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The Teens

High School . . . Seems Like 100 Years Ago

High school coursework had begun at Pauline by the 1913-14 academic year.  Attendance registers prior to that time list students as old as 18 and 19; whether or not the cousework was at a high school level cannot be ascertained. Twenty students ranging in age from 13 to 18 were enrolled in the eighth and ninth grades for the 1913-14 school year. Through the lens of a 21st-century perspective, we can view – with admiration and even a bit of awe – the dedication of a 17- or 18-year-old youth in pursuit of higher learning alongside much younger District 8 Pauline School, as it appeared during the 'teens of the last century. The photo is from the Sarah Goding Post collection. As a primary student Sarah Goding attended classes at Pauline's wood frame schoolhouse from 1916-1920. During the 1920s she attended high school in the brick building that later replaced the one shown above. As an adult she twice returned to teach at the school. The photo is provided courtesy of her daughter, Kathy Post Seeman.District 8 Pauline School, as it appeared during the 'teens of the last century. The photo is from the Sarah Goding Post collection. As a primary student Sarah Goding attended classes at Pauline's wood frame schoolhouse from 1916-1920. During the 1920s she attended high school in the brick building that later replaced the one shown above. As an adult she twice returned to teach at the school. The photo is provided courtesy of her daughter, Kathy Post Seeman.scholars; particularly in a time and place when it likely would have been just as convenient and acceptable to leave school for a vocation. Indeed, teacher Mary Ruth Tibbets writes in May of 1914, “Both classes take great interest in their studies and are willing and faithful workers.”  While the upper-grade enrollment was 20, average daily attendance was 16 students. Records show several instances where students were absent for weeks or even a month at a time; one can speculate that this could have been due to inclement weather, illness or the necessity of working in the home or on the farm.

School was held for nine months that year. A state-standardized course of study was followed: Eighth-graders took arithmetic, reading, grammar, history, spelling and geography/physiology; ninth-graders took algebra, Latin, agriculture/civics and bookkeeping/English. Both classes studied writing, and both enjoyed 15-minute recesses morning and afternoon, as well as an hour-long lunch. Miss Tibbets noted in the year-end summary that the condition of repair of the wood frame building was poor; it included 7 1/3 yards of blackboard and 90 volumes in the school library. Of these, however, Tibbets noted that there were “not many books of value”.

Nonetheless, the fledgling high schoolers pressed onward in their studies, with a rather impressive course load proffered the following year:

Program of Recitation and Study, 1914-15

First Semester

9:00-9:45 Geometry
9:45-10:30 Algebra
10:40-11:20 American Literature, Composition, Rhetoric
11:20-12:00 English Literature, Reading Course, Physical and Economic Geography
Noon
1:00-1:45 Greek History
1:45-2:20 Latin Grammar
2:20-3:00 Caesar and Prose Composition
3:00-3:40 Agriculture
3:40-4:00 Reading of Shakespearean Plays

Second Semester

9:00-9:45 Geometry
9:45-10:30 Algebra
10:40-11:20 American Literature, Composition Rhetoric
11:20-12:00 English Literature: Reading Course, Regional geography
Noon
1:00-1:45 Roman History
1:45-2:20 Latin Grammar
2:20-3:00 Caesar and Prose Composition, Lives of Nepos
3:00-3:40 Civics, Bookkeeping
3:40-4:00 Reading Shakespearean Plays and other standard works.

In her year-end remarks, teacher Eda Muriel Schneider writes, “We have finished all the work required according to the Nebraska High School Manual.”

Fruits of the academic labors were realized in the spring of 1915 when Pauline High School graduated two 10th-graders: Pauline-area brothers Elmer, Harvey and Erle Jones are shown with their violins in this undated photo. Elmer was a featured violinist at Pauline's first high school commencement, held in May of 1915. Harvey was the future husband of graduate Rosanna Lofquist. Photo is from the Sarah Goding Post collection, courtesy of Kathy Post Seeman.Pauline-area brothers Elmer, Harvey and Erle Jones are shown with their violins in this undated photo. Elmer was a featured violinist at Pauline's first high school commencement, held in May of 1915. Harvey was the future husband of graduate Rosanna Lofquist. Photo is from the Sarah Goding Post collection, courtesy of Kathy Post Seeman.Golda Bauder and Rosanna Lofquist. Possibly the district’s first high school commencement, this momentous occasion was fraught with speeches and musical selections presented by both students and local residents. Among the musicians on the docket that day were the wife of school board member Carl McCleery and Elmer Jones, the future brother-in-law of graduate Rosanna Lofquist. Following is an item from a local newspaper of the time (Names of musical composers are in parenthesis to distinguish from Pauline names.).

