The writer of the foregoing facts does not think the remarks on the "Buck Swamp Set" of the Bethea family would be complete unless something was said about the old Hofwyl School which was quite a factor to this set of Betheas in the way of education.

About 1853, the most prominent and well to do men of this set with the assistance of a few outside of the family, saw the necessity and importance of establishing a good School in the community accessible to all held a meeting and took steps to build a School house at the most convenient point, which was on the Mars Bluff and Little Rock road, about half way between the homes of Philip Bethea and John C. Bethea.

The School was named Hofwyl by Mr. Sellers, one of the board of trustees, from a noted School in Switzerland, taught by a man by the name of Hellensberg (?). This was a famous School and was patronized by students from different countries in Europe. It was at its zenith 1840.

The first building was burnt but the trustees immediately began to erect another which was finished in a few months. During the construction of the second building, the School was taught in a tenant house on lands of James R. Bethea. The boys called it Turnersville from old man Turner, who lived near by. This was the first School the writer ever attended.

The first teacher was Wm. McDuffie who was studying to be a Presbyterian minister. He may have been a good scholar, the writer was too young to judge, but now looking back on that period and recalling what he saw, he is fully convinced, that McDuffie was a poor teacher. The trustees must have thought he was something extra, for they hired him at least three times. This School almost from the beginning was patronized by people outside of the community. Britton's Neck ? up quite a number, Little Rock had representation and even Marlboro had several. My experience with McDuffie covered his last year except the short term at Turnersville. He had poor discipline and the Scholars, especially the big ones, did almost as they pleased. He had quite a number of young men, and they were what you might call bad boys, always up to some devilment. One of the chief things that recommended McDuffie to the trustees, I suppose, was because he whipped a good deal. The trustees thought that this was very necessary and a teacher that did not use the rod was no account. McDuffie filled the specification in this respect and hardly a day passed, but somebody got a whipping. His whipping performances were mostly confined to the lads and smaller boys. The big boys would make him mad and he jumped on the smaller ones. The writer was one of these and his memory is very clear on this subject. He could only think or observe one thing at the time. If a Scholar, for instance wished an example in Arithmetic worked out he would become so absorbed as to be totally oblivious to his surroundings. The school soon observed this and made use of it. Sometimes things would become so outrageous, he would realize that something wrong was going on, and then he would jump up, grab his switch and commence whaling the small boys. We saw that we were getting a lot of whipping the big boys ought to get and consequently we studied how to avoid a whipping. The small boys occupied low seats near the teacher arranged in rows. When he whipped, he went at it systematically commencing on the first row, then the second and so on until he finished all the rows. While he was at it he was completely absorbed in the business and took in nothing else. Some of us took in his system and acted upon it. If you happened to be, say on the third row and wished to escape a whipping, it was a simple matter to move your seat to the row number two, he had just finished. This scheme worked admirably for a while but soon too many boys got to using it and had to be abandoned. When a scheme failed to work or went out of practice we would devise another.

The trustees required the teachers in opening School, to read a chapter in the Bible and have a prayer. The prayer was made kneeling and the teacher's back was to the pupils. There was more devilment carried on during prayers than any other time. The prayer, without exception, was a regular stereotyped edition and it was not long before most of us, knew it from beginning to end. The boys could always regulate their pranks during prayer so as not to be caught when he said "amen". The writer has seen balls rolled over the floor or thrown across the room to be caught by other boys. Has seen some of the most venturesome boys go out into the middle of the floor and pile up one another lengthwise, until the bottom one was pressed so hard by the pile of boys, he could scarcely breathe. If it turned suddenly cold and the teacher directed a fire to be made at recess, the boys would pile on wood until the fire came out at the chimney tops. Sometimes the chimney fire places would begin to smoke and the teacher on investigating the cause, would find a wide board over the top of the chimney and a ladder resting against it. He never could find out who did it. The big boys would not tell. These boys seemed to study devilment all the time. Anything for fun.

