The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Herrity

September 5, 2013

The one room schoolhouse

Out by Almont, there once stood two one-room schoolhouses. Almont South was near the limestone house of Highway 67 on the west side of the road, and Almont North was on the east side about two miles north at the junction between the gas station, the road west to Almont and the highway north. My mother, Ruth McClintock Herrity, once taught at the Modoc school farther north and east near the hills. Her sisters, Martha Quinn and Mary Doe, as well as thousands of other women, also taught in the one-room schoolhouses, where students ranged from five to twenty years old and were in all grades. The young woman was the principal, custodian, teacher and disciplinarian. She was helped by her students, who invariably walked to school through all kinds of weather …. many from long distances. They came early and cut firewood, stoked the pot-bellied stove, swept the floor, washed the blackboards, pumped water from the well, and found time to study too. Their teacher usually had only a two-year degree from a local college like Mount St. Clare.

The Flannery School at the Nature Center near Eagle Point Park honors those early teachers, as does the “Skunk Hollow” School at Heritage Canyon in Fulton. All over the country, people remember and revere this vestige of times-past… when both academics and character were molded into the rural children who made America strong! These students stood for hours reciting spelling words and principle parts of verbs. Very few of them grew up to say such things as “he don’t” or “them guys.”

My mother went to ‘The Mount’ in 1915, at the time the “new” building was built. Prior to that, she’d walked to class through Springdale Cemetery, when the girls still lived in Judge Chase’s old mansion to the south of the cemetery. Often, these teachers taught for just a few years and then retired to raise their own families, never returning to teaching. My mother did that, but her sister Martha Quinn returned and taught for many years in the Clinton School System.

Text Only
Herrity
  • 4-14-14 Longman service Clinton hero laid to rest

    ROCK ISLAND, Ill.-- After 70 years, Lt. Louis L. Longman, of Clinton, finally has been laid to rest with full military honors in the Rock Island Arsenal National Cemetery. First Lt. Chaplin Jacob Grenier, of Muscatine, performed Catholic burial rite

    April 12, 2014 4 Photos

  • Drive-in theatre dominant Clinton's own drive-in theater Spring brings many thoughts, but taking the family out to see a big-screen movie at the Clinton Drive-In Theatre on Iowa 136 and North 16th Street is sadly no longer an option. Large families were thirsting for family activities after World War II.

    April 11, 2014 2 Photos

  • Longmann 70 years in the making: WWII soldier to be honored Imagine three boys, orphaned in the midst of the Great Depression, moving from Minnesota to an adjacent state to live with extended family. How hard it would be to lose both parents and, then, have to move away and take up a new life in a strange tow

    March 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dale Gardner astronaut collage Let's celebrate our successful people There are many famous and successful people who have called Clinton home. We need to celebrate their lives as well as all of their contributions. Recently, former astronaut Dale Gardner, 65, died. He and two other astronauts have connections with Cli

    March 14, 2014 3 Photos

  • Lyons photo for Herrity column HERRITY: Residents have pride in neighborhood

    To this day, thousands of Clintonians say, "I was born and raised in Lyons." Founder Elijah Buell first set foot on the banks of what would become Lyons, Iowa in 1835. He built a cabin, laid out a town, platted the community, raised a family, sold

    December 6, 2013 1 Photo

  • Dem Convention.jpg Famous Clinton Lawyers

    Clinton lawyers in our history are a group of hugely contributing citizens.

    September 27, 2013 1 Photo

  • slides0-R1-E042.jpg Dances in Lyons and Clinton

    Remember when people danced and they actually touched? There are still a few folks left who can “cut a rug.”

    September 27, 2013 1 Photo

  • The Roundhouse.jpg Railroads Made Clinton Famous

    Most people would associate Clinton history with sawmills; however, without the railroad, no sawmills would ever have existed in this community.

    September 27, 2013 1 Photo

  • Albany ComCntr.jpg Historic Albany, Illinois

    Albany historian and journalist Helen Hanson is gone, and with her, many thoughts and memories about her lovely, historic hometown of Albany, Illinois.

    September 27, 2013 1 Photo

  • Volckmann at Surrender.jpg “We Remained” and “We Won!”

    It is incredible that Colonel Russell Volckmann survived at all, let alone as Public Enemy Number One of the Japanese, who hunted him like a dog!

    September 27, 2013 1 Photo