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Donated by:  Cheryl Bell
I ran across the following article in a St. Clair newspaper

Appleton City Journal - Supplement
Appleton City, Missouri
Thursday, 21 June 1894
Closing Exercises at Hazel Dell School.
The following is an account of the closing exercises of a successful school
in Bates County:
Last Friday, June 15, closed a successful term of school at Hazel Dell. Miss
Nora Patton, the teacher, deserves great credit for the progress and
improvement made by the school during her term as instructor. Little did she
think when school was called Friday morning, for the last time, that a
pleasant surprise awaited her. About noon the patrons and friends of the
school, in carriages, wagons, on horseback and walking, all bringing with
them well-filled baskets, some bringing musical instruments, began to gather
at the school house, from all directions. At first, the surprised teacher
did not comprehend the situation, but ere long the truth dawned upon her and
she fully realized what it all meant when the ladies began to spread the
tables and load them with choice food, everything that was inviting to the
hungry and to which all did justice, the whole indulging in laughter and gay
As soon as the remnants of the feast had been removed, the literary
exercises of the afternoon were commenced. The wide Awake Literary Society
of the school had charge of the exercises. The President being absent, Miss
Nora being Vice President, called the house to order, with Miss Nellie White
as secretary. The program throughout was interesting and instructive,
consisting of declamations, music by the Gilbreath String Band, vocal music
and instrumental music on the organ.
Another important feature of the entertainment was the quotations given by
the students, each student representing a certain flower and the quotation
given was concerning the flower they represented.
The program being completed, Miss Nora, in choice and suitable words,
thanked the friends for their pleasurable surprise and the interest and
assistance they had given her during the term of school and closing
exercises. The students having entertained the visitors in a pleasant and
profitable manner. Miss Nora then offered the friends an opportunity to say
a few words if they desired. Several short talks were made, full of
encouragement to the teacher and pupils, besides containing much good
advice, worthy of consideration.
The teacher and students had previously decorated the school room very
appropriately and tastefully which added much to the pleasure of the
Being dismissed, all exchanged fond farewells and departed for their
respective homes, feeling that they had spent and enjoyable as well as a
beneficial afternoon. May Miss Nora, in the future, meet with as much
success in her school work as she has during the past term and may bright
sunshine attend her through life is our earnest wish.
A Friend.