School Stories Related to

Owen Picton and Donald Schmidt

Grandsons of

Henry and Mary Roesch (Grandpa and Grandma Roesch)

by Owen Picton

Five Point School, District 86 in Richardson County, Nebraska, USA was located a few miles (maybe 12 miles) South West of Falls City, Nebraska and about a half mile from the Kansas and Nebraska State Line.  This is where, I (Owen Picton) went to county school with my cousin Donald Schmidt. He was in about the 7th or 8th grade and I was in kindergarten or 1st. His sister Marjorie Jean had already graduated from this school and my 2 sister had not started, yet. The school was on a dirt road and about a mile and a half from my house and two miles from Donald's. The school had no electricity or phone. The school had 2 outhouses out back (one for boys and one for girls). Water came from a well out front with a pump which was pumped by hand into a bucket and taken into an enclosed breezeway of the school. A ladle was placed into the bucket. Everyone brought there own cup from home. Mine and I think the others were a metal measuring cup. Every day we all had to bring lunch from home, made by our Mothers. The floors were polished once in a while by putting down green or red saw dust which had been soaked in something like kerosine or oil. All the students would slide on this to polish the floor. The floors were polished before school programs and the students would decorate the school. These school programs were open and attended by everyone in the school district. It was like a big party. They had such games as bobbing for apples. These were held around Halloween, Christmas and in the spring with maybe a special one in the summer because the whole community had such a good time. Sometimes the School District Superintendent for the county would present free health films for the whole community.  The School District Superintendent had to bring his own electric generator.  All these school programs were a social thing for the community.

Our school library was a wooden box filled with books which would be past from school house to school house. Each year our art work and special projects would be sent to the county fair to be judged against the other schools. The school had playground equipment such as a swing, slide, merry go round and a big yard with trees plus enough open space to play baseball. One of our games was "Andy Andy Over" which we throw a ball over the school roof and if we caught the ball, we would run around the building and tag someone on the other side. This went on until no one was left on the other side. One day a small plane flew over the school and we all ran out to see the plane. This was during the 2nd World War. For our school war effort, we would collect such things as milk weed pads and card board for the US government. The teacher would take all of us children and drive around the country side, finding and picking milk weed pads. I think the fibber was used in lift boat jackets. Our school won an American flag for our effort.

The school also had a barn for students to put there horses in if they rode them to school. Which was right next to the poison ivy patch. Donald would ride his horse to school. One day, Donald came to school with his leg all cut up because something had scared his horse and the horse had run up next to the barbwire fence and cut his leg. The only thing the teacher could do was to send Donald back home (two miles) because the school had no phone, farms near by had no phones and the teacher could not leave the students alone. At that time, Donald's parents and my parents did have a hand ring phones on a party line but no electricity at home.

Donald had at least one other student in his grade. He was Johnny Joe Thompson and he died about 40 years ago.

My Grandfather owned the farm that Donald lived on. After my Grandfather died, my Grandmother was forced to sell the farm. So Donald's parents bought a farm in Nebraska on the Nebraska Kansas state line. This was where Donald's parents lived when Donald joined the Naval Reserve. After Donald went active in the Navy, he received a draft notice from the Kansas Draft board. Donald had a Kansas address because they lived on the state line. Donald sent the Kansas Draft board a letter saying he did not live in Kansas, never had lived in Kansas and that he was on active duty in the Navy.

Donald went Midland College (Now Midland University) after he got out of the Navy. In about his junior year, I was a freshman at Midland College and our paths crossed again.

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Last Modified July 2014

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