoyed those terms thoroughly. We had a program every Friday afternoon. I can remember Wanney George singing “Jesse James.” Miss Egbert gave a prize to the ones that never whispered. I won the prize. We were allowed to write notes and write on our slates. She had a favorite pupil, Jim Buist. We called him teachers pet. We studied from Sheldons Language book and from New Franklin Fourth Reader.
The next teacher was Peter Larsen. He taught in the west room of the old rock building. He taught the fifth and sixth grades. Every morning Pete opened the school by prayer as was required by all teachers. After which he taught us songs such as “Tenting To Night,” and “Our Country’s Call” and “America.” Pete allowed us to draw and exact picture of “Old Betsy” the Russell ten horsepower engine that had come to Mendon. We had a spelling match or program every Friday afternoon. I recited after putting on Pete’s coat and hat in the hallway. Pete played ball with us at recess and other games at night.
We three Lonn, Elmer Hancock and I would go to Pete’s home at night and he would help us get our lessons. After which Winter Pearmain apples would be passed. At recess I went to see Sister Rowe to hear her tell about the prophet Joseph and another reason for my visit, she gave me a big Pearmain apple.
My brother Lonn and I used to cut through lots to get to school. Lallises’, Forsters’ and August Hardy’s. By the way, August Hardy was the janitor at school. The trustees were Alex Richards, Robert Sweeten and Jens Jensen. One day they came in to set up a stove as the old one had burned out. They set up during school. The years at Pete’s school was in the latter 1890’s as the new brick part was completed in 1899. I enjoyed my schooling at Pete’s school all through.
Regretted the graduation from the sixth grade and to enter Jesse T. Reece’s to start on seventh grade. Although Jess was a good teacher and allowed me the privilege to draw a threshing machine on the board. The teacher told the students to leave it on board. Just as I got it completed a girl took the erasure and took a swatch through it. I’ve hated that girl ever since.
I always had an intense interest for threshing machinery. At recess I crawled in Alex Richards and Bassett’s barn where Old Betsy and the thresher were housed for the winter. Just got back before the recess bell rang. Enjoyed my schooling at Mr. Reese’s. He was a good teacher He too had spelling matches and program on Friday afternoon. I spelled the school down once. I liked spelling, arithmetic, geography and reading. I was very poor in language. Got through the seventh grade and into eighth, never did graduate from eighth grade. We were kept out of school to work on the farm, both fall and spring. So we only got the winter course.
During our district school days A. G. White was the principal for a while. He gave some of the boys a course in carpentry. We carried boards to work with but found out the teacher was taking the lumber down to his home he was building.
1906 and 1907 I took the winter course at A. C. Collage. Majored in machinist, art work and military drill. Went back and forth on the railroad. and walked from Logan railroad depot to A. C. College. My brother Lonn, Elmer Hancock and I finally rented batching quarters up near the college and some of us got La Grippe (blue) and the quarters were broken up. I quite enjoyed my college work. Professor Pulley was the teacher in machinist. Miss Holmgreen was the teacher in art. Captain Piffy in military drill. Prof. Robinson was our teacher in geography. I acquired some of the fundamentals of the course and have put them into practice since. I took missionary course at B. Y. Collage in 1909 under Prof. Linsford in the winter of 1909. It came in very useful during my mission following that. While in the army of World War I, in emergency I was required to teach a class in geometry. It was good practice. During the depression of the 40’s after War II I was requested to teach a class in farm machinery at our home here. I was asked by President Clarke to be a special consultant of the Museum of farm machinery. The position, which I held as a staff member for four years. During that time I was given a plane trip to Montpelier, Ohio and continued on to by motorcar to Henry Ford’s museum at Dearborn Michigan The purpose of the trip was to acquire information for the Museum at the U.S.U. I enjoyed the four thousand mile trip on plane. Met many dignitaries and highly educated people both on the trip and at the U.S.U. Had a class of boys to teach in the museum both American and foreign students. The four years was quite enjoyable and educational. So this constitutes my schooling, which is very limited.
Mendon School, brick part built 1899.