The first grade class of Stuart Nebraska wrote Granpa Warren McClurg asking him to tell them about his life in first grade. Here's his reply.
March 29, 1999Dear First Grade Class,
I was in the first grade at Dustin, Nebraska in 1913. My first grade teacher's name was Miss Nellie Wilson. We did not have typewriters, radios, televisions, computers and items of that nature. We had a black board in our school room and we each had our own slate board that we used in place of paper. We used a slate marker in place of a pencil or pen to write with. There were eight grades under one teacher and she was an excellent teacher. With my four brothers and two sisters, I walked to school which was a three and a half mile walk. We carried our books in a canvas bag with a handle on it. We did not have a school hot lunch program but we each had our own lunch that had been prepared for us by our mother. We raised chickens, so we ate a lot of fried chicken. We took fruit from our own orchard and we also stored the fruit. We had milk from our own dairy cows. For fun we played marbles, jacks, annie I over, hide and go seek, and boys chase girls (some things never change).
After school my brothers, sisters and I gathered cobs (corn cobs) for fuel for fire. We cleaned the stables, fed the pigs, fed the chickens, gathered the eggs and milked the cows. After the milk was separated, we put the left over in a barrel for the hogs to eat. We caught fish in a stream that ran close to our home. Our fishing poles consisted of a long willow stick. My first fish hooks were made out of pins. I had a pony that I enjoyed riding and a pet dog. I still remember the good times I had playing with my dog. In the fall time of the year, ducks and geese were plentiful. When it came time to feed at sundown and the ducks would fly up they would block the sun and the sky would look dark. Our home was so small we divided the room by curtains. Our mattresses were made out of corn husks. Our pillows were made of feathers from ducks and geese we had killed. We had no running water in the house (nobody did), we had a well for water, and an outhouse for the bathroom. My how things have changed!
Mr. Warren McClurg
P.S. I recieved this letter today and at 2:00 p.m. I dictated it to the Social Worker Tina Fritton who typed it out for me and had 45 copied made by 3:00 p.m. I would like to commend her for a fine job. Warren [signed]