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Forest F. Harvey: Harveys have been in education for many years

Forest Harvey's father Fred Harvey was a minister, his mother Mary a teacher. Memories of her career are recounted in this fascinating column: From earning a lifetime teaching diploma from Lindsey Wilson College, to having two Greenup County students drafted out of eight grade for service in World War II, to dangerous situations where Mary Harvey was stabbed (once at Rocky Hill School in Adair County), and other incidents similar to those in the memory banks of many retired educators in Kentucky. He writes now from retirement in Florida.

By Forest F. Harvey

"A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops." - Henry Adams

If you have read some of my articles you know that my mother, Mary Abston Harvey, taught school for 24 years in Kentucky. Her last year at Lindsey Wilson College she was awarded a lifetime Teaching Certificate.

My grandfather, Abner Harvey, was elected School Trustee. He "placed" her in Rocky Hill School in Adair County, for $65 a month, where she taught for two years. Then she taught in Wayne, Green, Rowan, and Clinton counties.

In Keyhoe, Greenup County, during world War Ii, my father, Reverend Fred Harvey, was teh pastor of a church and my mother was the teacher of the school. It was said in the area that if you wanted to get religion or an education, you had to get it from Fred or Mary Harve. She had 65 students - first grade through eighth grade. There she had two boys who were drafted to the military out of the eighth grade.

Teachers were many things to many people. I remember Soup Day once a month. In the winter time she would bring her ingredients from home and cook the soup on the Big Burnside stove in the middle of the room. (Another chore was to go early and build the fire in the stove every morning...)

The soup was all free, made by my mother from vegetables grown in her garden.

We had two good "Town Ball" teams plus substitutes if needed. I can remember hunters coming through the school ground with their guns and rabbits. They would stop and watch the ball games at recess. No one was afraid. We just felt sad for the poor bunny rabbits that had lost their lives.

The water was carried from a spring by the older kids. Sometimes they would dip up a water dog that lived in the spring on purpose. That would always cause some commotion.

Every day begin with Bible reading, a prayer (sometimes they would pray for, by name, a parent or family member in harms way,) singing and the pledge to the flag.

Christmas programs were always good and she always gave every child a good treat, paid for by the teacher. It would include an apple, orange and ten pieces of candy or a candy bar. Most all of the children's parents would come to see the program and there was standing room only. There were no fire extinguishers, fire codes or exit signs. Sorry, Chief Glasgow.

Another great day was when "Red hot" School would come to play our school ball team. That is the place Jesse Stuart wrote about in his book "Red Hot." He was a school teacher and the author of a number of book. I met him at a K.E.A. Meeting once. If you have never read this book, be sure and read it, a true story. He's deceased like so many other that I have met and known in my life.

Another great day was when "Red Hot" school would come to play our school ball team. That is the place Jesse Stewart wrote about in the book "Red Hot". (He was a teacher and author of a number of books. I met him at a K.E.A. meeting once. If you have never read this book be sure and read it, a true story. He's deceased like so many others that I have met and known in my life)

The last day of school it was always good to get a grade card that read PROMOTED.

Mother was cut on the arm at Rocky Hill school by a boy

There were some bad times along the way. At the Rocky Hill School in Adair County she was cut on the arm with a knife by an eighth grade boy.

While at the Story School in Clinton County during recess the teacher (mother) noticed two brothers in a fight. The older boy was taking the younger one's sweet potato biscuit sandwich from him. The remainder of the school year she brought an extra sandwich for him in her lunch box.

In the Old Steam school in Greenup County she was stabbed and in Clinton County she was scratched by a fourteen year old girl.

She loved children and teaching. In those days the teacher was in charge of discipline. She kept law and order. However, she did not have very many problems. - Forest F. Harvey
322 South Boyd Street
Winter Garden, Florida 34787

This story was posted on 2014-01-19 10:18:42
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