MJH, Buffalo County NEGenWeb Project © 2000

This is the actual examination taken by the eighth graders from rural schools in Buffalo County in 1925. A copy of the questions were among Selma Mueller Hinrich's letters, photo, etc.

Thursday Forenoon, March 19, 1925


  1. (1) Explain how to find a word in the dictionary. (2) Name three things that the dictionary can tell you about words.
  2. Write from memory a short stanza or paragraph from a selection you have studied during the year. Give the title of the selection from which you have quoted and name the author.
  3. (1) Where is the table of contents of a book found, and of what importance is it? (2) Where is the index of a book found, and how is it useful?
  4. (1) Which do you like better, Poetry or prose? Why? (2) Which do you like better, easy reading or difficult reading? Why?
  5. Some selections should be read slowly while others should be read rapidly. Why? Name one selection of each kind.
  6. Name an interesting selection you have read during the year and give a brief report of it.
  7. Have you of your own choice ever read a selection more than once? Why? What two reasons might a person have for rereading a selection?   8. What kind of selections do you like best, those that describe or those that tell a story? Why?
  9. Write the titles of five selections that you have studied from your reader during the year and give the author of two of them.
  10. Write the name of the author of five of the selections given below: "Courtship of Miles Standish", "Rip Van Winkle", "The Chambered Nautilus", "Snow Bound", "Vision of Sir Launfal", "Gettysburg Address", "The Great Stone Face", "Elegy Written in a Country Church Yard", "The Wonderful One-Hoss Shay", "Horatius at the Bridge", "The Death of Little Nell", "The Raven", "The Bishop and the Convict", "America", "The Snow Image".


   (Examiner will detach Part II before giving out Part I.)

  1. Write the abbreviations (1) for the days of the week, (2) for the months of the year.
  2. Write words with the vowel sounds marked containing the following: "long a", "short a", "long oo", "short oo", "long e", short e", long u", "short u", "long i", "short i".
  3. Use the following prefixes and suffixes in words and give the meaning of each word thus formed: er, im, pre, ful, sub, able, ness, trans, est, ous.
(Part II, having been detached, has been lost.)


  1. Why should the writer face the desk squarely with both arms resting on the desk?
  2. What has been your aim in learning to write?
  3. Which is the more important in writing, speed or good form? Why?
  4. Write the capital letters in family groups.
  5. Write the small letters in family groups.
  6-10. Copy neatly in your best handwriting the following stanzas:

"I murmur under moon and stars
  In brambly wildernesses;
I linger by my shingly bars;
  I loiter round my cresses;
And out again I curve and flow
  To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,
  But I go on forever."

Thursday Afternoon, March 19, 1925


(Including Geography of Nebraska)

  1. Draw an outline map of Nebraska and locate (1) loess region, (2) sand hill region, (3) high plains region.
  2. Name and locate (1) an important railroad line, (2) an important automobile highway, (3) beet sugar industry, (4) meat packing industry, (5) fruit growing area.
  3. Describe a good method of planting corn. Why does this method seem good to you?
  4. Name four small grains grown in Nebraska. Which is the most important in your county?
  5. What is a weed? Name two ways by which weeds damage crops.
  6. Give three good reasons why the farmer raises hogs. Name two breeds of hogs found in your neighborhood.
  7. What effect does low temperature have on the preservation of milk? (2) What effect will sanitary methods of handling have upon its preservation?
  8. Name three kinds of birds that remain in the state over winter. How do these live during the winter? Which ones are protected by state law?
  9. (1) What is meant by culling a flock of hens? (2) Why should this be done? (3) Name a good egg breed of chickens.
  10. (1) Why should the farmer select his seed corn? (2) Why should he test the seed corn before planting?

(Detach part II before give out Part I.)

Part I
(Write out complete analysis.)
  1. A wagon wheel is 3 yards, 2 feet in circumference. How many feet will it move forward in making ten revolutions?
  2. A man bought sixteen pigs at $6 1/4 each. If he had paid $5 each, how many could he have bought?
  3. Find the cost of forty-five eggs at 24 cents a dozen.
  4. A merchant sold a pair of shoes for $7 and gained $2. What per cent did he gain?
  5. The population of two cities is represented by two straight lines, one of them two inches and the other three inches in length. If the smaller city has 4,000 people, how many does the larger city have?