Commencement Program*

The Pauline school will close with a program of exercises as follows:

Duet: - “A New Virginia Dance,” (Atherton); Misses Rosanna Lofquist and Golda Bauder.
Invocation – Rev. R.B.E. Hill.
Chorus – “Flow, Flow,” (J. Frise).
Awarded Eight Grade County Diplomas – Miss Carie Sullivan, county superintendent.
Violin Solo – Selected, Elmer Jones.
Salutatory – “Later,” Rosanna Lofquist.
Solos – “In Maytime,” (Olney Speaks); “Mammy’s Song,” – (James Gillette); Mrs. O.S. Gray.
Piano Solo – “Valse Joyous”, (Paul Wachs); Mrs. Carl McCleery.
Reading – Selection from “Black Rock” (Connor); - Miss Ethel Hughes.
Quartet – “Come, Where the Lilies Bloom,” (Thompson); Mrs. Gray, Mrs. McCleery, Mr. Hill, Mr. Thomas.
Valedictory – Golda Bauder.
Awarding diplomas. Chorus – “Commencement Song.”

*–Adams County Democrat, Hastings, Nebraska, Friday Morning, May 28, 1915.

The event followed on the heels of disappointment for a neighboring school community, as the Hastings Tribune reported that same day, “The Holstein picnic and eighth grade commencement exercises, planned for this afternoon at that place were called off today on account of the inclement weather. Representative Tibbets was to have delivered the commencement address and County Superintendent Sullivan was scheduled to award the diplomas. The latter will go to Pauline tonight to present the diplomas at the exercises at that place.”  –The Hastings Tribune, May 28, 1915.

Optimistic Outlook

While graduation day may have brought rain, the outlook was sunny for Pauline School. Evidence of local aspirations was borne out in theTwo unidentified women, presumably teachers, reflect the optimism that was evident for Pauline School in the early part of the last century. Photo is from the Sarah Goding Post collection, courtesy of Kathy Post Seeman.Two unidentified women, presumably teachers, reflect the optimism that was evident for Pauline School in the early part of the last century. Photo is from the Sarah Goding Post collection, courtesy of Kathy Post Seeman. purchase of new books and attention to the school’s physical facility. Although the condition of the wood frame building was listed as “very poor,” 50 trees were planted on the grounds that spring. In contrast to the previous yearend report, teacher Eda Schneider writes that the school library contained 127 volumes in “very good” condition, valued at $50.00. During the 1916-17 school year, there appear in the treasurer’s record a profusion of expenditures to book companies, many of them still in business today: University Publishing Co., American Book Co., Silver Burdett Co., D. C. Heath and Co.

A 1917 newspaper article provides a glimpse into local optimism over the school’s prospects:

 “A school consolidation movement is under way in school districts adjacent to Pauline. . . . The districts interested are districts 4, 7, 8, 20, and 26. District 8 is the Pauline village school, and the plan (is) to consolidate the other districts with the Pauline district and establish a school with twelve grades. The Pauline school at present has nine grades, employing three teachers. The discussion in the districts effected is lively. There are enthusiastic objectors as well as enthusiastic promoters of the idea.”  Adams County Democrat, Hastings, Nebraska, Friday Morning, June 1, 1917.

Even though it would surface again some 50 years later, the consolidation movement never gained ground. As the century progressed the rural schools of Little Blue Township one-by-one fell victim to dwindling populations and declining interest, with Pauline being the last to close its doors in 1983. Although early consolidation efforts fell short, youth from surrounding districts nonetheless found their way to Pauline High School in the ensuing decades to study an array of subject matter. At least two high schoolers – classmates Sarah Goding Post and Edna Osgood Reiber – eventually would return to District 8 as teachers.

