Mr. Dodson, here is a letter which talks about the early schools in the
County. This man was an uncle of Dr. Jacob Adam Wagner, the beloved
physician of Bland County. Parke Bogle

McCloud, Oklahoma
February 14th 1933
Mr. J. A. Wagner, M. D.
Bland, Virginia

Dear Nephew,
Answering your letter of December 21st last year, I will relate to you to
the best of my recollection the information you requested of me.

I do not know the exact date I left Bland County as many of my personal
papers have become lost, however, I do have a document showing commission
tendered me as First Lieutenant of the Newcastle Volunteers of the State of
Nebraska dated April 16th 1874 and this approximately one year after my
arrival in that state. I left Bland County during blackberry time and did
not arrive in Nebraska until frost, losing only about one week on the road
account unable to travel. I do not know just how many days or weeks exactly.

My first recollection of any teacher and school was one Joseph Lambert,
and school was taught in an old camp ground known as Hoge's Camp Ground, a
place of worship for the Methodist Church holding camp meeting under an
arbor. Several of the next schools I can recollect were taught under the
shed of that institution and in the tents also. A party would agree to teach
a school under written agreement at so much per pupil to be paid by the
parents of children attending or commonly known as subscription schools. For
a building the simply used these camp grounds or got permission to use some
unoccupied house in the neighborhood. School usually lasted three months
each year, or during camp meeting, for the smaller children as the older
ones were usually busy at something else. I was about five or six years of
age when Joseph Lambert was teacher, making that date about 85 years ago.

Other teachers were, Mrs. Juliet Hoge, who taught at Hoge's Camp Ground. I
was then seven or eight. Another was a Miss Thorne from Mechanicsburg who
taught at a private house. Teo others from the North somewhere, were a Mr.
Dudley and Mr. Uttley who taught at Hoge Camp Ground, also Jake Wagner
taught at this same place. I was then 8 or 9 years of age. There was a
young man from some of the New England states, I think Massachusettes, who
called himself a Yankee, also one named Wayman Harman, one from old
Virginia- Armstead Ashworth. There was one native of that neighborhood, a
college man, Hiram Muncy. My last teacher was Jacob Smith just prior to
the breaking out of the Civil War.

My school experience was cut short in 1861 when the Civil War came up. As
to any further history of teachers I cannot recollect.

About the school buildings. As already stated, school was held under the
church arbor or in the tents of the visitors or in some unoccupied house.
The only regular school building in that neighborhood before the Civil War
was known as the Cubine School House. It was located about 7 miles from the
present location of county seat of Bland County. This district could be
identified as the Harman-Hoge or Waggoner neighborhood. This building was
about 24' or 25' by about 14' by 15'. There was one door in the end of the
building and for lighting purposes a log in the west side of the building of
about 8 feet in length and about 4 feet from the ground, was cut out. There
was no glass in the window but was open except in inclement weather, at
which time a paper was pasted over the opening and greased to admit light
and keep out the weather. For heating purposes, in the east side of the
building was a fire place that would hold considerable wood, with a wood
chimney, plastered with clay to make it fire proof. This building had a dirt
floor. For school furniture, a split log was placed under window at a sloping
angle to facilitate writing and for a bench, a log 6' to 8' in diameter was
split and placed flat side up with pegs for legs. When not at the writing
desk, the pupils were accommodated with the same kind of benches without

As for studies, I learned to spell in the Blue Back elementary speller and
got a little instruction in mathematics from an arithmetic. The first
arithmetic I recollect was "Pikes Arithmetic". One reading book I remember was "The New York Reader", a combination reading and spelling book. For writing practice, the teacher would set copy she thought appropriate according to the age of the pupil, beginning with the alphabet and extending through the spelling book, with instructions to the pupil to as nearly as possible duplicate her writing. Of course each teacher
had her own system of penmanship.

When I arrived back after discharge fro the US Army, I found a school
house built on Baltzer Helvey's property known as "Point Pleasant Academy".
It was conducted by one George Penley, a Methodist minister.

You speak of the two Harmans in your letter, I will state who they were.
Randall was a son of Frank Harman, deputy sheriff under me when I was
sheriff of Bland County.

{ Adam Clark Waggoner, was born January 7, 1843, a son of Adam and
Elizabeth Hutzell Waggoner. He was a brother of George Elias Waggoner who
married Elizabeth Hearn; James E.Waggoner who married Aisley (Elsie) Munsey;
Franklin P. who married Catherine Young Munsey and Julia A; Waggoner, who
married Rev. John A. Smith. Adam was the only son to survive the Civil War
and after his return he married Melissa Holbrook in December of 1866 in
Tazewell County. .
This letter was presented to me by the late Alice Duncan Mustard, whose
husband, John Crockett Mustard, Jr. was a grandson of Dr. J.A. Wagner of
Bland, to whom this letter was written. Mrs. Mustard stated that all dates
for her research came from the family Bible sheets. } Parke C. Bogle