I was lucky to spend Thursday at Stowell School on Hannibal's south side, working as a substitute while teachers took part in workshops.
Meryle Martin Dexheimer, who was my high school friend and classmate, works at the school, and showed me the display case where memorabalia is kept honoring the old school building across the street from the new school.
In the display case are two certificates from Meryle's grandmother, who attended this school at the turn of the 20th Century.
In Mrs Martin's honor, and in honor of all the proud Stowell alumni out there (my husband and children included) here is a story from 1875 that touches my heart. Mr. Ayres, the building principal at the time, was my great-grandmother's first cousin. And my great-grandmother, Belle Ayres, was a teacher at South School at the time of this accident.
I hope you enjoy this story as much as I have. - Mary Lou
Thanks to Steve Chou for allowing me to use this historical photo from his vast collection.
9-23-1875, Hannibal Clipper
Accident to Miss Holman
Miss Carrie Holman, daughter of Mr. E. Holman, and a teacher in the public school building of South Hannibal, met with a severe accident this forenoon by the upsetting of a spring wagon in which she was being conveyed home. It appears that she had taken a chill during school hours, which necessitated her being taken home. The principal of the school, Mr. J.W. Ayres, brought his horse and spring wagon into requisition, and placed the team in charge of a fourteen year old boy by the name of Harris, who was to drive it to Mr. Holman's residence, on Ninth street. Upon arriving at the corner of Collier and Third streets, the animal attached to the wagon gave a jump, and suddenly turned, throwing the occupants out upon the street. The boy was only slightly hurt. Miss Holman was picked up in an insensible condition. Another conveyance was secured. When the lady was taken home, where she received medical treatment. Upon examination it was found that one of the shoulders was badly bruised, but no bones broken. She soon returned to consciousness, and now converses freely upon the subject. As she will be unable to be out for several days, her sister, Miss Lizzie - will take charge of the school until Miss Carrie is able to resume her duties as a teacher.