Iím looking for anyone that would have information on Zion School in Lucas county. (nickname Frogpond ) The school was located about 3.5 miles east of Williamson. If you have any information.....

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Zion School Reunion


Zion School ( Allies Frog Pond ) was located in Lucas County, Iowa about 5 miles east of Williamson, and about 25 yards from the west side of Cedar Creek. During heavy rains the Cedar would overflow and back up into the School yard. When the creek subside it would leave a pond that would remain for day's. This is where the name Frog Pond came from. I attended School here from 1938 to 1947. Zion was a typical one room School of the era. There was a enclosed entry way where coats, overshoes, dinner bucket's and personal belongings was stored. As with a lot of School's Zion housed a large cast iron bell in a belfry located on top of the School. The Teacher would ring the bell to start class in the morning via a rope attached to the bell. The other end of the rope was protruding through the ceiling in the entryway. If you was tall enough to reach the rope you might get picked to ring in the day. Some times an over eager bell ringer would pull to hard and turn the bell up side down. When this happened one of the older boys would get to climb up on the roof and right the bell. I know for sure this was done on purpose just to prolong the starting of School.

Long dresses and Overalls...

 There was no School dress code. The girls wore long dresses and most of the boys wore bib overalls. I have read and heard stories of kids coming to school with out shoes but I don't remember anyone coming to Zion with out shoes. You wore the same pair so long you would ware holes in the soles. We would cut card board from the back of our tablets and place it in the shoe to cover the hole. When it come to hair cuts Most of the boys got a trim at home. I recall some of the boys coming to school with what we called a bowl cut. A parent would place a bowl on top of the kids head and trim around it. this produced some very interesting sites to say the least. I was lucky. I always got a hair cut at a barber shop in Chariton for 50 cents. This included a neck shave and liberal dose of Red Tiger hair oil that had a great smell. 

Primary to 8th...

 . Class's Primary through the 8th grade was taught at Zion.  There were 8 row's of desk. Some of the desk were double, two students occupied each one. You could choose your partner as long as you maintained the quite rule. Each row represented a grade except primary. they sat in the 1st grade section. The teacher sat at the front of the room and faced the students. If you needed help with your lesson you would hold your hand up and the teacher would have you come up to her desk or she would come to you. A blackboard covered most of the wall behind her desk. Assignments for the various class's to solve was entered in chalk on the board. You were required to work the problems on your tablet and turn the work in as soon as it was completed. The work was graded and returned to you with a grade interred at the top of the page. Grades ranged from A to F with a variance of plus or minus for each grade. A of course, was the highest and F was a failing grade

  Reading, writing, arithmetic, geography and penmanship was the required studies at Zion. Teachers earned around $40.00 a month or less. Not much when you conceder they were responsible for educating your children. 


The blackboard was also used for punishment of rule infractions. A circle was drawn on the blackboard with chalk. The disruptive student to be punished would have to place his or her nose in the circle for a time prescribed by the Teacher. I recall some students that was exceptional disruptive or repeat offenders, be required to stand on their tip toes to reach the circle with their nose. Other forms of correction came from a paddle with holes in it. the idea of the holes was to raise welts on your back side. A quick and effective attention getter was a rap on your hand with a ruler. 


   A large hexagon shaped clock with a pendulum hung on the wall over the blackboard. When class was in season you could hear the tic, toc of the clock. With The hush of the room and the sound of the clock it was hard not to fall asleep on a warm summer day. If you did fall asleep the teacher would slip around behind you and drop a large book on the floor. Talk about  waking up. I recall students jumping right out of their seat. A picture of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln hung on the wall on each side of the clock. 

School plays...

...At least twice a year the School would host a School play. One end of the main room would be cleared of desk and used for the stage and two dressing room's. the stage and room's was configured with large Curtin panels suspended from the ceiling. All students were required to participate. Skits, plays and singing was on the program. We practiced and rehearsed our parts two weeks before the event. These events were very popular in the community. On the night of the play all the parents brought their favorite dish. After the program was over the food was laid out on long tables and everyone dived in. No fancy dishes, just good old down to earth  country cooking. Meatloaf, sausage, casserole's, pie's and cake's of every description.

