Burr Oak Spelling Bee Triumph, 1912

Our Burr Oak neighborhood friends might enjoy this memory from the February 29, 1912 Skidmore New Era (Skidmore, Missouri), page 1:

Big Spelling Contest of County Students.
Every Township in County Represented with Forty-Eight Boys and Girls Lined Up for County Honors.
Monroe Wins 2nd – 3rd Prizes.
Girls Out Number Boys 34 to 14, But Boy Wins First Prize.

The county spelling contest held in the High School auditorium at Maryville Friday evening was a marked success. Early Friday morning the contestants, accompanied by their parents and teachers, were on hand to take part in the great spelling bee.

There were fourteen boys and thirty-four girls, ranging in age from 10 to 18 years old. The contestants were divided into two classes of 24 each, one class was assigned to a room where they were given oral spelling, while the other class took the written test. After spelling for some one and one-half hours, or about two hundred written words the classes changed rooms, when oral spellers were then given the written work, and those who had taken the written test were required to spell orally. The spectators remained all the time in the oral room.

It is said that the whole class of 48 made a better average grade than 95, which, by the way, is not so bad in this day and age of “degenerated spelling.”

Monroe township is exceedingly proud of her three little representatives, Ruth McDowell, age 15, Scrub Oak school; Amy McKinney, age 14, Burr Oak school; Ruth Wright, age 14, Burr Oak school. These little ladies were among the very last to have to take their seats, and Miss Ruth Wright won second prize, a $10 gold piece and Miss Amy McKinney third prize $7.50. So Monroe township and Burr Oak school have the honor of securing two of the coveted prizes.

When the Skidmore liveryman, J. H. Linville, took the three Monroe township contestants out to Maryville Friday, on reaching the city the young ladies asked their livery bill. Mr. Linville replied, “Wait until you get home and if you three girls win two prizes the bill is paid.” Saturday morning he met them at the train and congratulated them on their good success and said, “You have squared that livery bill with me.”

The Contest Winners.
Dale Coleman, Xenia school, 13 years old, first prize, a gold watch.

Miss Ruth Wright, Burr Oak school, 14 years old, second prize, $10 in gold.

Miss Amy McKinney, Burr Oak school, 14 years old, third prize, $7.50.

Miss Tilden Bledsoe, Whiteford school, 16 years old, fourth prize, $5.00.

Miss Katie Hilsenbeck, Blackman school, 11 years old, fifth prize, $2.50.

Miss Ruth Wright is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. David Wright, west of Skidmore.

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