In July, we shared with you the memories of Goldie Webster who moved to Junction City with her family in 1901. Today, we have more of her story. Goldie recalled her days as a school girl in Junction City, including attending high school in the current museum building on 6th and Adams.
“We went to school at the Washington school at 15th St. The boys and girls each had their own playground. Boys played marbles, ball and such. Girls played jacks, hop scotch, drop the handkerchief and charades. In the fall, when dry leaves were on the ground, we played in the leaves, outlining rooms of "our house" with the leaves. When the dandelions were in bloom, we were allowed to go onto the lawn at certain times to pick the blossoms. At other times the lawn was a no no.
No one brought a lunch to school except in an emergency when permission had to be given. We had not many problems with discipline. We heard stories about a length of hose (rubber) which was kept in the principal’s office. Woe to anyone who was sent to that office. I never saw that hose. The story may have been a myth. I must mention that the rest rooms were in a different building, some distance from the main building. This was not very convenient in winter. We had dedicated teachers and we loved them. I recall that when I took leave of my third grade teacher, "Miss Crowther", we were both in tears at the end. She tried hard to keep a little country girl who had been in school before, only for a year in a one room country school, from being lonely among strangers. It was quite an adjustment to make and her kindness helped a lot..
School became interesting at time went on. We had programs on special occasions to which parents were invited. On Friday afternoon we had spelling bees or ciphering matches. If we were asked to be leader of a team we chose those whom we wanted to be on one side. It was an honor to be chosen first or early in the game because the best spellers or bosom friends were always chosen first.
The teachers at Washington School were Miss Crowther, Miss Ina Hurley, Miss Mary Hay, Miss Emma Hay and Miss Corda Pennell. I was graduated from the 8th grade from the old stone building on west ninth. This was later torn down. The teachers there for that grade were Miss Alexander (mine) and Miss Cora Campbell. In 1907 I entered the freshman class at the sixth street high school building. I was graduated from there in 1911, being a member of the Commercial class, taking second honors. My friend Florence Tietze, (later Mrs. Fred Altwegg) out bested me by a fraction of a point. I was much surprised, having never tried for the honor. In fact I was overjoyed to have lost since I always had a fear of speaking in public. I was very nervous when it came my turn to give a current event (without notes) in our opening assembly before the whole student body. I was convinced that my legs would never have held me up while I addressed an opera house full of people. Florence did a wonderful job! I returned to school for the term of 1911 to 1912, where I took the Normal Training course. Upon graduating in 1912, I received my State Teacher’s Certificate. This term was the first time that this course was offered in the JC High School.
At one time we lived next door to the Barkman family. Three of the Barkman girls became teachers in the Geary County schools, Edna, Clara and Florence. Esther Zellner who lived on 14th St., also became a teacher. She graduated from Emporia. Florence Tietze who lived on a farm on the Alida road was another who taught. Charles P. Murphy who graduated when I did, became President of the Board of Education and later Mayor of Junction City. Charles gave out certificates to the High School graduates the year my daughter, Shirley Ruth, was graduated. We were proud of our schoolmates.”
For more local stories, family histories and photographs about early Geary County, stop into the Geary County Historical Society. Open Tuesday-Sunday 1-4pm.