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Anderson School - Hamilton County, Illinois

This school was located in McLeansboro Township near the intersection of County Roads 1200N and 1700E. It was an active school from 1825 to 1959. It served grades __ to __.

The following information about the Anderson school was extracted from the 14 May 1959 edition of the McLeansboro Times Leader article titled "County's Last One-Room School to Close This Year"

The following information about the Anderson school was extracted from the 22 January 1981 edition of the McLeansboro Times-Leader article titled "OBSERVATIONS ON THE EARLY HISTORY OF ANDERSON SCHOOL" - Excerpts from a speech given by Harry Ward at the closing of Anderson School 1959

The one-room schoolhouse will soon become history in Hamilton County. Anderson School, last remaining one-room school in the county, will close permanently at the end of the current term.

As a fitting final tribute to this century-plus school and in honor of its veteran schoolmaster, Leonard Sanders, an open house, community supper and program are planned at the school this Friday evening.

The basket supper hour has been set for 6:30.
The program, arranged for 8 p.m., will be as follows:

  • Welcome by Mr. Sanders
  • Singing of "America" by entire group
  • Remarks by County Supt. Willis Gholson
  • History of School by Harry Ward
  • Introduction of Directors and PTA officers
  • Introduction of Sanders Family
  • Songs by Amadee House

Has Taught 47 Years.

Mr. Sanders, with 47 years of accredited teaching, is recognized as the dean of teachers in Hamilton county. For the past eight years, he has been schoolmaster at Anderson, and the community there has grown to admire his ability and cherish his friendship.

Because of this deep affection, the community set about to honor him prior to the school's closing. Recognition will also be accorded former pupils of the school.

Mr. Ward who will give a history of the school, is believed the oldest living graduate of the school.

Sanders began teaching when he was 18. His first school was at Accommodation, located two miles west of Corinth church. He taught there on two occasions for periods of two years. He also taught five years at his home school of Barren, two years at New Harmony and three years at Ridge. For 25 years, he was principal of the two-room school at Macedonia.

This year, Mr. Sanders has only 19 pupils in the eight grades taught at Anderson. He has taught as many as 65 and 70 in schools of goneby years.

Sanders is proud of his record as a teacher and especially of his attendance. In his 47 years of teaching, he has missed only five days due to illness. At 65, Sanders isn't sure he's ready to consider retirement. Although Anderson's closing will put him out of a teacher post, he doesn't expect to have too much difficulty finding another.

Anderson school is believed one of the oldest in the state still in operation. Records would indicate that a school was first started in that area in 1825-129 years ago.

Anderson was also one of the first schools in the county to institute the hot lunch program. This program was begun at the school 12 years ago. Cost of the meal has always been ten cents.
Three one-room schools were dissolved in the county in 1957. There were Logansport, which annexed to Beaver Creek; Middle Creek which annexed to Dahlgren and Old Cantrell which annexed to Thompsonville.

The Anderson Common School District No. 41 officially filed a petition with the County Board of School Trustees last August, seeking to annex part of its territory to the McLeansboro Community Consolidated School District 100 and the remainder to Knights Prairie Community Consolidated School District No. 102. Hearing was held and permission granted late in August, but the petition and action came too late to be effective in the present school year.

Board members of School District 41 are Leon Bishop, president; Olen Rowland, secretary, and Lester Drake.

Anderson School was born 1825 and died 1958; age 134 years. It was named for Uncle John Anderson who was the first man by the name of Anderson to settle in this part of the country. He settled on what is now the bank of the city reservoir, soon after the Revolutionary War; not very long after George Washington was elected President of the United States. His home was near where the spillway of the reservoir is now; and it was in his home that the first court was held in Hamilton County.

The three sons of the original John Anderson (Edmond, Thomas, Warner) raised large families; most of whom settled in the district, and when I was a child there were almost as many people in the district by the name of Anderson as all other names combined; hence it was called Anderson District.

In the early days of our community, school was a thing hardly thought of, but a few of the parents were determined that their children should learn to read and write and cipher; and readin', ritin' and 'rithmetic were called the three R's. And now with so much emphasis being placed on athletics, we still have the three R's, which are Rah, Rah, Rah.

These few parents conceived the idea of contracting with a teacher, for each parent who sent children to school, to pay the teacher a certain sum of money for each child sent to school. Naturally the poorer children of the community received no education.

The injustice of such a system of education became apparent and about the year 1825, what is now known as the "Free School System" was established. Under this system, districts about two miles square were formed; and everyone in the district was assessed a tax, according to the amount of property he owned, for the purpose of providing instruction for every child in the district; no matter how poor he might be.

About the year 1825 a log school house was built in Anderson District a quarter mile east of where this house stands. It was a very crude building, heated with a fireplace, and for windows, greased paper was used to shut out the weather and yet admit light.

