Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Crittenden County Folks - Jennie Clement

This article was written in the fall of 1936. It is about one of our Crittenden County folks, and a member of one of pioneer families that settled here and help make us what we are today. These articles give us a glimpse back in time to another way of life, a time when life was very different than we know it today. 

 Miss Jennie Clement with a group of her students at the White Hall School, just West of Crayne.

One fine autumn morning, nearly sixty years ago (abt.1876), a young woman, still in her teens, auburn haired and fair, gathered together books, a slate, tablets and pencils were few and far between in those day, and, dressed in her daintiest frock, tripped, light-hearted and gay, hopeful and ambitious, down a shady country lane in the southern apart of Crittenden county to open her first school.

The fine young woman who not only knew how to teach school well but how to make friends and get along well with both patrons and pupils closed her first school year with the praises of the community, still sounding in her ears.

The next year came and the next and then one and on, and this young woman continued to teach school, always giving her best in service to those communities in which she taught and teaching always, in addition to the Three R's, reading', riting' and 'rithmetic, those qualities which make of school children the finest types of citizens, common honesty, sobriety, truthfulness and an appreciation of the good and wholesome and worthwhile things of life.

For forty-six successive years, this girl, grown into mature womanhood now taught in Crittenden County Schools. Then she decided to leave the teaching of Crittenden County's

Young Americans to younger pedagogues and for a few years she watched the process of education in this part of Kentucky from the sidelines. 

Then she found that the old urge to teach was too much for her to resist so she went back to the work which she knew and loved best.

Four more years she taught. Then she came to realize that she tired too easily, the days were, oh so long, and that her eyes that only yesterday, it seemed, were aglow with the joy and sparkle of youth, were growing dim and that her vision was no longer dependable. Then this woman of high ideals and noble character, removed the clapper from her little school bell, closed her school record book for all time.

Looking back over the school records of Crittenden County for more than half a century, we find this Crittenden County teacher taught that first year, nearly sixty years ago, at Owen. Later she taught thirteen years at White Hall, two at Chapel Hill, two at Brown, two at Fairview and one or more years at Lily Dale, Crayne, Lone Star and possible at other places.

This woman in now 76. She always votes. If things are not run, politically, in the county, state and nation as they should be run she has the satisfaction of knowing that she did what she could to remedy them. She exercises her right of suffrage whenever the opportunity to vote presents itself. Is she worn out? No! In the local option election held in Crittenden County two weeks ago she had no way to come to town to register her vote against the sale of intoxicating liquors in her home county so she walked into town, a distance of some four or five miles, and voted.

Her parents were Henry and Sarah Clement. She makes her home now with her sister, Mrs. Susan Bigham, near Crayne, Ky.

A few days ago this Crittenden County woman who almost sixty years ago opened her first school at Owen in this county became the first person in Crittenden County to be awarded and Old Age Pension.

All Crittenden County will join in extending to this woman felicitations and good wishes and will unreservedly give their approval to the pension authorities of the county and state who saw fit to award this benefit to this most excellent woman. Her name? Possibly we did neglect to mention that – Miss Jennie Clement.

Miss Jennie Clement lived to be 82, she died at her home in the Chapel Hill community August 16, 1939 and was buried in the Chapel Hill Cemetery. For the past several years advanced age had prevented activities in school and school affairs around which her entire life was centered. 

One of the oldest school teachers in Western Kentucky, "Miss Jennie" was known, loved and respected throughout the county. For many years she was an instructor in the public school system and numbered among her pupils many of the successful men of today.

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