Idaho History March 24, 2019

Yellow Pine School 1931-1959

Part 2

Early 1930s Yellow Pine


from the Mike Fritz Collection:
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History of the Yellow Pine School

by Emma Cox

1936-37 The third and present school was built of wood frame with one room for the classes and a woodshed included in the building. A large wood heater kept the classroom warm, as the teacher who was also a janitor started her fire at 5:00 a.m. An oil heater has been used in recent years.

1942-43 A victory tax was paid on the teacher’s salary according to records of the late Mr. Albert C. Behne, the founder of Yellow Pine. The Yellow Pine District paid $25 a month toward the teacher’s salary at Deadwood. Mrs. Bernice Chiarello had an enrollment of five pupils. Some of the records in the possession of a local resident show teachers’ salary ranged from $75 a month on up, with $5 a month for janitor work. According to records on hand, the largest enrollment in the little one-room school was 27 and that was in 1941-42.

1942 Nine pair of blinds were purchased from Montgomery Ward for the school at 39c. each for a total of $3.51.

excerpted from page 92 “Yellow Pine, Idaho” compiled by Nancy Sumner
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Present day Yellow Pine School


(from pg 131 “Idaho Mountains Our Home”)
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List of Teachers 1932 – 1957

1932-34 – Alice Johnson (Hawley)
1934-35 – Virginia Dougherty
1935-36 – Lucile Parsons
1936-38 – Elsie McKenzie
1938-40 – Allen K. Fritschle
1940-41 – Arthur Purnell
1941-42 – Geneva Quary
1942-44 – Ellen M. Ikola
1944-45 – Eileen Blackwell
1945-46 – Anna M. Hughes
1946-50 – Bertha White
1950-51 – Mrs. Brainard (1/2 Year) Mrs. Inman (1/2 year)
1951-52 – Bessie Williams (Sept-Dec) school closed
1952-55 – Fannie Roark
1955-56 – Mrs. Emma Bryant
1956-57 – Joseph A. Giroux

source: Emma Cox “Yellow Pine, Idaho” compiled by Nancy Sumner
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c. 1935-1945


Freighting into Yellow Pine, Idaho in wintertime. I’m guessing from the type of sleigh and the man’s dress that this is around 1935-1945.

courtesy Neal Wickham
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Third School

“The building used today is the third school in Yellow Pine. It was built in 1936. The most students in one year, was 27 in 1941-42.”

excerpted from pages 33 “Three ‘R’s’ The Hard Way – One Room Schools of Valley County” by Duane L. Petersen, 2000
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1942 Yellow Pine

Yellow Pine as it looked during the mining boom.

Photo from “The Middle Fork and the Sheepeater War” by Johnny Carrey and Cort Conley – copyright 1977
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Summer 1942 Yellow Pine


photo from the Mike Fritz collection
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Yellow Pine School 1940s

by Emma Cox

In 1948 Janet was ready for school. I got a permit from the school superintendent, Doris Squires at Cascade, to teach her the first grade at home.


Roxie (5) and Janet (6) Cox at the Dude Ranch
(from the VO Ranch collection, used with permission)

Roxie sat next to her sister while Janet was learning to read. No one noticed that Roxie was paying close attention. The next year we enrolled both of the girls, Janet in the second grade and Roxie starting first grade. Their teacher, Bertha White from Donnelly, thought at first Roxie was a very good reader for the first year. It didn’t take long for Mrs. White to discover that Roxie had memorized what was said while she looked at the picture on the page.

It made a long drive in the winter months, as we drove them to school in the mornings. We would come back to finish our chores, then go again about three. Sometimes Lafe and I both went, but usually one or the other. It was a distance of 40 miles with the two trips down and back. The heater in the little 1945 Jeep was not that great, but the girls never once complained about being cold. Nor did they complain of the roughness or anxiety of the trips. At different times the roads would be dusty, rough, icy or snow covered.

We both served on the Yellow Pine school board, I as clerk.

According to some of my records, a victory tax was paid on the teacher’s salary. The Yellow Pine district paid $25 to a teacher at the Deadwood Mine who had five pupils. The Yellow Pine teacher was paid $75 a month and $5 a month for janitorial work. School was heated by a wood heater.

The largest enrollment in the one-room school was 27 in the 1941-42 term.

