History of Jones School 
Chillicothe Constitution Tribune, December 16, 1958.

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by Mrs. Luther Boone, Wheeling, Missouri

reprinted with the permission of the Chillicothe Constitution Tribune

Jones School east of Chillicothe opened in 1894

John Graves donated one-half acre of ground for the Jones School site and the building was erected in 1894. It is in Rich Hill District No. 53, Township 58, Range 23, Section 32 and is one and one-half mile east of Chillicothe. It is the only one-room schoolhouse ever built, which served the district for 64 years.

Since old records were not available, several former pupils were interviewed in obtaining data for the school history.

The oldest history of the school was given by Paul Damm, who with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Peter Damm, came from Great Bend, Kansas, and settled on a farm one-half mile west of the school, in 1901. He was ten years old at the time. Mr. Damm. still resides on “the home-place.” Two sisters, Olive and Laura also attended Jones School.

His first teacher was Mabel Williams. Other teachers he recalled were Mina Bruce, Mary Ferris, Clarence Landy, Lena Gilbert, and Miss Henshaw.

Two of the directors at that time were I. F. Powelson and Dick Jones.  Enrollment during his school years was between 15 and 20 pupils.

Early teachers boarded in the homes of Powelson, Damm and Jones.  Some who lived in Chillicothe drove a horse and buggy to school each day.

The schoolhouse was frame, painted white and was approximately 20x30 feet in size.  It faced the east with a door in that end and had three windows on each the north and south sides.  It had plastered walls ceiling with a four foot wainscoting which was painted around the walls.  The floor was pine.  The twenty-five desks, some single and some double, faced the west.  Thirty pupils could be seated.  The desktops could be lowered, and each had a narrow book-trough the width of the desks.  The seats were hinged and could be raised.  The teacher’s desk had a drawer beneath its top for supplies, etc.  The chair was a captain’s type chair.  The slate blackboard extended across the west end of the room.

Lights were furnished for the night entertainments by the patrons of the school, some brought lamps, some brought lanterns.

There was a cloakroom on the east of the building approximately 12x6 feet and was used for wraps and dinner buckets that were placed on corner shelves.  The room had an outside door and two doors which led into the schoolroom.  One side of the room was used by the girls for their wraps and the other side by the boys.  There was a bench in this room for the tin water bucket.  One tin cup served all the pupils.  Water was carried from the Damm farm by one of the pupils who was hired at the beginning of the term to carry the drinking water.  He received twenty-five cents a month for this task.  Many times two trips had to be made for water before the pupils thirst was quenched.

There was a set of maps on the wall and there was a globe.  Slates and pencils were used for seat-work.  There was a wood shed 8x8 feet near the school building. 

Games enjoyed included Blackman, Pull-away, and Ball.

Some of the early taxpayers Mr. Damm recalled were families by the names of Kissick, Damm, Mumpower, Walker, Tye, Brassfield, Murphy, Myers, Donelson, McCurry, Miller and Jones.

Cleve Kissick, of Chillicothe, who furnished the picture for the history, started to Jones School in 1901.  His parents were Mr. and Mrs. H. W. Kissick, who lived one and one-half mile southeast of the school.  His first teacher was Miss Jones.  He recalled two other teachers, Lena Gilbert and Pearl Altman.

In interviewing Orville Howsman, who served the district as clerk and director for a long time, it was found that his wife, Waneva Miller, was a pupil at Jones School.  Her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Doc Miller, lived two miles west of the school.  Her first teacher was Olivia Inderweisen.  Other teachers she recalled were Marie Johnson and Vangie Chapman.  Both the Howsman children, Norma and Bud finished their elementary education at Jones School.  The school had a piano at that time which was purchased in 1941 for $20.00.

Mrs. Viola Anderson, of Chillicothe, a member of the C. H. S. faculty, taught her first term of school at Jones School.  She was then Miss Viola Davis and lived at Wheeling.  She boarded at the home of the Powelsons.  She taught all eight grades and had twenty-three enrolled.  A director serving at that time were Mr. Powelson.  Go-Seek was the favorite game then.  They enjoyed spelling and cyphering matches, Christmas entertainments with a tree and treats from the teacher, and basket dinners at the close of the school year.  J. McCormick was county superintendent at that time.  Miss Edith Stephens, now Mrs. Cleve Kissick of Chillicothe, taught the 1923-24 term at Jones School.

From a recording beginning April 4, 1922, covering a period of 22 years, it was found that the following served as either or clerk and director of the school:  J. D. Walker, John Mumpower, Elmer Reed, Mr. Fullerton, Clyde Prewitt, Jewell Coburn, Mr. Tull, Raymond Miller, Ike Radabaugh, L. E. Taylor, Effie Miller, Cora Fullerton, Orville Howsman, Nathan Cobb, Homer Allen, Mr. Marvin Jones, Hollis Mumpower, Lloyd Baker, Sherman Longwell, Mrs. Raymond Miller, Ed Damm, O. H. Perry and Lula Hamilton.

Teachers during this period were Mrs. Celia Pryor, Mary Bohnart, Mrs. Earl Mitchell, Helen Jones, Mrs. William Crooks, Grace Wilson, Dolly Runyon, Gladys Brockman, Helen Gothe, Rosella Evans, Miss McCarthy, Apollonia Moylan, Mrs. Laura Ogan, William Allen, Neva Riggle, Mrs. Alberta Bohenkamp, Elizabeth Jones, and Pearl Clawson.  Salaries during this period ranged from $40.00 to $125.00 per month.  Some of the teachers also did the janitor work.  The highest enumeration of pupils for the period was twenty-one in 1922-43-49.  The latest school record from 1951 to the close of the school listed the following as members of the school board; Elmer Shanks, Owen Leffler.  Norma Buck was clerk.

William Allen taught the 1951-52 term.  His salary was $163.50.  Mrs. Ola Young followed him and was the last teacher.  Her salary was $172.80.  After the 1952-53 term the pupils were transported to Chillicothe.  The amount paid out for tuition and transportation during this period was $4,903.24.

April 3, 1956, it was voted to give the school’s to the Salvation Army. 

Jones, as a district ceased to be when it was one of twenty-two rural schools voted into the Livingston R-2 district December 4, 1956, with greater that 4 to 1 support coming from the 595 votes cast by patrons of the schools included.

The building was sold February 27, 1958, to Mr. Applebury for $175.00.  He later razed it.

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