The School was what you may call a high School with a preparatory department. Scholars had the opportunity to prepare for as high as the Junior class in college, but very few at that time went off to college. Now and then one would go. Most of the teachers had a lady assistant. The School room was divided by a partition the girls and small boys in one end and the lads and large boys in the other. This School was certainly not a success if acquiring learning is the criterion. some of the older ones learned fairly well, but these would have progressed in almost any School. The curriculum began with Webster's Blue Back Speller for beginners. It usually took about a year in this to qualify for the reader; then came the various readers and Smith's English Grammar. This completed the English course. Mathematics consisted of Davies Arithmetic, Algebra and Geometry. Latin and Greek were taught from text books that would now (1916) be considered antiquated and out of date. They had few notes or explanations. What a Student got out of them, he did it by hard work. The student if he prepared a lesson as it should be, remembered it for a long time. Some never did forget their Latin and Greek learned under these difficulties. These were the books generally used in all the Schools at that time (1853) and most of the first class teachers could teach them or pretended to. The higher branches were generally deep water to most of them but with the assistance of "ponics" and other helps, they managed to get along and in most instances not expose their ignorance. The trustees took it for granted that they were competent. They could not examine them for some of them were almost as ignorant as the once upon a time board, who examined the teacher and told him he would do, was allright but before they employed him, they would like to know how he taught "geography". "Do you teach that the world is round or flat?" The teacher realized that he was between the "devil and the deep sea" and for a moment was at a loss what reply to give; for if he said one or the other, it might not suit them, and he would get no job; but he was quite a resourceful fellow and he said to the board, "I always teach geography as the board desires it. If they want the round method, I teach that and if they desire the flat system, I teach it". The board told him they wished the flat system taught. He got the School.

A large number of the students were young men and women about grown. A good deal of courting was always going on. Notes and billex doux were constantly passing and sometimes the teacher would get hold of some, but no great fuss was made about it. These Schools became so crowded that the School room could not accommodate the Students, so the larger boys were allowed to study out in the woods near the School house. They built shanties and in good weather were comfortable. The teacher would steal out occasionally and catch the boys playing cards, stick frog or some other game. Sometimes he would find the shanties vacant, the boys being away on a raid on somebody's orchard or water-melon patch.

I did not learn much at this School. Sometimes a whole day would pass without a recitation. I was a little fellow, swallowed up by the crowd of students, so escaped the teacher's notice.

These are about the main facts, that made impressions on my mind while going to McDuffie's School. The School always closed with a big exhibition and a public dinner, sometimes there would be theatricals or a grand party at night.

Some prominent speaker would be invited on this occasion to make an address. I remember some of these speakers viz; John C. McCluraghan, Harris Covington, Robert McKinnon, Jellonroe Johnson, John O. Wilson and others.

The next teacher was Harris Covington of Marlborough County. He had just graduated at the South Carolina College with honor. He was exceptionally brillant and had an intellect of high order. There was no question of his competency. He was a thorough Scholar. He never hesitated at any difficulty the Student presented. He had fair order but things generally went on like they did at McDuffie's School. He had the same crowd of boys and they had not grown any better. He did not have the Bible reading or prayer. He was not a praying man and, I suppose, he did not wich to play hypocrite. I think now it was a good education. His sister was his assistant and consequently the small boys were placed under her care. There was not as much whipping as previous Schools, but there was enough for the trustees not to complain for the lack of it. I think as a whole there was more studying, but the School lacked system. Mr. Covington was not made for a teacher, his teaching was entirely prefunctory. He used the rod pretty freely, mostly on the lads and small boys, but now and then he would tackle a big one. The trustees thought he was a prodigy. They knew he was smart and therefore he must be a good teacher. They employed him again later but his terms were not successive. I regard Mr. Covington as a School teacher a decided failure, at least, so far as young Students were concerned. He boarded with John R. Bethea and they were great friends as long as they lived. It is said they used to frolic together on Saturdays and sometimes even on Sundays. His association with old man John R. assisted to make him eventually a drunkard. John R. during those days were very frolicsome and drank a good deal. Covington's first School was in 1857 and 1858.

The next teacher was Wm. Jasper McKerall from North Carolina. This was his first introduction to South Carolina where finally he made his home until he died. McKerall was a most excellent teacher and his school was one of the best I ever attended. He had a fine system with good discipline, and all the pupils, that could learn, progressed finely. His sister Miss Mary McKerall assisted him. She could hear recitations and that was about all; she did not know how to teach, and, I suppose, nobody but her brother knew it. He did not tell the trustees, you know. She had no order. I have seen McKeral often come into the room and tell her she must have better order, that really the disorder was annoying him on his side. I was small and consequently stayed in her department. I had not been in there long before I was impressed with the fact that the State of North Carolina was a great place. She was constantly talking about her State what a grand State it was, and what it had done. The Meckleseburg Declaration of Independence was one of her favorite themes. The small boy's mind is very receptive, and it was not long before I was thinking very favorably of our sister commonwealth. I thought it must be the place of all others. Occasionally, I would receive a shock from a big boy or girl who ridiculed the idea. During her term a rather funny incident took place and which I witnessed so I relate it here.

