May 12, 2011

Hunt School Souvenir - Treasure Chest Thursday

 This little booklet, given to students as a souvenir of the school year when classes ended in the spring, is one of the treasures I inherited from my grandmother, Nora Eberhard Ballenger. She recalled attending a one-room country schoolhouse near her family’s farm in southern Delaware County, Ohio, through fourth or fifth grade. Proudly sporting American flags and the Statue of Liberty on its cover and tied with a bit of red yarn, the booklet lists the 23 pupils and their teacher, Mr. John Cockrell, who attended Hunt School during the 1920-1921 year.

Six Eberhard children—Robert, Enoch, Nora, Bertha, Carrie, and Anna—were students that year. Judging from the list of pupils, large families were not uncommon in the area. The Conway family contributed five students—Trinble, Paul, Raymond, Homer, and Mary. Three Fravel children—George, Earl, and Pearl—as well as Paul and Virginia Meyers, Oletha and Florence Love, Don Needels, Alva Blamer, Donald O’Brien, Grace Piper, and Mary Clapham rounded out the roster.

I can’t quite figure out the order in which the children were listed. They aren’t arranged alphabetically or by age. At 15, Enoch was the oldest Eberhard child at the school, followed by Carrie, 13, and Anna, 12. Nora Eberhard was 11 years old by May 1921. Bertha was 10, and Robert (Bob) was 8. Three younger siblings were still at home, and seven older ones had gone on ahead. (For a picture of some of the siblings, see my post “Eberhard Children.”)


I did go out looking for Hunt School one day in the area where the Eberhards lived, but couldn’t find it. I’ve since learned it’s been torn down. Aaron Turner has put a lot of effort into compiling a website of Old Ohio Schools, listed county-by-county with photos, location, date built, and current condition. When I contacted him regarding the school, Aaron looked into it and reported back that, unfortunately, the building had been demolished. But he found a picture and offered me the chance to sponsor Hunt School in his listing for a small donation, which I was glad to do (he is adding private and one-room schools to his original database of public schools as funds permit). You can find the homepage of Old Ohio Schools here; click on “Delaware County” to see the faded photo of Hunt School (use your back button to return here).

Nora attended the little one-room schoolhouse one more year. I’ll share her souvenir booklet of that year in a future post, along with some of her memories of her schoolgirl days.

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