Records show that secondary-level scholars would have encountered a degree of state-standardized course work, with much seemingly tailored to the situation at hand and the judgment of individual educators. During the 1916-17 school year, current events and agriculture were added to the course offerings. In the spring semester, German was begun and given twice each day in order to complete a year’s worth of work. The following year however, teacher remarks note that, “A foreign language was omitted this year, and the ninth grade took Ancient History with the tenth grade for their other subject.” Among the classics studied in English were “Merchant of Venice, “Joan of Arc,” and “Les Miserables.”

Class times were adjusted in the spring of 1918 to meet the state requirement for 40-minute high school periods, wrote teacher Mary Lovell.Scholars of all ages file into the wood frame Pauline schoolhouse approximately 100 years ago. Photo is from the Sarah Goding Post collection, courtesy of Kathy Post Seeman.Scholars of all ages file into the wood frame Pauline schoolhouse approximately 100 years ago. Photo is from the Sarah Goding Post collection, courtesy of Kathy Post Seeman. Also noted was that “ninth and tenth grades were combined the last semester in English in order that all the High School classes could have forty minutes.”

A perusal of school records from the early 20th century reveals that a school population’s age and grade divisions bore resemblances to, but also were different from, current-day practices. As previously noted, when Pauline began offering ninth-grade coursework in 1913, students in the eighth- and ninth-grade combined classes ranged from 13 to 18 years of age. In the 1916-1917 school year, graduates Bennie Leighfield and Alfred Lofquist were three years apart in age; as were graduates Anna Burroughs and Lorain Quig in 1918-19. A diversity of course offerings and ages likely was less problematic in the upper grades, since so few youth of the day attended high school. However, in the lower grades, where the school population was much larger, tracking the academic progress of dozens of little scholars amid high absenteeism was no less than a juggling act, at best. 

Pauline School's primary room, grades 1-4, is shown in this 1913 photo. Photo is courtesy of Gary and Betty Reiber.Pauline School's primary room, grades 1-4, is shown in this 1913 photo. Photo is courtesy of Gary and Betty Reiber.

Primary School In The Teens

In the early part of the last century, young scholars were grouped according to individual progress in each subject area, rather than by age or grade. This practice was highlighted in the Daily Attendance and Classification Register used by Pauline School in the early 1900s (1912 edition published by Hammond & Stephens Co. of Fremont, NE). In its “general instructions to the teacher” the register states that the concept of dividing rural school populations into specific classes (i.e. - first grade, second grade, third grade, etc.), as was done in city schools “has acquired a meaning which is misleading and foreign to the nomenclature of country school work, hence we are dropping it from all our records and reports for district schools.”

The register states, “It is erroneous to call the pupils who happen to recite in the third reader a grade, unless all of their other work is of that year of the course. The third reader itself might happen to be used for either the third or fourth year in reading, while in arithmetic some of the pupils of that reading class might be doing the third year, others the fourth year, and still others the fifth year.  . . .  We seldom have grades in the ordinary district school, yet the work can and should be based on a graded plan.”  The renowned school supply company of Hammond & Stephens instead, through its register, touted a ‘Year of Course’ plan which, it stated, “directs the mind to the work rather than to the pupils doing the work.”

Checks, Balances And Challenges

For the rural school teacher, the system was not without its challenges, particularly when erratic attendance was the order of the day. In addition to scholars at the first, second, third and fourth grade levels, Pauline School teacher Helen Toedter had charge of fourteenPauline School's primary room students are pictured with teacher Mary Murray in 1916. Sarah Goding is in the front row, sixth from the left. Photo is from the Sarah Goding Post collection, courtesy of Kathy Post Seeman. An enlarged version of this photo appears at the end of this post, with identities of the remaining students given.Pauline School's primary room students are pictured with teacher Mary Murray in 1916. Sarah Goding is in the front row, sixth from the left. Photo is from the Sarah Goding Post collection, courtesy of Kathy Post Seeman. An enlarged version of this photo appears at the end of this post, with identities of the remaining students given. primary/beginner-level children at the start of the 1915-16 school year. However, due to illness, only five of those 14 beginners completed the entire year’s work; Toedter writes to her successor in May of 1916. “. . . if you can, these should be regular first graders, but if division as such is not possible, I strongly advise second B work for them rather than first year work again. I have classified these as Primary A. The others, who have only completed 20 pages of the Additional Primer, are classified as Primary B.”

