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Buckskin School - Hamilton County, Illinois
|This school was located in Beaver Creek Township near the intersection of County Roads 1800N and 1700E.||It was an active school from 18xx to 19yy. It served grades __ to __.|
The following information was taken from an article titled "Buckskin and Doeskin Schools" by Ernest Vanzant that was published in the McLeansboro Times-Leader in the 14 July 1988 edition.
|The following information ...|
Times have changed. Education has evolved from the one room school
of yesterday to the modern classrooms of today. However, scattered
along the roadways and about the countryside of Hamilton County, the
silent shells o some of the one room schools still stand. While they
appear frail and forlorn, they are not forgotten in the minds of many
area residents who attended them.
Sitting around the stove in Rankin's store one Saturday morning recently
were some former students who had attended Buckskin and Doeskin school
in Bungay. They recalled teachers, classmates and school days gone
Homer "Speedy" McGehee, a student at Buckskin, remembered
a day when several boys climbed into the school's bell tower to smoke.
Homer said that he was halfway up the tower when he saw what they
were doing so he climbed back down. He put some wax (chewing gum)
into his mouth and prepared to go on about his business. About that
time his teacher, Ernest "Dee" York smelled the cigarette
smoke from the bell tower. He accused Homer of putting the wax in
his mouth simply to cover up the smoke smell on his breath. Homer
could never convince him differently.
Homer also remembered Anna (Stallings) Englebright, a former classmate.
Over the telephone Anna, now 81, remembered vividly a big storm that
came one school day. This she says was before the school had any storm
cellar. The black clouds rolled in quickly and the teacher hurried
the children into the cloakroom. In an effort to allow the wind to
pass through the building the teacher finally had to kick out a window
in the cloakroom. Before he could get to the rest of the windows,
the high winds and hail blew them all out. No one was injured, but
it certainly made an impression on all of them. After the tornado
of 1925, storm cellars were added to most all of the schools.
Anna attended school at Buckskin from 1915 through 1921. A student
could attend all eight grades there. She remembered that the present
Buckskin school was built about 1912 because the first Buckskin school
was on the same site, but was a rectangular building, unlike the square
one that stands today. She remembered with fondness that when the
weather permitted, a long bench was placed out in the school yard
for the children to sit on. Not everyone had enough to own their cup
she said, but there were four or five tin cups all the children could
share to get a cool drink from the well.
She also recalled the ciphering matches and spelling bees that took
place at school on Fridays. Students at Buckskin and Doeskin would
take turns visiting in each others' schools for these contests, and
this was considered a day of fun. She also talked about the "querie
box" where each student put a questions to be used later during
another kind of learning contest. The students divided into sides
and then each drew a question from the querie box. The side which
could answer the most questions correctly was the winner, just as
the winner of the ciphering matches and spelling bees were the individual
students who could out-cipher or out-spell all other students. Anna
remembered several classmates and teachers: among them classmates
Audrey Garrison, Lou Rockett, and Ester Jamerson and teachers John
Rush, Charlie Bosover, and Robert Culley.
Both schools are located in an area one-and-a-half miles east of
Rankin's store and north and south of the first crossroads. Charles
Becker and Truman Rankin believed the schools were named Buckskin
and Doeskin because there were and still are deer which frequently
cross at these spots. Around each school is a heavily wooded area
and from the thicket, one can imagine that this is probably correct.
Charles Becker's father, Tony, a former student at Doeskin, remembered
that most of the students would bring their lunch to school in a pail
and place it in the cloakroom on a shelf until the lunch hour. Often
times it would freeze before lunch. The school was heated by a coal
stove, and he said that if the wind was just right, the stove would
smoke up the school so badly that school had to be dismissed for the
day. He recalled the pie suppers held at Doeskin to raise money and
about the oyster dinner held on the last day of school which everyone
attended. He remembered that school let out in March so that the students
could help with the necessary farm chores of the season. As for discipline,
the teacher would simply go outside the school by what the children
termed the "Doeskin lateral" which was a creek or a ditch,
and cut a willow. Problems were soon solved.
Thinking about some of the games the students played at recess times,
Tony could recall dare base. One of the students would stand on the
base, and the others would dare him to get off. Finally he would take
off running and try not to get caught by anyone before landing on
another safe base. They also played Blackman, a game in which one
student would run around the school yard until he was patted on the
back three times. That made him "it," and he would then
get to pick someone else to take his place.
Tony said that he attended both the first Doeskin school and also
the second Doeskin school which now stands on the same site as the
first school. The first Doeskin school was moved in the early 1900's
so that a new school building could be erected. The first Doeskin
school no longer exists. It was used as a farm for some time after
it was moved and was then the victim of a woods fire. Buckskin school
also had been destroyed by fire.
Like Anna, Tony could also recall several former fellow classmates
and teachers. Those classmates he remembered were John McDowell, Ruth
Stallings and Delbert Rankins. Teachers whom he recalled were Charlie
Jamerson, Jerry Allen, Harry Shears, and Fred York. Best of all, even
Tony's mother, Henrietta Becker, was a student at Doeskin school,
which tells me that this school has been in existence well over 100
Stand still old school, but stand proud
although your bell no
longer rings loud
the cloakrooms empty and the room so bare
all of your students are everywhere!
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As mentioned above, if you can add to or correct any information presented or if you have any document / photo that you wish to contribute to this project, please contact us at HCHSGenealogy@gmail.com.