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A look back at school conditions

For the school year 2020-2021, conditions will be very unlike what the present generation of “grownups” knows much about.  

Some students will be in the school. Some parents, however, are reluctant to send their kids to an environment in which COVID-19 might infect them, so, some students will still be learning at home.  

Nevertheless, as the following snapshots reveal, school has never been a completely safe place. 

Feb. 17, 1915In the opinion of Dr. T. J. Russell, of Valhermosa Springsthe typhoid fever in Morgan County currently is directly traceable to Huntsville. Dr. Russell says the first case of typhoid fever at Valhermosa was last July, and the case was that of a man who had visited Huntsville, where there were several cases of typhoid at that time. Most people are boiling the water they use. The school children are taking with them to school bottles of boiled water, by the direction of the school boards.  

Jan. 31, 1919Mrs. Welch Dinsmore, county chairman of Morgan County child welfare work, today announced that a back-to-school drive will begin in Morgan County Feb. 1 and end March 1. The drive will be statewide under the auspices of the child conservation section, council of defense. Many parents are understandably concerned about sending their children back to school so soon after the subsidence of last year’s Spanish flu pandemic. 

Jan. 15, 1921Hobart Briscoe suffered a narrow escape from death when he received a severe electrical shock at the school building in which he was working. He had just taken hold of an electric globe when it exploded. 

Oct. 31, 1924—James McNutt, age 9, was seriously injured this morning when he fell from to the top of a slide while playing during recess. The fall caused him to hit squarely on his head. (He ultimately recovered.) 

Jan. 1, 1925Hulaco school now has a beautiful new auditorium, which can be used both as a place to present plays and concerts as well as to play basketball games, which is Hulaco’s major sport.  

Hulaco is an unincorporated community in the extreme southeastern part of Morgan County. With respect to other aspects of the school plant, children are no longer consigned to unsanitary and unpainted shacks. Instead, their classes are more frequently being taught in modern, well-lighted, tastefully painted, sanitary and thoroughlyequipped buildings. This is not the situation in every Morgan County school district, but it is the vision that board members have for the children whose education is their primary responsibility.  

Governor-elect Bibb Graves has promised significant state aid for local schools after he has taken his oath. 

July 31, 1925—A deplorable affair took place during the school day at Shady Grove today. John Aaron, age 15, was hit on the head by Mote Williams, age 16. The teacher, who immediately resigned after this incident, did not notice that Williams had come back into the school building after being ordered to leave it. John’s prospects for surviving the terrific blow he suffered are said to be “iffy.” 

Jan. 7, 1926—Hartselle young women who are students at Alabama College at Montevallo were saddened when word circulated on campus that President T. W. Palmer had passed away at a Birmingham hospital. Dr. Palmer was much beloved by students and faculty alike. 

May 24, 1926—Hartselle men who were friends of Ralph Snider while they were students at API were saddened to learn that Ralph, along with two other alumni who had been visiting Auburn, were injured while heading to Montgomery, Ralph fatally. The car overturned on a curb near the capital city. Ralph was married and leaves a wife and two small children. 

Oct. 28, 1926—This afternoon, while the UA freshmen were playing the Howard ‘Rats at Denny Field in Tuscaloosa, Kenneth Griffith, a young man with numerous Hartselle friends and the son of state Sen. and Mrs. A. A. Griffith of Cullman, was seriously injured. He broke his collarbone as well as three ribs. He is now recuperating at his Cullman home and would welcome visits from his Hartselle buddies who he used to play against in football. 

Jan. 25, 1927The 10-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Will Tucker had a painful accident during recess play at school this morning. As a result, he broke his leg and will have to do his studies at home until he is able to walk on crutches.