Alexander Schoolhouse, Jasper, IN



Alexander Schoolhouse

Mill and Third Streets

Jasper, IN 47546

In 2017, the Redevelop Old Jasper Action Coalition (ROJAC) announced it would save and relocate a single-room school house known as the old Alexander School located south of Ireland in Madison Township, with plans to move it next to the Schaeffer Barn located in old Jasper near the Riverwalk and future Jasper Cultural Center.  The school has a long history. In 1820, it was one of the first of three schools in Dubois County and was located near the present Shiloh Church. At that time, it was known as the Shiloh school.  The schoolhouse was moved to a second location on the Kellams farm in 1859 where it became known as the Alexander school based on the Alexander descendants of the Kellams family.  The school burned down in 1915, and a new school was built in 1918.

According to ROJAC, as there used to be 113 school houses like this in the county, it believes the history of the single-room school house is important to preserve.  The building was donated by the Kellams family with the intent that it would be moved and restored to its original state.  Besides being another tourist attraction for the city, the schoolhouse will be used as a point of interest for school day trips, library outreach programs, public events, and parties. And it will be an additional tourist attraction.  It will house an exhibit displaying the contributions of George R. Wilson and Margaret A. Wilson to Dubois County as well as displays on other early Dubois County schoolhouses will be featured. The project is being funded by John and Carma Habig. Exterior work on the schoolhouse is complete, with the exception of a wheelchair ramp, but the interior hasn’t been touched.  ROJAC has to complete a plan for the work and complete some grants before work on the inside of the schoolhouse can begin.

ROJAC was organized in 2003 with a goal for Old Jasper to become a major destination point for tourism and to become a source of pride for Jasper, with the depot, clock, stamped brick sidewalk, city mill, tourist train, GAB Boulevard, Autoplex removal, and Schaefer Barn area in place, and now the pending development of the Cultural Center, The River Center, and the single-room schoolhouse honoring the history of one-room schoolhouses in Dubois County and the Wilsons. ROJAC has big plans for the one-room Alexander Schoolhouse and envisions the schoolhouse becoming a mini museum of sorts, a tourist attraction and learning center for local history with second- and third-graders sitting in old-fashioned school desks inside the refurbished schoolhouse looking at a television screen depicting George R. Wilson teaching a class as though it’s 1903.

Walnut Hill School House, Pensacola, FL


walnut hill logschool10

Walnut Hill School House

State Highway 97

Pensacola, FL

On an idyllic stretch of State Highway 97 outside of Pensacola, FL, stands a hearty log structure behind the Walnut Hill Community Center. Tucked into the northwest corner of Escambia County, the building was once a supposedly antebellum one-room school house, the first of its kind in Walnut Hill.  According to information posted inside the one room schoolhouse, the exact construction date of the building is unknown because school district records prior to 1880 could not be located. Financial records for the Escambia County School District indicate that William “Uncle Bud” Williams received $40 in April 1880 for “building a new school” and the school received a new heater at the cost of $10 in 1881.  One source says that in 1886, the first school (a one-room log building) was built in Walnut Hill. The first school was only a three -month long session and had eleven students attending. Mrs. Annie McMillan was one of the first teachers, and her salary was only fifteen dollars per month.  The 1886 date for the building of the log school and church is not likely correct. This is the year that Mrs. McMillan taught her first term of school. The buildings were erected earlier, likely right after the Civil War.

The school was originally located right down the road near the corner of the present day intersection of Arthur Brown Road 99A and Highway 97. The Ruritan Club actually met in the school building when it was down there.  The building was deeded to the club by the Escambia County School District. It was moved to its current location on Highway 97 after the construction of the Walnut Hill Community Center, also known as the Walnut Hill Ruritan Building, in the late 1990’s, where it now shares space with the community center, a park, a youth baseball field, and a county sheriff’s outpost.  The log school, now believed to have been built sometime around or just before 1880, was flattened by Hurricane Ivan in 2004.

The Florida Trust for Historic Preservation honored the restoration project of the old Walnut Hill School House.    During the Trust’s 2008 Preservation Awards ceremony, the Walnut Hill School House project was awarded Outstanding Achievement in the Restoration/Rehabilitation Awards category. The award was accepted by Escambia County and the Walnut Hill Ruritan Club.  It was restored under the leadership of Quina Grundhoefer Architects in Pensacola with funding from FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The restoration used mostly the original logs, reassembling them like a giant jigsaw puzzle.  When the building was restored, a wheelchair ramp was added in accordance with law. A glassed in area just inside the door will allow visiting school children to view the interior of the building.  The Ruritan Club has placed a period wood burning heater in the building and a single student desk. The club plans to fully restore the interior of the building as a history museum, complete with a teacher’s desk and students desks. There is currently one student desk in the building.

Harvard Summit to Discuss Regulating Homeschooling

Harvard Summit to Discuss Regulating Homeschooling
by Darren Jones (March 24, 2020)

[Editor’s note: Scary stuff indeed. This Harvard Summit to Discuss Regulating Homeschooling is a conference that aims to explore ways to restrict homeschooling. HSLDA is on the agenda, but they’re not invited. One of the organizers, Professor Elizabeth Bartholet, recently recommended “a presumptive ban on homeschooling.” WSW.]

To someone of my generation (I’m proudly Gen-X), the word “summit” evokes President Carter bringing warring sides of the Middle East together, or President Reagan meeting in icy Reykjavik with General Secretary Gorbachev.

Well, the homeschool community may be interested in a summit scheduled for June 18-19 at Harvard Law School to discuss “a controversial practice”—homeschooling.*

The Homeschooling Summit: Problems, Politics, and Prospects for Reform is being billed as a means of bringing together leaders in education and child welfare policy to discuss child rights and homeschooling.

