White Brick School Finniwig Studios KebIrish Gazette Ariadne Threads Guild

Volume 7, Issue 1

February 1, 2004


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George Shigley

Early School Life

Spyware and Adware

Family Favorites - Bacon-Broccoli Quiche

Photos of the Past

George Shigley


George Shigley was the oldest son of Adam and Rosanne Potts Shigley of the Potts family who founded the town of Pottsville, Pennsylvania. His father was said to be a descendant of a prince of the House of Hesse in Germany.

George was born in Maryland in 1789. His father being a cooper by trade and also a teamster crossed the mountains in certain seasons of the year with 4 to 6 teams. Being the oldest boy in the family, at an early age he was put in entire satisfaction of his father. He was an obedient and trustworthy boy and filled the various callings in life to the approval of all concerned. He attended the funeral of George Washington in 1799 where teams were driven on the crust formed on the snow over tops of fences.

He married Olivet Franklin, a descendant of Benjamin Franklin. Soon after the marriage he took lease of the Scioto River bottom and put it under cultivation. During the War of 1812 He volunteered and with musket left home.

They became the parents of 11 children, 10 of whom grew to maturity. One daughter died of measles at the age of 14.

In 1849 George built a brick house. The brick for the house were made by his brother Joseph and the mud was mixed by the tramping of oxen.

His power of endurance was remarkable until after stricken down with an attack of fever at the age of 60.

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Early School Life

 Many schools were almost identical in size and shape, from the 1830’s until the early 1870’x. Most were of the same type construction as those nearby and a lot of the time they were not aware of other schools being built nearby. Early schoolhouses were crude structures. Many were built of round logs because these could be built in a very short time. Some were hewed on only two sides, so that they would fit closer together and this required less mud chinking to fill in between the logs.


At first the roofs were covered with clapboards, much like the siding on a wood frame house. The clapboard were made by splitting narrow pieces of wood from a 6 to 8 foot log. If more time was available they would take a 28 to 30 inch piece of log and by using a tool known as a froe and a wood mallet, wood shingles could be split. This made the hand split wood shingles for the roof. Most all the early log school houses had stick chimneys, which had to be heavily chinked with a mud and straw mixture. The fireplaces were huge in size, with many being able to hold a ten foot back log in the firepit. Some schools were unheated or may have had a woodburner in the center of the school. The teacher would have to arrive early to get the fire going and have the school warm before the students arrived.

The windows were made by leaving out a part of a log in one wall of the log cabin. Greased paper was then hung over this opening to let light come into the room. Later a rough split board was used to make a frame in which a small piece of glass could be installed. Candles or tallow boxes were used on cloudy days and also at night for the spelling bees and other community activities.

Many of the early schools had dirt floors. Others had what is known as puncheon floors. These were split logs, hewed smooth as possible on one side and placed side by side over small split log floor joists. Backless benches were also made from split logs, holes were drilled at a slant on the bottom side and small tree limbs or rough split legs were inserted in them for the legs. A desk was made by drilling a slanted hole in the wall under the window. Pegs were inserted in these holes and a smoothed split log or a rough sawn board was laid over these to serve as the

writing desk. Students had to stand while using this desk. Books, lunch boxes were usually placed under the benches.


When the wood frame buildings came into being, a space was built near the front entry to serve as a cloak and storage room. Around 1878 many counties started erecting schoolhouses of brick, as the wood structures caught on fire to easily.

Reading, Riting and Rithmetic were the subjects taught. These were known as learning the three R’s. The pupils were much on their own as they worked at their seats. Slates were used to write on as no blackboards were in use in the early schools. Each student had their own slate boards on which to write their sums or answers to the teachers question.


When the wood frame school house came into use, the inside walls were plastered with a lime and sand mixture, with hog hairs as a binder to hold the mixture together. Usually the rear wall by the teachers desk was painted black and this served as the blackboard. Many times the subject was never explained to the student, except those times when a student asked for help. The younger pupils learned by listening to the older pupils recite.

In the early schools, anyone that could read and cipher were called upon to teach. Age was no bearer as a person age 15 could be called upon to teach as well as an older person. At times there were students in school that were much older than the teachers. Even some teachers had been classmates with their students. Most early schools were held for only three months, from late November to the first of March. Also anyone from age 5 and up into their 20’s attended school. As a general rule, the male students only attended a few weeks of school a year, as they were needed on the farm to get the necessary work completed. No funds were provided for the pay of teachers and schools were not free. The schools were kept open at first, just as long each year as the parents could or would pay for their maintenance.

