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.

1 comment:

  1. My wife's family has deep ties to the school and community. The Moine and Collins families just lived 'down the road' from the Nickellton Store, not sure where the school was in relation to the store. Elma Jean & Wilma Dean Moine (twins) and their brother Alvin attended. Their mother, Lenna Collins (Moine) attended along with her sisters Nona, Elsie, Fern, etc. and numerous cousins.

    The Macon paper has featured a few photos of various school years. I have clippings for school years 1916-17, 19-20 and 39-40. Willie Borron is identified in the 1916-17 clipping.

    These families were the salt of the earth. I remember meeting all my wife's great uncles and aunts at the Moine family farm. For decades her grandparents Jim and Lenna Moine lived there until old age forced them to retire and move away. Unfortunately time and circumstances moved the next generation away from farming and just a couple of years ago the farm was finally sold. Those were great days when we would visit a younger Grandpa and Grandma Moine with our young children... now we are the grandparents!

    Would love to have better quality clippings and of course more years for our family history.

    If you have any interest in these clippings or have some to share you can reach us at sam(at)silveyfamily(dot)org or tia(at)silveyfamily(dot)org.


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