But Toedter’s juggling act wasn’t quite complete: “. . . about the first of April eight more students, ages four and five, came in as kindergartners. I have not classified these . . .”   Her frustration evident, she writes, “With all these divisions and the upper four grades it was imposable(sic) to do efficient work. No matter how hard or conscientiously one works or how much training and ability one has in their line of work, it requires time and material, both of which, were lacking.”   Similarly, in keeping with the advice given in the school’s grading register to “ . . . classify according to the whole course of study, putting each pupil separately, into that year and month of the course in each subject best suited to his advancement, ” teacher Jean Laird wrote in June of 1919, “No. 12 did 3rd grade work in all but arithmetic. No. 16 did not pass. No. 16 and No. 24 read together. No. 24 did 2nd grade numbers.

“I think nos. 20, 21, 22, 23, 25, 27, 28, 31, 33 and 34 can do all of the 1st grade work next year, but they will have to begin in the last half of the primer. No. 25 was with the beginners in all but reading. She was about half a year ahead of them in that.”

While advantageous to individual academic progress, the system created some interesting scenarios. During the 1913-14 year at Pauline School, students classified in both the third and fourth years of study ranged from 8 to 12 years of age. Those in the second year of study were between the ages of 7 to 12, while students in the first year were from five to seven years of age. “Three from seventh grade completed the eighth grade work,” wrote teacher Mary E. Lovell in 1918. Notably, the practice of allowing a student to complete work above his or her proscribed grade level continued into the late 1960s, when student Karen Post completed first and second grades in a single academic year. 

Likewise, the pacing of coursework for students with special needs was at the discretion of the teacher. In remarks to her successor at the end of the 1919-20 school year, teacher Ione Arnold described one youngster as “rather backward & should take only Reading – Lang. & Spelling in 3rd grade.” Another child was “easily discouraged, so use a little patience.” An eight-year-old enters the fourth grade “conditioned. Very slow but can get work when made to do so.” Eleven students failed during the 1913-14 school year, wrote teacher Ella Decker. 

Elementary Coursework

Surprisingly, kindergarten was not unheard of 100 years ago. In May of 1916 teacher Helen H. Toedter writes, in year-end remarks to her successor, “It is a recognized fact that students having had no kindergarten work should have one year of Shown is a primary grades class schedule for the 1913-14 school year at District 8 Pauline.Shown is a primary grades class schedule for the 1913-14 school year at District 8 Pauline.training before entering as regular first graders.” As early as the 1914-15 school year Toedter’s class schedule shows a Beginner’s class – likely the equivalent of a kindergarten – in addition to first-, second-, third- and fourth-year classes. Subject matter for beginners was much the same as for the older primary students; it included phonics, numbers, a drawing period, reading and language.

The elementary class schedule for the 1913-14 year included opening exercises, reading, copying, spelling, numbers, geography, writing, language and busy work. There were 15-minute recesses in both morning and afternoon, as well as a 60-minute lunch period.

It is noted in the 1915-16 school year that textbooks were not used for any of the spelling classes; for the 1917-18 year, it is indicated that spelling words were taken from the readers and misspelled words in other work. In earlier years of the decade, drawing was a regular part of the day’s work. Nature study, health and mental arithmetic were incorporated later in the decade. Board work was integral to the study of most subject matter, including arithmetic, language and spelling. Between five and 10 square yards of blackboard were available at the Pauline School of yesteryear.

Illness / Absenteeism

Absenteeism seemed a given in the early 1900s. Classes were held for nine months, or 176 days, during the 1913-14 school year, but only eight out of 31 elementary students completed 170 or more days of school; five completed less than 140 days of school; one attended less than 130 days of classes.

Attendance remained sporadic as the decade progressed. During the 1916-17 school year, enrollment for the lower grades was 37, but average daily attendance was 22.

Illness frequently was cited as the culprit. In May, 1918, teacher Mary Murray wrote, “Sickness has kept a large number out so a good review will be necessary in each grade.” Four students “on account of irregularity in attendance are only on trial in the next grade.” One of these, a six-year-old, attended only 112 days out of the 180 that were taught, and was tardy 10 times. “No. 11 not being here even the required days was not promoted,” Murray added. At the end of 1919, total enrollment for the lower grades was listed at 34, with average daily attendance of only 21.68 students. Teacher Jean Laird noted,

“The school work was very interrupted this year because of influenza and other sickness.”

