Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Time for Graduation




Today, it is an accepted expectation that we, our children, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren will become graduates of high school, and, perhaps, a university. Some end up with multiple degrees. However, when our mother, Minnie Arrilla Wasden, was young, there was no local school after the first eight grades were spent in the schoolhouse that we saw in an earlier posting. Our grandfather, having only attended three actual months of school during a time when he was ill during his childhood, had a strong desire to have his children educated. He strongly supported the school in Penrose, and then, when the older children had graduated from eighth grade, built a small cabin-house in Cowley, about 12 miles away, where there was an LDS supported academy. Uncle David, and later, Uncle Brooks attended. I don't know about Aunt Sofe - she married quite young. But, when Mother finished the 8th grade, she joined her big brothers, all of them keeping house. On Sunday afternoon, Grandfather would load up the buggy-wagon, hitch up the team of horses, and with a load of provisions, would take the students to Cowley for the week. I don't know how often they came home, but it couldn't have been every weekend. Can you imagine spending your high school years in that fashion? Mother finished high school by age 16, but Aunt Elna was ready to attend, so she stayed another year. Then, the high school in Powell was completed, and Elna transferred there, while Mother took Normal Training in Powell, so that she could teach school. Obviously these diplomas were very important to Mother, because she kept them with her treasures all through the years. In this time of graduation for our family members, it is good to remember the example that has been set by our ancestors.

4 comments:

Judy said...

I don't think any of us really know what went on as the Wasden children lived in Cowley to become educated. Another one of those questions I forgot to ask. Thanks, Elizabeth.

Ann said...

Tucked away treasures seem to give a hint of the things Mother held really dear, such as what is posted here, the letters, etc. I can't imagine what sacrifices were made in her early years so that Mother could get her education, I only know how hard she worked and the sacrifices she made to finish her degree in the 1950's. Education always seemed to be one of the items at the top of her list for each one of us - the voice of experience?
Our oldest grandchild, Kelsey, graduates this year and so the "tradition" continues.

Judith said...

Congratulations to Kelsey Bullock! and her parents, and grandparents for helping to get her there! What's coming after graduation? Our best wishes to her.

Louise Blood said...

Elna wrote this in her story about going to school in Cowley: The Big Horn Academy at Cowley was a church-sponsored jhigh school. My brothers and sisters had attended before me. (Besides Mother, would that also be Sofe?) At Cowley we had a two-room house which my father built on a corner lot. We had natural gas for heat and light. We carried all our water from an outside spigot. My sister Minnie and I lived there together (and had two roommates). I was about 14 at the time and Minnie was a couple of years older. On Friday evenings, Dad or Mother would come for us, and we went home to do our laundry, bake bread for the week ahead, go to church, an come back to Cowley late Sunday afternoon.