(Write answers only. Do all work mentally. Examiner should hand each pupil a list of questions and allow ten minutes for the answers.)
  1. If four oranges are worth as much as twelve apples, how many apples are seven oranges worth?
  2. If 2/3 of a number equals eight, what is the number?
  3. Three quarts, one pint equal what part of a gallon?
  4. One side of a square table is five feet. What is the area of the top?
  5. A piano marked $400 is sold at 40% discount. What was the selling price?


  1. (1) Write a declarative sentence. (2) Write an imperative sentence. (3) Write an interrogative sentence.
  2. Write a sentence for each of the following uses of the pronoun: (1) predicate nominative, (2) object of a verb, (3) possessive, (4) subject of a verb.
  3. What is the antecedent of a pronoun? In what must they agree? Write a sentence containing a pronoun and its antecedent.
  4. (1) How should the verb agree with its subject. Explain this by the use of sentences. (2) Give the principal parts of five irregular verbs.
  5. Answer in complete sentences the following, using the pronoun: he, him, she, her, I or me. (1) Of which pupil is this a photograph? (2) Who wishes a piece of the orange? (3) For whom shall I do this? (4) Who was it that answered the question? (5) Which one did he choose? (6) Who received the most money?
  6. Explain how the words printed in italics are used correctly:
(1) This is he.
(2) My father sent for John and me.
(3) Mother sent Mary and her to the village.
(4) Give her and me the flowers.
  7. Explain how the words printed in italics are used correctly:
(1) The men who spoke were officers.
(2) The singers about whom you inquired are Italians.
(3) The boys whom you talked to have gone.
(4) His companions who are alone will speak with you.
  8. Diagram and analyze the following sentence: He understands the story that was told.
  9. Parse each word printed in italics in the following sentence: All day thy wings have fanned, at that far height, the cold, thin atmosphere.
  10. Use correctly in sentences the principal parts of each of the following verbs: see, go, and do.


  1. Letter the following poster heading in some attractive way: "NEBRASKA, THE BEAUTIFUL".
  2. Draw an oblong box showing a short and long side and the top.
  3. Suggest a good color scheme for (1) painting the outside of your schoolhouse and (2) the interior of the classroom.
  4. Write a verse of four lines and illustrate by drawing the important thing suggested in them.
  5. Draw a simple out-of-doors scene.

Friday Forenoon, March 20, 1925


  1. Name two contagious diseases due to germs or bacteria.
  2. How may we combat germ diseases?
  3. Name two insects that carry diseases and tell how to control them.
  4. How should we dispose of garbage and rubbish?
  5. Name the organs of digestion and what do the digestive organs do?
  6. What is the work of the heart and how does it perform this work?
  7. Name the organs of respiration and tell how breathing is accomplished.
  8. Of what use is the skin and why should one bathe the skin?
  9. How may the schoolroom be kept sanitary?
  10. Why do we have a state law against the use of tobacco by persons under 21 years of age?


  1. Explain fully why every one should learn to keep books.
  2. Write the figures plainly and neatly. Give two good reasons why all figures should be written plainly.
  3. (1) What is a bill? (2) Philip Jones of Bonesteel, South Dakota, ordered from the J. C. Brown and Company of Chicago, twelve copies of "A Perfect tribute" at seventy-five cents each. Make out and receipt the J. C. Brown and Company's bill.
  4. (1) What is an account? (2) Make out the following account of James Sloan: Debits, October 11, 12 cans of corn at 15 cents; October 18, 50 pounds of sugar at 8 cents; October.27, 7 yards of dress goods at $1.25; credits, October 25, $5.00. How much does Mr. Sloan still owe?
  5. What is a check? Orrin Gray buys from Arthur Nelson a lot for $800 and gives in payment his check. Write the check filling in the place and date.


