KAGE SCHOOL . . . A ONE-ROOM SCHOOLHOUSE
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
2:00 – 2:20 ALL WRITING AND DRAWING
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