Monday, October 6, 2014

Oakland School

Another one of our old one-room schools was Oakland.  It was located about half-way between Mattoon and Tribune on the east side of the Flynn's Ferry Road (now known as Hwy. 654 South).

The school building itself was probably as good, if not better than the average.  Having been built for a church originally, it had a large hall across the front of the building, which provided ample space for the children to put their hats, coats, gloves, galoshes and lunch pails.

There was a stage in front of the school room, which no doubt served as a pulpit when it was a church.

The school was heated by by coal in a pot-bellied stove.  In addition to the standard school furniture, which consisted of double desks with movable sets to stand and long benches around the stove, so students could sit near the warmth of the stove.

The water for the school was furnished from a well with a bucket drawn by a pulley, with a rope.  Adjacent to the well shed was a coal house to store the winter supply of coal.

There were two out door toilets on the north side of the play ground.

There was a black board which ran the full width of the room.  In addition to the regular school classes there were spelling bees, oratorical contests, and debates.  Sometimes a neighboring school would visit to participate in the contests.

Some of the families attending Oakland School were: Bateman, Brantley, Brown, Butler, Clark, Cole, Cullen, Hendrix, Henley, Manley, Marvel, McDowell, Moore, Newcom, Norther, Parish, Payne, Powell, Railey, Roberts, Samuel, Shuttleworth, Slaughter, Small, Stanley,Steven, Threlkeld, Traylor, Utley, Wade, Wagner, Woodall and Woodring.

The school building also served as an auditorim for the community.  Sunday school and church services were held here and communities meetings, such as the Farmers Cooperative Association had their meetings here.

Oakland School consolidated with several other one room schools in 1929 and students were sent to the Mattoon school.

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