Ernestine (Hyre) Tulley
Based upon interviews with her former students, Ernestine Tulley was a well-liked teacher, perhaps revered, who strove to get the most from each child’s potential. The following testimonials of her former students indicate the respect they had for their one room country school teacher.
punishment meted out by her teacher. This occasion involved Iva’s sister, Verna Mae. Mrs. Tulley caught Verna Mae in the act of throwing a spit wad and hitting John Dolan in the head. The punishment was one gentle whack across Verna Mae’s rear end which brought a smile, not tears, from Verna Mae.
Patty Jean Riffle
Three Lick's Sunshine Workers 4H Club, 1950/51
Three Lick's Sunshine Workers 4H Club, 1950/51
Bob Pumphrey, now living in Magnolia, Texas, also remembers Ernestine Tulley with great affection. “She was a great teacher, but very strict.” Bob also recalls how devoted Mrs. Tulley was to teaching. During the blizzard of around 1951 snow accumulated over two feet deep. Since this was a time before snow plows kept rural roads open, no vehicles were venturing out on the snow drifted roads. However, when Bob went to the school near his home to start fires in the pot bellied stoves, he was surprised to observe Mrs. Tulley trudging down the road with snow over her knees to keep her morning school appointment. He was amazed that his teacher could have walked so far from her home in such inclement conditions.
Joan (Doyle) Stiltner, another of Mrs. Tulley’s Three Lick students, also remembers her teacher fondly. Joan recalls that part of the curriculum at the Three Lick School included cleanliness. Mrs. Tulley appointed “Captains” who would be in charge of a crew of two or three students. The captain would make sure that his or her crew’s hair was combed and hands and fingernails were clean. Mrs. Tulley would furnish the Captains combs and hair brushes to use. Joan also recalls that students would take turns bringing in drinking water and making fires in the pot-bellied stove. Mrs. Tulley paid the students for these chores in stamps which would be redeemed for savings bonds. (Bob Pumphrey recalls that when he handled these pre-school chores he was paid in cash.)
Joan recalls that Mrs. Tulley was a no-nonsense teacher and that there was little call for corporal punishment because her students had been taught respect for themselves and for their classmates. Joan also calls to mind that the bathroom facility at the school was a “WPA two-holer” which sat behind the school. Mrs. Tulley’s rule regarding the outhouse was its use was limited to recess and lunch times. Joan observed that even though Mrs. Tulley was a strict disciplinarian, she also was quite lenient in some respects, An emphasis on poetry and memorization in the Tulley class room is also relived by Joan, who believes, that, after nearly sixty years, she can still recite Longfellow’s The Village Blacksmith.
Raymond Posey, who still lives on Three Lick, was Mrs. Tulley’s student for one year at the Three Lick School. Raymond and his sister Lucy had attended school the previous year at Knawl’s Creek. Raymond’s primary recollection of Mrs. Tulley was that she was a “strict teacher, but a good teacher.” One of Raymond’s most memorable memories is that he rode a pony to school from his family’s home on Grass Run.
Three Lick Students at the home of Ernestine and Charlie Tully
on Tully Ridge in 1951
The Lewis County Board of Education had been considering for several years the closure of the Three Lick School. Local opposition to closure had managed to keep the school open for several years. Finally however, the end of the Three Lick School came after the 1951-1952 school year. The Lewis County Board of Education closed the school and sent all of the Three Lick students to the Walnut Grove School on Oil Creek. Thus came to an end another neighborhood, one room school in Lewis County and the beginning of school consolidations throughout the state..
After the closure of the Three Lick School, Ernestine Tulley was transferred to the Walnut Grove School. Some of her students from the Three Lick School were bussed to Walnut Grove and continued having Mrs. Tulley as their teacher.
