Although the Skidmore school building no longer stands, its memory lives on. For all those returning to school after the holidays, we offer this description of the school’s “influence for good,” as published in the December 17, 1908 Skidmore New Era:
Our Public School
Years ago an old teacher and County Commissioner defined education as “The development in due proportion, of all that is good and desirable in human nature, the county is dotted over with school houses, and the citizen allows himself to be taxed for their support. He not only allows himself to be taxed, but votes this tax upon himself. He often does this to the extent of the law. This is what the citizens of Skidmore are doing.
They have placed an imposing structure on the hill overlooking the little city. They have placed the tax for its maintenance in the hands of six of its citizens who know the value of an education and who try to make it possible for every boy and girl of Skidmore and vicinity to get a good high school education. A course of study, requiring a pupil of ordinary ability eleven years to complete, has been adopted by the school board. This course, when finished by the pupil, gives him a credit of twelve units on the fifteen necessary to admission to the academic department of our great University.
The child is started in the primary department at six. This is in charge of Miss Celia Hutt. In this department he spends the first two years of his school life learning reading, writing, spelling. Here he has his first introduction to number work, nature study and literature.
The next two years are spent in the second primary in charge of Miss Maud Linville. As the child mind develops, new subjects are introduced and the old ones so graded as to correspond with his capabilities. Every effort is made, not only to develop the mind, and store it with knowledge, but to bring out every latent instinct.
Two years are spent in the intermediate department, where Miss Julia Ward presides. Here the soil is prepared, the seed sown and cultivated that the growth may be continuous. When the child has spent his allotted time here and has done honest work, he passes to the grammer department. This is in charge of Miss Lizetta Gibson. Here the work of the grades is completed. Eight years have now been spent in preparing him for the high school. In this department he is offered a three years course, embracing English, history, mathematics, science and Latin. Upon the satisfactory completion of this course, the pupil is given a diploma. He now has the foundation of culture which if continued, will result in the development of all that is good in his nature.
Among the appliances for our work, we have a library of 500 volumes, embracing history, science, literature, and art. By the use of this library, the pupil’s culture is broadened. He makes the acquaintance of some of the great characters of the world. He reads and thinks their thoughts. Every great thought passing through the child mind has its influence for good. We thus can truly say, that “The school house on the hill is the bulwark of American liberty.”
– J. N. Geyer