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White School Teachers 1902-1936

Water Works Wonders
A History of the White, Wilson, McMahon,
River Junction School Districts Pages 147 - 151

A graduate of Manitoba University and Regina Normal School and holding a First Class Certificate for the Territories with several years experience, was the first teacher at the White School. Mr. Hudson and his bride (they were newly-weds) stayed with the Keffers. Mr. Hudson taught at White for one year, 1902-03, and then went to Raymond to teach.

Was the teacher at White School for the 1903-04 term. Barney Gwatkin's father sold her a pony. She rode side-saddle to school from Mrs. Pitt Bladeau's rooming house in Lethbridge situated across the street from the Post Office.

Taught at White School for one year (1904-1905) and boarded with the Whites.

Came from Hamilton, Ontario, to teach at White School. Barney Gwatkin remembered asking her why she came. Her answer was "for the big pay". ($275 a year). She taught for two years and then married Bert Tiffin in 1908. One of the reasons given for the teachers marrying Tiffins (Jack Tiffin also married a school teacher) was that, as one of the original trustees of the White School District, Reuben Tiffin made sure the teachers hired were attractive enough to appeal to his sons.

Of Collingwood, Ontario, who is to teach at White's School, arrived on Tuesday night's train, according to the March 21, 1907 edition of the Lethbridge Herald. While in the city, Miss Wright was a guest of Mrs. McKay. Later, April 1, 1907, it is reported that Miss Wright at White's School was a guest of Miss Furse during Easter.

Arrived in Lethbridge in 1911 from Bowmanville, Ontario. The only person in Lethbridge she knew was W. McCready, a town druggist, who also came from Bowmanville.

At the Tiffin farm there were four young men who drew straws to see who was to drive to town to pick up the new teacher. Jack Tiffin was the lucky one to get the inside track and later married Miss Wight.

For the school to remain open, they required a certain number of pupils. Miss Wight promised the two Gwatkin girls that, if they would please come, she would teach sewing in the school. The result of this instruction is a quilt. It gives the girls' names in one square, the Tiffin household in another, and her initials (A.M.W.) in another.

"Teaching" was said to be the stepping stone to "Matrimony"! Miss Wight taught from January 1911 to June 1912 and then returned home to prepare for her wedding on February 5, 1913.

Taught at White School 1911-1912 and boarded with the J. J. Tiffins. Barney Gwatkin recalls that Miss Waterman was his last teacher. She continued her teaching career at Monarch and Fleetwood School in Lethbridge. She married Mr. Herbert, a carpenter by trade and a well-known contractor. Mr. and Mrs. Herbert had a long association with friends in the White district. Mrs. Herbert died in 1957.

Lethbridge Herald, 1920
Miss Waterman of Fleetwood School staff was the guest of honour at a very pleasant reception given by the teachers at the home of Miss Brodie (Kate Andrews) last evening. Miss Waterman whose marriage will take place shortly, is severing her connection with the school. The rooms were gayly decorated with a profusion of pink and white peonies and the guests spent the time on hemming dish towels for the bride-elect which at the conclusion of the evening, were presented to her in conjunction with a beautiful gift of silver by little Jean Brodie. Miss Waterman has been a popular member of the school staff for seven years and the best wishes of every one accompany her in her new venture.

A picture was taken on the steps of the original White School on the last day of school, July 27, 1919 showing Miss Squires and students. She stayed with the Murrays. (Note the late date for the final school day.)

Stayed with Mrs. Bert Tiffin while she was teaching at White School. During the years 1914-1920, Jennie taught at the Chrystal Lake, Hyssop, and Eight Mile Lake schools, and later taught primary grades for 18 years. In 1937 she quit teaching and moved to Vancouver where she operated a library and gift shop. Returning to Alberta, she taught on the Blackfoot Reserve at Gleichen. In 1947 Jennie was nominated as volunteer of the year for Calgary in recognition of her countless hours spent teaching English, working with Cerebral Palsy children, organizing receptions at Citizen Court, visiting nursing homes, and reading to the blind.

We have been unable to find any information on Miss Anderson.

Taught only a few months and during that time stayed with Mr. and Mrs. Jack Tiffin.

This is a short story of my life. I was born in Widnes, Lancashire England close to the Mersey River and went to school there for two years. In 1911 my mother, two sisters Hilda and Beth, my brother Joe, and myself, boarded the boat "Lake Manitoba" at the port of Liverpool to come to Canada. The Journey took two weeks. The Salvation Army Band was aboard and did much to entertain the children on the boat. Icebergs were a new sight for me as I had never seen any before. We landed at Quebec, then boarded a train for Lethbridge. My father (David Morris) had arrived the year before. My mother had a very busy time talking care of us.

Dad met us at the station and put us in a closed-cab drawn by a horse with the driver in front. We children really enjoyed the ride to our new home.

I continued my education at Westminster School, then Galbraith, (newly opened) for one year, then back to Westminster till grade eight. One of my teachers was Miss Brodie (Kate Andrews). Many years later I knew her as a neighbor and good friend in the White School District.

I went to Normal School in Calgary for about a year. The following September I taught at a one room school at United Prairie, near Warner.

Later I applied for teaching at the White School and was accepted in 1923.

