Grand Rivers School, Livingston Co., Ky.
ca. 1902

information and photos submitted by Andrew Hinshaw

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Writings by Mary Ilene (Fleming) Hinshaw
(Mother of Andrew Hinshaw)

We had the best school in the whole county.
You see a way back then in my mother’s day a bunch of rich Easterner’s came in and built five big iron-ore furnaces and spent a lot of money to build fine houses for themselves.
They also built a good three-room brick schoolhouse, with brick walls all around the whole house, and nice little privies, one for the girls and one for the boys, with little air-holes in the sides and nice round holes, you see, most of the privies had square ones. Well we had swell blackboards too, all across the whole walls,

We had a big general store, the Jolly Brothers. They had everything, side meat, sacks of green and cured coffee, I liked the Pea Berry all ready roasted.
It was a big job to roast coffee for if we scorched it we had to use it anyway - so that was the best brand they had, of course we ground it fresh every meal.

We had the finest doctor in the country too, Doctor Robinson. He knew everything about everybody. We had Rows’ Drug Store and he knew just what every
lady needed too, even when the Doctor couldn’t be found. You see, he had to bring all the babies in the neighborhood - that is if they didn’t come too fast for him.
Sometimes he’d be away bringing one, and miss two.

Well anyway, it was a wonderful feeling to know we were going to the best school in the country, one built by smart men from Boston and New York.
they really knew how to build buildings. Of course it didn’t matter if we did have to walk three miles through the mud, over rough country roads, you see in winter you couldn’t hardly get a team and wagon over them.

First Day Of School

The Red Brick School House on the Hill just three miles away - standing stately - the pride of the community!
Here all the interests of the neighborhood centered, from the meeting of all the important school board, to the most elaborate of all yearly events -
the erection of a huge Christmas Tree - ladened with gifts for all with St. Nick in person, to pass them along midst singing of carols by lads and lasses.
Wonderful! Those school days! The strangeness of that first day of school! The feeling of utter insignificance, standing in the door of the outer hallway.....on that First Day!
As the boys and girls came marching “Downstairs” at the noon period with such looks of wisdom on their faces. Big boys, in the eighth, and ninth grades; they must be wise -
and those few (three or four) who were in the twelfth grade - well they were too wise for one to hardly look upon - as the some fifty or sixty pupils marched orderly out to the playground
- the boys yelling ‘first batter’ - ‘first batter’.

The girls off to the gullies, washed deep by the many years of erosion, to play, hide and go seek.
She followed in the rear, to see what it was all about! What it was like to be at school.