Among the purchases were nine pairs of blinds for the tall windows, at 39 cents a blind.

excerpted from pages 133-134 “Idaho Mountains Our Home”
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Memories of a Yellow Pine Student

by Roxie (Cox) Himes

Roxie Cox age 6 on Cracker Jack
(from the VO Ranch collection, used with permission)

I was raised on my parent’s dude ranch in the primitive area of Idaho.

V. O. Dude Ranch 1950s Post Card
from the Mike Fritz Collection

My dad went to school 10 miles away by dog team but we never did. We did ride the dog team but only around the house.

1st dog team for Cox’s in 1928. Lafe drove this team to school.
(from page 32 “Idaho Mountains Our Home”)

My parents had a little army jeep that they would drive us the 10 miles to school in and that was our school bus. Sometimes if it snowed hard and they would be late in picking us up they called the café owner and she would come to school and take us to the café and give us hot chocolate and always fresh baked cookies until the folks could come pick us up. Our school ran from 8am to 4pm. I never remember homework other than taking books home to read. The reason they drove the jeep to school is it would go through deep snow and was small enough to go around big rocks in the road.

Taking our girls 10 miles to school in the winter using our Jeep.
(from page 160 “Idaho Mountains Our Home”)

Our one room schoolhouse in Yellow Pine had students in grades 1 thru 8 with one teacher. There were times when we had high school students and they would come to school to do their correspondence work. Sometimes the older students would help us younger ones with our assignments when the teacher was busy with another student. Sometimes during recess we had one boy that could take the bell apart quickly when the teacher wasn’t looking so when the teacher picked up the bell to ring it to come back inside it would all fall apart and it would take her awhile to put it together so you got a longer recess.

The schoolhouse did not have electricity and heat was a wood stove. We all took turns packing wood for the stove and pumping water into a bucket for our drinking water. The bucket had a dipper that we all drank from. One day the older boys dared a young boy to put his tongue on the frozen water pipe handle and his tongue stuck to the handle. After carefully working by the teacher he was set free and the screaming stopped. Since we did not have indoor plumbing we had to use outhouses. There was one for the boys and one for the girls. We all would have to shovel snow to clear the path to the outhouses.

Our school celebrated every holiday that included all the community. From winding the maypole to large Christmas programs. We had box socials where you would decorate a box really pretty and put pies you baked in it. Whoever bought your box you would eat the pies with them. We would have play days of sledding with the parents and the community and would have hot dogs and hot chocolate after.

… I think my childhood and schooling was a lot different that other children my age… One difference was we did get trips like they do today but it was different. Our school was small but the mining town of Stibnite was 25 miles away on narrow gravel steep roads. They had a school, a hospitals, a bowling alley, restaurant and movie theater. Whenever the school showed a movie we would get to go watch it. One-time roads were bad and snowing hard and my dad drove our little jeep to the Stibnite school for the movie with 10 of us kids in it. We were crammed in there like sardines in a can.

Road Yellow Pine to Stibnite, Idaho (Early Days)
source: Idaho State Archives

They closed the school in Yellow Pine after my 4th grade as the mine in Stibnite closed and no one was left in the town with children to go to school. My parents hired the teacher that was teaching in Yellow Pine to teach us. They turned one of the cabins at the ranch into a schoolhouse for my sister and I. The teacher was qualified to teach elementary as well as high school. So we did this every year until my junior year in high school. She would teach us from the time school started in McCall until about the 15th of December. This was the end of hunting season and then we would move to Emmett for the school season and return to the ranch in early spring. Our teacher would get the lesson plans from Emmett and would always get us ahead of where the students in Emmett were. So we could relax for a week or so until they caught up and then we were back to studying again and we had homework there.

This was written for a Grandson’s school project. Roxie went to the Yellow Pine school in 49 50 51 52.

– excerpted from “Greyson’s school assignment on my life” from Roxie (Cox) Himes via personal correspondence March 13, 2019
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Pie Social at the School

by Emma Cox

(photo from the VO Ranch Collection, used with permission)

While writing of our life at the dude ranch, we asked each of our girls to tell of a happening that comes to their mind today. There were many, but following are what came to each of them at he time of the question:

Janet said she will never forget a box social we all attended at the school at Yellow Pine. I made boxes in the shape of bugs, a big bug for me and smaller bugs, colored to resemble lady bugs, for the girls.

