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July 8, 2013

Dareville School gets marker

McLEANSBORO — —

Work continues to identify and commemorate the sites of one-room schoolhouses by the Jefferson County One-Room School Committee.

A sign to designate the site of the former Dareville School was recently erected in Elk Prairie Township, at the corner of Cherryville and Bonnie roads. Most of the signs have been installed in Elk Prairie Township, Members of the committee for Elk Prairie Township are Sharon Nichols, Don Nichols, Jack Bicanich and Jim Laird.

Bicanich is a former student of Dareville School, attending from 1951 to 1958.

"We had fun at this small school," Bicanich recalled. "We were like a family. The girls and boys got along well together. We played mumble peg, red rover and Andy over. We played softball and had foot races. On the school grounds we had a basketball goal, a slickie slide and a merry-go-round.

"At the beginning of the school year, someone would mow off our ball diamond," Bicanich continued. "On year we had to fight off bumblebees who had built a nest on our field. Mr. Osborn would umpire our ballgames at lunchtime recess."

Bichanich said he remembers the days at the school before the water fountain.

"When I first started school, we drank out of the same water bucket and used the same dipper," Bicanich said. "Later, our school had a regular water fountain. We didn't know we were getting one until we got it. We really thought the water fountain was something!"

Bicanich said his teacher during the time he was at Dareville was Jesse Osborn.

"Mr. Osborn was a good teacher," Bicanich said. "He was fair. Mr. Osborn was a firm disciplinarian. He believed in the paddle and it worked. Not only was Mr. Osborn the teacher, he was the janitor. He took out the trash and kept the school clean. He stoked the coal furnace and removed the cinders. He ordered supplies for the school. He was our coach.

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