U.S. School Clothes: East Waterford School (Illinois, 1897)


Figure 1.-- At this time we only have one portrait from the school, taken in 1897 (figure 1). There are 36 children and one male teacher who seems to wearing a long frock coat. They are standing in front of the school whicch looks to be a white plank building. The girls wear dresses, some with pinafors which are difficukt to make out. Most of the pinafores are dark, but we are unsure just what color. The younger boys wear blouses and knee pants. Notice some of the large collars. Several boys wear overalls, which is rather unusual in the 1890s. Put your cursor on the image to see the rest of the school.

We have one school portrait taken at the East Waterford school in Waterford, Illinois. The school portrait was taken in 1897. There are 24 children and one male teacher who seems to wearing a long frock coat. They are standing in front of the school whicch looks to be a white plank building. The girls wear dresses, some with pinafors which are difficukt to make out. Most of the pinafores are dark, but we are unsure just what color. The younger boys wear blouses and knee pants. Notice some of the large collars. Several boys wear overalls, which is rather unusual in the 1890s. We are unsure why we see so many boys wearing overalls here, but not in many other school portrais from the 1890s. Some of the older boys also wear overalls. They seem to be wearing shorts, but we can not tell if they are wearing knee pants or long pants. JKost of the younger children, boys and girls, are barefoot without shoes and stockings. This was common at the time, but seems particularly pronounced here.

Fulton County

Fulton County is located in western cental Illinois to the east of the Mississippi River. The Illinois River runs along the eastern border of the county as it moves to the Mississippi. The county seat is Lewistown. From the beginning the economy was essentially agricultureal. It was named for Robert Fulton (1765-1815), a notable American inventor. Fulton is best known for the Clermont, an early steamboat which sailed on New York's Hudson River (1807). (Several other counties in other stastes were named after Fulton.) The defeat of the Native Americans led by Tecumsah at the Battle of Tippecanoe (1811) and subsequent actions during the War of 1812 made possible the American settlement of the Ohio Valley west of Ohio. Fulton County was organized 5 years after Illinois entered the Union as a state. It was organized from Pike County (1823). For a short period, most of Illinois north of the Illinois River was unorganized territory under the jurisdiction of Fulton County (1823-25). This included what is now Chicago. Knox, Peoria, and Schuyler counties were organized creating the current boundaries of Fulton County (1825). Land in Fulton County was granted to veterans of the War of 1812. This is known as the Military Tract. Some of the first settlers in the area were Quakers from eastern Ohio. They settled the Ipava-Vermont area. There is a Quaker Cemetery southeast of Ipava. Over 3,000 men from Fulton County served in the Civil War (1861-65). The poet/writer Edgar Lee Masters lived as a boy in Fulton County. His experiences inspired the Spoon River Anthology (1915). The county now sponsores the annual Spoon River Scenic Drive during the first two weekends every October. The U.S. Army built a military facility during World War II--Camp Ellis. It was a training facility. It was also used for German Prisoners of War. Besides the Sppon River fame, the county has another pop culture claim to fame. Fulton County is the location of the fictional town of Lanford where the Conner family in "Roseanne" TV series lived. The series was notable for how it denegrated the community.

Waterford

Less infiormation is specifically available on Waterford itself. Waterford is one of the 26 townships in Fulton County. It is located along the Illinois River. Lewistown, the county seat, is located nearby to the northwest.

Dickson Mound

The East Waterford School was located just south of Dickson Mounds. This is a Native American settlement site and burial mound complex. The Mississpi Valley was the location of a vibrant Native American civilization. The major archeological remains of this civilization were massive burial mounds. The ci\vilization is commonly called the Mound Builders. Dickson Mound is a fine example of these mounds. It is situated on a low bluff overlooking the Illinois River. The site is not named after the Native Amnerican tribe that built it, but chiropractor Don Dickson who first worked at excavating the site (1927). He opened a museum at the site which still oprerates, but now as an Illinois state museum. The museum is designed to the life of the Native American people who lived in the Illinois River valley and widerv Mississippi Valley for 12,000 years since the end of the last Ice Age.

