THEN AND NOW
By Mrs. J. A. Bellows
In August, 1889, my husband and I left Waterloo, Iowa, went to Afton Junction and took the Burlington train for Omaha. We arrived at Omaha the next morning. Now the trip can be made via. the I. C. railroad between the hours of 2 a. m. and 8 a. m. the same morning.
The depot at Omaha was not much better than a shed. There was a rickety wooden platform on which was piled a long, high pile of beer kegs. Right then and there I was home-sick. Then we transferred to the Burlington station which was about a mile away. I wonder how many remember the old horse-drawn omnibus? Now these two stations are seemingly under one roof and are up-to-date, beautiful buildings. Our destination was McCool Junction [Ject.], at which place we arrived in the evening of the second day.
We were teachers. My husband, who was Jason A. Bellows, taught in District No. 4, and I taught the Hays school, two miles north. We both walked to school. The Hays school house had fourteen double seats and I had forty-two pupils, three in each seat. The pupils' ages ranged from five to twenty-four. I received $30 per month for my services. That was a lot of money in those days. After moving to McCool Jct., I taught in the McFadden school which was one and three-quarters miles up the railroad track or three and one-half miles around the road. I often walked to school.
Our houses were small and not at all modern. Our salaries were very low and through the drought years of the early 90's, we got along somehow. We often wore calico dresses to church. We did not complain but always felt that there was something better just around the corner.
I loved to teach school. Some of my pupils are now grandparents. When I read The York Republican I find the names of so many of them and I am proud that they are doing the world's work in such a noble manner.
Waterloo, Iowa, February 10, 1937.