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BY MIKE AVITT
Thanks to Crae Geist for this week’s picture. I’m guessing this photo belonged to his mother, Cleola (Burchett) Geist, as two of her siblings are in the picture.
In the front row, left to right, we see: Elizabeth Butler, Agnes Barnhart, Opal Marshall, Betty Burchett, Madge Barnhouse, Bonnie Haley, Inez Marshall, and Gladys Nolte. Second row: Maxine Kater, Iva Ellen Barnhouse, Dorothy Wilson, Lucille Marshall, Tansy Scott, Faye Barnhart, Josephine Kater, and Ava Marie Butler. Third row: Louise Kater, Margarite Kater, William Burchett, and Kenneth Haley. Fourth row: Claude Barnhouse, Neva Wilson, Elsie Scott, and Barton Haley. Top row: Olin Marshall, Clarence Wilson, and teacher, Bessie Rice.
While researching this picture I found the same photo in the basement of the Mount Ayr Public Library. Liz (Butler) Lynch seems to have provided this picture to Bob and Kay Sickels when they were compiling Ringgold County rural school history in the late 1990s. The list of names at the library included two discrepancies.
Clarence Wilson is listed as Lawrence Wilson on the library roster. Clarence, Lawrence, Dorothy, and Neva were brothers and sisters. Clarence was born in 1912 so he is the right age for the picture, but I don’t know when Lawrence was born. The other difference is the omission of Gladys Nolte. Gladys was the daughter of J. R. Nolte, who was the preacher at the Ringgold Evangelical Church.
Betty (Burchett) Powers and Bill Burchett were the aunt and uncle of Mr. Geist. Bill Burchett was the father of Duane Burchett of southeast Ringgold County.
The library information says Lucille Marshall was the mother of Junior Wion. Junior is the host of the annual Watterson Reunion. Ava Marie Butler’s father was Earl Butler, owner of a Ringgold City store and Ava’a aunt Deva was married to Grant Hayes, Ringgold County Attorney.
Liz (Butler) Lynch gave a brief description of the school. Lotts Creek No. 6. (Ringgold School) was built in 1925 with a full basement and a coal furnace sat in the middle of the basement. The kids played in the basement during poor weather. The two cloak rooms at the front of the school were not heated. Lotts Creek No. 6 was sold at public auction April 25, 1958.
The last three rural schools to hold classes in Ringgold County were: Poe No. 6, Lotts Creek No. 2, and Lotts Creek No. 5 in the 1959-60 school year.
Thanks, again, to Crae for the familiar names and faces.