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A School Over There
By Ray Thompson

The 1880 census of Williams Township in Stone County, Missouri lists 149 households.  Among them, only seven children are shown as "at school". Some idea of what a teacher's life was like can be learned from the following letter.  It was written in 1879 by a Miss Mary Gooding to Andrew J. Rogers who lived in Williams Township of Stone County.  The letter was preserved by the second wife of Andrew Rogers, Elizabeth Daniel Rogers.  She survived him and moved to Oklahoma with their children in the late 1800s.  Mary Farley Taylor (a descendent) found, transcribed, and shared the letter in 1995:


Apr the 29. Ad 1879

   Mr. Jackson Rogers.  I this evening drop you a few lines of inquiry, to ask you about the chance for a school over there.  I would like to get a school up there and if there is no school in that vacinity, what
is the chance for one.  now if there is none and you will get one for me, I will pay you for your trouble.  I will teach for 75 cts with 7 or 8 scholars or 50 cts per month a scholar with 12 scholars, and take wheat bacon or chickens at prices in market.  I will enclose an envelope and stamp.  you will please write the chance and I will send an article when you answer this if you think I can get a school there.

                                                                                                            With the gratest of respects
                                                                                                            Miss Mary Gooding
                                                                                                            Mr. Jackson Roggers
P.S. direct your answer to Flat Creek P.O. Barry (County)

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