In 1850, the Indiana State Constitution decreed that all teachers had to pass an exam before being allowed to teach. This exam was usually given by a 

prominent person in the community. They would ask three or four questions of a perspective teacher and if the answers were satisfactory, they were given a slip of paper stating that they were qualified to teach.


In 1878 male teachers received $1.56 per day in the country schools and $2.69 per day in town, while the teachers in the larger cities received $3.67 per day. Female teachers received about $1.34 per day in the country schools and $1.54 per day in the towns while the female teachers in the cities received $2.13 per day.

Schools were designated by District numbers but usually also had nicknames. These names usually derived from the schools surroundings or the schools purpose. Some of the names found are Center (first school in the township), Seminary (used for religious serves and for a singing school), Thick Woods (area was heavily timbered), Bememderfer (build on Henry Bememderfer’s land), Oak Grove (because of a large stand of oak trees at this site, some of which had to be removed in order to have room to erect the schoolhouse), Hardscrabble (students were going to school in peoples cabins until this school was build on a quite steep and stony hill that took a lot of effort to walk up), Hog Wallow (built in a low lying area and in the spring this ground became very wet. Many people considered this to be no more than a hog wallow), Frog Pond (opposite a small pond which was the home of many frogs), White Brick (because of the very light soft brick it was built from) and Mud Slick (because of the muddy and slippery conditions in the area when it rained).

Most of these schools only had 8 to 12 students in a school year, with only a few of them in attendance each day. On bad or cold days a farmer was often paid to take his haywagon around to collect the students and drop them off at the school.

Many of the one room schools in our area were is use until 1929, but in some parts of the country they are still in use today for the lower grades.


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Spyware and Adware

 Spyware and adware have threats have become commonplace, outpacing viruses as the number one on-going danger facing on-line PC user today. They are parasite programs that are installed silently in the computer from the downloads on the internet or with new programs that you have bought.

The spyware and adware programs intentionally anchor themselves in hidden places in the system stealing unused space. They can record your

surfing habits and sites visited, record your spending habits and items bought, steal credit card details, extract email addresses, detect passwords or other confidential information, and be browser hijackers. They run in the background without your knowledge and transmit this information to another computer

without informed consent.


Because spyware and adware programs use memory and system resources they can lead to system crashes or general system instability.

Removing these programs periodically will save your information and speed up your computer. Some spyware and adware removal programs also will tell you when someone is downloading a spyware or adware.

You can download a free spyware/adware removal program at www.spysweeper.com


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Family Favorites

Bacon-Broccoli Quiche



1 pkg (15 oz.) refrigerated 9” piecrust dough

10 slices bacon

1 large onion, chopped 

1/2 tsp. Salt

1/2 tsp. Pepper

1/4 tsp. Ground nutmeg

10 eggs

3 cups milk

1 pkg. (8 oz.) shredded Swiss cheese, 2 cups

1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen broccoli florets, thawed

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

 2 tsp. Chopped fresh parsley

Fit 1 sheet pie crust dough into each of 2 (9”) metal pie pans; flute edges. Prick bottoms with fork; freeze until firm, 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 375ºF. In skillet over medium-high heat cook bacon until crisp, 6-8 minutes; drain on paper towels. Discard all but 1 Tbs. Fat from skillet. Over medium-high heat cook onion, salt, pepper and nutmeg until softened, 4-5 minutes; remove from heat. Beat eggs with milk; stir in cheese. Toss broccoli with flour. Place pans on baking sheet. Reserve 2 slices bacon; coarsely chop remaining bacon. Divide chopped bacon, broccoli and onion mixture between crusts; pour egg mixture into crusts. Bake 40 minutes or until set and golden. Cool 15 minutes. Crumble remaining bacon. Before serving top quiches with parsley and bacon. To freeze, cool completely. Wrap with plastic wrap and foil. To reheat frozen quiche, thaw in refrigerator. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Remove foil and plastic wrap. Bake 25-30 minutes or until heated through.

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Photos of the Past

This picture, probably taken around 1900-1910 is of Henrika Magdalena Nelson (center) and her daughters Ellen Anderson (left) and Esther Anderson (right)

Henrika was born in Sweden in 1841. She married Loth Anderson in 1869. Her daughters were born in Chicago, Ill. In the 1880’s


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Keb/Irish Gazette
 Nancy (Keb) Tubbs
19500 Co Rd 14
Bristol, IN 46507-9405

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Last modified: 10/12/09