Scrapbook serves as reminder of proud Marion County school

Turner School students, Marion County, Mo., April 18, 1922. Students posed in front of the new flag. Back row, from left, Ruth Petrie, Georgia Venoy, Sara Weatherly, Grace Petrie, Marietta Tarleton. Front row, Katherine Rigney, Mary Bailey (kneeling) Louise Mulkey and Annabelle Minor. CONTRIBUTED/SUE HART

MARY LOU MONTGOMERY

Turner School’s history of service to the children of Miller Township in eastern Marion County, Missouri, goes back to the days when Native Americans still lived and hunted in the nearby barrens.

A scrapbook and related documents, compiled by the parents and teachers during the mid 1920s, is now in the possession of Sue Hart of Hannibal, who has lived across the street from the school building her entire life. She is also a graduate of this proud formerly one-room school.

The following information was extracted from this material, offering a glimpse into the neighborhood, and neighbors, who worked together to sustain a quality educational standard which was upheld until 1968, when the school closed, and its students absorbed into the Hannibal public school district.

Click here to see photos and biography information regarding the PTA committee members in 1927.

Turner, as a one-room school house, before the 1928 addition. CONTRIBUTED/SUE HART

The following notes are taken directly from the PTA meeting minutes:

The lights were improved as the first PTA project. Two bracket lamps and a gasoline lamp were purchased for $10.46. They had rented a piano as a second project and after paying for the lamps and rent on the piano had a balance of 10 cents. In April 1923 the final payment was made on the piano. Also that month, April 1923, the flag pole and flag were purchased.

In March 1923 a committee for building an addition to the present building was appointed. Mr. C.G. Tarleton, Mr. Mark Fountain and Mr. N.J. Mulkey.

During these first years, a drinking fountain was purchased, along with an oil stove. Also, ample dishes and silver have been kept at the school by the efforts of the PTA.

Sixty chairs (to be used for public events) were donated by Mr. Schwartz and Mr. O’Donnell, Hannibal funeral directors. Repairs to the chairs were expected to be 25 cents each.

In 1925 the Marion County Power and Light Company had been organized and the school was lighted by electricity. The light bill from R. Robinson for fixtures for the school came to $19.50.

In September 1926, a gravel driveway was put in and first playground equipment installed.

In 1928 the 4-H club was started and a first aid cabinet placed in the school.

Work on the new building addition was started in May 1928 and on Aug. 30 it was dedicated. The Turner School building then consisted of two large rooms, each 30x30 feet, halls, cloak rooms and full basement.

Sidewalks were built in 1929. In 1930 the name of the school was placed in the front of the building. In 1931, PTA women made band uniforms and more playground equipment was installed.

In 1932 Llewellyn Tarleton presented a hand made gavel to the school, and it was used until the school closed in 1968.

In 1934 a Boy Scout troop was organized with Mr. Bill Youse as leader. A second piano was purchased in 1934.

In 1935 a mimeograph was purchased and a Girl Scout troop was organized.

In 1936 the school was redecorated and a sink put in the kitchen. Labor was funded by the WPA. In 1937 the PTA sponsored an orchestra composed of Imogene Otten, Mary Joe Gentry, Bill Bastian, Jack Boetjer and Dow Moore Jr.

Other interesting tidbits gleaned from the scrapbook pages:

School traditionally closed on the 15th of April to get ready to plant corn.

Teacher in 1900: Lizzie Turner. In 1899: Miss Catherine Gouch (Kitty).

Pupils in 1916: William Miller; David Loomis; Ferneval Overman (lived in Miller Café property); Mary Catherine Mulkey, where Whitakers lived; Virginia Weatherly, Shelton home; Miller Houck.

Dick Campbell lived where Helen Harris lived, where Robbins live, and then to McIntosh. Charles Turner lived on the Creech place. Orion Turner was his father.

Other students in 1916: Harry Petrie Noel house first, Fountains bought from Petrie (J.D. Walker); Robert Head, Ada’s brother, corner of Palmyra Road and Head Lane; Edward Campbell; Dorothy Mulkey, where Whitakers live; Dorothy Drake, Jones’ house; Angeline Akerson, Baldwin or Elledge house; Lucille Donaldson; Virginia Myers; Bertha Watson (father Steve Watson, Tarletons’ place, tenants for Tarleton);

Gentry Drake, Jones house; C.G. Tarleton; Gail Nelson, Hugel Place; T.P. Head; Frankie Myers, Virginia’s brother; Ada Head; Oliver Akerson (lives in Oakwood); Richard Minor (Cecil Minor) house torn down behind Donaldson; Mary Watson; Richard Tarleton; Harold Myers.

Also: Charles Loomis; Gwendolyn Bloomer; Elizabeth Weatherly; Sarah Head; Bernetta Mulkey; Laura Lee Turner (Tom’s youngest daughter); Edna Jackson, lived with Baileys, they lived where Boetjer used to live; Harlan Petrie; Orville Hendren; Clarence Overman, lived in Miller place where Café is.

Charles Atkins was clerk of the school board; J.E. Weatherly was president and members were Harry Houck and B.V. Hendren.

The Petries lived in the large brick Noel house. Then moved to the old brick ID Moore house.

Mr. Bohon wrote a history that ran as a series in the Palmyra Spectator. Should also be in the County Clerk’s office.

When he was in first grade, Len Rubison lived in the Hathaway house that burned down. Mr. Rubison was a farmer.

Building addition

and remodeling

November 2, 1923: Mrs. Nelson reported that she was having the telephone connected the first of the coming week. Repairs were made to the school clock at the charge of $1.

In the 1950s, rest rooms were added and a well-equipped kitchen was provided for a hot lunch program.

First Building

built in 1835

Made of logs. Location, same as present building. Area to west was dense forest with many Indians.

Teachers

1835-45

Captain Barby, veteran of War of 1812

Mr. Garby

Samuel Hendren

There might have been others whose names are not available.

Hand written note of teachers, 1910-1968, copied from the scrapbook:

1910-11 Edith Stewart

1911-12 Edith Stewart

12-13 J.L. Brooks

13-14 Edith Stewart

14-15 Edith Stewart

15-16 Jennie Bloomer

16-17 Dorothy Dudley

17-18 Dorothy Dudley

18-19-Anne Landis

20-21 Lula Landis

21-22 Mrs. E. Carr

22-23 Mrs. E. Carr

23-24 Mrs. Lillian Battarff and Pauline

24-25 same

25-26, same plus Angela Mason

26-27 Mrs. Abbie Taylor and William Cox

27-28 Virginia Shulse and Ruth Roland

Teachers 1928-29, Virginia Shulse and Ruth Roland.

1929-56, Virginia Shulse and Helen Young

1956-68, Virginia Shulse, Helen Young and Mary Frazier.

For one year during the 1960s a fourth teacher was employed to take care of increased enrollment at that time, with a part of basement converted into classrooms. Neva Dee Crousore was the teacher employed.

At the close of the 1967-68 term, Turner School became a part of the Hannibal system after serving as a school and a community center for 133 years.

Miss Virginia Shulse and Miss Helen Young, 1930-31. CONTRIBUTED/SUE HART

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