In addition to the smaller classes, a class in geography came in daily from McKerall's side to be heard by her. This class was well grown up and advanced, big boys and girls. She heard this class because her brother did not have the time. Well, on this certain occasion, at the proper time, this class filed in and became seated. As soon as the lesson began, I noticed it was about North Carolina, and Miss Mary began to spread herself on her favorite theme to the utter disgust of some of the class. After a while she came to the question, "What is North Carolina noted for?" The answer in the book was, "Tar, pitch and turpentine", but the boy who got the question made the following answer, "Tar, pitch, turpentine, mullatoes, shingle gillies, ditchers and School teachers". The class all laughed heartily and Miss Mary suddenly took a duck fit. She said she would not stand it. Her state to be ridiculed in that manner was beyond bearing. She went on at such a rate and made so much noise that old McKerall, as we called him behind his back, opened the door and said, "What is all this about?" She related what had taken place and singled out the boy, who had the audacity to amend on his own hook the geographical answer in the book. I thought the situation a very grave one and expected the boy to get a whipping, then and there, but McKerall instead of giving the boy a flogging, burst out laughing and said the answer was the best he ever heard, and that the boy must not be punished. When you come to think about it the answer was a very good one for at that period a good many people of the laboring class, having such occupations and complexions came from North Carolina to get employment. Almost all of the School teachers were from that State.

 

McKerall did his whipping in the hand. He had a good sized switch and made you hold out your hand. I can certify that it hurts. The small boys did not get all the thrashings now and then a good sized would have to take one. One day, McKerall undertook to whip one of the big boys, one about grown. The boy refused to come up and take it when called on. McKerall got up and started towards him and the boy walked out of the School house. McKerall followed him to the door and told him he never went outside the door to pursue a pupil. Those at the windows saw why McKerall did not go out. The boy had taken up a big stick and was waiting for him to come out. A few days after this, a boy about the same age or older, but spare and deliate, ran out of the School house and McKerall ran after him some distance from the School house. He knew who to run, and who not to. All of the boys were hoping McKerall would go out after the boy for they wanted to see the fight. The boys handed out his hat and books and the boy went home.

McKerall's School was certainly a great School. He has done more for the community in this respect than all the previous Schools combined. If he had had the now up to date books, the modern School conveniences in an up to date building there is no telling what he would have accomplished as a teacher.

McKerall always read a chapter in the Bible and had a prayer as an opening service. He like the others had a prayer of the sterotyped form. I remember very well the first day I went to his School. I was small and very timid. I did not know but what he was like. McDuffie who whipped so much, so I kept in the background. I remember distinctly the chapter he read. It was the first chapter in the New Testament. This chapter, you know is nothing more than a genealogical table and the word "begat" occurs very frequently. It struck me as quite strange that the teacher would make such a selection, but it was not long before I solved the riddle. His object was to read the book through, so he had started at the beginning and he continued from day to day to read each succeeding chapter until he finished the book. He could certainly say truthfully that he had read the New Testament through for he had many witnesses to the fact. The trustees thought he was really religious and they would talk about their pious teacher's say. "He opens his School with prayer and every Monday morning each pupil has a Bible recitation". He, certainly had them fooled.

When he left that community and settled in Marion, and began to practice law he was anything but religious. Maybe he back slided or fell from grace. I am afraid Old Hofwyl heard his last prayer. During McKerall's School an incident took place in which I figured very prominently. Quite a number of boys always reached the School house very early, long before it was time for the teacher to arrive. On a certain morning we were all there as usual, in and out of the School room having a big time. I always had a little talent for drawing, and to create some fun I drew McKerall's picture on the blackboard almost life size, and wrote underneath, "This is old McKerall". The picture was a ludicrous representation of the teacher, one of the artist's masterpieces. It was a source of much fun to the boys. Every new arrival was led up and took in the picture, and there would be a new burst of merriment. The artist was quite elated and was unconscious of the passing time. He intended to rub it out before the teacher came. This opportunity was not allowed him for all at once, the teacher walked in and called "books". The picture was left on the board and I thought as the last straw, possibly, it might be over looked and at recess I would rub it out, but not so, for as soon as the School settled to their studies, I noticed that different ones were pointing to the board, and soon there was a general titter throughout the room. McKerall observed that something on the board was causing the merriment. He walked up to the board and took in the picture and the title. He returned to his seat and asked, "Who drew that picture on the board?" I saw at once that he did not appreciate the effort of the artist and saw breakers ahead. Some boy, the like of which you find in all Schools said that I did it. I thought my time had come. He called me up and directed me to go and rub it out. I did so, taking more time than necessary for I wished to put off the punishment as long as possible. I finally rubbed it all out and slowly returned to the teacher. He said, "Take your seat." I felt much relieved.

