History of Jacknife School
Once Was Waye
Chillicothe Constitution Tribune, July 26, 1955.
by Mrs. Luther Boone, Wheeling, Missouri
reprinted with the permission of the Chillicothe Constitution Tribune
Final term was 1950-51 and district now is part of Wheeling R-4
In an interview with John Wilson of Wheeling, it was learned that there was an old school named Waye, which was situated one-half mile north and one mile west of the present Jacksnipe district, and it operated until the Jacksnipe School was built in Chillicothe Township, Section 13, NNE 13, Township 51 – in 1889.
The Waye school was a frame building approximately 30 feet square and it faced the west with two doors in that end and three window on both the north and south sides. The school-ground was fenced with barbed wire.
It was located on land belonging to Mr. Waye, who gave the land to the school site, hence the name. This land now belongs to Hugh Gilchrist, who lives in Nebraska.
There were long benches across each side of the room and four shorter ones through the center of the room which seated eight pupils each. The teacher’s desk was an old-fashioned type and she sat in an arm chair. The desk and chair were in the northeast corner.
The room was heated by a wood-burning stove with a drum on top which was toward the west end of the building. The legs of the stove were high enough so that the first day the Gilchrist twins (Tom and George) went there to school, they crawled under the stove and no amount of persuasion could coax them out until noon. Wide native lumber planks formed the floor until a pine floor was laid in later years.
Wraps were hung on nails on either sides of the doors and corner shelves were on either sides of the two doors for dinner pails. There was a map of the United States on the west wall. Water was carried in a cedar bucket from the farm of Pat Hickey, who lived one-half mile west of the school. Pupils went by twos to carry the water which was passed to the pupils in a tin cup. Mr. Wilson recalls that once when he and Tom Hickey went for water, They had an encounter with a snake and failed to get back to their classes until after the last recess, but Miss Mayme Edsel of Chillicothe, teacher, was lenient when she heard their story.
There were charts for the primary classes, but no supplementary helps for the older pupils. Mr. Wilson studied reading, spelling, geography, physiology. Copy books were used for writing. The painted blackboard was across the east end of the room. Bracket lamps, three on each side and one by the blackboard furnished light.
Mr. Wilson started to Waye in 1882. His parents Mr. and Mrs. John Wilson, lived one-half mile north of the school. A brother James, and two sisters, Sarah and Margaret, attended there. Mike Gilchrist was his first teacher. Other early teachers he recalled were Misses Minnie and Alice Shay, John Gilchrist, George Davis and a Mrs. Campbell.
Tom Alcott, Elmore Carlyle and Pat hickey were directors that year. There were 63 enrolled.
Schoolmates he recalled were: John, Mat, Joe and Mary McBride; Tom, Joe, Sarah and Mary Gilchrist; Luther, Marvin, and Callie Carlyle; Orville, Oscar, Dell and Bettie Ross; Lee, Brick, Gusty and Elise Alcott; Clem, Kate, Bess, Tom and Mike Gorman; Maggie, Mary, Mike and John Kelly; George, Bill and Rosa Kelly; Mat Minteers; Scott, Tom and Bob Boyd; George, Mary, Clara and Andy Hibler; Joe and Tom Brandt; John, Lige, Mack and Maggie Babb; Maggie, Molly and Tom Hickey; jack and teeter Anderson; John, Tom and Bridget Deloughery; Oscar, Belle and Scotty Carlyle; Bill, Joe and Chris Shearer and Ernest Silvey.
In an interview with T. J. Gorman it was learned the main reason the school site was finally changed was that the district had grown large and some of the patrons wanted thee school situated more nearly the center of the district. It was voted on several times before there was a majority in favor of the change. Many prairie chickens and jacksnipe were to be found near the school and the new school, which was named prairie View, soon was being nicknamed “Jacksnipe.” The name “stuck” and the district has been known by this name.
The square acre of land for the new site was purchased from Pete Kelly, who lived one-fourth mile east and one-fourth mile north of the school. The building was erected by George Babb. It was frame, approximately 30x40 feet, and the building still stands. It has an anteroom 6x16 on the west, the direction the building faces. It has four windows on both the north and south sides.A platform extends the full length of the east end. It was added in later years and built by John DeWitt of Wheeling and John Wilson who was serving as director of the school at that time. John McBride was the first teacher in the new building.
Soon after the new school began to function, the old Waye building was sold to James and Nan Clem of Wheeling who used it as an addition to their home. Just a few months ago it was torn away from the house proper when harry Joe Clem and wife remodeled their home.
