Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 2, Number 1, January, 1992 Page: 39
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The Last Three Years of Zimmerscheidt School
1945-46 1946-47 1947-48
by Bernice Koliba
If this very old, one room school could talk, what history we could learn!
Zimmerscheidt, one of the early German settlements in Texas, was made up
of hard working, thrifty people who took pride in their farms, homes, churches, and
In 1945, began three of the most enjoyable years in my teaching career of
thirty years, and it came about quite by accident. I had taught two years before my son
was born in 1944.
On that first Sunday in September 1945, I was attending one of those
famous all day Frelsburg celebrations when I was asked to begin teaching school at Zim-
merscheidt the next day, Monday. They were without a teacher for some reason or other
and I had a nine months old son and no one at home to care for him. However, I told
them if they would delay the opening of school until the next Monday and I could find
someone to care for my son, I would be the temporary teacher until they found a
permanent teacher. Thus began my teaching at Zimmerscheidt which lasted for three
years until the school was transferred to the Columbus Independent [School] District in
The trustees during that time were Rubin Suchadoll, Arthur Venghaus, Elo
Lilly, Charlie Leyendecker, and Milam Prause. These men saw to it that we always had
plenty of good fire wood and kindling for the big heater that stood in the center of the
room. They also kept the school yard clean. Since we did not have a well, Mr. Venghaus
furnished the water.
Just inside the door, to the right, stood a bench with the drinking water and
a pan for washing hands. Other articles in [the] room were a teacher's deck [sic], pupil's
desks, a chalk board, two maps and a built-in bookcase.
We made our flash cards and workbooks.
The older pupils helped the younger ones with their words and numbers
when they had finished their assignments.
Out back stood the two rest rooms. Somewhere near the girls' rest room
lived a coach whip snake who often ran the girls back to the school. Strange as it may
seem, the boys were never able to find him to move him to another location.2
All of us brought our lunches which we ate outside in warm weather and
around the stove in cold weather. We were allowed an hour for lunch and two thirty
minute periods for recess. We played marbles, jacks, jump rope, hop scotch and
baseball. The counting went like this, "One potato, two potato, three potato."
We must have been a healthy bunch, because it seemed that we were never
absent due to illness. However, Cummins Creek kept the Lilly girls at home when we
1 Zimmerscheidt is a nebulous area about midway between Columbus and Frelsburg. The school
building is still standing.
2 The western coachwhip snake (Masticophis flagellum testaceus) is a non-venomous snake which
readily flees when encountered by people. However, when cornered, it responds rather aggressively, lashing
out at its pursuers. People who are so "attacked," even if they are merely schoolgirls, can expect to come
away with nothing more than a few superficial scratches (see Alan Tenant, The Snakes of Texas, Austin:
Texas Monthly Press, 1984).
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Nesbitt Memorial Library. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 2, Number 1, January, 1992, periodical, January 1992; Columbus, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth151384/m1/39/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed July 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.