Bohannon Country School

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History and memories of a one-room country school in Macon County, Missouri.
School year 1952-1953

Class Picture for 1953. Top Row, L-R: Teacher, Mrs. Davenport, Teeny Rufener, Lilly Mae Rufener, Billy Hoffman, Nancy Kasbeck, Melton Trachta; Middle Row, L-R: Jimmy Wray, Deanna Hoffman, Gregory Trachta, Marlene Wray; Bottom Row, L-R: Latrelle Walker, Eleane Wray, Claire Wray, Lilly Jean Phillips, Bobby Rufener, Roseane Wray.

Handbook of Macon County Schools

Pie Supper

Mrs. Maggie Davenport (1892-1973) taught at least twice at Bohannon, but she may not have finished out the year in 1955, possibly because of illness. Here is all we've learned about her. The only picture we have found is the one above from the class picture of 1952.

Maggie Davenport buried in Atlanta, Missouri

The Find-a-Grave website, linked at left, offers this obituary:

Maggie Davenport, 81 of Callao, died today at the Samaritan Hospital. Funeral services will be held Saturday at the Old Chariton Primitive Baptist Church of which she was a member. Burial will be in Chariton Cemetery. Mrs. Davenport was born Apr. 3, 1892 in Atlanta, the daughter of Thomas and Matilda (Ford) Lyda. She had lived in Macon County most of her life and taught schools for 25 years. Surviving are one brother, Oscar Lyda of Billings, Montana; one half-brother, Curtis Lyda of the state of Nebraska; and one son, Theodore Davenport of Callao. Arrangements are under direction of the Bram-Edwards Funeral Home in Callao.

Students and Memories

Marlene Wray in High School

Bohannon School picked up some new students about this time. Everett Sandner, his wife, and his daughters, DeEtte and Bonita, lived several miles to the west, and may have come to Bohannon because of a school closing. It must have been a long trek for them. The Hoffman family moved in to the North of the school, on the road where Phillip Graves and Owen Walker lived, and their children, Deanna and Billy, started school at Bohannon in this year. The Wray and Rufener families continued to be the dominant presence in the school, as more and more of their children entered school. Everett Sandner was a positive force in the school. Unfortunately, one of his daughters, Bonita, died in an auto accident in 1962.

Classmates circa 1953.

Memories of Gregory Trachta

I remember Mrs. Davenport as a kind, but strict task master. She made some changes to the recess schedule. I believe she instituted a thirty-minute lunch recess so we could get out earlier in the day. She put it to a vote, and the matter carried, probably unamiously. I later petioned her, privately, to make an exception on the day my grandparents were coming to visit. I was confident she could be made to see reason, but the matter wasn't up for discussion. We all agreed, she reminded me. We can't change after we all agreed. It seemed pretty arbitrary to me. I complained to my mother, but it was obvious she wasn't going to get involved. It was an early lesson in majority rule. Consistency is fine in its place, I decided, but what about visits from the grandparents? They're pretty important too.

Bonita Sandner, 1960

During this time several new students arrived. As I remember, they had been attending a rurual school closed for lack of students. I think I remember my parents talking about the decision, glad that Bohannon had survived, because nothing would ever have been as convenient for us as walking a short way up the hill to school.

Billy and Deanna Hoffman were frequent playmates, in addition to being companions at school. We loved going over to their house, because in addition to their Shetland pony, they had some toy telephones, and we loved running back and forth to make calls to each other. I believe my brother and I overdid it on one visit, because the next time we visited, the telephones had been decommissioned. Visiting was a favorite, if infrequent social activity. Transportation was often troublesome on the dirt roads, but we could always pile into the wagon, hitch up the tractor, and go calling. As I recall, there was usually no advance warning. We just showed up, and as far as I remember, were always welcome. We had a party line, crank-type telephone, and perhaps my parents did call ahead, but I'm pretty certain we got visits from neighbors that were not expected. They were always happy events, though.

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