From the record it appears that school was not held during November and most of December. While most school terms ended in mid-May, this one extended to June 18; the record states that school was in session for only 165 days, or 8¼ months that year.

Let’s Visit School

While scholarly attendance may have been poor, community interest in the school was just the opposite. The 1915-16 school year saw an impressive 61 guests at the elementary school, not counting a Dec. 23 visit by intermediate and high school students and teachers. Eleven others visited on the same day, so it can be assumed that some type of special event or program was given. Among the list of visitors to the upper grades in the 1917-18 year were a missionary from Holland, accompanied by the Rev. and Mrs. Smith of Pauline Methodist Church. In the following year, visitors to the upper grades included three members of the clergy, Revs. G.A. Jones, Embree and Smith (twice), none of whom had children in the high school.

"The Pauline school had an Xmas program Friday."  – “Antioch and Vicinity,” Adams County Democrat, Hastings, Nebraska, Friday morning, December 25th, 1914.

The above-mentioned Christmas program of 1914 brought 15 visitors to school. Another 42 individuals are listed on the guest roster throughout the academic year. However, some were repeat guests, such as Helen Smith, who came no less than eight times. The name HelenStudent Helen Smith, 1916.Student Helen Smith, 1916. Smith appears in the register as a five-year-old student the following year; a slightly older child, Irma Geraldine Smith, age seven, is enrolled as a student for the 1914-15 school year.  We might assume that Helen periodically was sent to school with her elder sibling prior to becoming of school age. Indeed, it was not unheard of for the schoolteacher to function as daycare provider. The late Edna Osgood Reiber, who taught Pauline and other district schools in the 1920s and ’30s, recalled occasionally caring for young students after school when their parents couldn’t be at home.

The tradition of visiting school continued into the 1960s and ‘70s, as parents periodically sat in on a morning or afternoon of classes at Pauline School whenever they chose. In addition to welcoming unannounced visits by various members of the community throughout the school day, teachers of the time could expect one to two visits per year each from the county superintendent and the director of the school board.    Accompanying the county superintendent on a visit to Pauline School during the 1919-20 school year was the county nurse. By contrast, the 1966-67 attendance and classification book contained a section designed for detailed health data for each student – hearing, sight, height, weight, nose, throat, teeth and immunizations – however, the page is blank, with teacher Agnes Mullen writing, “Nurse was to give these examines(sic) but she never did show up.”

Pauline School In The News

"Pauline – Master Johnnie Pishna invited a number of his school mates and friends to help him celebrate his eleventh birthday, Saturday evening, but it rained and Johnnie had to make the best of it. David Rankin, Miss Bessie Brandel and the writer were the only ones present to enjoy the evening."  – “Antioch and Vicinity,” Adams County Democrat, Hastings, Nebraska, Friday Morning, January 30, 1914.

Upper Grade Enrollment Statistics / Miscellanea

1913-14:

Twenty students were enrolled in Grades 8 and 9, including 11 boys and 9 girls. Students ranged in age from 13 to 18 years of age. School was held for nine months, or a total of 176 days. While enrollment was at 20, average daily attendance was only 16. The register notes that seven boys and four girls had completed the work below high school level. The school’s library of books contained 90 volumes, not many of value, according to teacher Mary Ruth Tibbets.

1914-15:

Fourteen students were enrolled, with grades unspecified. This included 7 boys and 7 girls ranging in age from 13 to 17 years. Average daily attendance was close to 11 students. School was in session for 179 days out of the year. Graduates from the 10th grade were Golda Bauder and Rosanna Lofquist. The school library, valued at $50.00, had grown to 127 volumes. Fifty trees were planted on the grounds that spring.

1915-16:

Only eight pupils were enrolled in the upper grades during the 1915-16 school year, including two ninth-graders and six 10th-Graduates Alfred Lofquist, left, and Bennie Leighfield, right, share a light-hearted moment with teacher Gleah Brown on clean-up day, May 23, 1917. Photo is from the Bennie Leighfield collection, courtesy of Doris Evans Alexander.Graduates Alfred Lofquist, left, and Bennie Leighfield, right, share a light-hearted moment with teacher Gleah Brown on clean-up day, May 23, 1917. Photo is from the Bennie Leighfield collection, courtesy of Doris Evans Alexander.graders. Five males and three females made up the student body, which ranged in age from 13 to 17. One girl was dropped from the roll in December. School was in session for 178 days that year, with average daily attendance near seven. Graduates from the 10th grade were Ethel Hughes, Irene Hulsker, Aaron Jones, Paul Jones and Edward Sime. Miss Hughes was said to have had “exceptional talent along the line of short story work.” A 10-minute study of current events was included in the year’s curriculum. Only 29 of the 50 trees planted the previous spring had survived.

