Wednesday, April 21, 2021

First Woman Alderman for Lawrenceville City Council

 April 1961  For the first time in Lawrenceville’s history, the city council would have a woman alderman, Eda Breyfogle. The newly elected mayor was Charles Hedde. Other aldermen elected were Tom Mills, Ivan Mayfield, and Paul Gray. Bill Cannon was elected Police magistrate. 

James W Neely was elected Bridgeport mayor with Lawrence Gognat winning reelection as city clerk. James Spencer was unopposed for city treasurer. Aldermen elected were Jerry L Brown, Kenneth Miller, and Robert R Ernst. 

In Sumner John Goodman was elected mayor. Elva Fyffe was elected city clerk and Lela Mae Barnett treasurer. Elmer Zwilling, Curtis Hughes, and Ellis Earnst were elected aldermen. 

Birds residents voted to keep the community on a "Wet" status, and allow liquor to be sold in the one tavern within the village limits.  Glen Earnst was elected president of the town board by one vote over Ray Yoho. Donald Shank won  as a write- in candidate for village clerk; Midford Pierson, Glenn Smith and Herbert Riggs were elected town trustees.

Dr Carl McCammon was elected mayor of St Francisville over Bobby Spidel. John England, City clerk, Josie E Foss, treasurer, and aldermen Arthur Rhinehart, Lawrence Vanwey and Glenn Wolfe were unopposed. 

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Waiting for Basketball Tickets 1982

 Approximately 200 LHS basketball fans were waiting for the ticket windows to open Wednesday afternoon March 10, 1982, so they could buy their tickets to watch the Indians in the Class A State finals.  The ticket line started at 5am, nine hours before sales started.  The early arrivals complete with lawn chairs, television sets and food, were well settled into their positions. LHS faced Benton Friday afternoon in the first round of the finals at the University of Illinois Assembly Hall in Champaign.
Mr. and Mrs. Giltner H. York were the first to by state final basketball tickets.  The Yorks arrived at the ticket window at 5 am.  York was a 1935 graduate of LTHS.   Mrs. York was also a graduate of the school.  When asked her year of graduation, she laughed and said, “we graduated so long ago, they hadn’t even built the gym yet.”

Monday, April 19, 2021

1930 and 1932 LTHS Basketball Teams


1930-31 Lawrenceville Township High School basketball team 

From left front row: Coach Bland, Pooch Moody, P Weger, R Scaggs, Turk Hill and Assistant Coach Hancock. 

Back row: Wright, Clyde Weger, Carl Smith, B Schrader, H Ballard, and Lyman Stevenson. 

The team finished third in the state tournament.

1932 LTHS Basketball Team
From left, Front row: Coach Peacock, Carl Smith, VD Schrader, Claude Moody, Paul Weger, and Delbert Scaggs.

Second row: AD Mcguire, Jack Gosnell, Bob Orvin, Truman Scott, Roger Johnston, and Assistant Coach R A Dunbar.  

Delbert Scaggs and Paul Weger were named to the all state team in 1932.  Weger was named to the state all tournament team.  

The 1932 Indians won the Bridgeport district tournament, captured the Salem sectional and took 3rd place in the state finals at Champaign. 

Friday, April 16, 2021

White Oak School Part 5

 This photo in the newspaper was dated “1939-40 White Oak School”. This is incorrect, and is, in fact, a photo of the combined schools of Westpoint, Buckhorn and White Oak. Brad Schrader, Ed McVickar, and Mary White, teachers of West Point, Buckhorn and White Oak respectively during this year, are all in this photo.  In addition, the 25 students in this photo don’t correspond with the records of the following year when Mary White had only 18 students and 6 were in the first grade and would not have been in this photo. Buckhorn had only 7 students this year. West Point had about the same.  

