Introductory Section

Copyright Information
Additions and Corrections
About the Author
The Old Schoolhouse

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Copyright Information

History of the Wabash School
1999 by Edward W. Quicksall

All rights reserved. No part of this html book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.

Ordering Information:
Bookstores and individuals may order paper or digital copies from:

Edward Quicksall
809 Gordon Avenue
Effingham IL 62401

Orders can be placed via Internet at

HTML and traditional book design and typesetting by Larry E. Quicksall.


Additions and Corrections

As with any historical project, inaccurate or missing information is an ongoing struggle. For example, a "missing" book from the Wabash School is the teacher’s grade book that has a complete listing of all students. If anyone has any additional information they believe should be included in a future printing of this book, or if they notice incorrect information, please contact the author at the below address. Your assistance is greatly appreciated.

Edward W. Quicksall
809 Gordon Avenue
Effingham IL 62401


About the Author

Edward Quicksall was born on June 29,1926, to Joel Minor (commonly known as Minor Jr.) Quicksall and Frieda (Pardieck) Quicksall. He was raised with his older sister, Irene, on the family farm located just north and east of Stewardson, Illinois, in Big Spring Township. They both attended the Wabash School through the eighth grade.

After graduation Edward worked with his father on the family farm until the start of the Korean War. Edward was drafted into the United States Army and served from 1950 to 1952 including one tour of Korea as a part of the 13th Field Artillery Battalion of the 24th Infantry Division.

After discharge from the military he attended the Coyne Electrical and Television School in Chicago where he studied to become an electrician. He worked for Garwood Industries in Mattoon, Illinois, for a short period of time before working in the Maintenance Department at Norge in Effingham, Illinois, in 1955. Later Norge was purchased by Fedders USA.

Edward married Eileen Mueller in 1963 and together they had one son, Larry, in 1965. Larry attended school in Effingham, Illinois, and then went on to study at Eastern Illinois University and the University of Illinois. In 1991 Larry married Shannon Jones of Casey, Illinois, and together they have two children: Aaron, born in 1996, and Jessica, born in 1998. Larry currently conducts a private practice in Christian counseling in Effingham.

During his time as an electrician, Edward continued to farm with his father until the early 1980s when his father's health and age made active farming impractical. In 1988, after 33 years of employment, Edward retired from Fedders. Since retiring Edward has continued to farm until the fall of 1998 when he began renting out the land to his nephews. He continues to own and manage two apartment buildings in Effingham, Illinois. With the extra time on his hands, Edward now has the opportunity to enjoy hobbies such as woodworking, travel, visiting, and playing with his two grandchildren.



Special thanks to my sister, Irene "Quicksall" Latch, and my schoolmate, Jean "Gordon" Slifer, who supplied me with forgotten photographs and refreshed my memory of days long since gone by. In addition, some information was taken from the books History of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, published by Brink, McDonough and Company, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1881; and People and Rural Schools of Shelby County by Helen Cox Tregillis, BS, MS, CGRS 1984.



Growing up I always knew where the "old school" was located. It was the abandoned building on the corner where we turned to go to the river-bottom fields. It had old, unkept evergreen trees growing all around and a large shade tree just to the east of the porch. In my 29 years before it was finally torn down I don't believe I ever took the time to walk up on the porch and peer into the windows. Today I regret not having done that, because I have come to understand that the Wabash School was a testimony to a time long since gone.

This little one-room schoolhouse was from a time when everyone personally knew everyone who attended their school. Everyone could and did walk to school because it truly was a neighborhood school where the parents took turns serving on the school board. If you wanted to change something in the educational system you could either attend the board meeting or more likely stop by and see your relative or neighbor who was on the board. As a personal point of interest, while working on this book with my father, I learned that my great-great-great grandfather, my great-great grandfather, my great grandfather, and my grandfather were all school board members.

The Wabash School was more than a place of education; it was a point of unification for the people living in the school district. They may have had different occupations, come from different economic groups, or attend different churches, but they could all come together through their personal investment and commitment to the success of the Wabash School. It is my hope that this book will be a lasting record to the little school that touched so many lives over the past 160 years.

Finally, I want to thank my father, Edward Quicksall, for taking the time to collect the information and old photographs and put together this book. Having the opportunity to work on this project has been a wonderful experience.

Larry E. Quicksall
October 27, 1998

The Old Schoolhouse

The old schoolhouse still stands there.
Now silent and forlorn,
Some windows in it broken
And the roof is weather worn.

It used to be a happy place.
For neighboring girls and boys.
Their voices filled the countryside,
With a laughing shouting noise.

We walked to school in those days
Down country roads and lanes.
In winter's coldest weather
And stormy springtime rains.

We placed our coats and lunch pails
All neatly in the hall,
Then pledged allegiance to the flag
With pride we stood so tall.

We learned and worked together,
And each one took his turn,
Pumping drinking water
And to carry wood to burn.

At recess time we ran outside
And everyone had fun.
Skipping rope and playing ball,
Or "Run My Good Sheep Run."

Rest rooms then were out-of-doors
But no one loitered there,
If it weren't for bees in the summertime
It was the crisp cold winter air.

The teacher was most versatile
And she knew so many things,
She taught eight grades their lessons
To draw and paint and sing.

She was librarian and counselor
And our games she refereed.
She seemed to know just what to do
No matter what our need.

The best part of the school year
Was our Christmas play.
We all sang Christmas carols
And each had a part to say.

A picnic in the summertime
Was such a special treat,
Lemonade and ice cream
And tasty foods to eat.

These memories all linger there
Inside the schoolhouse door.
Those happy days that we once knew
Are gone forever more.

I'm glad the school still stands there
For I often pass that way
And leave behind my daily cares
To recall a happier day.

Author Unknown

School Children on Playground Equipment in 1940

Click on Thumbnail for Large Detailed Photo


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