Throwback Thursday by Matson Insurance: Schooling in Brookville

Matson Insurance is partnering with Jefferson County History Center to offer readers a look into Jefferson County’s past. Today, “Schooling in Brookville” is being showcased.

[Pictured above: When Bobby Ellis was homebound in 1954, Bell Telephone made arrangements for him to hear his teacher and class. (JCHS Collection)]


Before there were one-room schools, there was home-schooling?mothers who used the Bible to teach children reading and writing. Near the end of the nineteenth century, home-schooling existed, too, through the correspondence schools that made it possible for young people without access to either a nearby college or the funds for tuition to continue their education.

One young Brookville woman who took advantage of a correspondence school program was Rosalia Klein. She was a young teen in 1905 and a record of her local schooling is yet to be found. She may have completed 8th grade, then remained at home to help raise the four younger children. What the History Center does have are several of her test papers from the International Correspondence School (ICS) in Scranton. Rosalia completed courses in typing and arithmetic and did well.

She was employed first by James Canning in his grocery store. Her sister, Frances, became skilled as well and both young women moved to Washington, D. C. sometime during the 1920s where Frances worked for the Geological Survey and the Pentagon. Thanks to the ICS, Rosalia was able to continue her education and gain employment.

Some educators consider correspondence education, like the ICS courses that Rosalia completed and the Calvert system, as the precursor of distance education; that is, instruction that uses different communication technologies such as the Internet, telephones, radio, or television.

When young Bobby Ellis was recuperating at home from a hip injury in 1954, he kept up with his schoolwork via a telephone hookup arranged by the school district, Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, and the Bell Telephone Company.

Today correspondence education and educational technology provide instruction in almost every branch of knowledge, for cultural improvement, and for vocational and professional training. Students, both young and not-so-young, can take advantage of all kinds of courses. Sitting at home at any hour of the day or night, learning can occur.

Copyright@Jefferson County Historical Society, Inc.

Throwback Thursday is brought to you by Matson Insurance in Brookville.


Submitted by the Jefferson County History Center.

Copyright © 2024 EYT Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Any copying, redistribution or retransmission of the contents of this service without the express written consent of EYT Media Group, Inc. is expressly prohibited.

Comments are temporarily closed. A new and improved comments section will be added soon.