Shannondale School Had as Many as 80 Pupils at Time 
Chillicothe Constitution Tribune, March 3, 1954.

Return to Schools page


Shannondale School Had as Many as  80 Pupils at Time But Enumeration Dropped Off and School Near Avalon Closed in 1912

by Mrs. Luther Boone, Wheeling, Missouri

reprinted with the permission of the Chillicothe Constitution Tribune


Shannondale school was situated 6 1/2 miles north and west of Hale and 3 1/2 miles south and east of Avalon in District No. 2 (now listed as District 93, township 56, range 22.

The land was given by William Shannon.  William was the father of J. W. Shannon and was the grandfather of Miss Rhoda and her mother, Jennie (Miller) Shannon, it was learned that as children, Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Shannon attended Shannondale, and later their eight children went to school there.  They lives three-fourths of a mile west of the schoolhouse on what is known as the Compton place.

Jennie (Miller) Shannon started to school there in 1879m, having previously attended school at Condron and Vaughn.  John Dormois was her first teacher.

Miss Rhoda's father served on the school board for a number of years.

Mrs. Shannon stated that Charles Pultz and Mrs. Rilda Clute Burnsides of Hale, Frank Ceaser of Chillicothe and Frank Shields of Ludlow are her only living schoolmates.

C. W. D. Pultz, who until quite recently was a druggist at Hale for many years, started to school at Shannondale in 1881.  Mr. Pultz said the first building was of logs.  The second structure was weatherboarded.  It was approximately 36 x 24 feet and faced the east, with three windows on the north and south sides.  It had two doors with a platform porch extending along the front.

Pupils Used Slates

The interior of the room was ceiled and painted a sort of blue-gray color.  A blackboard extended across the west end of the room.  Sheepskin erasers were used at this time.  Slates and slate pencils were used exclusively for seat work.  Mr. Pultz said that even a little piece of lead pencil was regarded as a relic in those days. 

Some of the schoolmates he remembered were Effie, Abbie, Albert, Ida and Walter Clark, Jewell, Frankie, Carrie and Leona Scott, Watt Shannon, Jennie Miller, Albert, Marion and Nannie Wimmer, Tom, Walter and Harry Vaughn, Frank Caeser, Maggie Shannon, John and Steve Pultz, Henderson, Wilbur and Wiley Wimmer, Sadie, Marilda and Addie Warren, Earl Clute, Elva, Lydia, Lee and Luther Woody, Bill, Pat, Jim, Bob, Lou, Alda, Mary, Laura and Maggie Shipp, Bill, Mary, Kate and Grace Creason, Maude Cummings (who later married Charles Palm of the Palm Optical Co., Chillicothe).  

Mr. Pultz stated that the enrollment in 1875 was 80.

Manufactured desks were used.  Two kerosene lamps, which hung from the ceiling, and some reflector lamps on the side walls furnished light when needed. 

Christmas Tree Was Oak

Mr. Pultz remembers seeing his first Christmas tree when Fanny Hawkins taught.  He said, to him it was a wonderful sight.  It was an oak tree with its limbs wrapped in green paper, decorated with strings of popcorn and cranberries and lighted with candles, and he remarked that the teacher's treat was the best part of it all.

Drinking water was carried from the Shannon farm, a half mile south of the school.  Two pupils always were sent for it.  A wooden bucket and a tin dipper were used.  Later a cistern was dug on the school grounds.

Some of the games he remembered having played, were ball, shinny and Old Sow which was played with sticks and an old tin can.  Each player tried to hit the can in such a manner as to knock it into the hole he had dug for the game.  When one player succeeded in doing so, then the game would begin again.

He said that spelling bees and cyphering matches were popular then.  Writing school was held once a week.  It was a subscription affair.  The course of several weeks was $1 a pupil.  There were usually 25 to 30 in the class.  Emanuel Butler, who lived at Avalon, was the teacher.  He was a graduate of the Gem City Business College at Quincy.

Mr. Pultz's first teacher was John Dormois.  Other Shannondale teachers recalled by him were Katherine Wolf, Ed Scott, Everett Kerns, Mary, Fannie and Mable Hawkins and Alma Brier.  He stated that their salaries ranged from $30 to $40 per month.

Mrs. W. A. Burnsides of Hale stated in an interview that she loved to play ball when she went to Shannondale.  She said every time she batted, she could knock the small, hard rubber ball over the school yard fence which was quite a distance from the ball plate.  Other games she enjoyed were Blackman, Drop-The-Handkerchief, Run-Sheep-Run, Prisoner's Base, Tit-Tat-Toe, Mumbly-Peg and Anti-over.

Popular Texts of Day

Texts used in her day were McGuffy Readers and Spellers, Ray's series of Arithmetics, McNally's Geography, Harvey's Grammar and Civil Government.  She said for writing exercises, the teacher set the copy, and that if she made a mistake, so did all the pupils.

Mrs. Burnside, who was Marilda Warren when she attended Shannondale, wore calico dresses to school in the spring and in winter wore woolen dresses, high-topped shoes, heavy, ribbed stockings (hand-knit), hoods, hand-made gloves, cloth, buckle overshoes and a heavy coat.