Read more:

Olive Branch School, Leo French Park, Fairfield, Illinois


olive branch IL

Olive Branch School, Leo French Park

148 S. 1st St.

Fairfield, Illinois  62837

Many if not most of the old one-room schools are gone.  One unusual exception is the Olive Branch School. This one-room school was donated by the Musgrave family in the 1960s.  In 1965 the peeling white frame building was saved and moved from its location south of Fairfield, IL, north along the Burnt Prairie Road to Fairfield. The slow process even required elevating the building above the south Fourth Street bridge railings. Placed in a permanent home in Leo French City Park, refurbished, and painted red to model the “little red schoolhouse” of folklore, it is the only surviving Wayne County school house in original condition including student desks. Its preservation grows in importance as time erases the histories of other one-room schoolhouses and even the youngest alumni are over fifty and scattered throughout the country.

While a few other pre-consolidation rural school buildings exist, the others were remodeled into residences or used as sheds or are in ruins.  Olive Branch is the only one that survived intact inside and out. It was in relatively good shape since it was built in the early 1930s after the original building burned.  The building was repaired and remodeled as a museum in memory of the more than 150 rural schools that once dotted the county.  The interior was repainted, black boards reinstalled, maps and prints hung, school desks aligned, and wiring connected.  While  the original white frame siding was painted red, the truth is that only one or two frame schools in Wayne County were red; by far the most common paint used on exteriors was white.

The school/museum is owned and maintained by the Fairfield Park District. The Wayne County Historical Society currently maintains a long-term photographic exhibit of selected photographs of students from early rural schools in the county.  The enlarged photos are mounted inside the Olive Branch School in Fairfield.  For security reasons, the building is not left open.  The Society staffs the Olive Branch museum on selected occasions (especially during FCHS Homecoming weekend) and for grade school field trips.  Primary access is via the Leo French Park staff.

Humanism: a faith for atheists, secularists

Humanism: a faith for atheists, secularists
Ed M. Vitagliano, AFA vice president (April 2020)

In a highly controversial 1983 essay, humanist author John J. Dunphy spotlighted the inevitable conflict in America between Christianity and what he called “the new faith of humanism.”

Dunphy laid out his case against the Christian faith by asserting that “blood is the ink in which the history of Christianity has been written.” He charged it with unfurling “devastating tyranny” over the human race.

The Bible came in for particular hostility, as Dunphy stated that “it has been and remains an extremely dangerous book. It and the various Christian churches which are parasitic upon it have been directly responsible for most of the wars, persecutions, and outrages which humankind has perpetrated upon itself over the past two thousand years.”

Read more:

Kleckner School Park, North Canton, OH



Kleckner School Park

4855 Thursby Road

North Canton, OH 44720


Kleckner Park in Green, OH, is located on the site of the old Kleckner School.  Kleckner Elementary School was originally the consolidated Greensburg High School and Grade School.  It was built in 1903 as a four-room school on site of an earlier school, the site of the first advanced classes, and accommodated students in grades 1-8.  The earlier school had a three-year advanced (high school) curriculum and graduated the first class of 3 students in 1902. In 1913 the first addition was added to make the school 8 rooms and accommodate a true consolidated High School for Green Township. All school districts across Ohio in the early 1900’s were moving toward consolidating one-room schoolhouses and building centralized High Schools.  In 1927 a new addition was added to house an expanded high school.  The 1927 addition included a gymnasium.  In 1939 another new addition to house the High School was added as a Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works project.  The gymnasium was expanded and bleachers were added to the gym as part of this project. Indoor plumbing was also included in this phase of construction to the building.


     On the morning of Wednesday, September 11, 1945, a fire struck the school causing damage to the older part of the school. The fire destroyed the parts of the school that were built in 1903 and 1913.   The fire damaged buildings were than demolished and removed from the site.  In 1947 another section of the school was constructed and attached to the existing portion that was built in 1927 and 1939 which was not damaged by the fire.  The building was renamed Greensburg Elementary School in 1957 when the new High School was built on Steese Road.  In 1981 the school was renamed again as John R. Kleckner Elementary School to honor Mr. Kleckner, a 1930 graduate of Greensburg School, and a teacher, coach, and principal for many years at Greensburg School.  Kleckner Elementary School closed in 2011 after serving as a school since the early 1900s.  The building was demolished in 2015, and since then the city of Green has create a new little league baseball complex on the Kleckner School site, just south of where the school once stood.  There is one larger field closer to Thursby Road and then a smaller field next to it. When Central Park was constructed, some of the top soil from the Kleckner site was taken out and taken to Central Park. The new ball field site had to be graded and the city opted to place sod instead of trying to grow grass.


Sharpen Your Grammatical Clause

Sharpen Your Grammatical Clause
by Marlene Caroselli, Ed.D. (Dec. 21, 2012)

It’s been said the grammatical man leads a logical life. The saying, of course, applies to women and children as well. However, more than logic is imparted by the correct use of words. There’s a self-confidence that can be gained as well. When a person knows he is speaking properly, he doesn’t hesitate to express his thoughts.

The confidence that ideally begins early in a child’s education will sustain her throughout her life. Of all the subjects she studies, only language arts skills will be used every single day as she moves from schooling and ultimately into a job—inside or outside the home. Yes, math and social studies and foreign languages are important, without a doubt. But no other subject is required on a daily, even an hourly, basis for the rest of your child’s life.

Helping children understand grammatical rules and feel comfortable applying them is a serious obligation for the homeschooling parent. Because those rules are finite and basically constant, it’s not a daunting task to memorize them. We’ll look at two grammar rules today. First, we’ll explore the rule, and then we’ll examine it further via an example. Finally, I’ll provide a quiz to test your understanding.

Read more: