Looking back at KSD: 1918 and 1943

Published 6:40 am Saturday, October 20, 2018


Jacobs Hall Museum

Editor’s note: “Looking Back at KSD” features excerpts from the October 1893 Kentucky Deaf-Mute and the October 1918 and 1943 Kentucky Standards.

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October 1893

Bessie Engleman’s father came Friday and took her and her little friend, Emily Ausdenmore, home to spend Saturday and Sunday. While there, one of Mr. Engleman’s farm hands caught a little mite of a rabbit and presented it to Bessie. Bessie brought it back to school and made a nice little bed for it in a basket and carries it to school with her every day. She sets the basket on the teacher’s desk usually and the rabbit, undismayed by the teacher’s awful frown, sometimes ventures out and uses the desk for a promenade. The teacher gets plenty of rabbit stories in his language work.

We received numerous inquiries from parents and guardians of the boys as to what trades they are learning. One of the trades taught at the school is shoemaking. To make or mend a shoe is not a shame nor can the trade be considered as being unfit for one’s bearing. Many of our illustrious men were once cobblers, and we can say that some of our most successful boys are shoemakers. There is a shoe factory in Cincinnati which employs as many mutes as it can get, and it pays them good wages. Messrs. J. Lawson (formerly a pupil here) and J. Long (father of Alva and Mamie) are there and get from $14 to $16 a week. They are never out of work. Then there is Mr. Chas. Buchanan of Hazel Green, who has started a store there and reports business good.

Much credit is due to the small boys under T. Sheffer for keeping the yard clean. He marches them all over the yard, park, floral garden and wagon lot. They are death on rubbish. Some haul it away and burn it up, others rake up the leaves and take them to the manure pile in a hand cart.

‘What Our Girls Do’

Excerpt From an article on “What Our Girls Do” by Belle Lunsford, reporter:

Mary Pool is our doorkeeper; she locks and unlocks the doors, night and morning. She also looks after the girls late in the evenings when the Supervisor is busy. All the older girls have a younger girl under their care and are held responsible for the condition of the little one’s clothing. The older girls also keep their own rooms tidy and all assist in the care of the dining room.

October 31, 1918, was the first issue for the new school year.

School reopened on Oct. 2, two weeks later than usual. The delay was caused by wartime conditions. Chaperones were on the various roads as usual to meet the pupils and all reached here safely. The number of new pupils is unusually large, but as there were 20 graduates last June and others reached the limit of time allowed them, the number of pupils present at the first roll-call was about the same as last year, a little over 300.

One noticeable feature was the absence of older boys. The scarcity of help has caused the parents to keep some of them at home, while others who should be here have been tempted by the high wages they are making in factories or other industrial concerns to give up their course at school.

We have just passed through a severe epidemic of Spanish influenza that made necessary the suspension of all school and shop work for over two weeks. The disease had just begun to make its appearance in Kentucky when school opened. One of the new pupils from Covington was found to be ill on her arrival and our physician pronounced the disease influenza. Others had been exposed to it. Ten days after opening it had secured a foothold. In all we had about 200 cases though the majority were mild. Ten of them however developed into pneumonia from which two deaths resulted. The first victim was Ray Cassell, of Louisville, 10 years of age, who was in his third year at school. He was a bright little fellow who made excellent progress in his lessons and was a general favorite. A sad feature was that his parents could not be located over the wires in time to come to see him before death occurred.

The other death was that of Ruby Tillman of Bowling Green, a member of the First Class and one of our most lovable girls. She was 17 years old and when she returned to school a few days earlier was the picture of health. Her death was a great shock to everyone here. Her father was sick in bed with the disease himself when the summons to his daughter’s bedside came, but her mother was with her at the end.

October 1943 — The school was closed for major repair and renovation from June 1943 until April 1944.