The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

Among the early subscription schools that was taught in Ozark County, Mo. is one which was taught by a man of the name of Spears. Mr. Peter Keesee son of Paton Keesee was a student of this school and he gave the writer a brief history of it. He said that Mr. Spears was a chronic sufferer of liver complaint and he taught the school in a little log hut with dirt floor and big openings between the logs. Thus hut (on a hill) stood on the east side of Little North Fork and on what is now the old Billy Schofield Place. Mr. Spears the teacher came to Ozark County from Tennessee with Sam Johnson and John Johnson. The ill health of Spears forced him to eat only one meal a day and that was for supper. He greatly enjoyed the soup made of roasting ears. The teacher delighted in the sport of racing but as he had no horses he used the boys at school for race horses. He had race tracks prepared on the school grounds and we boys would run foot races over these tracks. Andy Baize son of Johny Baize was the teachers champion racer and he kept this boy more busy running foot races than teaching him his lessons. Young Baize run so much while at school that he broke down and never fully recovered from the effects of it. Myself and two of my brothers, Silas and Elias Keesee went 4 miles from home to this school. John Nave and Sam Magness also attended the school. Magness was a son of Joe Magness. He and the teacher boarded at our house. Two of Mose Lantz boys, Jess and Wash were also students there. Soon after the school was out the teacher went to the Arkansas River where a surgeon performed a surgical opperation on his liver or "trimmed" his liver as it was called and the man regained his health.

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