The Old White Schoolhouse

Joseph G. Butler, Jr. Recollections of Men and Events: An Autobiography. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons. 1927.

P 10: “One of the first things I remember outside of my immediate home circle was the “Old White Schoolhouse.” It was a small building, erected of wood and painted white, afterward made famous as the school attended by William McKinley, twenty-fifth President of the United States. My entire school experience began and ended in the historic structure. In it the boys were seated on one side of the room and the girls on the other side, the seats being a long bench which began at the end of the room farthest from the door and extended down each side and across the lower end, with just enough of a break to form a passage way from the door itself. This bench and a sloping shelf to form the desk were made together. The teacher’s desk occupied a raised portion of the floor at one end, opposite the door, and back of it was a blackboard, at times decorated with an impressive rod, usually as long as the board itself. In the center stood a large ‘eggshell’ cast iron stove. All the pupils thus faced one another across the room in full view of the teacher. The usual punishment for infractions of discipline was to stand in the center of the room, although occasionally the ‘birch’ was brought into service, especially in the case of older boys.”