History of Gould School Dates to '74
Chillicothe Constitution Tribune, November 1, 1952.

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by Mrs. Luther Boone, Wheeling, Missouri

reprinted with the permission of the Chillicothe Constitution Tribune

The square acre of land for the Gould or South Wheeling School, located two miles south of Wheeling, was given by William Scruby, Sr., in 1874. Interviews with Ned Gould, who lives near the school site, and with Mrs. Mayme Perrine of Chillicothe, who was Miss Mayme Beat when she attended school there in 1877, resulted in the following information:

The winter term of school lasted five months and the spring term three months.

The first teacher recalled was Parson Smith. Other early teachers were William and Mollie Carr, Miss Belle Bassett, who later married Dr. Alexander of Farmersville, a Miss Shore and James Robinson.

The teachers usually boarded with either the James Gould or William Beat families and paid in the neighborhood of $3.00 per week for Board and Room.

The frame building was lighted when necessary by three coal-oil lamps set in brackets on either side of the room. A long wood stove in the center of the building supplied the heat. Drinking water was carried from the Gould farm. Later a cistern was built and in 1894 a bored well was dug.

The inside of the building was ceiled.(sic) White paint was used for the ceiling and gray for the sides. Trees were planted in the school yard by Ad Beckwith and Misses Roberta and Ida Beat.

For a short time in 1895 Rev. VanHorn conducted Sunday School in the building.  It was also used for spelling matches, literary societies and exhibitions. Mrs. Perrine said these exhibitions were events eagerly awaited and well-attended by the people of the community since the entertainment was given by talented performers. She recalls one such exhibition titled "Three Black Crows."  The performers wore costumes to resemble crows.  Basket dinners were always held on the closing day of school.

The curriculum included the study of reading, spelling, history, grammar, physiology, civil government, geography and arithmetic. Spencerian copy books were used. Games played during intermissions were baseball, Blackman, Crack-The-Whip and Anti-Over.

Last names of some of the earliest patrons of the district recalled were those of Scruby, Gould, Watson, Harris, Baker, Johnson, Platt, Beckwith, Woods, Inderweissen, Bolter, Beat, Brittain, Brenneman and Riggs.

William Beat and William Scruby were two of the first directors.  Later Ned Gould served on the board for twelve years.

On October 14, 1916, Gould School was consolidated with the Wheeling School, but continued to function until the close of the school term in the spring of 1940, when it was voted to discontinue the school. Pupils were then transported by bus to the Wheeling school.

Hobart Sprout was the school’s last teacher. In 1948 the building was sold to Abie Corzette, who built a small residence with the school house lumber.  The building is situated on his farm about one-half mile from the old school site.

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