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John Stearns Minard.

Recollections of the log school house period, and sketches of life and customs in pioneer days online

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Photo by R. F. Chamberlain.



••Lest we forget; lest we forget."



RECOLLECTIONS



— : OF THE — :

Log School House Period,

AND SKETCHEvS OF

LIFE AND CUSTOMS

PIONEER DAYS.

Bv Jno. S. Mixakd.
Illustrated by

R. J. TUCKEK.



Free Press Print,

Cuba, N. Y.

1905.






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Copyright, i905.
By Jno. S. Minard.
All rights reserved.



■YE OLD LOG SCHOOL HOUSE TYMES"



Affectionately Dedicated

to the memory of the

LOG SCHOOL HOUSE.

The Dear Old

ALMA MATER

of

PIONEER DAYS,

and its Alumni, who

FELLED OUR FORESTS,

CLEARED OUR FIELDS,

OPENED OUR ROADS-

and

Filled With Credit, Every Public Position, From'

PATHMASTER TO PRESIDENT.



YE OLD

LOG SCHOOL HOUSE

TYMES.

"O memory! thou midway world

'Twixt earth and paradise,
Where things decayed and loved, once lost,

In dreamy shadows rise,

And, freed from all that's earthly vile,
Seem hallowed, pure and bright;

Like scenes in some enchanted isle
All bathed in liquid light ! "

— A. Lincoln.



PREFACE.

So far as the author's observation extends, our bibliography
presents no one book wherein the subjects which furnish the
headings for the several chapters in this little volume, are

treated.

Painfully aware of this fact, and of the hesitancy on the part
of writers of known ability to attempt the work, he has devoted
much of the time for the past year to the preparation of the
matter, and in arranging for the proper illustrations of this
book, in the hope that it may atone in some degree for this

neglect.

He makes no claim to literary excellence, but m his own
plain way has treated the various subjects in language which,
he trusts may at least be understood, and flatters himself that
in so doing, he has rescued from an early oblivion some of the
customs, practices, implements and utensils, prevalent m pion-
eer days, and, incidentally forestalled the work of the archaeol-
ogist in exploring old attics, and explaining to future genera-
tions the uses and purposes to which the strange things therein
found were devoted.

More than any one else possibly can, he regrets that he has
been unable to bring to the work more ability, and a better
style in composition: he hopes, however, that such lack will be
considered by a charitable public, as fully compensated by the
aptitude and ability displayed by Mr. R. J. Tucker, in the illus-
trations.

It is rare indeed to find one in whom such artistic ability ana
great fondness for the things which were peculiar to the olden
times, are so happily united.



PREFACE.

The author desires to express his grateful acknowledgments
to the many kind friends, who by suggestion and otherwise,
have been so great a help in the prosecution of the work.

To others, and from differing points of view, some things
described and matters treated of in "Ye Old Log School House
Tynies", may be subject to criticism: but it was the author's
fortune, for the first five or six terms, to attend school ir a log
.school house, which is faithfully pictured on the covei- It
stood on the bank of Rush Creek; in district No. 8, Hume, Al-
legany County, N. Y., and within the limits of the Caneadea
Indian Reservation.

That was his view point. In other localities some things
might have been, and doubtless were, quite different.

Cuba, N. Y., Mar. 1905. JNO. S. :\IINARD.



INTRODUCTORY.

To the lasting credit of our pioneers, must be recorded the
fact, that the first things to which their attention was turned
and their energies directed after rearing their rude cabins and
planting among the blackened stumps and logs their first crops,
were schools and churches.

And so, of necessity and quite naturally, the log school house
became an institution distinctly associated with, and peculiar
to, the pioneer period. It was indeed the Alma Mater, from
which graduated so many boys and girls, who went forth into
the world with what most people of to-day would consider the
merest apology for an education, but who, nevertheless,
worthily filled the positions, to which they were called, and
honorably discharged the duties and responsibilities which de-
volved upon them in the great battle of life.

As a matter of sentiment therefore, with many of our older
people, the old log school house is the center around which
cluster many hallowed associations, the thought of which
awakens many delightful recollections, and some of the dearest
of pleasant memories.

And so, with no attempt at apology, this chapter, prefatory
to the treatment of the log school house subjects, will be closed
by quoting the following verses, used by the late Judge A. J.
Abbott in his address at the Geneseo Centennial in 1890. He

entitled them

AN OLD MAN'S DREAMINGS.

Iv'e been dreaming of the school house,

Built of logs upon the hill.
Where the girls and boys together

Drank from learning's fountain rill.



Tho' that temple raised to science.
Long hath moldered in decay.

In my dreams it hath been ringing
With our merry noon-time play,
Dreaming, dreaming.



I've been dreaming — there we gathered

Choicest branches from the grove.
To betrim the rough old school-walls:

Then the boughs we interwove
Into graceful forms and mottoes

For an inspiration high:
"Onward" "Upward" "Home and Heaven'

"Truth and Virtue" "Do or Die".



I've been dreaming — then the children

Having mastered A, B, C,
Battled upward till they conquered

Daboll and his "Rule of Three"
"Webster's Speller" "Murray's Reader"

"Olney's Geog." and "Kirkham's Gram.
And the while Hale's glorious story

Of our dear old "Uncle Sam".



I've been dreaming of the triumph

When the school day tasks v/ere done,
Of the happy youth or maiden

Who the merit badge had won:
Of the fixed determination

Of each girl or boy who lost,
To be victor on the morrow

Whate'er of study it might cost.



I've been dreaming — there we rallied

From the country far and wide.
In the cold, bright winter evenings,

Full of zeal and youthful pride.
To determine who the longest,

On their feet could bravely stand.
Spelling words of all the hardest

That the teacher could command.

I've been dreaming — in those battles

For the mastery in spelling,
The excitements, struggles, triumphs.

Were of language past the telling:
But a bright and lovely maiden,

(I'm constrained to tell the story)
Over all the boy contestants.

Won the meed of highest glory.



I've been dreaming of the hill tops

Where those merry girls and boys.
Gathered frequent in the winter.

Full of fun and clamorous noise,
On our sleds in line of lightning,

Down the hill we flashing go.
Laughing, shrieking, as some trickster

Tips the crowd into the snow.
Dreaming, dreaming.




-^ School Hovse



•\^



The school houses of the earlier
^" pioneer days presented as much variety

,/.


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Online LibraryJohn Stearns MinardRecollections of the log school house period, and sketches of life and customs in pioneer days → online text (page 1 of 9)