Location of Adams County within Colorado ADAMS COUNTY, COLORADO The COGenWeb Project

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FORGOTTEN PAST OF ADAMS COUNTY, VOL. II


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ALICE WIGGET

Miss Alice Wigget was born [June 22, 1904] about a mile south of Brighton.  Her parents were Henry W. Wigget and Sophie Lohf Wigget.  Her mother had lived in Adams County since the age of twelve, on a homestead, located on Riverdale Road about two miles west of Highway #7. Alice’s father Henry Wigget (who was born in England) emigrated to Canada when he was twenty-two. He then came to Denver during the panic year of 1893.  The Canadian money he had was of no value, so he went to Brighton to work on a farm. Henry Wigget then earned enough money to buy a farm of his own. Alice had one brother (James) and two sisters (Bessie and Jenny).

Alice Wigget


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At the time Alice was born, Brighton was a very small town. There were two schools. North Elementary was a two story high building, housing grades first through seventh. The other school, Brighton High, was a high school which housed grades eight through twelve. Brighton had two main streets Bridge and Main. On Main were stores, saloons, doctors offices and two livery stables. Miss Wigget was seventeen when she came down with typhoid fever and was ill for several weeks. Shortly after this time the County Superintendent came up to her and said "Alice, why don’t you take your teacher’s examination and teach?" It took two days for the examination on all school subjects. They were not easy! She got a Second Grade Certificate because she had not gone to college. This certificate could be renewed only once. After that she would of had to attend some college. Alice’s uncle took her to the school where she was to teach. It was located east of Brighton and had only two teachers. She taught grades first through fourth. The two teachers lived with a family about a mile away from the school house. Every day they would walk to and from school.


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In all the years Alice taught school, she missed very few days of teaching.  She taught about two years at Central Valley which was the second school she taught at.  She has many good memories of those years of teaching.  As a teacher, she felt very close to the community.  Parents would invite her to dine with them.  They would come after Alice in a horse and buggy. To raise money for a school play ground, parents would have a pie supper and/or box social.  A box social is where the women and girls would cook food, put it into a box and decorate the box.  The guys would then bid on the box and the highest bidder would eat lunch with the girl who prepared the box.  Miss Wigget remembers a box social she went to when she was eighteen years old and still quite shy. When she got to the school house, they put her box with the others.  When they sold the boxes hers happened to be on the bottom, you can imagine how "squashed" it was.  Even though it was squashed and she was embarrassed, the young man that bid on it told her "not to worry."  He then ate most of it. During the first years of teaching, the school board was involved with the school children.


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At Christmas they would spend a day in the school house.  The children would put on a program for their parents and the school board.  The school board in return had one big tree, plus they gave presents, candy, and nuts to the children.  At that time school was like one big family. Miss Wigget earned $75.00 a month as a salary.  Her board and room was $45.00. So you can see a teacher did not earn all that much money then.  The first summer she borrowed money in order to be able to go to college.  That was a good lesson in what it was like to pay interest on borrowed money. Miss Wigget went to college in the summer and also on weekends and at night during the winter.  The classes helped her in her teaching career.  Miss Wigget went to college at Western State in Gunnison, Colorado, Colorado State College (now University of Northern Colorado) in Greeley, Colorado, Denver University in Denver and Colorado University in Boulder. In the 48 years Miss Wigget taught she worked in seven different schools.  They were Sunny Dale, Central Valley, Burn Lee, Brantner, Northeast, Southeast and North Elementary.


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1971 was a sad year for Miss Wigget. In that year she retired from teaching. She now does a lot of volunteer work. Once a week she works in North Elementary Library and helps whoever needs help. She also tutors students who want help. Miss Wigget is involved with many clubs outside of school. The greatest reward Alice Wigget gets is that almost everywhere she goes, one of her former students is there. She is truly one of Adams County’s outstanding women.

[Alice M. Wiggett died July 19, 1998 in Lake County, Montana]

 

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I do not live in Colorado so I am unable to help with your personal research questions. All the information I know about Adams  County is posted promptly on this site. Please visit the "Research Resources" section of this site. I would suggest that if you don't find the information your looking for here, that you join the email list and post your question on the query board. The more places you ask the question, the better your chances of getting an answer.

 

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This Page Was Last Updated On: Sunday, 18-Sep-2011 16:45:33 MDT