Mr. Wilson served as director of the school for fifteen years. George Bates was one of the first directors, and Elmore Carlyle was an early director.
Some early taxpayers were Tom Alcock, David Ross, Bud Gilbert, Pat Hickey, Wash Koester, Hugh Gilchrist, John Gorman, Pete Kelly, Bill Minteer, Bill Dougherty, Moses McBride, John Wilson, Bill Wilson, George babb, Lewis Hibler, Parm Keister, Scott Boyd, John Shearer, Tom Shearer, Jack Shearer, Chris Shearer, Dock Carlyle, George bates and Bill Brant.
Some of the teachers remembered by Mr. Wilson were Mat McBride, Kate Slattery, who taught several consecutive terms, Mary Smith of Bedford, Lena Wilson and George Dent, who taught three terms, John and Mat McBride both taught there and Ella Casey, who also taught at Waye, was a teacher at Jacksnipe in the early days of the school.When Miss Edsell taught, she boarded at Tom Gorman’s. Mrs. Mary Smith was an early teacher. Tom Gorman's wife, Margaret Hickey, was a pupil at Jacksnipe and taught the year before her marriage. The Gorman’s lived one half mile south of the school. They were married in 1895 and lived there several years.
Other teachers recalled by Mr. Wilson were Mary Ann Hogan, John Martin. Mable Cranmer, James Belche, Delpha O'Dell. The writer taught the school the term of 1919-20.
Community activities at the school in the early days were literary societies, which had a variety of entertainment. Mrs. Chris Shearer, who was Miss Lola Stucker, would often come to Jacksnipe to sing and play her guitar. She was then a pupil at Slagel school
Debates were popular and John and Mat McBride, John Wilson and Walt Chamberlain were a debating team who often went to other schools to debate. Mr. Wilson remembers one subject for debate was "Which Has the Greater Influence on Men's Lives. Love or Money?" Spelling schools and cyphering matches were enjoyed. Church services and Sunday school were held at the schoolhouse frequently, Mr. Thompson acting as superintendent. Pleasant Grove congregation would hold Sunday school at their church Sunday mornings and attend church services at Jacksnipe in the afternoon.Rev. Cooley, John Kelly, Rev. Waltz were some of the pastors who preached at the schoolhouse.
A wood stove heated the building when it was new. Later a wood and coal stove was used and later a jacketed stove was installed. A piano was purchased in 1919 with proceeds from an entertainment early in the term.
Games played were baseball, anti-over, darebase, Run Sheep Run, and Fox and Geese.
Grover Bate, who lives one-fourth mile south of the school on the farm where he was born, was interviewed. His parents, Mr. and Mrs. John Bate had eight children who attended Jacksnipe school when they lived on the home place. They were James, John, Jesse, Oscar, Grover, Vernie, Laura and Lula. Mr. Bate started to Jacksnipe in 1894. His first teacher was John McBride. Other teachers he recalled were Miss Nora Fullerton from Avalon, Miss Alice Shay and Lew Merrick.
He remarked that Jacksnipe school was outstanding in the early years for its literary societies and debates, Steve Boyd being one of the chief debaters in the neighborhood.
He remembered that one play given at the school was so well received that it was played in several communities by Jacksnipe talent. By means of a canvas thrown over a bicycle kept in motion while it was turned upside down, a threshing scene was enacted, with bundles of grain being thrown into the improvised thresher. Imaginary rats scurried to safety when the bundles were lifted which caused the actors to perform in a way that made much merriment for the audience, and the appearance of the terrified Negro cook during the shuffle to keep out of the rats runway, was hilarious.
One game Mr. Bate enjoyed was snowballing. Sides were chosen and fortifications of some kind thrown up for protection by each side. The snowballs were used as ammunition. only snowballs free from ice were allowed to be thrown.
He also described the game of Mumple-Peg. The blade of a pocket knife was flipped into the ground from various angles, each one counting so many points in scoring. The winner tapped a small sharpened stick as far as possible, into the earth with the knife, Depressions were then dug out for the loser’s chin and nose, since he had to pull the stick out of the ground with his teeth.
Some school mates he recalled were Ira, Charles, Pearl, Hattie, Cora, Dollie, and Myrtle Wilson, Frank McBride, Alpha Jennings, Luther Hawes, John, Mike, Ed and Maggie Kelly and Jim Wilson.
His brother James, became a minister in later years preaching for twelve years in different communities until his death. Mrs. Bate served as clerk of the school from 1935 until the school closed in 1951.