... hung on the wall's between the 8 window's. they were used for night time activities, such as School play's and School board meeting's which was always held at night. In the back of the room was a huge coal stove for heating. In winter the Teacher was required to arrive before the students and have the School warm when they arrived. The stove was also used to keep our dinner hot. In the winter each family would take turns preparing a hot meal for all the school. It was always a one dish meal like soup stew or a casserole. This was a double treat for me when it was our turn. I would get to ride to school. Other wise like everyone else, I walked or rode a horse. In warm weather each student would bring their own lunch. A Kayro syrup bucket was a popular lunch pail. Some had store bought dinner buckets and others used paper sack's. Lunched consisted of  sandwiches made of peanut butter, butter and sorghum, egg and some times spam if you could afford it. Hard boiled egg's was in a lot lunch pail's as everyone raised chickens.


...We played outdoor games weather permitting. Ante-over was one of the favorite We would toss a baseball over the top of the School and someone on the other side would try to catch it. Baseball, tag-your-it and red-light, green-light was other favorite outdoor game's. There was no playground equipment.


...Water was supplied from a well with an old cast  iron pump. Everyone that could carry a bucket full took turns pumping drinking water. The bucket sat on a cupboard in the Alco.  A long handle dipper was keep in the bucket and everyone drank out of the dipper. Now, It's hard to believe that everyone didn't come down with cold's or flue at same time. However, I don't recall the School ever having a out breaker of illness. In the summer time when it was hot we drank right from the pump. You would hold your hand over the spout with one hand and pump with the other or some one would pump for you. the water coming from the well was so cold it would hurt your hand and your teeth. A real treat on a hot summer day.


The boy's liked to play pranks on the girl's. One of the favorites was to slip behind the girl's toilet after observing someone entering. Take a board or large club and strike the back of the toilet as hard as they could. This would normally produce ( to the delight of everyone watching ) an ear piercing scream from the victim inside. Sometimes the victim would come charging out of the toilet still in the process of pulling her clothes up. Then the old, thumb tack on the seat. This trick was usually perpetrated when someone would leave their seat for a brief period during class. The tack would be placed on the vacant seat. When the person returned and sat down the normally quite room was shattered with an outburst of pain, startling everyone including the Teacher and producing roaring laughter from everyone.


   I recall having 3 Teachers during my 8 years at Zion. Regina Scieszinski, Cleta Hall and Phyllis Davis in that order. Regina administered my first and only spanking with the previously described paddle with the holes in it. not counting an occasional whacking on the hands with a ruler.  I don't remember how long I had each Teacher except Phyllis. She was my 8th grade teacher and my last year at Zion. Phyllis loaned me her car, a green Studebaker to take my driving test for my drivers licenses. I think it was 1941 Commander. It was the first time I drove it but some how I managed to pass the first time.  I was 14.

Old Pictures 


... Teacher's 1904 - 1957

Leah Sims, Ina Crowley, Flora Tool, Edith Dale
Vera White, Maude Cloe, Flossie Carson
Cecil Knox, Ella Swanson, Cleta Whitlatch
Lida McMannis, Adda McMannis, May Clauson
Ruth Goltry, Vernie Eaton, Mae Shore
Bernice Robuck, Ethel Price, Rhoda Bingaman
Earl Hopkin, Marie Hooker, Alice Roddy
Pauline Blizzard, Kathryn Fluke, Warren Dachenbach
Alta Cox, Anna Mae Keeney, Esther Brown

Regina Scieszinski, Alberta Colver
Mary Griffith, Beulah Blouse
Delores Johnson, Agnes Barron
Pauline Morgan, Doris Horner   
Naomi Walker, Clara Borger
Phyllis A. Davis, Cleta Hall

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