O'Fallon Progress

Rock Springs closes doors

Brian Keller is the O’Fallon Historical Society president.
Brian Keller is the O’Fallon Historical Society president. rkirsch@bnd.com

When the 1941-42 school year started the day after Labor Day, the doors of two area rural schools stayed closed – Rock Springs District 91 in east O’Fallon Township and Union Grove District 12 in Mascoutah Township.

The boards of both districts decided to close them because attendance had dropped to such a point as to make running them impractical and they simply weren’t able to get teachers.

Both Virginia Lauer at Rock Springs and Ruby Buetler at Union Grove left for other positions.

The six pupils at Rock Springs were transferred to O’Fallon and those at Union Grove were sent to nearby Mizpah and Ruth rural schools.

There was a general shortage of teachers throughout the county at the time, the first such shortage since World War I.

It was expected to get worse in 1943 when a new law requiring college degrees for teachers was to take effect.

And it was predicted that rural schools were on the way out, a prediction that came true.

75 years ago

Sept. 4, 1941

With no scheduled Labor Day program in O’Fallon, the day passed off quietly here, although all business and industrial plants were closed in observance of the holiday.

Many citizens made trips to distant points while others took part in the Progressive Mine Workers of America celebration in Benld and other members of labor organizations participated in the Labor Day parade in East St. Louis.

50 years ago

Sept. 1, 1966

O’Fallon’s annual Homecoming and Fall Festival attracted its usual crowd and was highlighted by the coronation of Miss Karen Lee Morton as Miss O’Fallon.

Also featured were three parades with floats designed by Fred Querio with Virgil Greene in charge of construction.

Absence of bingo and other attractions this year reduced the receipts to $16,181 as compared to $28,000 last year.