Mr. Bate's uncle, George Bate, was one of the school’s earliest directors and Mr. George Bate's son Walter, a Jacksnipe pupil, who now lives in Corpus Christi, Texas is a successful writer. He sells articles to various publications and has had a book published.
Other pupils and teachers of the school who were successful in different walks of life included John McBride, who was postmaster at Chillicothe for years, and Luther Carlyle who became a physician and practiced in the Wheeling and Chula communities.Joe Brant has a plumbing shop in Bolivar.
Mrs. Thomas Murphy, Sr. started to Jacksnipe in 1905. She now lives one-half mile north of the school. Her first teacher was John Martin. Her brother Otto, sister Garnett and later her younger brother, Hugh Gilchrist, attended Jacksnipe School. Her father, Thomas Shearer, and her step-father, Thomas Gilchrist, both attended the Waye School. Her son Junior completed his education at Jacksnipe, starting in 1933 after having attended his first year elsewhere. His first teacher was Miss Neva Hamilton. Other teachers she recalled were Lafe Belcher, Rose Martin, Lena Bennett and Honor Israel.
In a school record dating back to Sept. 1, 1930, Helen Eads was teacher with a salary of $90.00. There were 36 enrolled from 6 to 15 years of age that term. George Baxter was president of the school board, C. D. Symmonds clerk, and W. D. Snyder a member.
Archie Davis taught two terms beginning in 1931. Neva Hamilton taught the term of 1933-34 with 47 enrolled, Nathan Cobb was president of the board. David Powell clerk and Tom Murphy and Lloyd Marsh, mernbers. Apollonia Moylan taught the terms of 1933-34and 1935-36. There were 48 enrolled at that time. Lloyd Marsh was president of the board, Mrs. Blanch Bate, clerk, and Jim Wilson and Tom Boyd, members. Remarks by Mrs. Moylan in the teacher's record book were: “This school is a very desirable school to teach. The children are all likeable and cooperative. The equipment is the best. The school board has been very agreeable and cooperative. All needed supplies were obtained. I have spent two very happy and pleasant years here.
Mrs. Fred Haskett followed her as teacher. Mrs. Mary Harper taught the term of 1939-40 teaching grades 1-3-4-5 and 7. There were fifteen enrolled.
Mrs. Fred Schlosser, who with ler husband owns the DX station and court an Highway 36 one mile north of the school, taught Jacksnipe five terms, her last term being 1949-50.
When she taught there were two bulletin boards on the north and south sides of the schoolroom which were used for current events and art work. There were six framed pictures. There were rhythm band instruments, a piano and a radio. An oil furnace purchased in 1949 was in the southwest corner. The blackboard was on the east. There was a reading table and six folding chairs. The sand table was on the north side, and the play corner with toys for the primary children was in the northwest corner. The library. with three sets of encyclopedias and other supplementary helps, was an the north side. The anteroom was used for wraps and dinner pails. There was a hot plate used for warming food.
Mrs. Schlosser taught all eight grades.
Woodwork and painting were done by the children. Articles to be made were cut with an electric jig-saw. The pupils made various things such as wooden plaques, and bookends. Their work was sometimes displayed in Chillicothe store windows toward the end of the term.
The children followed the nine point health system 100%.
The well was on the northwest corner of the school ground. The yard was fenced on the east and south. The flag and pole were at the northwest corner of the building.
Outdoor games enjoyed then were baseball and basketball. During the winter, when they could not play out-of-doors, they made a skating rink of the school room. Some of the desks were on runners and could be easily moved. Individual desks were moved to the center of the room. All the pupils learned to skate, and by the end of the term they were very proficient and could do fancy skating. At the end of the term the entire school took a picnic lunch and went to the skating rink at Chillicothe. Some of the parents enjoyed skating with their children.
Now and then trips to the movies for special children’s show were taken. Box and pie suppers were enjoyed and the proceeds used to buy school equipment.
There were usually special programs given at Hallowe’en, Christmas and a basket dinner at the close of school.
Other teachers she recalled were Virginia Byrd of Dawn, Mrs. Orville Quillen and Marie Eslinger from Chillicothe, who was Jacksnipe’s last teacher.
Pupils attending the last term Mrs. Schlosser taught were: Jim Husler, Dale Brown, Larry Wilson, Ronald Wilson, Donald Owings Duane Carrol, Wayne Marsh, Carol Ann Husler, Robert Husler, Ruby Brown, Charlotte Miller, Dorla and Gary Mumpower.
Under the Missouri reorganization school law passed in 1948, Jacksnipe became a part of Reorganized School District R-4 after the close of 1950-51.
The property was sold, and now belongs to Glenn Allnutt of Chillicothe.