When O.E. Estill began his teaching career in 1927 at Douglass School he remembers his track team didn’t have a regulation track field to practice on, but he produced a winning record year after year.
“We didn’t have a place to run, so we ran in the streets. I worked with those boys though and we were usually always on top of our conference, which included about ten schools in those days.”
Estill received his undergraduate degree at Lincoln University and his masters at Iowa State University. During his years at Douglass he taught science, math and physical education. He also taught in the Hannibal public school system.
“When I was a student I enjoyed math and science and was a good student and liked school. I decided to become a teacher because I enjoyed school and working with young people.
“When I came to Douglass one teacher did all the coaching and there wasn’t hardly a year that we didn’t have a championship team.”
He still hears from some of his students who have gone on to teaching or other professions.
“We didn’t have too many students go on to college in those days and so many of them didn’t even graduate. I always tried to teach students in such a way that they could enjoy being in school, “Estill said.
“A teacher must certainly have knowledge, but must want to teach and enjoy teaching to be successful,” Estill said.
The school yearbook of 1954-55 notes the Douglass Hi-Eagles basketball team, under Coach Estill, tied for third in the Central Missouri Conference, won the Moberly Invitational tourney and placed second in the Central Missouri Conference basketball tournament held in Sedalia.
“Although I didn’t really have a degree in physical education, I had played sports throughout my school years and enjoyed working with the students. Not all of the students wanted to work however.”
“It was a constant challenge for me to make classes interesting for them so that they would stay in school and perhaps a few would go on to college. I even had eight or nine students taking chemistry, simply because they enjoyed the class. I always considered it important to teach them first, and then test their knowledge,” he said.
During his career in education, Estill also was principal of the Douglass elementary school and later taught at Hannibal Junior High School. He currently is involved in the planning of the Douglass School reunion Aug. 1-3 in Hannibal.
“I’ll be teaching for as long as I’m able and hope to continue substitute teaching a few hours each month. After all, I’m not down yet,” Estill said.
DEATH NOTICE Hannibal Courier-Post Oscar Estill
Services for Oscar E. Estill, 77, of 2219 Spruce Street, will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at the O’Donnell Funeral Home. Mr. Will Shephard will be in charge. Burial will be in Robinson Cemetery.
Mr. Estill died at 4:20 a.m. today at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital. He was born Aug. 18, 1904, in Hannibal to Lawyer and Pearl Estill. He was married to Dorothy M. Shepherd, who survives. Other survivors include a daughter, Mrs. Gloria Wilson, Alorton, Ill; one sister, Mrs. Ruby Campbell, Kansas City, Mo., and three grandchildren.
Mr. Estill was a member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. He was a retired school teacher from the Hannibal Public School system.
Visitation will be after 5 p.m. Friday at the funeral home.