McEwen School 1911-12, Viola Wolf, teacher.

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Record 1805/2101
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Collection Hawley, Brooks
Date of photo 1911-1912
Description McEwen School 1911-12, Viola Wolf, teacher.

Back Row: Clifford Defrees, Wallace Hudspeth (behind), Henry Gardner, Lloyd Izatt, Pearl Tibbs, Ora Calhoun, Walter Tibbs, Ellen Izatt (taller girl), Marie Stone, Georgia Hudspeth, Mrs. Viola Wolfe, teacher, Charles Stone
On Steps: Harry Duckworth, Brooks Hawley, Effie Tibbs, Belle Gardner, Janie Tibbs, Albert Stone

Brooks Hawley note: This was my first year of school, starting when I was 8 1/2 years old. Think this picture was taken by Will Defrees. The school house was fairly new, being built in 1909 after the older school house by the Yantis' field burned. Viola Wolfe, our teacher, was a daughter of Will and Fronie Fisher.

I like to say I learned most at McEwen one-room school and the two years at the two-teacher Sumpter High School, less the farther I went to bigger schools, to Baker High and the University of Oregon. What rot is the public image of education today. We learn from nature, from work, from family living, from books. Schools hold no monopoly on truth and knowledge. Mother saw to it that I took to books. Theresa Harris or Claire G. Morey at McEwen School did more for me than most teachers at the University of Oregon. What useless subjects I studied in high school and college, taking it all seriously on faith that anything in the curriculum was beneficial.

I went to school at McEwen four years of the grammar grades 1st, 3rd & 4th, 5th & 6th, and 7th. [Apparently Hawley advanced two grades in a single year during two years.] In 1912 Mother almost died and we were in Portland and California, so my 2nd grade was disturbed, part of the year being at Grandma's at Imbler. For 8th grade I studied at home, as Mother was in a school scrap with Wilbur Cornwall, the teacher at McEwen. High school was the steady four years, two at Sumpter, next at Imbler, and last year at Baker. Then two years at University of Oregon 1921-23, then a year by correspondence, another year at U. of O. and not quite rounding it up, so a little more correspondence connected for a B. A. degree in 1926, about 4 years shy of the usual imprisonment in class rooms.

There was also a strange return to U. of O. in 1927, but only until Christmas. That was because I was blowing up on the ranch, but I couldn't take it at college either. That sometimes bothers my dreams yet. But the house model got made then at Eugene. In 1929 the house got made but in 1931, I ran away and wintered at Seattle. I was glad enough to come back to the ranch in 1932. All that I have learned is that I cannot break with Sumpter Valley. Since then nothing was so bad since.

In the 1930's my delayed education on girls began and looking back on it I realize some very fine girls had a very confused pupil. So it is better to marry a widow. She can get you on the right track if anyone can. Tyyne was born on the Alberta prairies, not even speaking English until she started to school [Finnish was first language]. Her mother was experienced as a midwife, her father a blacksmith. That is reality I can appreciate. In a way, ti was a break for me that Tyyne's first lifetime wasn't all a bed of roses.

In this old school picture there are three who have continued with Sumpter Valley: Wallace Hudspeth, Ellen Izatt, and myself. Life gave us all good enough breaks but in different ways. We are no doubt in as comfortable circumstances on the average as those who left here. I never heard that any of this group became famous. A one-room school shouts that money is scarce, clothes are plain, and buildings are utilitarian. But we do not look under-nourished. And, if there is a little ignorance evident, remember that it occurs in all schools, the finest in the land as well.

Object ID 1992.1.869
Place McEwen, 44.70083 -118.10361
COPYRIGHT INFORMATION: Credit Baker County Library, Baker City, Oregon

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Last modified on: December 09, 2017