Discipline Dealt Without a Word
The regiment of discipline was memorable for then student Robert Webster in the mountain stone school at Huntersville.
Every pupil was familiar with the routine to correct bad behavior.
“Mr. Williard Poust just looked at the troublemaker and when their eyes met, his finger motioned the culprit forward. The teacher methodically reached into his pants, pulled out a pocket knife and handed the accused the tool,” Webster recalled.
Everyone remained quiet as the student exited to the schoolyard and cut a switch for the impending lashing. “I don’t know why someone didn’t cut that bush down years before,” Webster said.
Selecting the correct branch was a grave decision; one would want it as small as possible yet not so small the teacher would go out and cut it himself. “No sir, you didn’t want that to happen,” said Webster.
According to the former student, not a peep was heard from anyone during the entire process.
Eventually the offender returned with the selected switch and without being asked, a girl in the front rose to her feet and moved away. The designated spot over which to bend was common knowledge.
“The entire event moved as though in slow motion. It was torture just to watch and I can’t beleive it all happened without a sound,” Webster said.
Webster couldn’t identify any offenders saying, “It didn’t happen very often,” guessing staging was everything.
“Near the school was a small baseball field and across the street another used by adults. Also across the road was the Charles Mutchler home and adjacent sat Royal Lockard’s store,” Webster said.
Webster was a product of the one-room school through third grade until 1937 when it closed and those students assigned to Picture Rocks. Years later Webster’s first three years of teaching occurred in a similar one-room school at Mezzepa, Union County.
Mary Bower was Webster’s first grade teacher before Poust took over. A few former students recalled were Elizabeth and Walter Bartlow; Harrison brother, Robert deceased and William of Ohio and Tom King.
Cindy and David Corson have occupied the former schoolhouse since 1989 renting from Margaret and John Hatch. In 1998, the Corsons purchased the site and almost immediately Corson and his Uncle Bill Campbell gutted the structure opening up a second floor.
Schools were often built on larger land tracks owned by others, and when deserted either returned to land owner or portioned off for sale.
Built in 1878, names associated with the site were researched back to 1920 and in addition to those mentioned include Gladys and Paul Burkhart, Myrtle and George McCarty, Ann and Harold Winter, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Bussler, Della and Fred Kissinger and Charles Johnson.
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