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this sermon lasted more than a minute or a minute and a half. There was probably more to her commentary than that (And I call it a sermon because it was good advice, delivered gently, but with a sincere feeling of concern and love). And with that she gently reached out with her right arm and put her arm around my waist and gently pulled me to her and gave me a big-sisterly very tender kiss on the left cheek. And still holding me around the waist, she quietly, more like a whisper, asked me “and now, young man, are you going to be doing any more fighting? I don’t recall my answer but surely I said something to effect- No ma’am. She gave me another gentle hug, released her hold on my waist and, more than anything else, suggested I take my seat and do some studying until the rest of kids returned. Bottom line- I never was in another fight.

Her method of dealing with a behavior situation was so completely different than that which I had become accustomed to that it completely disarmed me, completely changed something within me that, to this day, I still haven’t figured out. Perhaps it sounds over dramatical to say it- but it was, I think, a life changing event. Sometimes I think that it is rare that a person knows or can distinguish when a life changing event occurs; but in this instance- I know.

Edit: In the spring of 2006 Jurine, who was a fifth grade student of Mrs Everett, mailed this tribute to Mrs Everett in Mississippi and visited with her by phone. She was 84 years of age and vividly recalled her time at Milford and remembered most of the student’s names. Mrs Everett’s daughter wrote in Feb 2007 and reported this article was read at Mrs Everett’s funeral in Oct 2006 because Mrs Everett appreciated it so much.

Another short story about Mrs Everett on page 271.

RURAL TEACHERS of MILFORD TWP
1858-1920
Left: This stylish dressed young lady has the intriguing name of Queen Harrison. It is thought she was from Union Twp in Story County and under twenty years of age at the time of the photo. She was a teacher about 1909 at Pleasant Grove School, Number 3. She was one of the teachers that Ida Jacobs had when she attended Pleasant Grove. Ida became known as Ida Honderd, mother of two Milford students (Rhoda ‘50 and Norman ‘57) and a “walking encyclopedia” of history about the Pleasant Grove Area.

The following list is admittedly very incomplete as there were approximately 250 teachers in the last 25 or so years for nine one roomed schools. The school year was often set up as a three month term in the summer and a four month term in the winter, each with its own teacher’s contract. The nine schools were located and numbered by starting one mile from each township corner, No.1 was in the N E, two miles west was No.2, then in the NW corner was No.3, then two miles south of it was No.4. In the center of the township, in Sec 15, was No.5 and two miles east of it was No.6, then two miles south of it was No.7, two miles west of No.7 was No.8 and in the SW corner was the No.9 school, each two miles apart in any major direction.

See map on page 5.

1869: Only three teachers were listed in the local paper for the three area schools, No. 2- Blackberry aka Blueberry or Durby or North. Mrs Haviland, No. 3- Pleasant Grove, Miss Susie Kelley, No. 9- Sheffield School (may have been in SW Howard Twp), Miss Alice M. Newton. Sheffield School was built in circa 1858.

Above: The front steps on the east end of Pleasant Grove School with a small group of the unidentified scholars and the teacher, perhaps Queen Harrison. The large slab of stone, which appears to be limestone, that is used as a step causes speculation as to the number of sprained ankles and knees that occurred when a fast exit was being made and, also, where did that stone originate?
Plowing just like it was done a hundred years ago in Milford Twp. This snapshot was taken near Hazelton, Iowa, in the spring of 2009. A six horse wide hitch is quite unusual.
Ol’ Milford farmer think: Optimist is man who hasn’t had many experiences yet.
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© 2012 Mark Christian
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