Rural Gibbs School To Operate In County 
Chillicothe Constitution Tribune, October 20, 1958.

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by Mrs. Luther Boone, Wheeling, Missouri

reprinted with the permission of the Chillicothe Constitution Tribune

 

From days of slates, pupils now have radio and electric lights.

Mrs. Alfred Dryden, 1524 Webster, Chillicothe, who was Miss Bessie Mast when she attended the Gibbs School, furnished all dates of the early history of the school since no early records could be found.  She is the oldest living pupil of the school living in the community.

Her parents, Mr. and Mrs. G. W. Mast, came from Newark, Ohio, in 1870.  They purchased a 40-acre farm directly across the road east from the school.  The present owner is Lee Tiberghien.  The school was an established district then.

Gibbs School is located in Jackson Township, Twp. No. 58, and range 24, six and one-half miles northwest of Chillicothe.  The acre of ground for the school site was given by David Gibbs, grandfather of Earl Hargrave who lives in the district and is its present clerk.  The school took its name from the man who gave the land.   His daughter, Sara, attended the first school term.

Mrs. Dryden started to Gibbs School in 1882 at the age of six years.  She later taught the spring term of 1896 at her home school and taught Black Hills School one term.  Her six brothers, John, George, Frank, Harvey, Scott and Ira Mast, and her three sisters, Mary, Katherine, and Lennie, also finished their elementary education at Gibbs School.

School was held in the first building until 1901 when a new structure was erected on the site of the old.

School terms were usually divided into five months of winter and two or three of spring.

Games in the early days of the school were Blackman, Ball, and Prisonerís Base.

The school always had a good well with a pump. 

In the old days, reading, spelling, arithmetic, geography, history, grammar and writing were studied.  Seat work was done on slates.

Special Programs were given at Christmas and at the close of school, when basket dinner was served and followed by a program.  Mrs. Dryden that on one occasion the organ was moved from her home to the school for singing.  Miss Barbara Boyle was teacher that year.  At one time a  community literary society was held once a week at the school.  Spelling bees were often held during the winter months.  Occasionally there were preaching services and Sunday School during the summer months at the schoolhouse. 

The first building, which was a frame, weather-boarded one, faced the south.  There was a door in the southeast end.  There were three windows on both east and west sides and two in the north end.  A narrow porch extended across the front end.  The woodwork and wainscoting were painted gray.  The walls were papered.  The blackboard was on the south wall.  There were four rows of seats each seating two pupils.  Seating capacity was around 50, though 65 to 70 pupils who were enrolled at times through the early years, were taken care of. 

The building was heated by a box-type wood-burning stove in the center of the room.  There was a recitation bench along the south end as was the teacherís desk. 

Pupils of Gibbs School who later taught, were Zelphia Tiberghien, W. W. Dunn, who later became a mail carrier, Bessie Mast, John Hargrave, Ralph Hargrave, John Hale, who attended the Chillicothe Normal School, Ola Hargrave, and Belle Lowe, who has been a teacher at the Iowa State College at Ames for a number of years.

It is remarkable that Mrs. Dryden was able to furnish an almost unbroken line of Gibbs teachers for a number of years. 

The list follows:

Fred Williams -- winter of  1880

Arthur Henderson -- 1879 (later  a doctor in Chillicothe)

John Hale, Sr. -- 1881

Mary Girdner -- spring of 1882

Nettie Bevelle -- spring of 1883

Charles Patten -- 1884 (later a doctor, practiced in Springhill)

Ed A. Sparling -- winter of 1886

Eva Williams -- three winter terms, 1887-88-89

Jocie Davis -- spring of 1889

Celia Black -- two winter terms, 1890-91

Leona Haines -- spring of 1890

John H. Lowe -- two winter terms, 1892-93

Alice Kirk -- spring of 1892

Barbara Boyle -- two winter terms1894-95

Charles Kirk -- winter of 1896, Mr. Kirk was a photographer at Lock Springs and took a picture of the Gibbs pupils in 1895.  The picture accompanies this article.

Bessie Mast -- spring of 1896

John Hargrave -- winter of 1897

W. W. Dunn -- winter of 1898

Lettie White -- winter of 1899

Marvin Smith -- winter of 1901

Everett Harvey -- winter of 1902

Clarence Powell -- winter of 1903

Elsie Allen -- winter of 1904 and 1905

John Gallatin -- winter terms of 1905-06

Geneva Bowen -- winter of 1909

Other teachers named by Mrs. Dryden are Mrs. Blanch McCarthy, Mrs. Ola Young, Zelphia Tiberghien, Celia Sparling, Francis Schwab, Ralph Hargrave, Edna Coburn, Rachael Smith, Betty Bonderer, Vivian Dunn, Christina Martin, Nina Martin, Mamie Morris and Rachel Wolf.

Some teachers which Mrs. Charles Mast recalls since she came into the district in 1906 were Geneva (Bowen) Hohns, Charlie Smith, Mamie (Morris) Beier, Esther (Jones) Gibbs, Willie Allen, Mildred Newton, Opal Wimmer and Delores Laffey.

