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..... Historical Highlight .....
When Major George W. Long (son of Moses Long, one of General
Washington's soldiers in the Revolution) located on Section 33
(along what was called the Grafton Road in future Godfrey) in 1839,
he named his farm Summerfield. At this time there were a few
settlers in the extreme western part maintaining a school (when it
was convenient) in a log cabin without a floor, and with blocks
sawed from trees for desks and seats. Anyone deemed capable of
teaching reading and arithmetic could put in his spare time as
teacher, and a collection would be taken up in the neighborhood to
pay for his service. Major Long gave a square acre for the building
of a school, and it retained the name of his farm, Summerfield.
The original school building constructed was 18x22 feet, and was
completed in 1844 or 1845. Timbers were used from the site. The
building was erected by Mr. John Pattison of Godfrey, aided by a
carpenter named Jackson, said to be a first cousin of General Andrew
Jackson. The first teacher was Mr. Foster, who was well educated but
deemed to be "out of place." The next teacher, Miss Virginia Corbett
of Jerseyville and Monticello Seminary, taught two years. Miss Lucy Larcom, the poet of Beverly, Massachusetts, came next, and she was
very popular. Her last term was in 1849. The population was
expanding, and an addition was made extending the room about
twenty-two feet. The belfry and flag staff were adopted years later.
The grand old school district sent fifty young men to the Civil and
Spanish wars, and was used as a temporary church in the community.
It served as a community center, where Lyman Trumbull, William R.
Morrison, Hon. Joseph Gillespie, and Judge Hal Baker were speakers.
The Summerfield school house was in constant service from September
1, 1845 (or 1844) until May 12, 1912, when its door was closed. The
first patrons were early settlers and squatters. In September 1913
(contrary to what former pupils wanted), the school was sold, and it
was torn to pieces by Jerome Copley and removed that way. Its
component parts would go on to serve a useful purpose stopping up
holes in corn cribs or in helping to erect farm structures of some
kind. The school directors wanted it out of the way because it
"didn't look purty," alongside of the new school house, and because
it took up yard room. An attempt was made by C. F. Long and others
to have the building preserved and honored, but the attempt failed.
Source: Journal of the Illinois State
Historical Society, Vol. VII, April 1914 to January 1915
Piasata, Indian Maiden
Including the Legend of the
Piasa Bird, as told by Piasata's father
Don't miss this one! Found in
a 1900 newspaper, a first-hand story of 3 lads who lived near Delhi
in 1828, and how they met an Indian family at the mouth of the Piasa
Creek. The boys fell in love with Piasata, the daughter of the
chief, and visited often during the summer to be with her. Also
included, the chief tells the boys the true story of the Piasa Bird.