Back in the day

BULLETIN: Hello, kids at Cowden Elementary School. I’m coming to see you today at 2:00. I predict that we’re going to have a fine time!

Hi everyone,

Sandy recently ran across her great-uncle’s 1915-16 report card when he was in 7th grade in Mt. Grove, Missouri. His name was Noel Thompson. His teacher was Lutitia Hudson. Noel did well in school. He scored 90 in geography, 95 in U.S. History, and 95 in Agriculture.

Mt. Grove is a rural area and in those days girls and boys took several courses that would help them grow up on a farm. Girls took Sweeping, Dish Washing, and Ironing. Boys took Feeding, Milking, Currying, Preparing Fuel, and Repairing. Noel received a G(ood) in currying and an E(xcellent) in the others. It looks like Noel also excelled in sweeping, dish washing, and ironing too. He was an all-around good student.
Noel's report card
He grew up to be a good husband. He and Sandy’s great-aunt Cuba were inseparable. All the years of their long marriage they did everything on the farm together. I visited them with Sandy and her folks more than once on their place near Fair Play, Missouri. When Noel died, I bought his pea-green Chevrolet for a block company sales car. Had it for several years.

Who else came from farming people? I had several relatives, mostly near Rogersville, Missouri. So many good memories!

6 comments on “Back in the day

  1. I love learning about Noel, about his story & his wonderfully named Cuba. I will say that I cannot see the word w/o thinking of this Prohibition-era song featuring a line that went ‘I’ll see you in C-U-B-A!’ Let me share, please, that the old Alden & Sara Harness, my great-great grandparents, ran a big farm back before, during, after the Civil War in Johnson CO., Missouri, along what became Highway 13. And when I was 9 yrs old, my folks bought 40 acres further down the road, near Humansville. My 3 little bros. & I moved there with ’em. Mom had to go to the pump for water, make dinner on a cookstove. We ate it by the light of kerosene lamps and hoped not to have to go out to the privy when it was dark. As some little kid said once [I paraphrase] ‘we were walking in our ancestors’ shoes. They sucked.’

    • Well I be. How many times have I driven that stretch of MO 13 without knowing I was that close to where you spent some of your early years. Sandy’s mother grew up in Fair Play. When we would offer to take her parents on a drive down toward Branson to see the fall leaves, she used to say she grew up looking at those trees and they just didn’t do much for her. Same with antiques. She said they weren’t antiques when she was a little girl. They were their furniture.

  2. I grew up in a little town in mid-Missouri, David, founded by my great-great grandfather and named Pilot Grove for a grove of trees right outside the city lines, helping others to find their way. Lots of memories in that town for me, and those left only reside in the cemetery. We visited last summer and showed the grandkids all the sites, and the relatives, too. Among many, my biggest ‘growing-up’ experience was climbing the water tower, a very big deal. I love seeing that report card and hearing about Sandy’s Aunt Cuba and Uncle Noel.

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