Mama's health begin to fail, and after a lingering illness she passed away March 24, 1908, leaving Katie and I. After dividing up all the personal and household things, the farm was sold and divided, and Katie and I were separated. She went to live in one sister's home, and I went to the other sister, as there were two married girls. They lived a mile apart, so she and I were together often.
After moving to my sister's home to live, I finished out the school term at a little one-teacher school taught by Miss Lela Hannah. It was only a short distance away; about a quarter mile.
This was spring of 1908. The name of the school was Prairie Mound, but later had a new name by accident.
A boy was taking a jar of buttermilk to school to have with his lunch, and after walking a long distance in the cold, he finally reached the schoolhouse door. Just as he stepped in the door, the jar burst. The milk had froze on the way and from then on, as long as the building stood, it was known far and near as "Buttermilk".
We had school programs occasionally, and Miss Hannah gave me a recitation, written in long hand, to memorize for the program being planned. It seemed I studied for days on it. I would take it with me when I walked after the cows in late afternoon, and repeat it over and over. Finally, the day came for the program. I had my part ready, but
the paper it was written on was about worn out. I threw it away and I did not keep a copy of the reading. Only in my memory, and now 1968, 60 years late, I will try to put it in writing again. The title "Christmas Eve at Hunter's Lodge". (omitted - long poem)
The next year I went to stay with Willie and Maggie, my oldest brother, as he lived in walking distance of a two-teacher school. Dr. Dan Pearson taught the higher grades. He was my teacher, and Miss Harrison taught the lower.
It was almost time for school to close. They had a box supper and program. Walter Thornton, who I thought at that time was the very nicest boy in school, and good looking too, and to my surprise, he was the one that bought my box. I have forgotten if he had a part on the program, but I had been given a reading to memorize. I well remember trying to have it ready to recite by the night of the program.
That was the spring of 1909, and at the time I am writing this, it is March, 1969, sixty years later. Written from memory only as I have not had it in writing since that time. So there are probably errors. The title
was "Van Bobers Rock". (omitted , long poem).