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Thursday, May 26, 2011 03:20 pm

CALLING ALL COUNTRY SCHOOL KIDS

Two-mile walks, one-person graduating classes and a set of brothers who each day took turns wearing their one and only shared pair of shoes are just a few of the stories Lynnita Brown has heard since she helped host a country school reunion earlier this month in Douglas County.

The stories, coming from those aged 66 to 99, are too rich to let disappear, the Douglas County Museum director says, explaining her ongoing call for firsthand accounts of life in one- and two-room country schools. “We’re going to use the whole year 2011 to search out those stories,” Brown says. “We don’t care where they were from – what county, what state – we want to know their country school experiences.”

She says that in 1946, Douglas County alone hosted more than 50 operating one-room schools and another 20 that had closed. Each one has a unique history and culture seen in stories of everyday life, but others own jaw-dropping tales, including the murder of a teacher after a traveling salesman found his love for her was unrequited, Brown says.

Whether from former teachers, past students or perhaps the current proprietors of modified country schools, Brown is hoping to compile the stories and information about one- and two-room schools for what could eventually become a paperback book.

For more information or to share a story, call the museum at 253-2535 or send mail to Country School Memories, care of Douglas County Museum, 700 S. Main St., Tuscola, IL 61953.
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