Ontario and Iowa had Similar One-Room Schools


Readers sent many letters this summer, often with interesting comments on parallels between their own experience and Grace’s stories. Here’s one from Clyde Eastman in New Mexico.

“I had trouble putting your book down. It is so easy to read and so fascinating. Grace was a truly remarkable lady. The story transported me back to my own early experience, so different from life today.
I grew up in rural Iowa and graduated from eighth grade at a one-room school. I walked or rode a pony over the two miles of dirt road. My sister is eleven years younger and went to town. The rural schools in Iowa were consolidated in the 50’s. My teacher was a young woman who drove a Model A Ford over several miles of dirt road. She had little college if any. Rural teachers could do normal training in high school. Your rural schools were definitely more substantial brick structures than anything I ever saw in rural Iowa. Iowa’s were all white clapboard frame structures although similar inside. The school only got electricity after the war. It had a coal-burning stove which the teacher stoked each morning. There were two outdoor toilets. School was from 9-4 with one hour for lunch which we carried in a lunch pail (often a lard bucket). A flood of fond memories.”

Millie Morton