Month: October 2016

Remembering Omro’s Blue Bell School Part II.

The kids recalled having to do chores like bringing the cows in from the pasture, bringing the milk cans in, getting the feed down and scraping the barn floor before starting their mile long walk to school. Once at school, more chores were to be handed out. Clapping erasers, raising the flag, carry water in from the well, fill the coal bucket and more.

Another student remembers his family operating a farm near the school. Her parents would grow huge crops of watermelons and one day they brought a wagon load of melons to the school for the kids to enjoy.Girls wore dresses mostly made of material from feed sacks, commonly used during and after World War II.Many of the boys wore patched bib overalls. It was explained that patches were ok as long as the clothes were clean.

Bernie Egan remembers bringing his lunch to school. “We often brought a potato and a cup of soup. We’d put both just inside the door of the old coal stove and for lunch we had a baked potato and a cup of hot soup!” Others who were students then remember the wonderful smell of baked potatoes filling the classroom. Elizabeth Egan Amend even commented, “we would bring a large piece of butter to put on it. Those were the best potatoes I’ve ever eaten”.

Before the bell rang everyone had to make it to the outdoor toilets. Two outhouses were located at the school,one on each side the building. During the winter months, the students would come in from recess and place their wet mittens on top of the stove to dry. Sometimes you could smell them getting too hot!Illness and disease was a big issue in those early years. In 1931, the school closed for four weeks because of Infantile Paralysis. And in 1934 the school was closed for one week due to a measles outbreak.