Transcribed from the appendix (Pages 199 & 200) of
Bradley – Gibson – Jenkins Allied Families by Deward C. and Ruby Y. Williams, printed in1966.

Updated with comments by Ruby’s granddaughter, DeeDee

Contact her at:

 

“That Little Log School House in the Woods”

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Written by GEORGE T. JENKINS (b. 1839, d. 1913)

Clipped from a 1910 issue of "THE MESSENGER" published at Brandenburg, Meade County, Kentucky.

George Taylor Jenkins

Born: Elizabethtown, Hardin Co., KY, April 6, 1839

Died: Feb. 27, 1913, buried in Jefferies Cemetery near Oriole, IN

 

EDITOR MESSENGER: We promised, did we not, in a recent article of ours to say something more about that little log school house in the woods?  Now, first, those that united voluntarily to erect that little log pen, surnamed a school house in November, 1860, were the following: John Cain, Sr., Henry Cain, Thomas Young, Thomas Stanfield, Richard Jenkins (George T. Jenkins’ father) Mary ? Chamberlain, Thomas Anderson, James Anderson, John Anderson, Allen Anderson, Archie Anderson, and George T. Jenkins. 

The land on which it was reared and the material out of which it was constructed was donated by the Andersons, Thomas being the only one of them that had a child to send to school.  He had one son, William T.  James, John, and Allen were all three bachelors.

 

Second, the location of the house was on the point of a stony ridge, about one fourth of a mile northwest of the old Archibald Anderson homestead, the present home of John Horton and wife, a most estimable family.  Now the size of the house was about 18x16, built with round post oak logs, the bark not being in the least harmed.  It was about 6 feet to the eaves and was topped out with end stuff and ridge poles, covered with three foot clapboards.  These were nailed on, a departure from the usual method of those far-off days, when such things as butting, knees, and weight poles were used in putting on the roof of a log house.

In this house there were no such things as joists, therefore it had a concave ceiling, and the floor was old Mother Earth, scraped, pounded and mauled to a perfect level, and it was almost as smooth as glass.  Out of the west end for about fourteen feet of its length, one log was taken, also one of the same dimensions on the south side.  The openings were filled with panes of glass placed end against end and these were the windows.  Under each of these windows, on the inside, to be sure, there was a broad plank the length of the window, resting upon pins - simply a rough shelf.  Those were the writing desks.  The one in the west was for the boys.  They stood up at their writing lessons.  Having no artificial seat it was a necessity.

 

The shelf on the south side was the girls’ writing desk, but they didn't stand on their feet at their writing lessons.  Henry Cain made and presented to the girls quite a genteel and comfortable bench to sit upon.  The patrons of the school brought in benches to seat all the pupils that came from each family.  Those benches were all minus backs and had never been tickled with a jack or smoothing plane, and it was not possible to detect the scent of paint or varnish on those benches.

 

There was an opening made in the wall of this house about 3 by 5 feet for a door near the northwest corner.  This door was enclosed with a shutter swung on wooden hinges, and a1ways swung outward, and if the boys didn’t keep those wooden hinges well greased with soft lye soap, the creaking noise they made was far from being even good ragtime music.

 

In the east of the house there, was a fireplace seven feet wide with a cat and clay chimney.  Inside of that little log schoolhouse

there were no wall maps, charts or globes.  Allen Anderson and the writer made a crude blackboard.  Oh! but that blackboard was an eye-opener, a wonder to see.

We opened school at 8 a.m. and closed at 5 p.m.  This, minus the morning, noon, and evening recesses, gave the school six and a half hour's of solid study, and we can most candidly assert – truthfully too - that every minute of those six and a half hours were utilized to the best advantage by every pupil that attended that school.  There was not a dull, idle drone among them.  All were eager to learn and learn most assuredly they did.  Here let me say that in that school there was not even one disobedient, insolent, impolite or saucy boy or girl.  This to their everlasting honor and richly earned praise.

 

Several pupils in that school were unusually bright.  We only mention a few of those that seemed to be endowed with extraordinary talent: Winfield S. Stith, William T. Anderson, James W. Jenkins, (his fifteen year old brother) [DeeDee’s note:  was this George’s brother named Jesse, who would have been 15 in 1860?] and others, Jesse and Absolom, sons of Richard A. Shacklett were sure bright boys. 

 

Now we have after a style all our own told a part of the history of that little old school house in the wood s of Meade County, Kentucky half a century ago.  Yet, as the Queen of Sheba said of Solomon's wisdom and glory: “The half has never been told.”

 

Now, as to the results obtained.  Then we learned much of a few things, now, a little of many things.  Since we taught our second

school in that little log pen about which we have just been writing, we have taught many others - taught regularly for twenty-one years.

But backward memory still inclines to love that second school the best.  During last October I visited the spot of earth on which that little log pen in the woods once stood.  After quite a search among a thick grove of forest trees we at last located the exact spot. Oh, what a flood of memories came rolling into our mind.  We are wholly unable to explain our feelings, so here let us rest.  We thought of the boys and girls that once attended school here on this identical spot half a century ago and asked ourselves the question, “Where are they now?”  Slowly, solemnly came rolling back in reply to our query the echo: Where are they now?  (From our roll of pupils that attended that school the name of William A, Stinnett, by some mistake, was omitted.)

So far as we know all the boys now living that attended that school made live, wide-awake men.  May our Father in Heaven look tenderly upon all the paths they try, wherever their lot may be cast, is the prayer of their teacher of the long time past.

George T. Jenkins.

Sulphur, Indiana.

 

DeeDee’s Notes:

George T. Jenkins married (in Harrison Co., IN) Aug. 30, 1866) Sarah Sophia McCarty b. July 4, 1842 in Harrison Co., the daughter of William T. McCarty and Sophia Bentley and granddaughter of Cornelius and Susannah (Hardwick) McCarty and Abel Bentley. 

Sarah Sophia (McCarty) Jenkins

b. July 4, 1842 Harrison Co., IN,
d. Mar. 5, 1910 Perry Co., IN

For more Jenkins Genealogy see: Jenkins Paternal Lines

For more McCarty Genealogy see: McCarty Family Genealogy