The seats were made the same height for six-year olds as for twenty-year olds; and were made by splitting logs into halves, and boring holes in each half log; into which were driven green hickory sticks, about two feet long for legs. There were no backs to the seats and they were called PUNCHEON seats, and you can imagine how uncomfortable they were.

For drinking water, the teacher would send a boy to the branch with a bucket and all the pupils would drink out of the same cup. Of course such sanitation caused much sickness and every year, it was a common thing for many to linger for weeks with Typhoid Fever, which in many cases proved fatal. The larger part of the district was a forest, through which a winding road led to the school house. When a deep snow came, the fathers of the children would hitch a yoke of oxen to a log and drag it to the school house to make a path for the children.

As the idea of education and enlightenment gradually possessed the parents of the district, they became dissatisfied with the old out-of-date school house, and they voted to build a modern up-to-date school building, the one we're using today.

This building was erected in the year 1875, and has been in use for 134 years; and I personally remember attending school in this house 77 years ago. But today the school can boast of many conveniences that I didn't get to enjoy when I attended school here; such as electricity, the drinking fountain and the modern kitchen with all its equipment, and two of the best cooks in the country who know how to prepare the best and cheapest dinner that can be found anywhere in the county.

Truly Anderson School can say it has come a long way since 1825, and today we want to give thanks to God for the many good and useful citizens that Anderson School has given to the world, but no district, no matter how fine a school building it may have, nor how well the building may be equipped, can do this of itself without the all-important work of devoted teachers. And to give you an idea of the fine class of teachers Anderson School has been blessed with over the years, I have prepared a list of fifty-two teachers who have taught school here and have helped to shape and mold the lives of hundreds of pupils who have come under their tutorage, for the last six or seven generations. Now if I have omitted any teacher's name, I beg the pardon of that teacher; for I assure you it was not intentional.

The list includes: Royal Alden, John Turrentine, Claborn Anderson, Wilburn Dale, S. H. Ward, Will Leake, Will Proudfit, George Daily, Jim Brown, Robert Morris, Frank Stafford, Mrs. Will Mapes, Will Gott, Walter Anderson, Charles Dale, Arthur Todd, Albert Mitchell, Nora Ward, Lucy Sneed, Grace Leslie Allen, Nannie Mangis McClure, Pearl Harper Mangis, Grace Carr Maulding, Wilburn Cullins, Joe Morris, Howard Hawkins, Cameron York, Felix Malone, Kenneth Swank, Sumner Henderson, Willie Cottingham, Ruth Harper Moore, Arthur Allen, Lena Metcalf, Cecil Austin, Clarence Thompson, Emma Erkman, Willard Kane, Madaline Braden, Nettie Ingram, Dorothy Dale Malone, Effie Black, Lela Ward, Emory Weldin, Mary McLain, Clytus Rhine, Margarete Rhine, Mable Hargrave Gholson, Allene Webb Green, Eugene Cox, Cecil Hayes; and now we come to the present teacher, Mr. Leonard Sanders, who is closing his forty-seventh term of school; and this is his eighth consecutive term here at Anderson.
God has given us a mind, body and a soul; and the power to think and choose is what marks man as superior to the rest of the animal creation. And to cultivate and develop these characteristics is what we mean by education, which is more than simply crowding the mind with facts. Judged by the standard of service; and making real men and women out of boys and girls; of all the teachers who have taught school at Anderson, I feel inclined to place Mr. Sanders at the top of the list.

While no school teacher can entirely make up for a lack of discipline in the home, I think Mr. Sanders can come as nearly doing that as any teacher I ever knew; for I feel that a teacher really teaches more, by what he is than by the precepts he teaches.

It is in the respect of discipline, especially, that I feel Mr. Sanders surpasses any teacher I ever knew, by getting the respect and good will of his pupils, to such an extent that it becomes their chief joy to please their teacher in every way they can.

During his eight years of teaching at Anderson, Mr. Sanders has clearly demonstrated the fact that constant is more forceful than the Shil-la-la. When we consider the quality of school we have been having for the last eight years, it only serves to deepen our sorrow and regret at the thought of marking forever not only the end of Anderson School, but of all the one room schools in Hamilton County.

And now as we hear the last gong of the bell as it tolls the death knell of dear old Anderson School, it is with sad hearts and tear dimmed eyes that we say "Good bye, dear old Anderson School, Farewell."

Below is a list of the available documents / photos for the school. Click on each link to load that page. Close the page that opens to return to this page.  The links are arranged oldest to newest, left to right and top to bottom within each category with all unknown year items placed at the end.

Class Pictures
1890 (About) 1955-6 (1) 1955-6 (2) 1957-8 1958-9  

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