Cambria County, Pennsylvania
Annals of Jackson Township
Mrs. Betty Burkhart
Final Installment On Schools
There have been four schools in the Vinco community. The first was the small frame one-room structure that stood on the corner where the home of Walter Mackall now is, which has been mentioned, and which is now part of the Brethren parsonage. The second school, also containing one room, stood in what is now J.W. Helsel’s cow pasture, close by the spot where the two-room structure was to be built later. The second little school faced the road that leads past the church, had shutters and a vestibule, and on the front wall was a slate blackboard. At either side of the front of the room the walls were painted black, as was the lower part of the rear wall which was used as a blackboard.
Among early teachers at the school were Mollie (Burkhart), James, and Loveina (Burkhart) Muller, daughters of Ephraim Burkhart, one of the first settlers in this community, who taught there eighty years ago, Hattie Gettings, James Fees, Elmer Sell, Harvey Thomas, former Sheriff Roscoe Custer, a son of Emmanuel Custer, one of the early settlers, Walter Wissinger and Abbie Hull (from Oklahoma). In more recent years Rev. J. L. Bowman, Norman Bracken, Nora (Bracken)Davis, Elsie Davis, Ida (Carney) Davis, Charles Lowman, David Funk (now pastor of the Lutheran Church at Newport,Ky.), Albert O'Connor, (now Democrat Assemblyman), Mr. McGovern, Irvin and Bess Wissinger, Rev. Earl S. Flora, Herbert Diehl and the girl he later married, Carrie (Mackall) Deihl, Grace (Varner) Stutzman and of course, many others.
The teachers did not "board
around" as they did in outlying communities but usually stayed at the
Custer or Wakefield homes. When Loveina (Burkhart) Muller
first taught there she was 17 years of age and several of her pupils
were much older than she, as most of the boys in the community attended
school after the farm work was done, regardless of age. Her sister,
Mollie, had been the teacher at the school but she left and Loveina
finished the term. Her father had just died, the mother had gone to
live with a relative. She was versatile, wrote numerous articles for a
magazine and was a poet. She was also an historian and spent the latter
part of her life in following that hobby. Mrs. William Keppler of Vinco
is a daughter of this early school teacher.
School was in session four
months in the year when the one-room schools were used, but later six
months was the usual length. William Rose conducted a singing school at
Vinco and spelling bees were something old and young enjoyed. Before
the Custer hall was built, which will be mentioned later, "Literary" was
often held at the school.