Chillicothe News - Chillicothe, MO
Take a trip down memory lane as bloggers Danny Batson and Gary Thomas recollect their experiences while growing up in the Chillicothe area. We hope our discussion starters, pictures, and articles will evoke your personal recollections of Chillicothe; we invite you to share your stories with all of us. So, let us discuss the days gone by and have fun!
One Room School by Danny Batson
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About this blog
By Gary Thomas
Hi, I am Danny Batson (Knouse) and I am a lifelong resident of the Chillicothe area. I was born in 1951 and graduated from CHS in 1969. I took over my dad’s septic tank business that he founded in 1937. While I have been in every state ...
Chillicothe: As We Remember

Hi, I am Danny Batson (Knouse) and I am a lifelong resident of the Chillicothe area. I was born in 1951 and graduated from CHS in 1969. I took over my dad’s septic tank business that he founded in 1937. While I have been in every state (except Hawaii and Maine), there is no place like home! I love taking pictures of old and unusual things and sharing them. There is beauty in everything, if we look for it. I have three Facebook pages filled with local pictures that may be of interest: “Where Has Danny Been,” Chillicothe Now,” and “Danny Batson”.

Hi, I am Gary Thomas and I was born just across from Central School in 1942. I graduated from CHS in 1960 and MU in 1964. After two years in Army, I completed a graduate degree at the University of Chicago in 1970. After working in software development for more than 40 years, I retired from Raytheon in 2007. I have an abiding interest in history and in researching past events, places, and people. My latest project is developing a history-based chronology for Livingston County from 1801-2000.

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June 18, 2013 12:01 a.m.

The picture is my old school south of Utica. It really doesn't seem that long ago when we had one room school houses in Missouri. As I drive along the country roads today, I find myself stopping to take pictures of many room school houses in the middle of nowhere.
There are still many of them around but most are about to fall down, some have been restored. All the grades were taught by one teacher, in one room. They all had a bell to ring for the starting of class it seemed, and don't forget the hand bell the teacher used to call us back in from recess.
I remember standing in the corner with my nose in the circle on the blackboard. The teachers had power to correct your bad manners back then.
The three R's were taught, (Reading, Riting and Rithmetic). You had to write each letter exactly the way it was on the alphabet chart above the chalkboard. Did you know that the Bible was even used in school back then?
For most of the boys, the window was where the real teaching occurred. We had to bring our own lunch to school and that taught us to share.
The well pump was the only place to get a drink of cold water. While one of the bigger boys pumped the handle, each of us would take turns sipping on the stream of water. You could be sure some of us would come in wet, and let me tell you that sitting with wet underwear all day was no fun!
Some of the schools were lucky to have fuel oil to keep warm while others still used wood. There were lots of windows for air conditioning. Remember the one and two finger hand raise? The outside toilet was always a great hiding place to stow things we shouldn't have. Getting back at the teacher was a quest for some.
My aunt would walk me to school with her even though I was only four. I remember the time I ran away from school because I didn't want to use the outside toilet with the Sears catalog. We had a Vagabond trailer parked at the round barn between Utica and Dawn in the early 50's and it had a flush toilet and real toilet paper! I was spoiled, if you know what I mean. I think I'm still being punished for running away though, because I clean outside toilets to this day!
As young children, learned to be quiet and sit still in class. Punishment was a paddle, switch, or dunce hat and they worked well. We were trained to respect our parents and elders. "Yes Sir" and "Yes Ma'am" was how we would answer grown-ups. "Thank You" and "Please" were a few more words we could use to protect ourselves. They say teaching is better at school today and that could be true. But, I think I was taught something else kids are missing today. I hope our schools find that “something else” once again some day.

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