Additionally, the three schools were known to meet every Friday afternoon to sing, march, square dance, compete in spelling and ciphering matches, perform plays, and play ball. Schrader taught marching, calisthenics, and coached softball and basketball. Mary White played the piano and taught singing and musical games. Thus the students received training and experiences that were not possible in such small schools. 
Front row L to R: Max Jones, Bob Brunson, Marvin Wright, Earl Inyart, Roger Storckman.
Second row: ? Barker, Don Lewis, Cora Wright, Thelma Fyffe, Maxine Jones, Norma Fyffe, Mary Bell.
Third row:  Stanley Fyffe, Billy Brian, Don Cunningham, Merle Holsen, Ross Moore, John White, Jr. Inyart, Lucille Young, Dorothy Bell, Lucretia Holsen. 
Fourth row: Lavern Young, Abby Garrett, ? Barker, Mary White Sivert, Teacher.
Fifth row: Brad Schrader, teacher, Ed McVickar, Teacher.

With the Ross Daily era ending, a new teacher for White Oak school was required for the 1938-39 year. School board President Fred Bell and Clerk K. N. Cunningham hired Mary White, daughter of school board member Sabine White, at a salary of $100 a month for the eight- month school year.  A recent graduate from the junior college course, Eastern Illinois State Teachers College, Charleston, IL she had some of the finest recommendations from her professors that one would want, with special training in music.  The college mailed a letter to her parents, stating that she received honors in scholarship for the winter quarter.  There were 730 students in the college of whom 31 received high honors and 51 received honors.  The letter was signed by Robert Guy Buzzard, president of the institution and a native of Lawrence County himself.   County Superintendent Cunningham recorded that state taxes equal to $638.47 were sent to the White Oak school district with the remainder, $161.53, of her salary being paid by local taxation. (Some of you may remember Miss White as Mrs. Mary Sivert) 

Miss White attacked her first teaching job with energy and enthusiasm. Bringing scraps of wood and cloth from her father’s workshop and her mother’s sewing basket, she helped the students make Christmas presents for their families. Often a pot of soup would appear around lunchtime to make sure no student went hungry. On May 18, 1939, she closed her first successful school term with a big dinner and program.  In the latter part of the day the pupils were taken by automobile on a trip to Olney, Newton, Oblong, Robinson, Palestine, and Vincennes.  The newspaper reported that they enjoyed seeing the monkeys at the park in Palestine perhaps more than any other thing they saw.  Few of them had ever been that far from home, and none had ever been to all the cities visited. Graduates that year were Anna Bell Worstell, Esther Cunningham, Patty Barker, and Bernard Brunson. 

Mary White’s class in 1940-41 had 9 boys and 9 girls.  Six were in the first grade and 5 were in the 8th grade with remainder being spread out across the grades.  The Superintendent noted that there were only 50 books in the school library. 

Miss Mildred McKelfresh, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Hugh McKelfresh, taught two years beginning in 1941. She graduated from Sumner High School with the class of 1939, and then attended Eastern Illinois College for two years.  To follow a well-loved teacher can be hard for any teacher but particularly a brand new one. To start the term off right, a wiener roast was held and it must have won over the 15 students because there were seven who had perfect attendance for that month. They were: Betty Cunningham, Wilma H. Vangilder, Robert Brunson, Roger Storckman, Mary Bell, Donald Lewis and Donald Cunningham. The school was closed the first week of April, 1943 because her brother, Albert McKelfresh, was seriously ill at the Great Lakes Naval Army Camp and Miss McKelfresh left to visit him. The next year when she rang the bell on the first day of school there were only 7 students. 

The following year 1943, Inez Daily, wife of Ross Daily, began teaching an 8-month term at White Oak for $110 monthly.  She had taught two years at another school, but because her husband had taught at White Oak for 12 years, she was well- known in the community. Her salary was $880 for an 8-month term. The student population fluctuated from 8-12 students. The school had been repapered and painted since the previous school term but Glen Fiscus, County Superintendent of Schools noted the building needed 2 new windows. 

The Historical Society possesses the school register for the years 1943-1948.  Names, attendance and grades are all recorded.  Students in 1943-1944 were Barbara Ann White,6; Shirley Vangilder,7; Wilma Jean Vangilder,9; Betty Cunningham,9; Roger Storckman,10; Robert Brunson,11; Donald Lewis,11; Mary Bell,12; Harry Burrell,10; John Burrell,12; Darold Aubert,11; and Caralee Aubert 13.

The nine students in the 1944-45 were Barbara Ann White, Shirley Vangilder, Wilma Jean Vangilder, Betty Cunningham, Roger Storckman, Robert Brunson, and Donald Lewis.  New to the school were Cora Jane Wright,11 and Marvin Wright, 13. At the end of that year, Donald Lewis and Marvin Wright graduated from the 8th grade. Donald was 13 and Marvin was 15. 

In the winter of 1944, White Oak and West Point students met once a month and practiced singing and learned to read music.  Two more schools were eventually invited to the group, Buckhorn and Prairie.  After several numbers were sung, “moving pictures such as Victory Gardens, Alaska’s silver millions, Why Willie was Willing to Wash, and About Faces” were shown.  Several of the parents also attended. 

Students in Inez Daily’s class for 1945-46 were Barbara Ann White, Shirley Vangilder; Wilma Jean Vangilder, Betty Cunningham, Roger Storckman, Robert Brunson, and Cora Jane Wright. New students were Eddie (Buckie) Bass,5; Ruth Ann (Ruthie) Bass,6; Lavina Earnst,6; Raymond Thomas,6; and Charles Thomas,6.  Roger Storckman graduated at the end of that year. School board consisted of Hugh White, president and K. N. Cunningham, clerk.

The citizens of Sumner in an attempt to enlarge the high school district to acquire enough taxable territory to justify the construction of a suitable high school building proposed annexing some independent rural schools.  In July 1946, they submitted the proposition to the voters but lost. White Oak was strongly against being annexed. According to a newspaper reporter, parents felt that because the youngsters had to be bused or driven to a high school anyway, it was just as well to let the parents choose between Bridgeport, Lawrenceville, or Sumner.  

For the 8- month school year of 1946-47, Mrs. Daily was paid $1200 annually and taught twelve students. Returning students were Barbara Ann White, Betty Cunningham, Cora Jane Wright, Eddie (Buckie) Bass, Ruth Ann (Ruthie) Bass, Lavina Earnst, and Raymond Thomas.  New students were Mary Ann Earnst,5; Sharon Hutchings,6; Shirley Corbet,10; Hershel Corbet, 12; and Lavionia Young, 14.

There were thirteen students, in the first through the fifth grades enrolled for the 1947-48 school year. Returning were Barbara Ann White, Eddie (Buckie) Bass, Ruth Ann (Ruthie) Bass, Lavina Earnst, Mary Ann Earnst, and Sharon Hutchings.  New students were Theron Hutchings,5; Jay Dee White,5; Freddie Moore,6; Jeanie Foss,7; Arthur Moore,7; Nancy Young,7; and Joan Foss 9.

Despite the school library of 80 books being increased to 175 and Mrs. Inez Daily trying to provide extra learning opportunities such as taking her pupils to Prairie School to see the fire prevention program, there just weren’t enough students to justify keeping the school open under state standards. In September of 1948, White Oak closed its doors, and the students began attending Lukin Community Consolidated School District #2.  

The following September a notice of sale appeared in the newspaper stating that White Oak School
building and the ground upon which it was situated would be sold.  The building was used for revivals in the community for a while and then in June, 1958, the building and 1/2 acre of ground was for sale by French Fiscus. It is now a private home.

For at least 19 years of the school’s 72 years in existence at that site, members of the Daily family taught at White Oak.   First Grace, then her brother Ross, and finally Inez, Ross’s wife.  Generations of Moore’s Cunninghams, and Whites as well as many others were educated within it walls.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

White Oak School Part 4


1927 Melvin Dale Moore

White Oak 1920s and 1930s

Edith Highsmith taught the 1924-25 term at White Oak, while Mabel Buchanan taught the following year. The 1926 school year ushered in Ross L. Daily, who had 18 years of teaching already under his belt.  While all the records cannot be located, it is believed he taught for the next twelve years with a beginning salary at $700 annually rising to $800. School occasionally had to be held on Saturday so Mr. Daily could attend to his duties as the Lukin supervisor during the week.   

 On December 16, 1926, one of Ross’s students wrote a letter to Santa.  “Dear Santa, I am a little boy 7 years old. I go to school every day and I go to White Oak School.  My teachers’ name is Ross Daily.  I want a coaster wagon, oil truck, a watch, a top, organs, peanuts, candy and all kinds of nuts.  Santa don’t forget my sister, bring her something nice too. I will go to bed early. Please don’t forget to come. I am your little boy, Good bye Santa, Melvin Dale Moore.