  1. Add the following: (1) 6809, 7623, 5299, 6601 and 3496; (2) 8941, 7910, 9845, 8522 and 1046; (3) 1/2 and 2/3; (4) 1/3 and 3/4.
  2. Subtract the following: (1) 483 from 954, (2) 704 from 1077, (3) 3/5 from 2/3,(4) 3/8 from 5/6.
  3. Multiply the following: (1) 7029 by 75, (2) 7638 by 53, (3) 1/3 by 3/8, (4) 2/5 by 3/4.
  4. Divide the following: (1) 31824 by 68, (2) 22572 by 57, (3) 4/7 by 2/3, (4) 2/3 by 8/9.
  5. To what per cents are the following fractions equivalent: 1/2, 1/3, 2/3, 1/4, 3/4, 1/5, 2/5, 2/5, 1/6 and 1/8?
  6. If a rectangular lot contains ten acres and is twenty rods on one side, what will it cost to fence around the lot, the fence costing $1.64 per rod?
  7. (1) What is meant by board foot? (2) How many board feet of lumber in six pieces 18 ft. long, 6 in. wide and 2 in. thick?
  8. (1) What is interest and what is the usual rate of interest in your neighborhood? (2) Compute the simple interest on $540 at 6% for 1 yr. 5 mo. 12 da.
  9. The perimeter of a square field is 1320 rods. Find the area of the field in acres.
  10. (1) What is a tax? For what purposes are taxes paid? (2) If the school tax rate is 7 mills on the dollar, the county tax rate is 2 1/2 mills on the dollar, and the state tax rate is 3 1/2 mills on the dollar, what is the total tax rate? (3) What would a farmer's total tax be if his property is valued at $16,480?

Friday Afternoon, March 20, 1925


   1. How did Europeans come to discover America?
   2. Name a southern colony, a middle colony, and a New England colony. When and why was each settled?
   3. What caused the struggle between the French and English for North America? What was the outcome of the struggle?
   4. Show that the ideas of George III and the laws of the British Parliament caused the War for Independence.
   5. In a sentence for each tell who the following were: Thomas Hooker, James Oglethorpe, The Jesuits, Benjamin Franklin, William Pitt.
   6. Answer any two of the following:
(1) Of what importance was the Lewis & Clark expedition?
(2 Why was the Monroe Doctrine issued?
(3) Of what importance was the Industrial Revolution of 1800?
   7. Answer any two of the following:
(1) How was the expansion of our territory connected with the slavery question?
(2) What was the Kansas-Nebraska bill?
(3) Of what importance were the Lincoln-Douglas debates?
   8. Answer any two of the following:
(1) Why had the South seceded from the Union?
(2) What effect had the war upon the South?
(3) What reconstruction measures were passed by Congress at the close of the Civil War?
   9. In a sentence for each tell who the following were: Alexander Hamilton, Robert Fulton, John Marshall, Henry Clay, William H. Seward.
   10. Give the dates of the following events: Purchase of Louisiana, Missouri Compromise, Annexation of Texas, Discovery of Gold in California, Completion of Union Pacific Railroad.


   1. Write a brief letter to a friend in another state.
   2. Direct a person to go from your schoolhouse to the nearest post office.
   3. Write as many sentences as may be necessary in order to show the use of the following punctuation marks: period, comma, question mark, quotation marks, colon, hyphen.
   4. Tell how to play the game of baseball or if you wish tell how to play some other game which you understand.
   5. Write a news item for one of the local papers telling about an entertainment which your school gave.


   1. Compare North and South America. (1) Which has the greater area? (2) Which has the larger population? (3) Which is the more progressive? (4) Which has the larger number of independent countries?
   2. Name five of the mid-western states and tell what advantages these have for (1) farming, for (2) manufacturing.
   3. Name and locate five of the largest cities of the east and account for the growth of two.
   4. (1) Name the three most important countries of South America. (2) Name five of the most important products of South America.
   5. Name the Mediterranean countries of Europe. Why are they so called? Which is the most important?
   6. (1) What different kinds of climate are found in Africa? (2) What are the chief interests of the people of South Africa?
   7. Compare Siberia and Canada as to (1) location, (2) size, (3) population, (4) progressiveness of people.
   8. (1) Name three important wheat production areas throughout the world. (2) Locate two important iron and steel industries.
   9. Describe the most direct water route from New York City to Valparaiso in Chili.
   10. (1) Name two important products for which the United States depends upon other countries. (2) Name three important products produced by the United States that other countries need.


   1. Write from memory the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States.
   2. Name and explain three important powers of Congress.
   3. How many officers are there in the President's cabinet? How do these men get their office and how do they help the President?
   4. Name the county offices (not names of officers) and briefly state the duties of each office.
   5. Name three amendments to the Constitution of the United States and briefly tell what each is for.
   6. Point out three ways in which the State Constitution is similar to the United States Constitution.
   7. Who is the state senator and who is the state representative from your DISTRICT in the Legislature now meeting in Lincoln?
   8. Name the state executive offices (not the names of the officers). Which is the most important office and why?
   9. Who may vote at general elections in Nebraska?
   10. Give the number of commissioners or supervisors in your county and name three of their duties.

Submitted by: Mona Houser, niece of Selma Mueller.

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