|Starting in the last decade of the 19th century, and continuing almost
as long as the old one room schoolhouses existed, teachers gave these souvenir
books to their students at the end of the school year. Note that these
are ONE ROOM schools, so the list is of the entire student body and not
the graduating class only. You will notice that the school year ended in
March then. Quite a number of these books have survived in the old memento
boxes of many families. They are valuable to the genealogist and historical
researcher in giving us information about where families were located.
There are many surprises in them as people moved about much more than we
might expect and may show up in places where we would not expect them.
I am hoping that putting my collection online will encourage others of
you to send yours in. Photocopies are OK, but scanned images are preferred
to keep the colors and for a more pleasing presentation. Color Photocopies
are usually as good as the originals.
It is also intreresting that the young teachers often did not go very
far from home. Many returned to teach their former school mates in their
own school or taught in the adjacent district. Even though they lived close
to home, they usually stayed at the home of a family very close to the
school. See the 1880
Joe Holly Diary where he took his daughters to the Oldroyd and
Burton Hill Schools early Monday morning and picked them up Friday afternoons,
and also see the 1870
Sadie Monroe Diary where she taught at the Hulslander School and
stayed with her relatives next door to it even though her own house was
within sight but further down the road.
Most of these young teachers were women, and most taught only for a
year to three years. Once they married, both custom and hiring practices
prevented their further employment. In some cases, they married secretly
to keep their jobs and kept working until their first pregnancy "gave them
away." When marriage was revealed, dismissal was immediate except in rare
I would also like any school pictures you may have in your possession,
including the identification of individuals where possible. Items listed
on this Table of Contents page that are not already linked are in process
and will be available as soon as possible.