The “gossip” column of the newspaper reported the visitors to the school such as Rev Douglas, Inez Daily and daughter Wilma Jean (the teacher’s wife and daughter), Mrs. Gaddy, Mrs. Hattie Wright and Grace Cunningham as well as other entertaining bits of news. In November 1927, the children of White Oak entertained at a masquerade party for the community.  In December 1928, the paper reported that White Oak students, Junior, 5, and Virginia, 6, children of Roy Harness, had whooping cough. In October 1929, all 15 pupils at White Oak had perfect attendance. And finally, the 1928-1929 closed March 30, 1929 after a 7- month term with a program and a dinner for the patrons of the school.

White Oak School 1927-28

Front row L to R: Jerry Robinson, Mary Moore, Wilma Jean Daily, Jack Cunningham, Esther Cunningham, Bernard Brunson
Second row: Pauline Robinson, Carl Cunningham, Melvin Moore, Byard Brunson, Bob White
Third row: Mary White, Martha White, George Foss, Charles Daily, Fred Foss and Ross Daily (teacher) 
Fourth row: Pearl Moore, Robert Whitthrow, Herbert Moore and Roy Bicknell

Wilma Jean and Charles were the children of teacher, Ross Daily. Note that the student enrollment was decreasing with the times. (Some of you may know that cute little girl in the front row identified as Esther Cunningham. She is now known as Esther Brumley. In an interview she said that on the first day of school she walked home through the woods and told her mother she was not going back. She didn’t like it and her father said she didn’t have to go back, but the next morning she got up bright and early ready to go. She not only continued but upon eighth grade graduation, she boarded with her great Uncle Coen Cunningham and wife in Lawrenceville and attended LTHS because at that time, there were no school buses for rural students.   Upon receiving her diploma, she studied music at Eastern, graduated, and taught at Palestine, IL for a couple of years, had her family, and then taught at Brookside school for twenty years. Wow, quite a career for a five-year old who didn’t want to go to school.)

In July 1930, the members of the S. N.  Cunningham family had a reunion and picnic in a grove just south of White Oak School, the school in which all members of the family had attended during childhood. In this wooded grove there is a natural spring that added to the attractiveness of the spot. That spring also abounded with a species of mud turtle.  During the day the grandchildren had a great time digging them out of the mud in the creek below the spring and carving their initials on the shell, hoping their turtle would be found at the following year’s reunion.

Although the depression and the drought made things difficult for farm families, rural school boards showed great consideration in not cutting teacher’s salaries. Many families realized that education would better their children’s futures. Ross Dailey reported the names of children entitled to awards for perfect attendance and perfect spelling in 1931:  Geraldine Robinson, Esther Cunningham, Bernard Brunson, Gail Cunningham, Roy Bicknell, Herb Moore, Wilma Jean Daily, Mary Moore, George Foss, Fred Foss, Jack Cunningham, Melvin Moore, Mary White, and Martha White.

By the first of November 1931, Ross Daily, the teacher of White Oak school, reported that his pupils had completed the Everyday Arithmetic, the standard county text for the rural schools. He advertised that he would pay 25 cents each for used Felmley eighth grade math books “because the examples contained therein made muscles on the brain if one could solve them.” The author of those books was David Felmley, president of Illinois State Normal University, and the books had been used in the county about twenty years previously.   

Daily didn’t just care about his students’ minds, he also cared about their health. A month later, all the pupils of White Oak were immunized against diphtheria. Again in 1936, the paper reported that the county nurse immunized all the students who hadn’t been immunized already.

White Oak, like most country schools, participated in holiday programs and the county fair. The patrons of the school enjoyed a nice afternoon program during the 1931 Christmas season, after which Santa made his appearance, handing out treats and distributing the presents from under the tree. Martha White entered a group of maps for the White Oak school display at the county fair but the exhibit was lost probably caused by another teacher gathering together her own school’s exhibit and including Martha’s by mistake. The county superintendent asked all teachers to check their returning materials for these maps.