Some pioneers of the district were families by the name of Hargrave, Tiberghien, Gibbs, Sterling, Dunn, Hale, Ayers, Kirk, Mast, Haines, Hoskins, Campbell, Raulie and McCollum.

Early trustees of the school included Bill Allnutt, J. C. Hargrave, J. B. Kirk, Ben Haines, Fred Hargrave, Dick Hargrave, who also served as clerk.

Some early pupils were Rita Gibbs, Maggie, Dick, Dave, Emma and Susie Hargrave, James and Mollie Sterling, Ed, Walter and Lizzie Bevelle, Sydney Ewen, Mary, Katharin and Alice Mast, Sam William and Joseph Tiberghien, Alice, W. W. and Lizzie Dunn.

From a district record book beginning April 1921, which was furnished by Earl Hargrave, RFD, Chillicothe, it was found that Walter Pearcy was hired for that year; however, he resigned in March of that school term and Maude Helman was hired to finish the term.  The salary was $110.00 a month.

A contract for a coal house was let to David Hargrave for $85.00, the minutes of May 4, 1921 record.  Specifications for same were that its size was to be 9x11x7 feet.  It was to be roofed with corrugated iron.  Foundation was to be twelve inches in the ground ďat a high place in the ground,Ē and the floor was to be of cement. 

A. B. Baker taught the 1923 term at a salary of $90.00.  There was an enrollment of 16 boys and 19 girls. 

Teachers who followed him were Miss Dorothy Lilton, John Nothnagle, Archie Davis, Miss Violet Dowell, Blanch McCarthy and Miss Edna Coburn.  Teachers serving later were Thelma Schwab, Zelphia Tiberghien and Mary McCarthy.

The three high school pupils from the district in 1936 were Vernie Mast, Mary Davis and Zelphia Tiberghien.

Later when Miss Tiberghien taught at Gibbs, the proceeds of $39.60 from a box supper were applied on the bill for a set of reference books. 

Twelve new desks were bought in 1940.  A combination record player and radio was purchased in 1940 for $30.00.

The following land from Gibbs district was voted into Sneed district April 1, 1941:

NW ľ-NE ľ of 30-58-24.

The birthdays of the thirty children enrolled during the term of 1933-34 were recorded by the clerk.

School directors from 1921 to 1941 were Dick hargrave, who served twelve years; J. E. Schwab, G. W. Davis, Vernie Hargrave, Reed Hargrave, Shelby Tiberghien, Rudd Grouse, Vernon Mast, Bert Tiberghien, Virgil Boone, Russell Hargrave, Earl Cooper, Mabel Schwab, and Martin Haines.

Mrs. Vivian Eads is the present teacher. She taught Gibbs the 1948-49 and 1949-50 terms also.  She drives from Jamesport, 16 miles each day.

Mrs. Eads has taught five years.  She attended Maryville State College, and keeps adding to her hours through correspondence and extension courses.

She is a member of the VFW Auxiliary Post 4131 of Jamesport and teaches a Sunday School class.  Mrs. Eads is also a housewife.  Her family consists of her husband and three year old son, Alan.

She is teaching 1-6-8 at Gibbs this term.  Donald Heiple, Charles Hargrave and Wayne Jones are in the first grade.  Sixth graders are Susan Hargrave and Raymond Sanson.  Bonnie Hargrave, Helen and Rosemary Jones are potential graduates.

Indoor games the children like are Upset the Fruit Basket and Hide the Thimble.  Outdoor games enjoyed are Wave or Sheep-My-Pen, which is very similar to Hide-and-Go-Seek, Soft Ball, Too-Late-For-Breakfast and Cat and Mouse.

A winding creek with oak and elm trees bordering its banks, forms the picturesque boundary of the school yard on the west.  It is bounded on the south and east by gravel roads.

The main room of the school house is entered through two doors leading from the cloak-room which is approximately 6x24 feet.  It is used for wraps and storage.  It contains a lavatory and drinking fountain. It has an outside entrance on the east.  There is a window on each side of the door.

The class room is approximately 24x36 with three windows on the north and south sides. The ceiling, woodwork and wainscoating are painted buff.  The walls are papered. There are six framed pictures on the walls.  A bulletin board is in the northeast corner of the room.  A rostrum extends across the north end.

Two glove shaped electric light fixtures are suspended from the ceiling.  The floors are oiled.  There are 26 individual desks.  A cupboard holding supplies is in the southwest corner on the rostrum.  The teacherís desk and chair and two small chairs are painted red, which have been made from orange crates are also on the rostrum.

The blackboard is on the north wall.  A large worktable is on the north and a sand table on the south.

There is a book case on the east and one on the south holding a set of World Books and art supplies.  There is a set of maps on the west wall.

The room is heated by a jacketed coal stove which is in the southwest corner.

Other room equipment includes a piano and bench, a radio, a flag, mirror, electric clock, teacherís hand bell, and medicine chest. 

The first of October, Gibbs students went to Sampsel for health tests.

A box supper was planned, with which proceeds will be used for some kind of school project.

Present directors are Clyde Hargrave, president; Earl Hargrave, Clerk; and Orville Sanson.