Dick Johnson Schools

More Dick Johnson Township Schools

By Wayne COX

The following article was written by Wayne COX, who had read the February 2009 Researcher belonging to his sister-in-law, Rebecca BASS. “Growing up in Dick Johnson Township, I knew many people and places in the township. Claude VANATTI was my school bus driver for several years as was Roy SNOW. Claude lived on the Perth road south of Perth about two miles; Roy lived at the corner of the Lodi and Beech Grove Roads. Other bus drivers that I remembered from 1945 to 1957 were Bob DELLACA and Hubert LYON that I remember.

There were at least two schools, which were not mentioned in the article in the list of schools for the township of Dick Johnson. The reason I am aware of these is that my mother, Ruth (ANDERSON) COX taught at them as well as attending one of them as a student.

She started school at Bee Ridge and went there in the first grade. One day walking home from school she stepped in a frozen cow track, fell, and broke her arm. I do not know why, but she changed schools after the first grade and went to Beech Grove the rest of her eight grades. Beech Grove School was located just north of the Rio Grand Road one mile east of the Clay/Vigo County Line on what I knew as the Beech Grove Road. As I understand, there was also a church next to the school. She drove a horse and buggy to high school at Brazil. She graduated in 1921. As soon as she had completed high school, she enrolled in Normal School to which she rode the Interurban. Normal School later became Indiana State Teachers’ College; then it became Indiana State University. As soon as she completed that summer school, she was given a teacher’s certificate and was assigned one of three schools to teach in Dick Johnson Township. As I do not know the order in which she taught at the three, I will list all of them: Beech Grove, North Mine, and County Line. North Mine was located on the southwest corner of the road that goes into Perth from State Road 59 and North Meridian Street/Road. County Line School was located just east of the Perth Road on the Clay/Parke County Line. The school was at the top of the hill.

She went to Normal School each summer while teaching those three years. My mother married my father, Elmer Walter COX, in early in 1924; they went to housekeeping at Mt. Etna in Vigo County. She did not teach again until after my father died in 1967. At that time she was asked to teach at Bridgeton School in Parke County as what was known as a Supply Teacher.

One other school that I am aware of that may be just another name was Cabbage Hill. It may be listed by the name of Sugar Grove. If they are different, they were very close together on the Billtown Road about two miles north of State Road 340.”