I filled the boxes with food, such as fried chicken, sandwiches, veggies, cake or cookies, and fruit. On arrival at the school we put our ‘bugs’ on a table with many other imaginatively decorated boxes and the girls waited expectantly for the bidding to start. The men bid on the boxes, with the highest bidder to eat with the lady or little girl who had brought the box.

An older man bought Janet’s ‘bug’ and she was so scared to be seated by him to eat that she could hardly swallow arty food. She said she will never forget that.

The money from the box or pie socials went to the school for supplies that were “extra” but needed. I remember one time one of my pies brought $75 and Murphy Earl purchased it. Everyone looked forward to these events.

excerpted from pages 130-131 “Idaho Mountains Our Home”
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Yellow Pine c. 1950


Post Card
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The Year I Taught School

by Emma Bryant

In the summer of 1956 I went down to Boise to see if I could get a teacher up here, and the State Superintendent of Schools said, “Why don’t you take it?” My family pushed me into it. They thought that it would be wonderful for me. I was having a hard time adjusting to the loss of my husband in January.

I never regretted taking the job. It was a wonderful year. The children hadn’t had science, they hadn’t had music, and they hadn’t had any art. So it was really a fun year.

We had the old, old piano [the one Harry Withers tells the story about].** About once a month in the winter we had a covered-dish gathering on Friday and always square danced afterwards. There was always so much food left over that we all got together Saturday night too.

I lived in the teacherage, and we had Benjy the buck there (we raised two fawns that year). All the dogs accepted him as a friend and none chased him, you know. And I had a dog named Sheba. Every morning Benjy would come in and wake me up for his bottle. Finally, the nipple gave out and we found that he loved chocolate milk, so I made chocolate milk for him and pushed his head into the bowl. He was very obnoxious if he didn’t get his ration of milk for the day – and he was a grown buck by then – but every day I reduced the amount of chocolate until he was getting straight powdered milk. After the holidays he became too rambunctious for the children because the men up town teased him, so Dick Bailey took him down to South Fork where he got along fine, because they saw him the next year. The Fish and Game men had tagged him. He never came back because usually, you know, they get wild. He was a beautiful, beautiful buck.

That winter the water didn’t freeze at my teacherage, but it froze up town, so my supply was cut off after the first of the year. Vance Husky brought me 10 gallons of water per week. (Vance and Susan ran the store.) They couldn’t understand why one little lady had to use so much water. Why did she have to wash her hair every week and whatever? Once a week! My! That was too much. But the people from around Antimony Camp took pity on me, and every once in a while they would bring me an extra 10 gallons, which I certainly appreciated. I did melt quantities of snow water that winter, and I found out that snow doesn’t have very much water in it.

The water situation didn’t improve until the first of April when it finally thawed out, so I moved back up here to the ranch and commuted with the Baileys, Ethel and Dick, and their two children Connie and Bob. They had come up to live with me. They had lived where the Colenbaugh cabin is.

Anyway it was a wonderful year. I enjoyed the children and there were no disciplinary problems, thank God. I started the year with ten children and when school finished I think I still had seven. That was the year they hauled the machinery out of Stibnite and some of the families who had been living in Yellow Pine moved out.

from (pages 95-96) “Yellow Pine, Idaho” compiled by Nancy G. Sumner

see also: Bryant Ranch History
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1950’s Yellow Pine


photo courtesy of Earl Waite (taken by his father) Note: The photo of Yellow Pine giving the credit to Earl Waite was taken by my dad, Lawrence Smith, in the 1950’s. – Ron Smith
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Yellow Pine School in 2010


by Local Color Photography
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Reference books:

“Yellow Pine, Idaho” compiled by Nancy Sumner
(this book can be purchased in Yellow Pine from Marj Fields)
“Idaho Mountains Our Home” by Lafe and Emma Cox – Copyright 1997 by V.O. Ranch Books
(this book can be purchased by writing to: VO Ranch Books, P O box 173, Emmett, Idaho 83617. Also available at Watkin’s Pharmacy in Cascade.)
“Three ‘R’s’ The Hard Way – One Room Schools of Valley County” by Duane L. Petersen, 2000
(this book is available at Watkin’s Pharmacy in Cascade.)
The Mike Fritz collection of Yellow Pine photos

Yellow Pine Schools 1920-1930 part 1

page updated Aug 2, 2019