Memories Of Frank Harris
My father was Judge Ben F. Harris, born in Mill Hill Tennessee, January 10, 1851, He was the oldest son of Governor Cyrus Harris of the Chickasaw Nation. He was the Supreme Judge of the Chickasaw Nation when he died. ››Mother was Viona Wilson, born December 25, 1863, in Iowa. I was born at Whitebead, Pickens County, Indian Territory, in the Chickasaw Nation, west of Pauls Valley in a log house with a dirt floor. While I was a small child I moved with my parents to a place near Drake, south of Sulphur, and have lived here since. › ›The first school I attended was a picket log building with puncheon seats. These seats were too high for the smaller children who all had ridges on the backs of their legs from sitting on these logs and letting their feet dangle in the space below the seat. We kept our books in a box beneath the seat. Each morning Mother started us off with a quart of buttermilk and a pail which contained our lunch, consisting of corn bread with butter and sorghum molasses on it.
We paid tuition of $1.00 per month and the school was in session as long as fifteen pupils attended but when the attendance was less than that the school closed until the following year. As long as the teacher got $15.00 a month he kept the school in session. The teacher boarded with his patrons and each night he stayed at a different home; his board cost him nothing. His desk was made of four poles driven into the ground with a board fastened to the top of them. He kept his switches lying across two wooden pegs driven in a log at the front of the room. › › One day I ran away from school and the next morning Mother took me back, carrying three switches with her. When she got me into the school building she gave me a whipping with one of the switches, had the teacher whip me with another and the third switch she left with the teacher to whip me with the next time I ran off. He did not get to use the third switch. ›
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