Thursday, June 30, 2011


more K-Springs/Chelsea history........

In September of 1881, Elmira Kendrick's son Luther bought from her the property she had purchased at the 1873 tax sale, and on which Luther had built the family's log cabin. Elmira and youngest child Mary continued to live in the cabin with Luther and with his family after he married.
According to the recollections of Luther Kendrick’s son Clifton (now deceased) it was around 1896 that Luther donated land for a school building at K-Springs. The building was erected on the hill above the springs, where the old K-Springs Church building now stands along side County Road 39. Some thirty years ago, when I was putting together the K-Springs/Chelsea book, several older citizens of the community shared with me some stories about the school.
Clifton Kendrick started first grade there in 1899. “We had two classes of geography; one was an advanced geography class,” he said.
Mable Shirley Peters still had an old blue-back speller and a report card from the school. During the 1922-23 school term, she was in the eighth grade, her teacher was Cecile Prather and she studied arithmetic, grammar, state history, algebra and science.

Cecil Kendrick, son of Luther, said teacher, Judge Harper, told the students, “Always tell the truth if it takes the skin off your nose.”

Ressie Vick Kendrick (wife of O. Frank Kendrick) recalled walking to school at K-Springs from old East Saginaw. In the winter time they would get ice on their shoes walking on the muddy road. “When we get to Spencer’s house (the little house in the deep bend of Road 39 just before the intersection with Road 36) his wife would have the fireplace full and want us to stop and warm.”

A.P. Niven recalled that he “went under the hill and got a bucket of water and brought it up to the school. We made paper cups to drink from,” he said.  He recalled, too, “We had syrup buckets to take our lunch to school in. We had whatever we could carry from home in a bucket.”

Clifton said that, since Luther’s children lived near the school, they would run home at noon “to get that buttermilk and potatoes.” He had an easy half-mile run home, down the long hill behind the building and up another short hill to their cabin, he said, but the uphill return to school after lunch was a little harder. Still, he would run back so he could meet friends before class “took up” for a quick game of ball. (The ball field was across the road from the school, where the K-Springs cemetery is now located.)

by Shelba Shelton Nivens  (email for permission to quote or copy

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