1916-17:

Thirteen students were registered for upper-grade coursework at Pauline during the year, including six males and seven females. They ranged from 13 to 18 years of age. But by February, six of those students had been dropped from the rolls. Average daily attendance was 7.8. School was held for 9 months, a total of 177 days. Graduates from 10th grade were Ben Leighfield and Alfred Lofquist. The register notes that one boy and one girl had completed the work below the high school level; however, it is not discernible from the record who these were. Teacher Gleah D. Brown writes that “The final grades given for the 8th grade are the grades given in the state examinations.”

1917-18:

Six males and five young women were enrolled in the eighth, ninth and 10th grades during the 1917-18 school year, although two of these dropped before the end of the year. Students ranged in age from 13 to 17. School was held for 179 days, with an average daily attendance of 8.1. High schoolers were dismissed at 3:30 p.m. each day, while eighth-graders stayed until 4 p.m., studying 15 minutes each of agriculture and physiology. No graduates were listed; however, alumni from the previous year, Bennie Leighfield and Alfred Lofquist, both returned to school for a visit. The number of trees on the school grounds had dwindled to 13.

1918-19:

Fifteen students were enrolled in the upper grades during the 1918-19 school year, including 7 boys and 8 girls; three of these were dropped from the rolls before the end of the year. Students ranged in age from 12 to 17. School was held for 165 days that year, with an average daily attendance of 10.1. Graduates were Anna Burroughs, Edward Burroughs and Lorain Quig. In addition to geometry and English they completed studies in business, commercial arithmetic and bookkeeping. The 150 volumes in the school library were valued at $65.00. Only five trees remained on the school grounds.

The Attendance and Daily Classification Record contains no record of upper-grade students or classes for the 1919-20 and 1920-21 school years. The record book is enough intact to see that pages have not been torn out or gone missing. It resumes with the year 1921-22. In addition, only two, rather than three, teachers are on the payroll for those two years, indicating the absence of a high school teacher.

Students of Pauline School around 1916 are all smiles. They encompassed a span of ages. Photo is from the collection of Sarah Goding Post, courtesy of Kathy Post Seeman.Students of Pauline School around 1916 are all smiles. They encompassed a span of ages. Photo is from the collection of Sarah Goding Post, courtesy of Kathy Post Seeman.

Lower Grade Enrollment Statistics / Miscellanea

1913-14:

Thirty-five students between the ages of 5 and 12 attended Pauline School this year, with average daily attendance at 29. School was in session for 176 days. Grade divisions were not specified in the classification register, but at the end of the year students were approved for study in the second through fifth years of coursework.

1914-15:

Thirty-four students between the ages of 5 and 13 were enrolled, including 18 boys and 16 girls. While school was in session for 179 days that year, average daily attendance was only 24. Teacher Helen Toedter noted that a beginner’s class (kindergarten) was organized separately from a regular first grade. Spelling, language and grammar were taught from the board.

1915-16:

Thirty-nine students aged 5 to 11 were on the rolls: 20 boys and 19 girls, with another eight children, ages four and five, coming in as kindergartners in the spring semester. Average daily attendance (calculated by the teacher for 38 enrollees) was 32. One-hundred and seventy-four days of school were held that year. Five square yards of blackboard were available for teachers to instruct their little scholars. Daily classes included a 15-minute “construction period.”

1916-17:

Thirty-seven students between the ages of 4 and 10, including 18 boys and 19 girls, were enrolled this year. Average daily attendance, however, was low, at only 23. School was in session 173½ days. Two unspecified students, a boy and a girl, completed the work below the high school. Extensive coursework was done on the board, there now being 10+ square yards of blackboard to work from. “First Journeys in Numberland” was an enticing arithmetic curriculum title.  While the county superintendent paid two visits to school that year, the director of the school board paid none.

