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County Seat - Pauls Valley

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Wrinkle Sock  School

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 (Wyatt  Chapel - White Chapel)

Wrinkle Sock School fondly remembered

In the days of summertime, church services held under brush arbors and little two-room community schools, Maude Fitzgerald says, "kids had more fun then, it seems like, than they do now."  Fitzgerald, who was a former student of White Chapel School, says the school of White Chapel was located about 3 miles out of Foster.  Fitzgerald's father, E. L. White, donated an acre of land for the school site from their farm.  The family had acquired their farm there in 1906 and Maude White (Fitzgerald) had to begin school in a little log cabin some distance away that fall. 

Daddy and all of the neighbors, John  Cook, the Mintons, H. H. Fitzgerald, John Bost, the Millers, the Graves, the Pyles (they had two girls in school), the Harvells, Harrells (Hester Harrell later taught the school), they all took wagons and teams and went to Pauls Valley and Maysville for the lumber and building supplies to build the one room school.

"I got a nail stuck in my foot during the construction," Fitzgerald recalls.

Eventually, a second room was added to the school and a stage.

"My first teacher was Dr. Morgan's sister, from Foster," remembers Fitzgerald.  "Tom Ferry taught the older children in one room and Pearl Edwards taught the little ones.  The two teachers later married.  Mr. Ferry boarded in Foster with one of the families as did most school teachers of that time and more often than not, walked the three miles to school.  So we always went in early on cold mornings and built the fire for him."

Those White Chapel teachers made an impression.  "I remember we had a well with real cold water and in the winter, we would draw water and pour it down the slope of the school yard.  The next morning we would go ice skating.  I finally got the teacher to ice skate with us once and sure enough, he fell down. He was good natured about it though."

"White Chapel had a basketball team so they played against nearby schools.  The small school communities gathered together often for special occasions, school plays and programs, special church services, picnics and singing conventions."

"In the summertime brush arbors were erected for these occasions because it was too hot inside the school."

The little school building was used for community gatherings and church services as most were at that time.  This was the reason for the name of White Chapel, but everyone knew the school by it's nickname, "Wrinkle Sock School."

"I suppose it was because our socks were wrinkled!", says Fitzgerald and she adds that, ?Many of the schools had nicknames."  "We always opened school in the morning with singing, mostly religious songs like "Little Brown Church in the Wildwood: and "Sunshine"."

"My sister and I went home for lunch but most of the children brought theirs, biscuits or cornbread and syrup, but not like the syrup we buy  now.  Daddy made sorghum molasses."

The war effected even the children during the times.  "I was in a school play once.  I played a nurse.  Some of the other children were army boys," commented Fitzgerald.

Maude White later married a Fitzgerald  boy, Joe, and their first child started school at White Chapel, too.  But schools were beginning to consolidate by then and she feels that something was lost when that happened. "We just had a lot of fun at school, more that kids seem to have now."

From the Pauls Valley Daily Democrat, an article by Carole Cobbs, Community Life Editor

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