Notes from the White County Historical Society

By Charlene Shields

Notes from the White County Historical Society as they appear in "The Carmi Times."

Copyright ©1998 by "The Carmi Times" Permission to reprint granted to Laurel Crook and the ILGenWeb by Tammy Knox, editor, "The Carmi Times."

Sept. 29, 1998

A reader who wishes to remain nameless brought in the following poem which she had clipped from an Oct. 20, 1923, issue of The Pathfinder.

The Old Schoolhouse

There are old familiar pictures
Painted fair in mem'ry's frame;
There are voices hushed in silence,
I so long to hear again.
There's a house of logs and benches
Shaded well by lofty trees--
"Tis the old school house of childhood,
Where I learned my A, B, C's.

Oh, the old familiar schoolmates
Scattered far from this dear place;
I can hear their shouts at ev'ning,
I can see each happy face
When the teacher had dismissed them,
And the day's dull tasks were done,
As long the lanes they loitered,
Heedless of the setting sun.

I have wandered back since childhood
To review that sacred ground,
And found some schoolmates lying
Near the place--'neath mossy mound.
And I looked to where the schoolhouse
Stood in days of long ago,
In its place another building,
Dear old schoolhouse lying low.

Now the silent ev'nings whisper
Of the ones I love the best;
They repeat the old, old story:
Some are scattered--some now rest
Where we played the games of childhood,
Free from sorrow, pain and care,
When we knew no dread tomorrow,
Free as children of the air.

Mem'ry often loves to travel
Trails I tramped in boyhood days,
'Cross the fields and through the forests
Where now run the wide highways.
Gone the sacred home of childhood,
Gone the schoolhouse down the lane
Where the monarchs of the forest
Sheltered me from sun and rain.

This was penned by E.R. Robinson of Lonoke, Ark. He dedicated the poem to the first school he and his brother, Sen. Joseph T. Robinson, ever attended. He described the school as follows: It was a little log hut, 18 feet square, with one door, one window, and with split logs for seats. It has long ago crumbed back to dust, but just in front of where it stood is the Concord Methodist Church, and in front of this church is the old cemetery that contains the dust of our beloved dead. This log school was erected by our father 80 years ago, and the land on which schoolhouse, church and cemetery stood, was given by him to the community.

There are many old timers (including me) who have fond memories of the one-room school house, but I suspect we are acquainted with log schools with split logs for seats only by reading the local history books or hearing our grandparents talk of "the good old days."

The Genealogy Library is open from 11 to 5 on Wednesdays.
Write us at PO Box 121, Carmi, IL 62821.

Notes from the Genealogy Library
White County Historical Society
located downstairs in the Ratcliff Inn, downtown Carmi

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Created by Laurel Crook, 05 Aug 1998