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JIM: Bits and Pieces about Roley School, 1898-1942

Article lists teachers, principals, and a close vote for a Knifley favorite son, Eli Strange, for Adair County Superintendent. The influence of woman voters on that race. School' battles with measles, chicken pox, and whooping cough. Melvin L. White's brief sojourn at the school. Roley's championship cast iron drive in WWII. A bit about Roley School's sons in the service in WWII. A report in the News of two major infrastructure projects, each at a cost of $2. Mentions of Roley Students Wilma D. Walker, Joan Baldwin, Hilda Chelf, Jack Collins, Dempsey Clements, David Beard, Charles Abell, and Marjorie Williams.
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Article written in response to:Frances Salyers seeking information on one room Roley School By JIM

Virgil Hovious was elected teacher at Roley in July 1898. The Casey Creek newsletter in the January 25, 1911 Adair County News noted that "Mr. David Estrig is teaching a winter school at Roley and the pupils like him fine."

Two years later, Mr. E.A. "Eli" Strange was the teacher, and the Casey Creek letter reported several new students had enrolled, bring the total to around thirty-five. In the fall of that year (1913), several patrons of the Roley School at Casey Creek placed a political notice in the paper, extolling the virtues of Strange as near-perfect qualifications for the job of Superintendent of Adair County Schools. The ad stated, in part, that
"No school in Adair county has made better progress in the last few years than the school at Roley, nor has any school in the County had at its head a better qualified Teacher than [Mr. Strange]. . .Prof Strange has taught the Casey Creek school for three years in succession, and has given perfect satisfaction. His discipline can not be excelled, and he has conducted himself in such a way that has always put higher aims in his pupils minds, instead of degrading them. . .We feel there is no man better qualified in the county for the important duties that rest upon a Superintendent, than E.A. Strange, both in an educational and moral line. . ."
(A few weeks later, in its own inimitable style, the News commented that 368 women cast a ballot in the Superintendent's race, that segment of the franchised population voting 196-172 in favor of Prof. Strange's opponent, Prof./Rev. Tobias Huffaker. Observed the paper, "Had the women not voted, Strange would have been elected by 12 votes.")

The following year, Mr. Melvin L. White, a long time educator and Adair County native who decades earlier had removed to the Tarheel State, trekked to the Auld Sod to take over as teacher at Roley. However, he resigned on Thursday, July 9th, having been in ill health when he left his home in North Carolina and "show[ing] but little improvement after reaching this place."

During fiscal year 1926-27, the Adair Fiscal Court dropped some big dollars on improvements at the Roley school, to-wit: Two dollars to Jason Frederick for "hauling gravel and making cement block to well," and an equal amount to Wilson Brown for "repairing toilet."

In early September 1934, proponents of the dry vote spoke at the Roley schoolhouse. A few weeks later, Robert Hovious and Dallas Knifley invited everyone to attend a box and pie supper to be held there on Friday night, October 5th. A little over a year later, the Knifley correspondent reported sixteen of the Roley students to be sick with measles.

When sales of the 1941 Christmas Seal stamps were totaled up, Roley came in second in sales among the county schools at $3.42. The instructor was Leon Christie.

In November 1942, an article title "County School News" informed readers that Mrs. Grace Hardin, teacher at Roley, had been awarded a five dollar cash prize for her school having collected the most scrap iron during the last drive.

During that same month and the next, three newsletters from the Roley school appeared in the paper, Miss June Bailey, Reporter. Among other things mentioned in the first of the three, she stated Pauline Clements had returned to school after a round of whooping cough and the school was getting a new flag and flag pole, and the school had turned over Mrs. Hardin's five dollar prize to the USO. Students mentioned included Wilma D. Walker, Joan Baldwin, Hilda Chelf, Jack Collins, Dempsey Clements, David Beard, Charles Abell, and Marjorie Williams.

The next Roley school letter mentioned that the new service flag had been dedicated the previous Sunday night. "David Beard carried the American Flag and Edsel Sanders carried the Christian Flag. The service flag has twenty-six stars on it but next week more are to be added." Hoyt Scott, one of the younger students, was down with chicken pox, and student Joyce Webb's grandmother was seriously ill.

The last of Miss Bailey's three newsletters stated Hilda Chelf and Edsel Sanders had just returned to school after having chicken pox and Charles Hardin, son of the teacher was still out, same ailment. Mention was made that Malcolm Wolford, the teacher at Roley the previous year, was in the Army but expected to get a short Christmas furlough, and that Zach Webb, an older brother of student Joyce Webb, was home on leave.

Compiled by JIM

This story was posted on 2018-01-25 16:09:27
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