 On March 15, 1932, White Oak’s enrollment was 21 pupils and the average attendance for the previous month had been 97 percent. County Superintendent Cunningham noted that this was excellent attendance particularly for a school located on clay roads.

Music was not neglected at White Oak. Esther Cunningham Brumley in an interview March 2021, said that Mr. Ross brought instruments for all the students to play at school, and that there was a piano in the classroom. In January, 1932, the pupils of White Oak led by Ross Daily gave a music recital at the Farmer’s Institute.  Charles Daily played saxophone, Jack Cunningham flute, Wilma Jean Daily violin, Martha White trombone, and Byard Brunson violin. Four years later White Oak students played at the county commencement. This time Wilma Jean Daily played her brother’s saxophone; Pauline Robinson and Annabella Ash played Hawaiian guitars (these were probably ukuleles); Edna Worstell played the Spanish guitar, accompanied by Byard Brunson on violin, and Bob White playing the trombone.

 1935-36 White Oak School 

When this photo was published years later in the newspaper the caption said this was the "entire school population", but that is incorrect. Esther Cunningham Brumley stated that this photo shows a group of students who had won awards (bananas, candy bars, etc.) and is not a photograph of all the students who attended the school.  In fact, Daily gave each girl and boy with a perfect attendance record for the month a five-cent bag of candy. According to Supt. Cunningham, “his pupils do some scrambling through the Lukin clay mud to get to school on time for this treat.”  Daily’s plan had been in successful operation for a number of years.

Front row: L to R: John White, Don Cunningham, Madge Hen gal, Dorothy Bell
 Second row: Ross Moore, Annabel Worstell, Esther Cunningham, Thelma Locoer
Third row: Teacher Ross Daily, Mary Moore, Carl Cunningham, Bernard Brunson

In May 1937, Mary Moore a student at White Oak School played a piano solo for the 8th grade rural commencement held at the BTHS auditorium. Annabelle Worstell and Dorothy Bell won awards for spelling and attendance. The was the last year Ross Daily taught at White Oak; the next year he taught at Prairie School #52. He continued to teach for several more years and died at the age of 91 from injuries resulting from a car accident in 1980.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

White Oak School Part 3

Louisa Moore

The Sumner Press reported on October 9, 1913, that “the teacher of White Oak School and about 13 of his small pupils gathered at the home of Miss Louisa Moore Tuesday evening to remind her of her eighth birthday.  A good supper was prepared for them of which they all did ample justice.  The children amused themselves with music and out of door games. They departed about the hour of six leaving Miss Louisa alone with the little presents they had given her and wishing her many more such happy birthdays.”

In the school archives of the Historical Society there is a diploma of Roy Foss. His teacher was Olla May Foss who was also his older sister.  She was 21 and he was 17 when he was promoted to the 8th grade in March of 1915.

The following two photos have been dated and misdated several times in the newspapers over the years. Because no student is holding a slate with the date on it, the years were determined by the years the  teachers taught.  

White Oak School 1916-17

The identification on this photo of White Oak school students states that was taken in 1915 or 1918 and the teacher was Lawrence Osborn.  The Sumner Press reported that Lester Brothers had been hired to teach the 1915-16 term. Lawrence Osborn taught the 1916-1917 term and was paid $55 a month to teach 7 months according to the County Superintendent’s Directory of Teachers. It couldn’t be 1918 because Lawrence Osborn was inducted into the service June 1918.   

First row L-R: Cecil Foss, Stanley Beal, Ray Traylor, Earl Turner, John Blevins, Omer Moore, Dale Moore
Second row: Beulah Moore, Daisy Moore, Gladys Welton, Marion Osborn, Cletis Fiscus, Garnet Turner
Third row:  Dora Moore, Louis Moore, Beulah Fiscus, Dorothy Turner, Blanche Moore, Grace Cunningham, Gertrude Osborn, Lawrence Osborn (teacher), Kate Cunningham, Sylba Moore, Daisy Wright, Bonnie Moore

After serving in WWI, Lawrence Osborn was employed in various county banks. In December 1932, he was shot and killed by Sam Selby, a Birds school teacher because of  personal financial differences.  

