TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE - 1931
Provided by Mr. Ray Franz
WHITESIDE SCHOOL, ST. CLAIR COUNTY ILLINOIS OCT. 14, 1931
"I still have vivid memories of my enjoyable days as a student at Whiteside School. The Franz family resided in a house rented from Frank Brutto, who owned this property, which was next to his farm. The house was located next to the railroad tracks across from Miller's Woods. Whiteside was just a short walk down a lane, which paralleled the tracks.
I did not enjoy going to school in Belleville; in fact I hated it. That all changed when I started attending Whiteside. Mr. [Goentner], our teacher, was a gentleman of the old school and much like a father figure to many of us. In fact, I would call it a "family school" since everyone was "neighbors" with more than one child attending the school.
The school building consisted of two rooms, with only one in use as a classroom. The building was wired for electricity and a furnace provided the heat. There were two outdoor privies and a well provided the water. Mr. [Goentner] was also the janitor, but he had a lot of help from the student body. I can remember how we were all eager to clean the chalkboards, dust erasers, and remove ashes. About once a month we would help oil the wooden floor, probably to keep down the dust.
Most of the students brought their lunch in a metal box, which usually contained a folding metal cup for use at the well. My lunch usually consisted of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with homemade bread. On occasions there was an egg or a "baloney" sandwich. The huge "farm breakfasts" did not require much for lunch.
Our recreation at recess and at lunchtime consisted of a softball game, in which mostly boys participated. As you will note from the picture, some of the male students were quite a bit older, as they frequently missed classes for spring planting and fall harvesting.
"Andy, Andy Over" and "Tag" were games that all participated in. The girls played "Hopscotch" and "Jacks".
I am the fifth student from the left in the second row. My sister Anna is the first student on the left in the third row. Some of the families who had students in the school with the Franz children were Bean (Bien?), Bruce (Brus?), and Dawson. Memory has faded on any first names, although I do remember that one of the Bean boys was nicknamed "Butter".
It was a sad day that my family moved back to Belleville and I was enrolled in Junior High School. I was bored most of the time since I had already learned most of the material in all classes, except art and music. There I was sadly deficient since that was not in the Whiteside curriculum."