Asherton School Superintendent, 1914 — Part 2

G.M.C. "Cade" Massey

G.M.C. “Cade” Massey

Yesterday, I posted Part 1 of Granddad’s account of his year as superintendent of the Asherton schools in 1914. Here’s Part 2.

Well it wasn’t over; Her father came to town the next day (Saturday) and was on the lookout for me, thought that I would be at town; And not knowing that I was on the lookout for him; He and the constable came up to my house; and hailed at the gate, and I just jumped up and ran out there without anything but a pocket knife, and asked them in; But he was out and at the gate when I got to it; And he just barged right in, and I asked him to go in the house; but he said that we would just go round the house; and talk; As it didn’t concern anyone in the house anyway.

I noticed the bulge caused by his Gun, and not having mine on; I just kept so close to him, that I could have cut him down before he could have gotten to his gun.

Then when we had talked at length; and had gotten nowhere I just dismissed him by saying to him that there was but one way that the girl could get back in school; And that she had turned that down; And that there were nothing else for us to talk about; And he replied that I would hear from him through the trustees; And I told him that was just fine, and he left at that.

Well about a week later one of the trustees came to me and said that Johnson had been to see them about letting his daughter come back to School. Well I said, “DID you?” And he said that your verdict was final for us; And I thanked him for their Co-operation, and told them if they were going to stand for my management that way, that we were going to have a successful term.

But I was bothered about that bunch of boys (12 in number) that had been assembled outside the house that evening when we had disposed of the YOUNG Lady’s case; So on the following Monday; I went to the Constable’s son, George, and I told him what I had made of their grouping that day referred to before; And asked him if I was right; And I told him if I was right in my summing up the case, that it could be very serious, and that if I knew now that I was right, that it might be averted without serious trouble; And that I needed to know; and if I am right and you know whether I am or not; and you can divulge the truth of the matter, That I will take care of you and you will be exonerated in the matter, and much trouble might be averted; And he told me that I was Right; So Now I knew that I had to be prepared for; And in a few days it happened fir they had banded themselves together to whip me, and rrun me out of town the very first time that I tried to whip any of the largest pupils; And one of the teachers down stairs had attempted to whip a boy 14 years old, and he had grabbed the switch; and cut if off at her hands, throwed it out of the window; And she had come up for me to come down there and straighten him out; and I told her that I would be right down:— And I went as soon as I could get rid of my class; and it was the Noon hour pretty soon; but as soon as I reached the room; the boy broke down, and begged the teacher’s forgiveness, and promised her that he would never give her any other trouble; and on account of his submission; and the Teacher’s accepting the apology; I just dismissed the case; And prepared to go back up to my room; But the school had dismissed for lunch; and as I was first at the room’s door I opened it right in the face of that organized crowd; and it’s leader was in the forefront, and had a base-ball-bat in his hand, drawed back over his shoulder, as if to strike, and I took the situation in as soon as I opened the door; And I just reached for the Bat, And twisted it out of his hand, and grabbed him in the back of his shirt collar; And with the right hand in his collar; and the base-ball-bat in the left, we started the march to the front door; and I was putting my knee to his rear at every jump; And when I got him to the front steps; I just gave him a sound Kick; and told him to not appear there any more as long as I taught there; and he pleaded to let him go up stairs, and let him get his books, And I told him that I would send them to him by his sister; But when I turned around I met the other TEN, and they looked to me that they had blood in their eyes; and I asked them If any one or all of them wanted into this; And I guess that the way that I had handled him as well as my appearance caused them to say NO SIREE (I was 6 foot 2 1/2 inches, and weighed 245 pounds, and was as agile as an Indian): And they were very docile for the days that followed; But the boy that I had put out of school was a brother-in-law to one of the trustees; and of course they were not going to take this “LYING DOWN.”

So the following Saturday this trustee asked me for a talk about the matter; and I guess that for hours we discussed the matter and the effect upon the School. I told him that Roger was the leader of the gang, and that he had been the leader for the band that had ruined the last two schools; and that with him in the school that it might go on the rocks if he was exonerated in this affair; and as for me it meant success, Or it meant failure; I told him that with the girl out that I had sent home; and with the boy now out; there was no reason at all for a failure of the school; And that the two that was out now; Was too old for punishment to be of any service to them; And we had to manipulate the School for the benefit of those that were ready for teaching; and was teachable.

Well he finally saw the point, and he said that as for him that was O.K. and promised that he was coming up to the School on Monday and make the Boys a talk; and that he thought that it was going to be fine from here on out to the end of the school.

On Monday morning was the morning that we always assembled our selves together and had bible reading Prayer; And talks from any of the parents; and from anybody that might be present from town or out of town; and on this particular morning, I offered Mr. Harris the guest speakers place; But he just got up and said that what he had to say wouldn’t be appreciated by all the children; and that he would talk to the high school in their room.

When we had repaired to our high School room (We seated all the high School in one room, and I took my classes to another class room; and that gave an opportunity to visit the other rooms, and to go to visit the Latin-American School). For about twice a month I visited them. And when we were assembled; Mr. Harris arose; and said on the very beginning that “ROGER” was not coming back to school this year, and that he thought it for the best for the school; And that is what the school was for: the greatest Good for the greatest number; And he thought that it is best for the greatest good to the greatest number for him to remain out for the term; And then he told them how the last two terms had been butchered up; And he could see that if I had the co-operation of all the people as well as the pupils that WE was going to have a very successful term; And he went on to ask the boys that was going to try to help the teachers to make the best of it; and see that this is to be taught out to a successful ending for them to stand up. And they did; and that ended the trouble. It was over for the year; And the School was taught to a successful ending: But it took nerve as well as the best judgment that I could muster . And also the Co-operation of the trustees.

Now as the school was successfully taught out they wanted me to contract with them for a term of Years at least two years; But the turn of events; as well as the altitude didn’t agree with my wife; and as she was my concern; more than any other thing I wouldn’t agree to stay at all; Of course they couldn’t understand why we couldn’t go ahead any way; We had patrons way out on ranches; and many there in town that visited and plead with us to stay for another term or two; And telling us that we owed it to them to stay longer; For that was the best School that they had ever had; And they even offered to raise My wife’s Salary $50. and mine a hundred dollars over the Salary the last year; But I just finally told them if wife couldn’t live where I taught; That I could teach where she could live; And we went back to our home at Yantis.

This is one version of these events that my grandfather, G.M.C. Massey wrote in his memoir manuscripts. I will also post an somewhat shorter, alternate version that he wrote, and note where it differs in a couple of minor details.

About bullersbackporch

I am a native Austinite, a high-tech Luddite, lover of music, movies and stories and a born trainer-explainer.
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