Nash County students from the NC Yearbook Index — the UNC North Carolina Collection has been making college yearbooks from across the state available online. Check this list of Nash County students for your relatives/ancestors. Not all graduates had a hometown associated, so be sure to also do a surname search. The index is an ongoing project.
“Art is the expression of man’s freedom in the world of feeling. . . .”
Christopher Caudwell, ILLUSION AND REALITY, 1937
These two literary readers are the school books used at Red Oak High School from 1920 to 1922 by my uncles Sidney and Bill Proctor, born in 1905 and 1906 respectively. It seems that they were reading and discussing these books in the 10th and 11th grades in spite of the book’s declaration that their selections are appropriate for students in the seventh grade.
The ELSON READER, BOOK SEVEN, published in 1921, divides readings into four categories of emphasis:  nature study;  adventure;  stories and songs of freedom; and  the literature and life of America from the landings of Columbus to 1920. Nature study involved examination of writings on animals, birds, flowers, trees and winter. “The World of Adventure” centered study on King Arthur and chivalry, verse from old folk ballads, tales of honor, valor and defending the good in a challenging world as well as the examination of the moral lessons contained in Shakespeare’s THE TEMPEST. The concluding nationalist readings ask students to contemplate the character of early America, our scenery and legends, our literature in a “lighter vein”, and works emphasizing love of our country.
The ELSON READER attempts to convince young people of the joys awaiting them in reading. It offers on pages 11 and 12 the following:
“Men do brave deeds on the sea, in far-off lands, or in war, and these deeds are the subject of song and story. Youths who are looking forward to heroic careers, and men and women to whom life has brought few thrilling experiences, like to hear these tales. A well-told story opens the door to a new pleasure in living. An animal knows only the present. But boys and girls, and men and women, too, not only have their daily experience to draw upon, but through books and magazines and papers they can enter into the experience of others, so that they may live many lives in one. . . .You may go on a journey to the other side of the world or into the South Polar ice or out on a western ranch. What is more wonderful, you may go back a century, or ten centuries. . . . [also reading makes available to students] the wisdom that has been gathered from a thousand poets and historians. . .” It concludes on page 15 with, “And . . . . reading opens our eyes to the beauty of the enchanted world in which we live. . . .Those brave men who made the first flight in an airplane across the ocean the other day were as venturesome as Columbus.”
In the questions that followed the readings students were asked to compare them on the musicality of their verse, to recite word for word those parts of reading that were most meaningful to them and whether or not a poet possesses a more vivid imagination than other people plus give reasons in support for their answers. Also, students were given brief, paragraph biographies on the various writers included in THE READER.
It is interesting to compare the education of our parents, grandparents and other family members, in the first two decades of the twentieth century, with the schooling we received in the tenth and eleventh grades. Also, my mother and members of her family had courses in Latin. They graduated with a good foundation in the use of the English language and were especially skilled in the writing of letters.
Two Room School House established by Joel Taylor and a Mr. Ferrell; people in the area stated that this private school was in use until about 1901; it is located east of Vaughan Chapel Road, on the south side of the road, where it intersects with Sandy Cross Road. [click on the photo to enlarge]
Letter to UNC Parents on the Rules of Behavior at the State University, 4 September 1860