1917-18:

Twenty-eight students, ages five through nine were enrolled. Among them was six-year-old Lena Krull. Twelve years later, as a member of the first class of 12th-grade graduates, Lena would have the distinction of being the first student to have completed all 12 years of her schooling at District 8. The enrollees for the year included 13 boys and 15 girls. Average daily attendance was 22, with illness cited for high absenteeism. Classes were held for 180 days that year. There were 150 volumes in the school library. “Tom the Waterbaby” was an interesting title used in conjunction with the readers.

1918-19:

Thirty-four students between the ages of five and 10 were enrolled, including 20 boys and 14 girls; six students were dropped from the rolls during the year. Due to influenza, average daily attendance was less than 22, and school was taught for only 165 days, or 8 ¼ months.  Subjects covered for the year included 15 minutes of nature study following morning recess; mental arithmetic; and 15 minutes of drawing following the afternoon recess. The condition of the five remaining trees on the grounds: “alive”.

1919-20:

Thirty-six students between the ages of five and 11 were enrolled, with only 13 girls among them. Of the 23 boys, 16 of them were between five to seven years of age. Average daily attendance, however, was 26, with 10 students documented as either leaving school or quitting before the term was ended. School was in session for 172 ½ days. The 151 volumes in the school library were valued at $165.00

Counting The Cost . . . Of An Education

During 1913-14, funds for three teachers for nine months of school totaled $1,575.00. However, salaries nearly doubled by the end of the decade, as $1,800 was paid out for only two teachers for the 1919-20 school year. As can be seen below in the year-by-year listing of teachers and monthly salaries, marked increases were made beginning with the 1917-18 academic year.

Beginning in 1914-15, there appear payments to various book companies, including Nebraska School Supply House ($7.19 andShown is Pauline School's primary room, likely just prior to 1913. Photo is courtesy of Gary Reiber.Shown is Pauline School's primary room, likely just prior to 1913. Photo is courtesy of Gary Reiber. $10.80), American Book Co.($4.15), and Educational Supply Co.($22.15).  The 1916-17 school year saw a profusion of expenditures to book companies, many of them still doing business today, These included University Publishing Co., American Book Co., Silver Burdett Co., and D C. Heath and Co.

The 1913-14 fiscal year began with a zero balance in the district treasury; however, levies from the county treasurer as well as other small, unspecified receipts brought the balance to $682.24 by Aug. 27 of 1913. All totaled, the district took in $2,179.10 for the year, with expenditures coming to $2,025.37. Of the amount taken in, $2,060.60 came from the county treasurer through tax levies, while tuition for students from other districts brought in $104.50. By contrast, the 1919-20 school year began with $220.78 in the district treasury. A total of $3579.66 was taken in during the course of the year, with $2,353.74 going out in expenditures, leaving a balance of $1,446.70. Of the $3,800.44 taken in, $382.50 was tuition from students coming in from other districts, and $3,166.95 amounted to tax levies from the county treasurer.

Local businesses and proprietors to whom payments were made throughout the decade included Bank of Pauline and banker F.W. Ferry;  general store owner C.K. McCleery; Glazier & Son hardware, Pauline Grain Co., Chicago Lumber Co., Schmits and Deines, Deines Drug Co.,  Taylor Drug Co.; Farmers Grain Co. manager Elmer Jones; and E.R. Harriet, druggist. The reason for various expenditures was largely undocumented until the 1917-18 school year, when Otto McDonald took over as treasurer of the school board. Documentation was still spotty, but from that time forward, one can glean a few pieces of information about the cost of doing business in a rural community a century ago. A few of the interesting expenditures are listed below:

Counting The Cost . . . Of Doing Business

E. Davis was paid 50 cents for hauling coal; and later in the month 75 cents was received from M. Burrows for an “old stove”. – Aug. 5, 1913.

Taylor Drug Co. was paid $1.35. – Oct. 22, 1917.

H.R. Moore was paid $1.25 for draying. – Febr. 22, 1918.

Two deposits were made in the Bank of Pauline; these were tax receipts from the county treasurer in the amounts of $89.70 and $950.00. – Febr. 26, 1918.

Pauline Grain & Supply Co. was paid $9.80 for coal, and Chicago Lumber Co. was paid $49.30 for coal. – June 10, 1918.

Mrs. Wardlow was paid $10.00 for cleaning the school house.  – Aug. 31,  1918.

