Posted by: marthabernie | May 31, 2015

UNION SCHOOLHOUSE – Phillipsburg, Missouri

scan0056aThis is a photo of the one room schoolhouse where my mother went to school, taken in the 1950’s.  By this time, it was no longer in use, but the origins of this schoolhouse go back to before the Civil War.  It was the first one-room log schoolhouse in Union Township, located near the old Union Cemetery.  The earliest readable records are from 1871.  In 1878 the Cumberland Presbyterian Church records mention the schoolhouse being used for Sunday sermons.  The log schoolhouse became crowded and was replaced by a larger frame building, which was destroyed by fire in the summer of 1895.  Some records say that an acre of land was purchased from the Ozark Land Company and a new school was built.  However, our family lore says that my great grandfather, William Harvey Shank, donated the corner of his farm property for the school to be built.  As a result, when son Eli and wife Inez set up house keeping on the farm after they were married in 1899, the Shank children did not have far to go to school.  My mother was paid 50 cents per month in winter to walk down to the school early and start the fire in the pot belly stove.  During one winter storm when the snow was piled so high it would be hard for a child to walk to the school, her father made a path in the snow and went down to the school to get the fire going.  The children were able to walk to school later that morning along the path he had forged.  The photo above was taken after the school was no longer in use.  After the Shank farm was sold, owners did not tear the building down but instead added onto it and used it as a barn.

As you can see from the photos below, the “barn” has a chimney.  I took the two following photos in 1997, one showing the outside of the building, and the second photo showing the interior.  You can still see where the pot belly stove was connected to the chimney, and those are old blackboards on the right.  There were still names of children written on them.  I think they had autographed the blackboards when the school officially closed.

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