Hattie Provines taught the 1917-18 term at White Oak School. 

First row L to R: Hershel Welton, Earl Turner, Floyd Moore, Noble Moore, Cecil Foss, Coen Moore, Virgil Bell, Stanley Beal, French Fiscus.
Second row: Vera Foss, Grace Moore, Daisy Moore, Marion Osborn, Beulah Moore, Gladys Welton, Garnet Turner, Cletis Fiscus, Dorothy Turner, Louisa Moore
Third row: Omer Moore, Ray Traylor, Dora Moore, Beulah Fiscus, Zazel Moore, Ira Moore, Dale Moore, Willis Moore
Fourth row: Roy Moore, Kate Cunningham, Blanch Moore, Daisy Wright, Bonnie Moore. 

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

White Oak School Part 2

The Historical Society is in possession of several original documents entitled “Schedule of a Common School.” These are forms which were completed monthly by the teachers listing names and ages of students, as well as the number of days they attended.   A schedule for White Oak shows that there were 19 boys, and 35 girls ranging in age from 5 to 17 in grades 1-8, enrolled during the 1910 -1911 term.  Grace Daily, the teacher, was paid $40 a month.  The only school holidays in 1910 were New Year’s Day, Fourth of July, Christmas, and Thanksgiving. The president of the school board was Albert A. Moore and the clerk was L. R. Turner.

Among the students who attended that year were Omer, 15, John, 12, Grace, 10, and Kate, 8, the younger siblings of E. Coen Cunningham whose parents were Silas and Laura Cunningham. Ralph, 12, and Ray, 6, were children of Milo and Lora Traylor. Elmer, 15, Jennie, 12, Bessie,10, Rena, 8, and Evalene,5, were children of Daniel and Emma Heath.

There were fourteen children with the surname of Moore. Dewey,10, belonged to George W. and Edith Moore. Irwin, 12, Willis, 10, and Noble Dale,6, were sons of Albert S. and Mary Moore. Daisy, 14, Zelpha,12, and Roy,8, were children of John C. and Effie E. Moore. Zasle,12, and Ira, 6, were children of Marion and Lula Moore. Verna Irene,12, and Nancy Gale,8, were children of Frank A. and Sarah E. Moore.  Sylba,9, was a daughter of Lymon and Bertha Moore. Blanche,9, and Bonnie,7, were daughters of J. William and Effie Moore.

Connie,6, was a daughter of Marion and Hattie Wright.  Ina,16, and Effie,14, were daughters of Edwin and Cora Lint. Ira,10, was a son of John A. and Ida White. Edith,12, and Elsie,9, were daughters of Albert A. and Rada White. Harry,10, Louisa,12, and Carl,7, were children of Jacob and Nancy Bass. Lillie,12, Genevieve, 10, and Dudley,8, were children of Sylvester and Libbie Fiscus.

Earl,7, and Dortha,6, were children of Levi and Caroline Turner. Zed,8, was a son of Charles and Rebecca Lewis. Maggie, 14, Dolas, 12, Douglas, 8, and Dortha, 6, were children of Charles A. and Drizela Corrie. Stella May,17, Daisy, 15, and Grace,12, were the daughters of George Peters, a widower. Cozy,8, was a daughter of John W. and Mary Peters. Naomi,11, was a daughter of Edgar and Mary Williams. Verna, 11, Nellie,9, and Tressie,7, were daughters of Herman and Jane Kuehling.

According to the 1910 census, Hubert Brunson, 9, was living with William H. and Ella Schrader and May Miser, 11, was living with and doing housework for Glen and Rosa Welston.  


1912 Corn day. Note that the mothers of some of the students are included in photo.
A unique photo of the interior of a rural one room school.  
This was taken at White Oak School, 1912 on Corn Day. The room was appropriately decorated for the occasion.  The judges were Erwin Moore, Ralph Traylor, John Cunningham, Daisy Peters and Daisy Moore, all upper-class students. The winners of the second prizes were Emily Moore and Dorothy Turner, younger students. While no other information about this particular program could be found, corn day was also observed at Billett School November 7, 1912, and included readings, songs, drills and recitations, as well as talks by the teachers.