yesterday's tennessee

Yesterday's Tennessee

Judge W. H. Lancaster--My Dear Teacher

from the collection of Brenda Kirk Fiddler

July 22, 1921 Lexington Progress

Another Who Lives in the Past

Trenton, Tenn., July 8, 1921

Judge W. H. Lancaster--My Dear Teacher:

It may appear strange to you for me to address you in this manner at this date, but I never think of school or talk of school but what my mind runs back to the time you taught me in the little schoolhouse in Scotts Hill. Other teachers have taken interest in different ones of your pupils, but no teacher ever took more interest in one pupil than you did in me. Why you did it I do not know, for I could never feel that I deserved the special attention that I received from you while in your school. The days that I spent in that school are as fresh on my mind as if the school had closed yesterday. I remember many of the sentences you gave me to diagram: I remember my mistake in trying to diagram these sentences. I remember how you taught us our first lesson in history. It was you that introduced Ridpath's History, one of the best of the United States ever written. It was you that put it into my mind to study the history of my own country and then the rest of the world. After I left school, I gave about 15 years of my off hours in the study of history, and when asked why I gave so much attention to that important study, I always told them it was you who started me. You also taught me to love good literature and started me on that study also.

One of the things that stand out before more precious than any other one event is this: On the day after your school closed in Scott's Hill, I had not yet gone to my home, a little blue-eyed, light-haired girl came up from Decaturville to visit a girl friend of hers in Scotts Hill. I saw her for the first time as she drove down the main street in this little town. She attracted my attention in a way that no young lady ever had before. I at once asked who she was and I was told that it was Miss Bettie P. Roberts from Decaturville, and I want her to say here that it was she that took up the work with me where you left off. So you see there are many fond memories that still linger in my mind when I think of your and that school that you taught in Scott's Hill, which closed in June, 1886.--Your friend, W.W. Powers

Judge Powers is but one among the public men of Tennessee, who was a pupil of Judge W. H. Lancaster, for Judge Bachman of the State Supreme Court got some of his 'larnin' under the same instruction when our townsman was a teacher in Chattanooga-no telling how many years ago.

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