I have way more early 1900’s school photos in my family history photo collection than I realized. While looking for photos and documents about one of Isaac and Mary Bandy Sturgell’s children, Abijah Houston Sturgell, I came across this copy of an old school photo that was sent to me by my husband’s Aunt Freda, probably in the 1990’s. Someone in the Sturgell extended family owned the original and Freda obtained a copy.
This looks to be a one room schoolhouse type of school with the school building in the background and perhaps an outhouse or woodshed on the left side.
The school master was the gentleman in the middle of the back row wearing the vest and bow tie. There might also have been a school mistress in the third row, second from the right. Notice all the barefeet in the front row!
Only three children were identified in the photo. In the front row, 7th boy from the right is Herman “Bud” Sturgell, who was born in 1898. He looks to be about 5 or 6 years old, dating this photo to about 1904.
In the second row, also the 7th boy from the right is Oscar Eldon Sturgell, my husband’s grandfather. Oscar was born in 1893 and would be 10-11 years old.
In the third row, third girl from the left is Amy Cora Sturgell, born in 1891 so would be 12-13 years old here.
Bud, Oscar and Amy were three of the ten children of Abijah (Byge) and Martha Susannah Alberty Sturgell who were born and raised in Barry County, Missouri. One other daughter, Glena Agnes, was of school age, but isn’t identified in this picture. Glena died in December 1907. It is possible that she is one of these students, but family members in the 1990’s had no home photos of her and didn’t recognize her. It’s also possible she was home sick the day this picture was taken.
If your ancestor was of school-age and lived in Cato, Barry County, Missouri, he/she may be in this photograph. I would love to hear from you.