Plymouth No. 6

School Daze Memories from former students, teachers, and records!


Plymouth No. 6, Teacher, Beulah Streyffeler 1932-1933

~early memory by Mary Hahn Vogt

Beulah had a Model T and drove to her schools starting in 1933, I think. She had a very warm coat and warm elbow length lined leather gloves as the car did not have a heater.

Plymouth No. 6, Teacher, Catherine L. Burns 1935-1937

One thing I remember about Miss Burns.  She was a Catholic lady and thought it was very important that we all observe St. Patrick's day.  On that day she cooked potato soup for all of her country school.  We had a mini kitchen in the basement.  The basement was not used very often except for a place to play on rainy or winter days, but somehow she had tables set up down there and on that one day we had the most wonderful potato soup in the world. She must have had some chives or something to sprinkle on top, because I remember a green garnish, and tasted so heavenly. What a change from our dry jelly sandwiches. I think she did that both years she was our teacher.

      I still wonder how she managed to cook that soup downstairs and have her classes upstairs. ~Memory by former pupil, Mary Hahn Vogt

Plymouth No. 6, Teacher, Miss Frances Rainboth 1937-1940

Teacher, dear teacher,

I was dusting today, and came across the little Japanese vase you gave me when I was 12 years old. What memories raced through my mind as I see that dainty vase. How special it is to me, because it reminds me of you, and the many ways you helped my life grow and develop.

I was only nine years old in the fall of 1937 when you came to teach at Rural District 66, in Plymouth County, Iowa. Our last teacher had been old—very, very old, it seemed, but you were young, and so pretty and such fun. Your name was pretty, too—Miss Frances Rainboth.

In the three years you were our teacher you helped transform a giggly, gangly introverted little girl into a gangly, giggly young woman who was beginning to feel OK about herself. You believed in me, and helped me in more ways than you will ever know.

You opened up new worlds to me as you allowed me to read freely any books in the school or any books you could find for me. (My last teacher had told me that so many of the books were too old for me, and would not let me read them.) You let me read whenever my other studies were done, and you and I both know that many times I read when my math was not done, but you were patient and understanding with me. How I loved and idolized you, teacher, dear teacher. Because of you, I wanted to become a teacher also.

You brought us music through the records and the old “wind up” Victrola. You brought us fine art through the tiny pictures we studied and wrote about. You brought us nature as we studied birds and animals and insects; sometimes you would take us out to study in the field. You brought us new insights on life, as you took us to bakeries, dairys, museums and even a packing house. You took me to my first real movie. It was about the life of George Washington. I still remember it vividly.

And our school programs! What fun they were; making a stage with curtains, learning songs, and plays and pieces. We had strange ideas, and such hilarity at those times and yet your valuable guidance shone through it all. You persuaded me to play the piano to accompany the other students. What faith and patience that took! How scared I was, but you believed in me. You gave me difficult pieces or parts in a play to learn, knowing that I could do it and giving me that chance I needed to excel.

At my request you came to our home to visit, and even slept with me—a little wiggle worm, in an ice cold room. You endured it all, and even seemed to enjoy it. You even mentioned how interesting our pewter bed warmer was. I thought it was dumb and old-fashioned.

When I would get to go to a spelling or reading contest of any kind you always told me you knew I could do well. One time you even set my hair the day before, then combed it out for me the day of the special contest. (Mamma knew how to braid hair beautifully, but not how to curl it. And oh, how I loved those curls!)

I also remember how your played with us at recess sometimes, and how you laughed with us. How we loved it when you would play ball with us, or go sleigh riding with us in the wintertime. I often think of the mountains of papers you must have had, and your extra duties, cleaning, making fire etc, and wonder how you found the time to play with us. However you never did go with us to drown out striped gophers. You were too sweet and gentle.

You also helped us love literature. Even those who did not enjoy reading themselves loved the adventures of the Bobsey Twins, Heidi, and many others. That story time after noon recess was something we all loved and enjoyed.

How sad we were when we heard you were going to teach in town school, though it was our closest town. You were also getting married, and though it had been fun to tease you about your boyfriend and dating, things would never be quite the same again.

We knew you still believed in all of us and wished the best for us. In fact, after a year or two when I went to high school in Hinton you still had time to talk to us after a busy day of teaching. Just today I re-read what you wrote in my Autograph Book in 1942. You wrote:

February 9, 1942 (The first day of War Savings Time)
I enjoyed having you in school, Mary. I hope that all of your school years will be successful and happy. Those years in the country school are filled with happy remembrances—especially our programs—how we worked with those. Whenever I think of your home, I cannot do so without thinking of the kindness of your parents. Success to you.  ~Miss Rainboth

Teacher, dear teacher, you will never know how much you influenced my life. You were such a special loving person. Thank you. 

Frances Rainboth Orres

b. 31 Jan 1915
d. Oct 1986

**Note: I sent this letter to my former teacher, Frances Rainboth in 1984. It had been 40 years since I had seen her. She was elated to receive my letter and the local newspaper picked up the story and wrote an article about it. The sad news is that Frances had been diagnosed with cancer. We corresponded until her death in 1986.  ~Written by Mrs. Mary Hahn Vogt

Plymouth No. 6, Teacher, Miss Frances Rainboth

~Another earlier memory by former pupil, Mary Hahn Vogt

We had a dog--a collie Shepherd who went to school with my brother and I every day. The dog stayed at school all day unless it was bitter cold, and then about 3:00 my dad would send the dog to meet us so he was at school when it was time to come home.


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