Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Boy Who Saved the School

My Grandfather, W. R. Borron, known as Willie, saved the Nickellton School. He was a member of the class of 1916, graduating from the 8th grade. He never went on to finish high school as at that time it was more common for students to begin working after the 8th grade. After graduation he worked on the family farm in the Nickellton Community. Grandpa Willie had six sisters Lola, Anna, Bessie, Goldie, Mary and Hally. Bessie and Anna also graduated from Nickellton School, Lola taught at Nickellton School from 1947 to 1950. Grandpa Willie's children went to the school, Shirley Borron-Weber and Charlotte Borron-Wheeler. My Aunt Shirley graduated from the 8th grade in 1945. My Mother, Charlotte, went to Nickellton School during first, second, third, 4th and 5th grade, and for six weeks of 6th grade. Nickellton School closed after the first six weeks of school in the 1951-52 school year.

My family is deeply rooted in the legacy of the school as you can see. My great Aunt Anna and Bessie are in the picture with my Grandpa Willie sitting just above the first arrow. I am not sure of my Grandpa's original intent for buying the school when it closed, but he saved the school by making that purchase. In 1953 he paid less than $1000.00 for the school. Shortly after purchasing the school he paid Sam Cobb, a man with what would be considered a semi-tractor trailor truck $1000.00 to move the Nickellton School to our family farm. In 1901 Macon County, the 2nd largest county in land area Missouri, had 104 schools. The majority of those schools were one-room school houses. Now, in 2010, we know of four one-room school houses remaining in Macon County, Nickellton School being one of those schools. The schools either parished by fire, natural deteriation due to neglect, or were torn down. As the schools closed, the school items deamed vaulable like chalkboards, pianos, desks, maps, and clocks were redistributed to schools that remained open. Had it not been for my Grandpa Willie, the school would have parished.
This picture was taken in December of 1988. He wanted a picture of himself in front of the school one last time. One year after this picture Grandpa Willie died. He thought for sure it would be the last time anyone would really care about the old school house.
Did you go to Nickellton School as a child? Or did any of your relatives attend the Nickellton School? We would love to hear from you.

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