McLEANSBORO — —
Riding school desks wasn't the only memorable occurrence at Dareville School.
"Rat stompings happened occasionally," Bicanich said. "The students who were able to look down the hallway would raise their hand if they saw a rat run into the cloakroom. After the teacher called on them, they would state they saw a rat. Mr. Osborn would give the okay and we would mount an all-out assault on the rat.
"Ralphine Lappin would be one of the first on the scene stomping and chasing the rat while most of the girls were on top of their desks screaming," Bicanich said. "Ralphine not only stomped the rat, she stomped our toes! I remember Rita Metcalf squealing every time the rat squealed. After the rat had met his fate and most of us had sore toes, Mr. Osborn would pick up the rat and put it in the trash. We never touched the rat. We would then calmly return to our studies."
Bicanich was in the last class to graduate from Dareville.
"In 1958, the school was closed and consolidated with Waltonville, as did all the other one-room schools in the area," Bicanich said. "Dareville School was auctioned off and sold to Bill and Silvia Shelton. Bill remodeled it and made a nice home for his family. Silvia still lives there."
The sign project is proceeding due to the efforts of more than 24 township leaders and the support of Jefferson County residents. fundraising efforts are still underway in many townships, to cover the costs of the signs.
In addition, the committee is raising funds to purchase two sets of 16 township books, one of which will be kept at C.E. Brehm Memorial Library and the other at the Jefferson County Historical Society Museum. The books are arranged by school and contain a list of all contributors for each school along with stories and pictures that have been received.