Old school houses story sparks family memories for Wisconsin woman

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Polly Walgren shows a memento her grandmother Amelia Burkey gave to her graduates from the Course of 1911. Burkey taught for two years at South Bunker Hill School, an outdated one particular-space schoolhouse on County Street 77 in Holmes County near Berlin.

MILLERSBURG – On a trip to Ohio a couple of decades in the past, Polly Walgren of Wales, Wisconsin (30 miles west of Milwaukee) could not resist the temptation of coming into the previous 1-place college household where by her grandmother at the time taught.

“I imagined my grandmother, Mother Burkey, standing there educating the kids. It was an astounding experience,” Walgren mentioned on a recent return to Holmes County for a cousin reunion. “My roots are here, and I get compelled to arrive again and take a look at with household and love this beautiful region. Viewing structures on what made use of to be farm fields is progress, I know, but to me it truly is unhappy.”

Walgren stated that her wonderful-grandfather Amos Burkey was the son of a veterinarian. Her grandfather Albert Burkey lived on a farm on County Road 77 near the current residence of the Amish Heritage Heart in Holmes County. The South Bunker Hill College was a just one-home schoolhouse located just throughout the street from the Burkey household farm.

Mary Louise Manufacturer was her good-grandmother and Amos Burkey was her excellent-grandfather. They were being classmates in the Bunker Hill College in 1877. Amos was a 20-year-old student. All through that time, young grownups usually went back again to faculty in November right after the crops have been in, Walgren reported. Amos and Mary inevitably married and Walgren’s grandfather, Albert Burkey, was born. He was the eldest of 10 little ones.

Amos and Mary Burkey experienced 20 grandchildren and 40 good-grandchildren. Walgren mentioned that she is the oldest of the 40 terrific-grandchildren, and her mother was the oldest of the 20 grandchildren, just as Albert was the oldest of his loved ones.

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There are only two cousins from the 2nd era of the Burkey family members nonetheless residing, including Mary Lou Gindlesburger of Millersburg, and Sue Miller of Columbus. Gindlesburger liked reminiscing with her cousin Walgren.

Gindlesburger experienced despatched Walgren a duplicate of The Day-to-day File short article about the 100-yr-outdated school homes in Holmes and Wayne Counties that ran in December, which led to Walgren reaching out to the newspaper to share some of her relatives history.

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Grandparents have been born educators

Her grandfather married Amelia Lenora Saam on Aug. 3, 1911. Saam went to college at the Benton Schoolhouse, and she taught in the South Bunker Hill University. She was employed by Albert Burkey, who grew to become an educator at a time when a good deal of persons didn’t even go to university, Walgren pointed out.

His occupation bundled 10 several years in Killbuck from 1915 to 1925, right before transferring to McDonald near Youngstown. It was a tiny city with a metal mill and he was brought in to get started up a college process there. McDonald is where by Walgren was born.

“Though training in Holmes County, he attained his master’s diploma and Ph.D.,” Walgren claimed. “He was instrumental in serving to develop the Ohio Higher University Athletic Affiliation. When he moved to McDonald, he lived on 3 loads, two of which have been dedicated to gardening and increasing rabbits and chickens for slaughter. I grew up in McDonald, and my two brothers spent their summers operating in the garden with grandpa.”

Walgren extra that her grandmother was called “Mother” since when rising up, she listened to her own mother connect with her that, so she did as effectively.

“She was under no circumstances grandma to us. She was Mom Burkey,” Walgren explained. “When she graduated from higher college, she was far too youthful to get a instructing occupation. But immediately after doing the job for a year at the Painter’s Children’s Property, she received knowledge. She then took the teacher’s exam and handed. There was an opening at the South Bunker Hill Schoolhouse. The greatest issue was if she would be capable to cope with the more substantial boys when they arrived in from the field. She certain them she could. She got the task.”

A story shared by William Schrock, another cousin, instructed of his Aunt Amelia’s (Mother Burkey’s) attempts to willpower just one of her college students, but when she arrived close to with the paddle, he sidestepped and she missed. On every single pursuing attempt, the university student sidestepped, producing the instructor a lot more indignant. “She lastly gave up in disgust,” the story examine.

She taught at South Bunker Hill for two decades, from 1909 to 1911.

“Right after Mom Burkey obtained married in August, 1911, she was performed training, mainly because at that time, when you were being married you did not train anymore,” Walgren explained. “She taught some of my grandfather’s younger sisters.”

Walgren stated when she returned household (to McDonald) to stop by her mom and dad yrs back, she would go to with her grandmother, who shared tales with her that she tape recorded. She has experienced the recording stored as MP3 data files on a thumb drive to permit spouse and children and many others to hear to Mother Burkey’s stories.

She hopes to arrange all of her family memorabilia and have it all put collectively in some form of  media presentation. She donated a great deal of her assortment of spouse and children background to the Amish Heritage Middle.

Walgren’s grandparents and mom and father are all buried in the Oakhill Cemetery in Millersburg. She hopes to have her ashes buried there as very well.

Amish & Mennonite Heritage Centre director: ‘An astounding gift to the community’

Marcus Yoder, director of the Amish & Mennonite Heritage Center in Berlin, met with Walgren on her most recent go to to Ohio and she remaining quite a few own objects, this kind of as pictures, letters and other data, for Yoder to share with website visitors to the heritage center.

“The substance she has collected from her family members is an awesome reward to our neighborhood,” Yoder said. “It makes it possible for us to see this corner, this certain area in Holmes County in a distinct light-weight, with the Burkey materials and distinctive images, and also the data of the South Bunker Hill University.

“We’re likely to digitize what she gave us,” he continued. “She reported she has additional that she options to convey to us and donate it to the library. Her assortment is a distinctive component, of specific great importance to this incredibly spot. The materials she brought us is a important addition to this neighborhood.”

This posting at first appeared on The Every day Report: Excellent-granddaughter of Amos Burkey shares Holmes spouse and children heritage

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