Oct. 1, 2015
Thank you for your article on the Sand Prairie School in your Sept. 3 issue’s “Under the Bridge.”
After reading your article, I found myself wondering about how many of those students mentioned were still alive. I was born and raised on a farm near the Sand Prairie School and I am now 90 years “young.”
My twin sister and I (Aletta and Iretta Clark) were first graders then. I, Iretta Clark Elliot, am the only one left in our Clark family. My twin sister and I were identical, causing problems for the teachers.
Our schoolhouse was a one-room building with an enclosed front porch used for coats, boots, mittens, lunch boxes, and such, on one end of the porch. On the other end were shelves with doors for storing the class books and the library books.
Our schoolhouse had a large wood stove in the middle of the room. Children were given the job of bringing in wood from the storage shed. We had an outside water pump and the children also carried water in and poured in into the water bubbler.
The teacher had the job of cleaning the floor, keeping the library in order, cleaning blackboards, and student lesson plans.
In the front of the room were two pictures, one of George Washington and one of Abraham Lincoln.
Most of the children walked to school and there was no air conditioning.
I attended all eight grades at Sand Prairie School. Velma Dyer was my first and second grade teacher. Richard Powell was my third through sixth grade teacher, and Gale Wanless was my seventh and eighth grade teacher.
These were very happy times for most of us.
My brother, Myron Clark, graduated from here, as well as my eldest brother Gerald and my two younger sisters Beth Ann and Rosemary Clark.
I would like to thank all of my Sand Prairie School and Blue River High School teachers for being such a good inspiration for me, because I went on to Teachers College in Richland Center and then to Platteville. In later years, I came back and taught school at Sand Prairie, where I had gone to school. We had 32 students at that time.
Time passes by very fast, so laugh a lot and enjoy it all.
I still see some of my Sand Prairie students, and students from other schools where I taught, in our Blue River High School Alumni.
God has been good to me.
I have been wondering how many of the people you mentioned in your article are still around. I live in Marquette, Iowa and I would like to hear from some of them.
Iretta (Pat) Elliot
PO Box 72
Marquette, Iowa 52158