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EARLY DAYS AT KIDDER INSTITUTE

Narrator: Wm. Bristow of Daviess County

Mr. Bristow was one of the pupils who attended Kidder Institute when Professor G.E. Ramsey came in the early eighties to revive it after it had been closed for several years. There were around 120 in attendance. Some of those enrolled were Grant McCrary, Tyua Catron, Lettie Martin, Emma Brown, Chas. Burris, Mary and Della McCrea and Byron Evans. While there he and three other boys (Grant McCrary, Byron Evans, John and Ames Hubbard) rented a room and batched which reduced expenses to a very low point. This was a very common thing to do and many a boy used to joke about baking his bread before he came to school. As a matter of fact, most of the food was brought from home already cooked on Monday afternoon; Monday being a holiday.

These days the majority of K.I. students took the common branches with extra hard training in Arithmetic, History and Grammar to prepare to teach. When he got this work he took the teachers examination under Professor Brown the County School Commissioner at Winston.

He was then 22 years old and begun teaching at Swisher School (Daviess County) at $35 a month. He taught then at Sell, then back to Swisher and then the Wooderson, making twenty years in all. He quit teaching once and then they had trouble with some of the big boys at one of these schools they came for Bill to straighten them out. He did so in a short while.

Out at Wooderson he taught the Sears children among whom was Jesse who is now a professor at Leland Stanford University and won a Ph. D. degree at Wisconsin.

Interview August 1934.

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All photos are copyright KingsCross Farm, 1997 & 1998
All written material other than reference material copyright KingsCross Farm 1998