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Elmer, Missouri - Early History
Students at Bunch School, 1958
Front Row: Gary Powell, Marcia Chamberlain, Terry Thurman, Eddit Powell
Middle Row: Nelba Thompson, Judith Despain Velma Hendershot,
Back Row: Charles Thompson, Johnny Thompson
Bunch School, located about three miles east of Elmer (intersection of Highways J and 3), was one of the last to close. The school closed in 1958. Students went to Atlanta or Elmer to finish their schooling.
Same students as above with teacher, Mrs Corcoran. The picture was taken by Charles Thompson.
Nelba (Thompson) Shockley writes: "Here are the photos I have of the old Bunch School where Charlie, John, and I attended in 1957 & 58. In these 1958 photos (below), notice the windows behind us students. Mrs. Corcoran let us paint the windows a harvest/autumn scene. I still remember how much fun it was to use bright paints and do that. She was an interesting Teacher. I learned a lot under her instruction. She would have us do arithmetic quizzes on the blackboard. Two of us would go to the black board and she would give us a problem to work.
Whoever got the correct answer first, won. This is how I learned to add & subtract quickly...:-) Also, the first time I ever walked under an umbrella in the rain was when she brought her big black umbrella to school. She would let us students walk two by two under it when it was raining. I remember Judith Despain and I walked together out in the school yard and I thought it was so neat...just like Dick & Jane & Sally in our elementary reading books...:-) Also, she was the teacher who taught me to RESPECT our American Flag. She assigned two students each week to put up the flag on the flagpole each morning and take it down at the end of each school day.
We learned all the rules of the flag, never let it touch the ground, always on the speaker's right, etc., and how to properly fold it at the end of the school day. She had a hand bell to ring the beginning of each school day.
We students would be out playing in the school yard...she would let one of us take turns ringing it. When it got really hot inside some days, she would let us have a lesson outside under the shade tree. Also, our playground had the typical swings & monkey bar, but we also had a slide. Elmer School did not have a slide back then so this was really cool, ha! We would bring wax paper from home sometimes and wipe the slide to make it slide even faster.
We began some of our school mornings with music. Mrs. Corcoran played the piano and we would use our hand instruments...wooden sticks and cymbals and blocks to keep rhymn with her music. Sometimes she let us choose sides and we would play NAME THAT TUNE. She played the songs on the piano and whoever was at the front of the line (there were two sides),we would run forward and ring the bell and give the name of the song...such fun memories. We walked about 1 1/4 miles to school, morning and afternoon...carried our lunch as there were no hot school lunches. We put on neat school plays also and our parents attended. One year I was a crayon, I can't remember now if I was RED, YELLOW, OR BLUE...all just simple, basic events and daily happenings, but such precious memories now."
Charles Thompson (also a member of the last class at Bunch School) adds: I attended the 8th grade, then had to take the 7th grade again before going to high school in Elmer. The upper two grades were only offered every other year and I went from 6th at Elmer to 8th grade at Bunch. We moved back into the Elmer district about the middle of my 7th grade year and I went to high school from 7th grade. I tell my nieces and nephews that their Uncle Charlie was so smart, he went to high school from the 7th grade and I still have my grade card to prove it."