Archive for Thursday, March 3, 2005

Of coal mines and new schools

March 3, 2005

Information for these history corners many times will come from letters my mother had saved. I have been reading letters my dad wrote to my mother when she went back to visit her family in Yankton, S.D., in 1922. They have given me an insight of conditions in Lansing at that time.

My dad and grandfather worked as hoisting engineers at the Prison Coal mine 14 hours a day, seven days a week, including some hours on Sundays to send food down for the mules.

Dad's brother and brothers-in-law worked in the strip mines in Pittsburg, and they were on strike at that time. Things were so tough that his sister wrote and asked Dad for enough money to pay her electric bill, which was $1.72. Things were tough here in Lansing, too, but Dad felt fortunate to have a steady job, and in those days everyone helped each other.

It was that faith and commitment in 1923 that helped build the two schools that my brothers and I attended.

Our children and grandchildren graduated from schools that Ada and I voted for. Now we need to build a new elementary school on West Mary for our great-grandchildren to receive a good education. I attended most of the facilities meetings a year ago and listened to all the school principals and teachers' needs and concerns. My belief is a new kindergarten to fifth grade school is the best solution for our elementary students. They currently use three separate buildings with traffic problems and are not designed for today's teaching methods.

Also, the proposed high school auditorium will not only fill the school district's needs but many community needs. I have faith in the citizens of Lansing that they will take the time to look at the plans and ask questions and vote.

It does my heart good when people say they move here because of our good school system, and I am hoping they will be able to say that 20 years down the road.

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