My home was in Lethbridge so I was pleased to get home some weekends. Many of the neighbors were very kind in giving me transportation as I didn't have a car. Later I met Dick Henderson and my transportation was solved.

There were about twenty children going to school. The grade one's were usually brought by parents, a few rode horseback. It was a wonderful neighborhood, people were so kind and friendly, and willing to help you in any way they could.

One of the big events the children looked forward to was the Christmas Concert. They loved to sing the carols, present dialogue, and recite. Mrs. Petrie was a wonderful help providing costumes (making most of them). students loved to be dressed up for the occasion. Alex Henderson and Charlie Parry were often Santa Claus.

The school had been opened for many years. The desks were mostly double desks with ink wells so it was the pen with the nib doing the writing. The ink wells had to be filled once in a while and at times could be quite messy. We did get some good writers.

We had grade one to eight. The departmental exams were written by grade eights to graduate into grade nine.

I went to school in the buggy with the Murray children with Donald driving the horse. We all enjoyed the fun. I lived with the Hadlington's and the Murray's. The hospitality was wonderful . There was lots of fun at the Murray's as there was company there a great deal of times. How I enjoyed the home baked bread, fresh churned butter and the biscuits. Her canned fruit and pickle samples given to me after I was married were much appreciated.

The school board at my time were Mrs. Bert Tiffin, Mr. George Hadlington, and Mr. Jack Tiffin. The janitors were Mr. George Hadlington, Mr. Tom Hadlington, and one year with Alex Marshall. The school was always nice and warm with a large heater.

The school had many activities all put on by someone in the community. A card party was held about once a month. A small collection was taken and the money used to buy lamps as there was no electricity at that time.

A raffle was held to buy a piano for the school as the people wanted dancing. It was a huge success and a piano was bought from the Legion on First Avenue South across from the depot.

Molly Coupland organized a Young People's United Farmers Organization which was much enjoyed. The community also had concerts with local talent and sometimes people came from Lethbridge to perform.

The Burn's night was very special. Mr. Andrew Graham made the haggis. Some members of the Highland Band came out too. It started out just serving a lunch but later it became a banquet with all the trimmings. Box socials were also held.

I resigned from teaching in 1927 when I married Dick Henderson, but as I continued to reside in the area I saw many changes from my day.

By 1927 the school population rose to about forty three. It became necessary to get more room. During the holidays the school was moved east to the corner across from the present McNally School. Later the River Junction students came over, the McMahon School was moved on the school grounds. The teacher also came along (Goldie Kittleson) who later became Mrs. Ernest Snowden. More accommodation was needed. Mr. Williams the School Inspector was looking for a building and so was Southminster Church, as they wanted to start a mission at the school. There was a church for sale at Maybutt, near Stirling. It was bought and proved satisfactory to all. Wilson Siding School also closed and the pupils came to White School. The men in the district did a lot of work putting a basement under the church. When the McNally School opened there was no use for the White School buildings. The grounds were sold. The church was moved to the old school grounds and is now a nice home.

I was the last person to teach in the original White school. I enjoyed teaching very much, and was very pleased to be honored at the school reunion (1993.) It was a wonderful party. I was presented with a corsage and had my picture taken with my friendly pupils. I was surprised how many had died.

Was the first principal of the two-roomed school and taught the higher grades. He boarded with Tommy and Jessie Hadlington for the year that he was at White.

Was the elementary teacher in the new two-roomed school. She boarded with the George Hadlingtons. After the one year of teaching at White, Miss Harper married Mr. Simcoe.

Taught at White School for one year, 1928-29. She had the higher grades, served as principal, and drove out from her home in Lethbridge in a Model A Ford.

Anna Best-Marshall was born in Northern Ireland in 1906, the daughter of Silas and Sarah Best.

The family immigrated to Bow Island in 1912, then to the Etzikom district in 1918, and finally to Lethbridge in 1921. It was in Lethbridge that Anna completed her schooling and went on to Normal School in Calgary.

She began her teaching career at Bradshaw, southwest of Magrath, in 1926. After her year at White School, she taught Grade 3 at Galbraith under the principalship of Miss Birch.

Later in the 1930's she moved to Fleetwood Bawden Elementary School, where Joe Lakie was principal.

She retired from teaching in 1966 and enjoyed retirement until she was stricken with cancer and died in 1987.

Anna was an avid skater and fly-fisherman, and loved hiking all her life.

Her name will live on for years, as her husband Gordon Marshall donated $75,000 to the Lethbridge Public School District to be used for the Anna Best-Marshall Scholarship for underprivileged students.

Taught the primary grades at White School from 1928-1936. She boarded with Mr. and Mrs. George Hadlington. Ethel and Jean Snowden developed a kinship that continued through the years. After teaching at White, Ethel taught in Coaldale and Lethbridge. At the time of the School Re-union, she was a resident of the Willow Creek Auxiliary Hospital where she said she received excellent care. She passed away August 18, 1993.

Was Principal at White School from 1929 to 1936. He boarded with Jean and Lant Snowden. It was there he met his future wife, Lloyd, a cousin of Ernie Snowden. The Malcolms had three children. Harry served in the R.C.A.F. as educational officer. After the war, he resumed his teaching career, in administration and in the classroom, at Stony Plain School in Edmonton. On retirement, the Malcolms moved to Victoria. Harry passed away in 1991.

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Mary Tollestrup