Friday, August 12, 2011

1908 Syphrit Public School Souvenir Book

For the past couple of weeks I've been sorting through old stuff, trying to sort things out and make some order of piles of antiques. Today I found an end-of-the-school-year souvenir booklet from the Syphrit Public School in Munderf from 1908!
     Where it came from or where I got it I have no idea. It was laying on the concrete floor under a pile of stuff and several layers of boxes, near deeds and wills from the 1800's in Ontario, Canada. I don't know where I got it, and I never remember seeing it before, but I thought that it might be something that residents of Munderf might be interested in.
        The cover is pictured at the left. I'm guessing that the photo on the front is a picture of the teacher Lula Rea. There were only about 25 students attending that school in the school year 1908, so the fact that this still exists is quite extraordinary.
        The Syphrit Public School was located on the hill just below the Bell residence on Egypt Road. It was one of six public schools in the early 1900's in Munderf. According to this little booklet, Lula Rea was the teacher and the members of the school board included N.W. Clark, R. Armstrong, D. Wingert, R. McFadden, A.T. Hoffman and F. Work. That's right, there were a combined total of six school board members overseeing the education of 25 students in a school with six grades! That would be like Brookville or Brockway schools having 400-600 school board members if that ratio was applied to today's schools.
     On the first page of the booklet it reads "In memory of days spent together in the schoolroom this token is presented with the compliments of your teacher." The next page has a list of students in each grade as well as the teacher and school board members' names. The next three pages have a poem with illustrations. The last page has the poem:
The School is out and now we part,
  And go our sev'ral ways,
To mingle in lifes busy mart,
  And spend vacation days.

The students who attended the Syphrit Public School in 1908 are as follows - First grade: Clarence Smith, Clyde Heitzenrater, Freda Chamberlain, Orvil Davis, Martha Davis; Second Grade: Vincent Davis, Gerald Clark, Ima Smith; Third Grade: Fred Williamson, Beryl Davis, Derald Smith, Leota Smith, Floyd Heitzenrater; Fourth Grade: George Smith, Chesleigh Davis, Ella Heitzenrater; Fifth Grade: Merle Clark, Ernest Chamberlain, Orley Chamberlain, Lottie Lyle, Jerry Lyle; Sixth Grade: Floy Webster, Noah Webster, Clara Webster, Ava Davis.

The photo below is from the Polk Township website and shows the Syphrit Public School as it appeared over a hundred years ago.