KSD Looking Back, Nov. 18

Published 9:19 am Monday, November 20, 2017

Looking Back at Kentucky School for the Deaf

JoAnn Hamm and Mary Fran Melton

Excerpts from November issues of The Kentucky Deaf-Mute (1892) and The Kentucky Standard (1917 & 1942).

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November 1892

Our boys have gathered a winter supply of nuts and have stored them in all conceivable places, including the loft over the printing office and shoe shop. A few days ago George Felhoelter, Richard Moore and Martin Reed were in the loft, gloating over their wealth, when George, who weighs about 200 pounds, misstepped, and the ceiling, which is of light pine, gave way. George dropped through to his armpits. For a few moments it was a question of whether or not he would drop through to the floor below, but his companions came to his rescue and, clinging to one of the joists, they hauled him back up, a sadder and wiser boy. Shoemaker Veatch and his boys were at first under the impression that a cyclone had broken loose in the loft as the planks crashed down around them.  They prepared to flee when they saw George’s legs revolving like a windmill and the truth dawned upon them. George has lost his appetite for walnuts.

Gardener Christman has a patch of peanuts. They are the first that most of us have ever seen grown in Kentucky, though there is no reason why they should not be more extensively raised as they do well here.

In May Miss Stephens purchased a Warwick Safety bicycle and in fear and trembling was engaged in mastering her unruly steed. But now we hear that Miss Stephens is going to send her “wheel” to Louisville to get another handsome wheel suitable for her size.

November 1917

The Kentucky School opened on October 10, four weeks later than the usual time. In order that the children may regain this lost time and not fall behind on the road to education, the teachers have volunteered their time on Saturdays without extra pay. The offer has been accepted by the officials of the school. This is certainly a commendable spirit and a great sacrifice on the part of the teachers.

Quite a number of pupils are the owners of Liberty Bonds, purchased in a number of instances in whole or part by their own earnings. Four of the boys in the Standard office have taken their first step on the road to wealth by investing in one or more bonds.

Mr. Christman and the garden boys have been busy since school opened, harvesting the bountiful crops on the school farm. Christman has put away over 900 bushels of Irish potatoes, 200 bushels of sweet potatoes, and 400 bushels of onion sets. Over 7,000 heads of cabbage were raised, and after making fourteen barrels of kraut, selling some and serving others on the tables, the remainder has been buried for winter use.

Miss Stephens took some of the girls to the pasture and then across the Lancaster Pike coming back through town. Some of them did some shopping there. While they were gone, Miss Willis let the girls go down the fire escape many times, and we had lots of fun. – Belle Lunsford, Reporter

November 1942

Repairs completed

One of our biggest repair jobs in many years had to be completed before school could be opened this year. The thick heavy fire walls under our big boilers had to be torn down and rebuilt as well as twenty feet of the smokestack which had cracked from the top.

The floor of our laundry had become unsafe so a new hollow concrete floor was built which is a considerable improvement over the old one. This work required disconnecting all machinery and a great deal of steamfitting, some of which had to be replaced. A total of $9,000 was spent on this work, but it is only a small part of the total that is needed for the contemplated repair program, which it is hoped will be carried out in the next year or so.

School opened on Wednesday, November 18. Each train and bus arriving here brought returning pupils. After a short opening service in chapel by Superintendent Lee on Thursday, classes were assigned and work began in earnest. There are thirty-eight new faces among our pupils with several more expected.

During the summer, the school lost a good friend in the death of the Hon. W. C. Alcock, Editor of the Advocate-Messenger. Mr. Alcock was a good friend of the deaf and in later years employed several of our former pupils in his shop.

The Boys’ Vocational Building, later named Argo Hall: In 1892 George Felhoelter fell through the third floor loft when he accidentally stepped between the floor joists and shattered the thin pine flooring. In 1892 the building housed the printing machinery in the basement, the print shop on the first floor, and Mr. Andrew Veatch’s shoemaking classes on the second floor. Before it was razed, Argo Hall “starred” as Pee Dee Academy in Raintree County, filmed in Danville in 1957.