John Mazel was paid $13.50 for carpenter work. – Sept. 27, 1918.

John Evans was paid $.60 for two loads of sand. – Sept. 27, 1918.

Harvey Jones was paid $6.50 for cobs and grading. – Oct. 27, 1919.

Walter Reiber was paid $2.60 for work. – Oct. 29, 1919.

George Bird was paid $2.50 for hauling coal. – Dec. 1, 1919.

Teachers, Janitors and Monthly Salaries

1913-14: Mary Ruth Tibbets (high school), $65.00; Helen Toedter, $55.00; Ella Decker, $55.00.

1914-15: Eda Schneider (high school), $70.00; Ella Sherman, $55.00; Helen Toedter, $55.00.Teacher Mary Murray, 1916.Teacher Mary Murray, 1916.

1915-16: Gleah Brown (high school), $65.00; Helen Toedter, $60.00; Willard H. Parks, $50.00.

1916-17: Gleah Brown (high school), $70.00; Willard Parks, $65.00; Mary Murray, $55.00.

1917-18: Mary E. Lovell (high school), $65.00; Mildred Foster, $65.00; Mary Murray, $65.00. A Mrs. Wardlow was paid $10.00 in September only for “cleaning school house”.

1918-19: Irene Doty(high school), $85.00; Miss Florence Squires, $80.00; Jean Laird, $70.00. Mrs. Wardlow was paid $10.00 in August only for “cleaning school house.”

1919-20: Hallie James, $102.50; Iona Arnold, $97.50. Elmer Holiday was paid $12.00 in September only for cleaning school house.

School Board Members and Annual Salaries

August 11, 1913, J.K. Sherman is listed as treasurer; S. Bauder was appointed to the position 10 days later on Aug. 21. Names of other board members not listed or not able to be ascertained.

1914-15: T.W. Jones, $20.00; S. Bauder, treasurer, $15.00; C.K. McCleery, $10.00.

1915-16: S. Bauder, treasurer, $15.00; T.W. Jones, $20.00; C.K. McCleery, $10.00.

1916-17: S. Bauder, treasurer, $15.00; C.K. McCleery, $10.00; T.W. Jones, $20.00.

1917-18: Otto McDonald, treasurer, $15.00; C.W. McCleery, $10.00; T.W. Jones, $20.00.

1918-19: Otto McDonald, treasurer, $15.00; F. Glazier, $10.00; T.W. Jones, $20.00.

1919-1920: Otto McDonald, treasurer, $15.00; J.W. McCleery, $20.00; Maude May, moderator, $10.00.

Who's Who In the Primary Room of 1916

Pauline School's 1916 primary room students are pictured. From left are, front row: Velma Woods, Neil McDonald, McCleery Glazier, Bill Thos. McCleery, Myrtle May, Sarah Goding (Post), Katherine Goding (Heeren), Florence May, Charles Durward Quig, Fleming Meriwether, Silas Davis and Mark Sherman. Middle row: Janie May Davis, Wilhelmina Hibbeler, Darrel Bauder, Florence Throne, Pauline Reiber (Brown), Elsie Woods, Helen Smith, Walter Reiber, unidentified, Lee Snell, Ivan Hargelroad, Terrel Meriwether. Back row: Virginia Meriwether, unidentified, Irma Smith, Clara Evans, unidentified, Jack McCleery, Henry Evans, Corwin Hargelroad, Maxwell McCleery, unidentified, Sophia Hibbeler.Pauline School's 1916 primary room students are pictured. From left are, front row: Velma Woods, Neil McDonald, McCleery Glazier, Bill Thos. McCleery, Myrtle May, Sarah Goding (Post), Katherine Goding (Heeren), Florence May, Charles Durward Quig, Fleming Meriwether, Silas Davis and Mark Sherman. Middle row: Janie May Davis, Wilhelmina Hibbeler, Darrel Bauder, Florence Throne, Pauline Reiber (Brown), Elsie Woods, Helen Smith, Walter Reiber, unidentified, Lee Snell, Ivan Hargelroad, Terrel Meriwether. Back row: Virginia Meriwether, unidentified, Irma Smith, Clara Evans, unidentified, Jack McCleery, Henry Evans, Corwin Hargelroad, Maxwell McCleery, unidentified, Sophia Hibbeler.