School Buildings

The original one-room Easter Waterford School seen here is one of the earlier one room schools houses built in Fulton County. Just to the north is Dickson Mound, a Native American burial site. To the east is the Illinois River Valley. The first East Waterford School was a wooden frame building putup before the Civil War (1856). This is the building you see here (figure 1). The building was destroyed in a fire (1907). Unfortunately, the equipment and records. Classes were temprarily moved to the Waterford Town Hall. The burned out old school was replaced with a red-brick schoolhouse which was ready for the begiining of the fall school year (1907). This building survives at the site. The East Waterford School functioned until 1957. The state of Illinois for budgetary reasons began closing these small schools as part of a rural school consolidation program. The school building was used as a laboratory and field camp by archaeologists working at Dickson Mound (1959-86). The building was restored to its original appearance (1988). It is now used as a special events location and meeting place for museum activities

Equipment and Facilities

The original school had stationary desks arranged it neat rows. After a while, the desks were fastened to moveable strips. In addition to thee desks, the school was equipped with wall maps, a world globe, a set of encyclopedias, and a set of dictionaries. This was fairly standard for Illinois schools at the time. A small library was set up in one corner. There was a coal- and wood-burning stove in the basement. All the light came from the windows. Kerosene lamps were used for night programs. The building was electrified by a Rural Electrification Administration-financed cooperative duriung the New Deal (1939). After a toirnado damaged a near-by building, the school board had a concrete shelter built into the slope of an adjacent hill. And a A telephone was also installed in the school.

Attendance and Program

One assessment reports that the average daily attendance at East Waterford School usually ranged from 20 to 30 pupils. This may have been a 20th century estimate. We think attendance may have been a little higher in the 19th century. Here in 18987 we see 36 children. As was common for these rural one- or two-room schools, eight grades were taught. City elementary (primary) schools more commonly had six grades. In rural areas without secondary schools nearby more commonly haf eight grades. Most of these children would not go beyond these eight grades.

Chronology

At this time we only have one portrait from the school, taken in 1897 (figure 1). There are 36 children and one male teacher who seems to wearing a long frock coat. They are standing in front of the school whicch looks to be a white plank building. The girls wear dresses, some with pinafors which are difficukt to make out. Most of the pinafores are dark, but we are unsure just what color. The younger boys wear blouses and knee pants. Notice some of the large collars. Several boys wear overalls, which is rather unusual in the 1890s. We are unsure why we see so many boys wearing overalls here, but not in many other school portrais from the 1890s. Some of the older boys also wear overalls. They seem to be wearing shorts, but we can not tell if they are wearing knee pants or long pants. JKost of the younger children, boys and girls, are barefoot without shoes and stockings. This was common at the time, but seems particularly pronounced here.

Sources

Ecocache, "East Waterford School".









HBC





Related Chronolgy Pages in the Boys' Historical Web Site
[Main Chronology Page]
[The 1900s] [The 1910s] [The 1920s] [The 1930s] [The 1940s] [The 1950s] [The 1960s] [The 1970s] [The 1980s] [The 1990s] [The 2000s]



Navigate the Relate Boys Historical Clothing Style Pages
[Blouses] [Pinafores] [Overalls] [Kneepants] [Knickers] [Long stockings] [Button-on clothing] [Barefeet]



Navigate the Boys' Historical Clothing School Uniform Pages
[Return to the Main American 1890s individula school page]
[Return to the Main U.S. individual school page]
[Return to the Main U.S. individual school chronology page]
[Return to the Main National School Uniform Page]
[Australia] [England] [France] [Germany]
[Ireland] [Italy] [Japan] [New Zealand] [Poland] [Singapore] [Scotland]
[Singapore]



Navigate the Boys' Historical Clothing Web Page
[Introduction] [Activities] [Biographies] [Chronology] [Clothing styles] [Countries] [Girls]
[Bibliographies] [Contributions] [FAQs] [Glossaries] [Images] [Links] [Registration] [Tools]
[Boys' Clothing Home]



Created: 1:46 PM 7/31/2009
Last updated: 1:46 PM 7/31/2009