There often would be a contest between two or more boys who were bidding on the same girl's box, each hoping to be the one to share the treats with his girl. Sometimes, just for fun, the bid would be run up on a young husband who was faithfully bidding on the box his wife had prepared. It was a fun occasion, and the proceeds helped to offset some of the school expenses.
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Another annual event was the Christmas party. Often, the schoolboys chose and cut down an evergreen tree, which they set up inside the schoolhouse, and which was decorated by the students, using handmade ornaments.
A mistletoe was often hung where it would cause the most excitement. Bittersweet, colored popcorn and cranberries, and colorful paper chains were used to decorate the room, and the whole school took on a festive air. The Christmas party was usually celebrated with a simple gift exchange for the children, a visit From Santa Claus, holiday singing, and refreshments which were served afterwards.
Yet another annual event was the last-day picnic. It was a delightful occasion for the children and their parents to eat the noon meal picnic-fashion, if the weather permitted. The children played games and said their farewells to their chums until the next school term.
During the school year, it was not uncommon for one school to challenge another school to a spelling bee or a ciphering match. These matches and games were eagerly attended by the children who loudly supported their respective schools. A teacher for a one-room school taught all eight grades, and was the sole disciplinarian, which, at times, was a difficult task when some of the students remained in school until twenty years of age or older.
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The teacher also was in charge of all clean- up and custodial duties at the school. Most one-room schools closed for basically the same reasons -- consolidation with larger schools and the decline in the number of students.
Many schools closed down with an enrollment of only five or less children. In , the families in and around Springhill built a new building which still stands today in the village. A "living well" was dug at the back of the schoolyard, and it provided water not only for the school but also for many of the residents in the town.
Prager, son of Henry and Nora Prager. According to one student who attended the Springhill School in , there was no playground equipment at that time, and the children played games like Andy-over, Blackman, Darebase, baseball, and Fox and Geese.
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The school was heated by a wood stove. There were three rows of desks, and each desk seated two students. A bench was built against the back of the room where visitors could sit. There were windows on both the northwest and the southeast sides of the building, and a hall stretched across the entire northeast side, which had shelves on which the lunch boxes were kept, and a place to hang coats. The drinking water was also kept in the hall. At a later date, the northwest windows were closed in, making a solid wall on that side, except for one high window.
Later, too, a portion of the front hall was enclosed on the northwest to form a small room with shelves which was used as a library. Springhill School closed at the end of the school term with fifteen pupils enrolled. The final teacher was Mrs. Oakland Douglas, wife of Ernest Douglas from Sampsel township.
The schoolhouse was sold and stood empty for a short period of time, when a Springhill resident, Ernie Sneeden, purchased the building for use as a community center. After his death, his wife, Linnie, deeded the building and land to the Springhill Community, naming trustees who are responsible for its upkeep and care. Today, the building is used by organizations and families as a meeting place. In , a new building was built to replace the old one at the same location. Enrollments for the school were sometimes as high as 65 to 70 students, and the students had to crowd together the room seated only about 50 students comfortably.
The schoolroom was heated by a wood stove at first, and later coal was used as the fuel in the cold months. The school closed at the end of the school term with Vivian Eads as the final teacher. The building was then sold and renovated. It still stands today as a comfortable residence, being completely re-modeled, both inside and out.
The schoolroom was heated by a wood stove, using logs about three feet in length. A large blackboard was across the front wall and a long bench was across the back wall. The desks were the double-type which seated two students. The south wall had a small addition on it, which was just large enough to hang coats in and store the lunch containers.
There was never any playground equipment.
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The school closed in , with the last teacher being Mrs. The old school building still stands, but is not presently being used. This building burned in and a new building was built which still stands and is used for storage. In , John A. The school closed at the end of the school year. Howard Bertha Timbrook, who had taught the last four school terms at Potter. See the map of Springhill area.
The building was torn down in the fall of During the school year, the pupils numbered only three, and were as follows: Anna Rachaw, Marjorie Dowell, and Russell Jack Volk. The teacher at that time was Faye Mast, daughter or Scott W. She recalls hiring a boy at 10 cents a day to build a fire in the stove on cold mornings. When the Pinkley School district and the Black School district merged, the schoolhouse was relocated to where the school building now stands, about 2 miles northwest of Springhill.
It retained the Pinkley name. That school building burned in the spring of , and classes were held in a tenant house close by where the school year was completed. During the summer of , the new building was erected. It still stands today and is used for storage. Ola Young, a former schoolteacher, recalls that one regulation during her teaching at Pinkley required at least one hot dish served at the noon meal. A small oven was in-stalled in the stove pipe of the wood stove, and parents of the students donated potatoes which the teacher and students prepared for potato soup.
It was served steaming hot for an enjoyable luncheon. The school closed at the end of the term due to consolidation with Chillicothe schools. The Co-op built its new and larger building, made of brick, in , and it still stands today. Ruda Grouse was the last manager, and Stirl Lamp the last clerk, after which the Cooperative dissolved about , and the store was sold to Francis Boyles.
The Farmers' Store served as a community center and gathering spot for many of the area families. Another store was owned and operated by Alva Mast, and later sold to Mr. Hutchinson, and managed by Joe Chambers, shared in supplying the area with goods until it closed in the early 's. Also, during the early l's Horace and Charley Ramsey ran a general store in the lower floor of the Lodge building and it closed down just before the Co-op opened their store. The Farmers' Store was always the gathering place for the locals who wanted to relax and visit, discuss politics and other current issues, or play horseshoes or cards or checkers.
Men, women, and children alike would find a welcome spot near the pot-bellied stove. Wooden benches were placed near the stove for those who wished to pass their time visiting or playing checkers. The benches were often used to whittle on and had to be replaced when they became badly carved. The old brass spittoon sat near by. The store always remained open until midnight or later, ready to serve the farmers whenever they were able to get there. There were counters on both sides of the store with canned goods on one side and dry goods and hardware on the other.
Outside, on the northwest side of the store, a wooden runway was built and fitted close to the building. It was covered with chicken wire, and went all the way to the back of the store to the chicken coop. The chickens, purchased from the farmers, were kept there until they were crated and taken to Chillicothe to be re-sold. The store bought chickens, eggs, geese, and ducks from area farmers. An amusing anecdote was remembered by a former resident, who told that on one occasion two young men brought in a couple of chickens to sell.
They told the clerk that their mother had sent them to get a loaf of bread and some sugar. Later, when the clerk told "Mother" of the transaction, she revealed that she knew nothing of it, nor did she know whose chickens had been sold! Inside, at the back of the store, was a screened-in room complete with a screen door. Inside this room was located the cream-testing machine which tested the amount of butterfat in cream which was sold by the farmers.
The store utilized an egg-candler machine which operated by a flashlight battery. By placing an egg inside the machine, the manager was able to tell whether or not the eggs were good.