September 1983



The Little Red Schoolhouse


"The one-room schoolhouse is too much a part of America to be forgotten and its lessons live on in the worlds of those who learned there as children grew up to mold the nation.  The little red schoolhouse did the job well." Eric Sloane


Although Kage School was a one-room schoolhouse, it was not the "little red school-house" so often conjured in our dreams and recollections.  However, it was a typical version of our pioneer school for it was a hand-hewn log school equipped with benches of hewn slabs—peg legs and no backs, one section of blackboard and a fire-place in the back of the room.


According to Deed records, Kage School had its start when on the third day of June, 1854, for the sum of $18.00, Christian Kage and his wife, Amalie, transferred one acre of land to the trustees (Benjamin Miller, John D. Hopper and Christian Kage) of School District #4, School Township #8, County of Cape Girardeau.  Soon thereafter the school was built by Christian Kage and Henry Kempe for $180.25, with size of the structure being 20 x 24 feet.


Earliest records of the students and teachers have not been located but it is known that Kage School opened its doors for education October 28, 185 with 92 children that first year.  The original log structure was used until 1880 when Henry Klaproth purchased the building and cleared it away for $13.00.  The present brick schoolhouse was built and continued educating the young people of the area until it closed its doors in 1966 after 112 years.


Kage School, a distinct reminder of past education, still stands on Kage Road, a short distance from the intersection of North Kingshighway and Mt. Auburn Road in Cape Girardeau.


Despite the fact a great deal of records concerning the school are not available, it is known that Miss Beatrice Joyce was one of the teachers.  Possibly, she could be considered "dean" of Kage School as she taught there for 12 years.  Miss Joyce began teaching in the "brick schoolhouse" in 1915 and remained there for four years.  Returning in 1921, she taught until 1929.


Salary for Miss Joyce in 1924 was $55.00 a month.  Teaching 1st grade thru 8th grade in a one-room schoolhouse had to be quite a job back in 1924. Look at her schedule for the day!


September 2, 1924 to April 25, 1925


8:50 – 9:00 Exercise

9:00 – 9:20 Arithmetic – 8th grade

9:20-9:35 Numbers – 1st and 2nd grades

9:30-9:50 Arithmetic – 4th grade

9:50-10:05 Arithmetic – 6 grade

10:05-10:20 Gramer – 8th grade

10:20-10:35 ALL RECESS

10:35-10:45 Reading – 1st grade

10:45-10:55 Reading – 2nd grade

10:55-11:10 History and Spelling – 6th grade

11:10-11:25 History and Government – 8th grade

11:25-11:45 Reading – 3rd and 4th grades

11:45-12:00 Reading – 8th grade

12:00 – 1:00 NOON

1:00-1:15 Reading and Spelling – 1st and 2nd grades

1:15-1:30 Reading and Language – 3rd grade

1:30-1:45 Agriculture – 6th and 8th grades

1:45-2:00 Language – 4th grade


2:20-2:35 RECESS

2:35-2:45 Story and Spelling – 1st and 2nd grades

2:45-2:55 Spelling – 3rd grade

2:55-3:10 History and Spelling – 4th grade

3:10-3:25 Geography-8th grade

3:25-3:40 Geography – 6th grade

3:40-3:55 Health – 8th grade


*That year Beatrice Joyce had 40 pupils at Kage School

1st grade – 4

2nd grade – 7

3rd grade – 2

4th grade – 8

5th grade – 5

6th grade – 6

8th grade - 8




The Cape Girardeau County Genealogical Society was organized in May 1970, a non-profit organization, its primary purpose is education in the field of genealogy. Membership is open to individuals upon payment of the annual dues of $10, or a couple for $15, per year, beginning in May. Life membership is available for a one-time payment of $250.

CGCGS publishes a quarterly "The Collage of Cape County" in March, June, September, and December, sent free to members. All members are encouraged to submit articles for publication.


Cape Girardeau County Genealogical Society
PO Box 571, Jackson, MO 63755
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The CGCGS Library is located in the Research Room at the Cape Girardeau County Archive Center, 112 East Washington, Jackson, MO and is open during regular Archive Center hours. Our meetings are held at The Cape Girardeau County Archive Center, 112 East Washington in Jackson MO, bimonthly in January, March, May, July, September, and November on the fourth Tuesday at 7:00 p.m., unless announced otherwise.


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