Home Life History Reporter pays visit to rural schools

Reporter pays visit to rural schools

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In its October 27, 1921 issue The Bossier Banner reported that “Marse Jim” [identity unknown] had taken a trip with Superintendent R. V. Kerr and submitted the following write-up of the trip.

“Your reporter, in company of Parish Superintendent of Education, R. V. Kerr, had a close-up view of several of the surrounding schools situated in the north section of Bossier Parish.”

“Mr. Kerr was on the first round of his visit to these schools and being unacquainted with the numerous roads, wanted some one to pilot him through.”

“The first school visited was the Oak Hill School, seven miles north of Plain Dealing, which was reached at 10:00. This school was ably presided over by Professor Mothershed. The building is a comfortable one-room structure, with an enrollment of 31 bright-faced kiddies. The building was not any too well furnished. This school has beautiful grounds, well supplied with good water, and in a section that has room to expand, as it will some day.”

“The next school in order was Lakeport, about six miles away on the banks of Red River and across the richest section of that famous section known as the upper part of Posten Bayou, crossing at what is generally called the Log Ferry, and passing within a short distance of where an immense dredge boat is now cutting a canal with a fifty foot bottom to connect all these upper waters from near Long Prairie, in Arkansas, down this Posten Lake, and into and through Phelps Lake and into Red River. This will thoroughly drain all this rich section of land, making this the garden spot of Louisiana.”

“We arrived at the Lakeport School at noon and the Superintendent, no doubt suspecting what was in store for the inner man, decided to visit the home of Mr. Bell, one of the substantial farmers and friends of the school, who only lived a few yards away. This visit certainly showed that Mr. Kerr had had the proper ‘hunch’ for Mrs. Bell provided a dinner good enough for Governor John M. Parker—or Hughey [sic] Long—however you take it. Soon after partaking of dinner, in company of Mr. Bell, the school was inspected. Mr. Dewey Moore is the principal and Miss Eva Smith, the assistant. The building is a good two-room structure, well ventilated and lighted, but sadly in need of equipment. The school has an enrollment of forty pupils, and were apparently a happy lot of well trained children.”

Be sure to read next week’s column for a continuation of this 1921 tour of some of the schools in Bossier Parish. Or, visit the Bossier Parish Library Historical Center to read the rest of the story.

 

Ann Middleton is Director of the Bossier Parish Library Historical Center. She can be reached at (318) 746-7717 or by e-mail at amiddlet@state.lib.la.us