Locust Grove Schoolhouse Announces New Teacher (1904)

An article for the West Chester Daily Local dated January 1, 1904 stated:

This morning the Locust Grove School House in Pocopson township was reopened with a new teacher after being closed for several weeks for want of an instructor.  This school was the one taught by Miss Helen Harvey, of this place, who was roughly treated and cut by some of the pupils.  Director Caldwell, who was in town Saturday, says that the new teacher ought to be able to handle the school, as is his name is Sampson, and he is a tall sturdy man of some experience. 

In addition to leading lessons and enforcing discipline, teachers generally were expected to get in early and get the fire started on cold mornings.  And there were other rules:

  • Male teachers could take one evening each week for courting purposes, or two evenings a week if they went to church regularly.
  • Dress of female teachers might not be any shorter than two inches above the ankle.  At least two petticoats must be worn.
  • Female teachers who married or engaged in unseemly conduct were dismissed.
  • After ten hours in school, the teacher could spend the remaining time reading the Bible or other good books.
  • Any teacher who smoked, used spirits in any form, frequented pool or public dance halls, or got shaved in a barber shop would be dismissed immediately, since he had given good reason to suspect his worth, intention, integrity and honesty.
  • Every teacher should set aside from each pay a goodly sum of his earnings for the benefits of his declining years so that he would not become a burden on society.

All this, for the princely sum (in 1878) of $20 a month for women and $30 a month for men.