She told of the singing school conducted by James Jeffers.

A teacher's record book beginning October 10, 1870, is the earliest written history available of the school.  J. E. Riley was teacher that year.  He listed 44 pupils, ranging in age from 5 to 20 years.  The next term was taught by C. Bishir.  It began September 11, 1871 and closed January 5, 1872.  Seventeen boys and eighteen girls are listed from 5 to 20 years of age.  His records are written in a beautiful and painstaking manner.  A notation in the record states that he attended a four-day teacher's institute at the beginning of the term, but it does not state where the institute was held.

Thomas Shannon taught from January 18 to March 1st in 1872 and also taught the winter term for that year.  F. M. Scott taught from March 31 to June 21, 1873 and the winter term ending February 27, 1874.  He also taught the following summer term starting May 11 and ending July 3, 1874.  J. E. Riley taught again in 1874, (the winter term) ending March 1875.  Mrs. W. B. Cooper taught the winter term of 1880.  There were 44 enrolled at that time.  J. P. Dormois taught the winter term of 81-82.  Fifty were enrolled that term.  Carrie Wolf taught the spring term of 1882.  Mary Hawkins taught the winter term of that year beginning November 6.  She had 45 enrolled from the age of 5 to 20 years.  Ida B. Scott taught the spring term of 1883 from April 9 to June 31.  Eva Quirk taught the spring term of 1884.  W. E. Scott taught the winter term of that year.  W. E. Kern taught the term of 1885-86 and Fannie Hawkins taught from March to June of 1887.  W. E. Scott taught the 1884-85 term.

Built a New Fence

From the record book of district meeting, beginning with June 22, 1885, it was found a contract was let for a school yard fence.

This book lists directors for 1888 as being W. H. Clute, J. V. Blaney and George Miller.  Clute, Miller and G. H. Creason were directors in 1889.  Blaney, Creason and Amos Kreiser served in 1891.

The list of resident taxpayers for 1886 included J. V. Blaney, G. H. Busby, Henry Boss, W. H. Clute, G. R. Close, Ben Holland, Melvine Kengery, Reuben Lewis, G. E. Morris, Henry Mahoney, George W. Miller, J. W. Pultz, John Pultz, W. L. Shannon, Watson Shannon, F. M. Scott, John Shields, Martha Shipp, William Shipp, Susanna Woody, Robert Wilson, J. A. Wimmer, Henderson Wimmer, E. Compton, Mary Master, Thomas Morris, N. S. Fish, Rufus Gates, Samuel Short and J. L. Plunket.

School enumeration of the district for 1886 ages 6 to 20 years lists these names: Marion, Charles, Albert Nannie and Wilber Wimmer; Charles Pultz, Frank Ceasar, Patrick, James Robert, Mattie, Eva and Alda Shipp; Albert, Abbie, James, Frank, Carrie, Leona and Wesley Scott; Sada, Rilda, Addie and Warren Clute; Jennie, Nellie and Frank Miller; Elisha, Oliver and Fred Shields; Newell Fish, Jonah Williams, Mary Emma and Minnie Lewis; Charles, Minerva and Katie Luther, Ollie Close, Charles Kingery, William and Stacy Morris, Nathan, Lyda, Rufus and Luther Woody.  Thirty-seven children were enumerated in 1905 from 6 to 18 years of age.  There were forty-one in 1906.

Some of the directors from 1899 to 1913 were J. W. Shipp, J. W. Shannon, C. C. Gates, A. L. Plummer, J. A. Cawood, J. E. Crackenburger, N. S. Fish and H. P. McIntire.

Teachers signing contracts from 1899 to 1903 were Walter Hall, Lucy Stowe, Mrs. Iva Clute, Frank Myers and Lula Irick.

New School Cost $800

On April 3, 1900, it was voted to issue school bonds for $800 for the purpose of erecting and furnishing a new school house on the site of the old, and on May 19, 1900, the board submitted the plan for the schoolhouse which was to be as follows:  14-inch wall with double face.  Rock was to be laid in cement; a box sill to be used and laid in cement.  The frame was to be of native lumber; the studding to be 4x6.  Drop board siding was to be used.  The building ws to be lathed and plastered with three coats and wainscoating to be used as high up as the windows.  The windows were to have pulleys and weights.  Shingles were to be of the best quality for the roof and all material was to be first class.  These minutes were signed by John W. Pultz, clerk.  No further mention of the schoolhouse is made in the records, nor could it be determined who was given the contract to build the schoolhouse.

Miss Rhoda Shannon was able to furnish some later history of the school.  She said her first teacher was Ed Bedell in 1902.  The enrollment that year was 40 pupils.  The teacher's salary was $25.

Miss Rhona said the last term of school was held in 1911-12 with Miss Winnie Crackenbarger as teacher.  She also taught the ninth grade.  When Shannondale closed, some of the pupils went to school at Avalon, while some attended the Hale school.

Years later Shannondale school was sold to M. E. Burson living in the neighborhood, who moved it to his property and used it for an implement house.



Return to Top