Mrs. Tulley ended her teaching career at the Walnut Grove School. Although critically ill for several months, Mrs. Tulley continued to teach the 3 R’s, as well as courtesy and manners to her students at Walnut Grove, until she died of cancer in 1959 at the age of 55. Joan (Doyle) Stiltner, touched by the passing of Mrs. Tulley, solemnly and respectfully attended the funeral services in Weston for her former teacher. The school bell, used by Mrs. Tulley during her teaching career at all of the one room schools she taught, was thus silenced. Mrs. Tulley was laid to rest at the Weston Masonic Cemetery.
comment 1 Jean (Doyle) Lantz, the eldest twin
What fond memories you have recaptured for me reading your story on our teacher Ernestine Tulley. I am proud and honored to have been her student and because of her teaching skills, I must say that the students you just interviewed have done quite well for themselves. I also was impressed that the students that has been separated by many miles still remembers which twin is which. They all identified us correctly.
Note to Jean- We're tickled that we did okay. We'd like to kepp alive the rememory of the Irish community on Three Lick. You family stories and any photos of your days on Three Lick, or of grandparents, etc would be a great help. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or David Parmer at email@example.com . -donna
comment 2 Patty Jean (Riffle) Hartley When I attended Three Lick School in the late 1940s and early 1950s, few people had cameras. Mrs. Tulley frequently brought her camera to school and took photos of the students. As a reward for some achievement, such as perfect attendance, Mrs. Tulley would give the achieving student a photograph. Although by today’s standards, this may seem a trifle, such a gift at that time was precious. I saved the photographs given to me by Mrs. Tulley, which I would like to share.
-Many of the photos in this entry & the next one posted are from Patty Jean's collection. Thank you. -Donna.
comment 3 Tom Pumphrey Murphreesboro, Tennessee
When my family lived in the Three Lick-Goosepen area, I knew Charlie Tulley, who married Earnestine Hyre. Miss Hyre taught school at Three Lick and also earlier at Goosepen. Sometime before World War II, Charlie was courting Earnestine who lived in Burnsville. On a really bad winter day around 1939 or 1940, Charlie asked my brother Jim to drive him to Burnsville so he could visit with Earnestine and her family at her home. I went along for the ride. My brother drove Charlie's car which was a sixty horsepower 1939 or 1940 Ford. The day was bitter cold in the dead of winter. The roads were covered with frozen, icy snow.
When we got to Burnsville, Charlie told us to wait in the car while he visited with the Hyre family in their home on Church Street. He was gone over an hour. Meanwhile, my brother Jim and I sat in the car. The passenger side window was rolled down and the window hand crank was missing. We couldn’t roll the window up. My brother and I nearly froze to death waiting on Charlie. When he left the Hyre home and came to the car, he saw how cold we were. He said he forgot to tell us that the missing hand crank was in the glove box.
comment 4 Donna Gloff Pleasant Ridge, MI
The Village Blacksmith
The smith, a mighty man is he,
With large and sinewy hands;
And the muscles of his brawny arms
Are strong as iron bands.
His hair is crisp, and black, and long,
His face is like the tan:
His brow is wet with honest sweat,
He earns whate'er he can,
And looks the whole world in the face,
For he owes not any man.
Week in, week out, from morn till night,
You can hear his bellows blow;
You can hear him swing his heavy sledge,
With measured beat and slow,
Like a sexton ringing the village bell,
When the evening sun is low.
And children coming home from school
Look in at the open door;
They love to see the flaming forge,
And hear the bellows roar,
And catch the burning sparks that fly
Like chaff from a threshing floor.
He goes on Sunday to the church,
And sits among his boys;
He hear the parson pray and preach,
He hears his daughter's voice,
Singing in the village choir,
And it makes his heart rejoice.
It sounds to him like her mother's voice,
Singing in Paradise!
He needs must think of her once more,
How in the grave she lies;
And with his hard, rough hand he wipes
A tear out of his eyes.
Onwards through life he goes;
Each morning sees some task begin,
Each evening sees it close;
Something attempted, something done,
Has earned a night's repose.
Thanks, thanks to thee, my worthy friend,
For the lesson thou hast taught!
Thus at the flaming forge of life
Our fortunes must be wrought;
Thus on its sounding anvil shaped
Each burning deed and thought!