From “The hitching post…” column in the Ottawa Herald, a series of articles about early Franklin County schools researched by Bruce Fleming and written by Herald Editor and Publisher Jim Hitch. This article appeared 11 April, 1991.
Almost nothing is known of Pilkington School District 73. It was located about five miles south of Pomona and three miles west almost near the Franklin-Osage County line. Apparently Pilkington had a short life. The only record of its existence is a listing in the courthouse and a location on an 1885 atlas.
It is believed that Pilkington and Pleasant View, District 78, may have been, in effect, one and the same. Their numbers are close together and they were organized about the same time. Perhaps Pilkington School burned or perhaps it simply turned out to be poorly located and was moved. History records several instances in Franklin County when a schoolhouse was moved or a new one built. It was assigned a new number and name.
In the early days of Franklin County, prior to the turn of the century, pupils didn’t attend school regularly as they do now. There were reports of students coming to class as late as 10 a.m. and many absences were reported. Such things as chores and harvest took precedent over school attendance with many families.
In later years, perfect attendance was a point of pride and sometimes students who achieved it received an award. Weather had little effect on attendance, but whooping cough, measles, chicken pox, scarlet fever, flu and other diseases were more common before vaccinations were available.
Boils and carbuncles were common because of unsanitary conditions and poor diet. Polio was greatly feared. There are still people in the county who suffer from its effects, but almost no cases have been reported since the invention of polio vaccine.
Bits and Pieces
From a pioneer woman’s diary; “A slate was passed from one pupil to another to do their lessons on.”