Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Smile for the Camera: School Days

The word prompt for the 16th Edition of Smile For The Camera is "School Days." It is September, historically the month when a new school year begins. We all have images of the days spent in school. The barefoot children gathered together with their teacher in front of the rural school your ancestors attended. Children at their desks, children at play in the school yard, and those obligatory school photographs - one for every year. Show us your family memories of school days. Admission is free with every photograph!

My mother attended school only through the eighth grade. I’m not sure whether any of her older siblings graduated from high school, either, but I believe that most or all of her younger siblings did graduate. They must have attended Bomarton High School, as it would have been the closest high school to their farm at the time, and there are pictures of my Uncle Pete wearing what looks like a school sweater with a big letter “B” on it. One of the high school teachers was my Aunt Johnny, who later married my Uncle Pete.

The top picture shows my Aunt Johnny (second from left in the front row) with some of her students; one of them is my Aunt Lil (far left in the front row). The next two pictures are of my Aunt Rene in her cap and gown. The bottom picture [privately held by Vernetta M.] shows what is left of the Bomarton High School building.

The following is an excerpt from an article on the Bomarton School System from Salt Pork to Sirloin: The History of Baylor County from 1878 to 1930 (Seymour, Texas: Baylor County Historical Society, 1972, pp. 182-183):

“In 1926 Bomarton had a lady superintendent, Mrs. Ware, who advocated,practiced, and defended the wearing of “nicker trousers” by her Biology students because “this progressive age demanded it, and it was more virtuous to wear trousers than the fashionable dresses of today in the biology research work.” J. Ney Thomas, a board member, led the opposition by stating that “Mrs. Ware was setting the wrong example before the High School girls,” and “Wearing of men’s apparel by women is an abomination in the sight of God” (Deuteronomy, Bible). The vote for and against the wearing of trousers was a tie and W. F. Truman, president of the school board, broke the tie by siding with the ladies!

“For many years, Bomarton was one of only three high schools in the County, and at one time had 242 pupils, but in 1950 it succumbed to better educational facilities by consolidating with Seymour Rural High School, although there was a grade school in the community until 1955 that was a part of the Seymour school system.”


  1. Hello Greta:

    While I was reading your blog about school days, with your Aunt Johnny marrying your Uncle Pete, reminded me of of Louis Brinlee's daughter Cordie, named after his sister Cordelia, who married her school teacher, Uncle Leslie Walker. Cordie was my mother's oldest sister. A little history.

    During WW2 we lived for three years in Oakland, California. Aunt Cordie and Uncle Leslie lived close by in Berkeley.

  2. I wonder what J. Ney Thomas would think about today's dress in school...lol

  3. Hi Greta! I appreciate you linking to my www.familytreewriter.com blog! As soon as I figure out how to (or pay someone to show me how) I will be linking back in return! I'm just real new to the blogging! Been seriously addicted to this since? Maybe close to 15 years? Two questions, how do I post the school days photos? And how do I participate in SNGF? THANKS! Sherry Stocking Kline

  4. Hi Raymond - Interesting how often teachers married students in those days. I am looking into a Smith family with a daughter named Cordelia as a possibility for my great-grandmother Lizzie Smith Brinlee's family; wouldn't it be neat if that name was handed down through 3 generations?

  5. Hi Linda - Wasn't that a hoot? I just happened to be scanning the Baylor County history books to see whether they had relevant information and found that quote. Kids' dress these days would definitely shock that generation!

  6. Hi Sherry,

    I'm always happy to add an interesting blog to read to my list. To link to blogs, go to "Customize" and then "Add a Gadget," and add either the "Links" gadget or there may be a special one for listing blogs (I have forgotten since it has been so long) and you just add in the URL for the blogs. School days is part of the Smile for the Camera carnival, which is hosted by Shades of the Departed (http://www.shadesofthedeparted.com/). You can find the instructions for participating in the carnival there. To participate in SNGF (Saturday Night Genealogy Fun), go to Randy Seaver's Genea-Musings (http://www.geneamusings.com/) on Saturday evening and find the instructions - this week's SNGF is already up! Have fun!

  7. Loved the little article excerpt that was added to your school days post!