Brooke was about
three grades or so ahead of me in school I choose Brooke for that
reason, and because as the saying goes "if you want to know ask
Brooke she remembers everything."
Good Hope School between 1942 until it's closing in 1951, she remembers
the little two room school as I remembered it to be, however she
remembered more details.
that the two class rooms were separated by a slated wall that hung from
the ceiling and was raised every morning as we recited the pledge of
allegiance to a flag that hung over the stage in the upper grade class
room. Each class room had two small windows in front and back. The
windows had glass pane but was protected from the sun by what she call
"old fashioned pull up shade". The school had no porch, or a
very small porch, that she remembered. She did remember however, a table
or stand that stood in front of the school, large enough to hold a
barrel that supplied the students with water throughout the day.
Both Brooke and
I, remembered our teachers at the little two room school. Salome C.
(Chapman) Hayden. Miss Hayden as we all call her was our first teacher.
Miss Hayden taught grades one through grade five, and Edna (Hayden)
Johnson, (my mother) was the teacher for students grades six through
eight. The little school closed before Brooke and I moved to the upper
class room, so unlike my older brothers and sisters I did not have the
opportunity to have my mother as a teacher.
interview was with the older sister o f Brooke, (Varnell Pruitt) Chapman
Varnell was born
in1932 and attended Good Hope School in 1938 at age 6. Varnell
remembered her school days in a more personal way she remembers the
wonderful times had in the little community school and the life long
friends made there. Some of the students she said in her class came to
school at different time in the morning, "but we all got out of
school at the same time."
"and those of us who took the same route, walked home together,
often playing games or teasing one another on the way."
Varnell, now 79
years old very clearly, remembered that at age 6, her first teacher was
remembered several other teachers, but was not sure of the year in which
they taught at Good Hope School. She recalled a Miss Trudie Smith,
Frances Chapman, Classie Salter, Ruth Mae Salter and Mary Salter.
She said that
most of her teachers were very good; she remembered that if you didn't
understand a math problem, the teachers would sit and help you no matter
how long it took.
teachers wrote and put on plays several times a year, using the students
in the class as the actors."
1945 brought an
end to her years in the little school in Good Hope, "that year I
became eligible to attend the High school in town". (Hickory
Colored High School).
interviewing Varnell, I interviewed Mary Salter Stamps a former
Principle, teacher, and student at
Good Hope Community School
Mary was born in
1927 and in 1934 attended first grade at Good Hope School at age six.
After 8th grade
in 1941 Mary attended high school in Jasper County and graduate high
school in 1945, attended 2 years at Jackson Teacher College. After
teachers college Mary was hired by the Newton School district as
teacher, and principle at Good Hope School with a salary of 60.00 per
the teaches desk were on raised platform on each side of the class room
There were three or four row of double desk for the students in each
class room. She remembered during that time students were grouped
according to their achievement levels and according to their development
levels and according to their ability.
Mary stated that
attending, and teaching in a two class school had is advantages such as
knowing everyone, and looking out for one another. The disadvantages
were the other classes being taught at different times, making it
difficult to concentrate on your own studies. However the students were
quiet despite all the different grades levels. And know one was allowed
to leave their seat without permission.
Mary was a
teacher at Good Hope from 1946 until 1947 and soon after that she moved
to Denver, Colorado and continues to reside there, however at age 84
Mary make a pilgrimage to the little Black Community and often as
age 83, my next interviewee was
born in 1926 and in 1931 began attending
Good Hope Colored School (as it was called then.)
in the first grade and finished the eight grade" Clift response
when asked if he remembered his teachers "oh I remember some of the
teachers, however, mostly by their last names, like Miss Dunlap and Miss
Adams he said. He did however; remember the first names of two very
special teachers. Maude Lee Edison, his sister, and "Francie
Chapman because she was pretty."
He remembered a
lot about the little two room school, the boys out house across the road
behind the church, he remembers that the water came from a spring on the
school property. That the classroom was quiet despite all the different
grades in the rooms, he remembers that you didn't get out of your seat
without permission. He also remembered that the student's desk when he
attended the school from 1931 until 1939 were rough wooden slab bench
with table that set two across. Cliff at age 83 explained, with a
twinkle in his voice "I didn't mind sitting two across, because
that gave me a chance to sit by the girls."
thing about that he recalled, was most of the girls in the classroom
were related to him one way or another.
on in Good Hope until he was drafted in 1945; he severed his time in
And after many
years of living in other states, Cliff's love for Good Hope brought him
back home, this time to stay.
My last alum
of the little community school was my
94 year old cousin Brooms Salter and the
grandson of Filmore Johnson the founder of
the black settlement of Good Hope.
Broomsy Salter, born
in 1913, remembered that up until age eight he attended school in the church
building across the road before the schoolhouse was built. He states "the
year I was nine the school house was brand new, build by the Chapman, Lemon
Chapman and his boys." Cousin Broomsy recalled that his father Isaac
Salter as one of the church trustees sold timbers (off the church land)
"to pay for building the school Papa duty also as church trustee was to
oversee the school's finances."
remembered the early teachers of the school A Miss Norris who he said lived in
Chunky. Whose husband brought her 15 miles into Good Hope each day.
Rev. Stephen Tullios
was the teacher for the upper class room during that year.
After that he recalled
an Emma McElroy from Lawrence. "Miss McElroy taught there until I
graduated. I later moved to Meriden at about age 17, and in 1934 I moved to
Freeport, I Illinois. Later I was drafted and served in World War II, and to
this day he continues "we still own the land Papa farmed way back