Melville No. 2
When the Goffs lived in Audubon County, Iowa, from 1906 to 1911, their youngsters attended Melville No. 2 school. Melville Township was just east of Leroy Township and the county seat town of Audubon. Audubon County is just west of Guthrie County.
At age 16, Leora Goff passed the eighth grade exam. Audubon County held exercises that June for 54 graduates of rural schools. The thirty who were present to receive their diplomas were urged not to be satisfied until they’d obtained a high school education.
Leora had hoped to continue in high school but Pa declared that as the oldest of ten children, she was needed on the farm to help feed them all, help with the laundry, and help with the younger ones. And help in the fields. Sherd promised to make sure his older kids were well-paid for their work instead of going to high school.
The spring after Leora graduated, the Audubon County Superintendent called for a day of house cleaning for the schools, with community help–floors, walls, windows, yards, outbuildings. This was likely a yearly tradition.
Today Audubon County is in the process of placing historical markers where each of their country schools used to be. I requested to be the sponsor for the Melville No. 2 marker.
I love it when people save such documents as school awards, grade cards, etc. Too many people think so little of such ephemera that they just toss them, having little regard for the value future generations will place on them or the stories they hold. Thank you for preserving this history. May many others be encouraged similarly to begin saving their own families’ histories.
Thanks, Dennis. Perfect timing for National Family History Month!
I just love that you have all the ephemera for your family – this is so awesome
I’m the fourth “oldest daughter” in a row! Now, it feels inevitable to have become the keeper. But what to do with it from here. Our son isn’t interested, at least yet, so I hope I can find worthy places for the best ones to end up.
What a great initiative for Audubon County to honor their country schools with historic markers.
A couple more counties are marking theirs as well. Madison County even has their own Facebook page with photos of the schools and some with their students.
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Thank you, Linda!