The next teacher was Mr. Covington again. The School resumed its old time habits practiced in his former school. Nothing worthy of note took place. This was the first year of the Civil War and before the session was over Mr. Covington and the grown up boys volunteered and went to the war.

To teach the next School, the trustees employed Archibald McGoogaw of North Carolina. About this time there were some changes in the personel of the board of trustees some dropping out and new ones coming in. Stephen Fore was one of the new members.

McGoogaw was a very good man, a poor Scholar and an inferior teacher. He knew Davies Old Arithmetic by heart but could not explain the main difficulties. He would work these questions mechanically. He knew what figures would solve the problem and knew how to arrange them for this purpose but he could not make you understand it. His Latin text books were mostly Bullion's editions except Virgil which was Cooper's. He had taught these books so long he had no trouble with the translations. He had a Latin class and I belonged to it. Boys not inclined to study are always trying to work some place to fool the teacher. We had such a boy in our class and he was continually calling on some of the class to read the lesson of his particular period for him. We always recited the lesson by periods and generally sat in the same order every day. So one might possibly manage to get through and receive credit for a good lesson and only prepare a certain period. He knew from the order in which we sat exactly what period would fall to him; so if he could get some of us to read his period, his Latin lesson would not be much of a task. This became so common and annoying that he had trouble to get help. One morning, soon after getting to the School house, he came up and begged and implored me to read his period for him. The lesson was in Bullion's Latin Reader under the head of "Anecdotes of Eminent Persons" and this special lesson was about "Damon and Pychias" and his period embraced this sentence; "Rex nullum mileterm habait fideloreus Pychia" and the translation was "The king had no soldier more faithful than Pythias." We used the English pronunciation of the Latin. I saw from the Latin words an opportunity to make a joke which would amuse the class. So I told him I would read it for him this one last time, and commenced to translate calling out each Latin word and giving its English meaning in this way; "Rex, the king, habait had, nullum miletern, no soldier, fideloreus that could play the fiddle better, Pythia than Pythias." He was a little suspicious, caused, no doubt, from the word "fiddle" being in the translation. He said "Now you are trying to fool me that not right." I kept a straight face and told him it was all right. I said "Why don't you see the word fideloreus (short I), sounds like fiddle, that is the word from which fiddle is derived." The similarity of sound of the Latin and English seemed to convince him and he accepted my translation in good faith. He went over it again and again learning it perfectly. I told some of the class what I had done and when we were called up to recite, we took our seats in the usual order and the recitation began. This boy was about fourth or fifth down the row and I noticed from his manner that he was anxious for his time to come. It was not long when the teacher called on him for the next period. He arose and read it exactly as he had been coached; using a little more emphasis than usual on account of I suppose, his unusual good preparation. The class roared with laughter. The teacher came near laughing, but he managed to curb himself and instantly roared out, "What do you mean, Sir? Are you trying to ridicule my School?" The boy said he was not. He thought he was reading it right. That was the way it was read to him. I was really sorry for him and almost regretted playing the joke. The teacher gave him quite a lecture and tried to shame him for not studying. That boy never asked for my help after that. It turned out to be a good lesson to him; it completely reformed him. He became one of the best in the class.

McGoogaw seemed to know the wishes of the trustees relative to whipping and you could not accuse him for lack of diligence in that respect. He was a general whipper and kept always on hand a big supply of switches of considerable length and size, in the corner by his seat. I have seen his switches rake the joists of the Schoolhouse in their tremendous sweeps. We all deserved a whipping from him, but for all that we continued to be bad boys, and would take the risk in order to have fun. I have seen boys come to school with an extra heavy coat, when they knew they had to take a whipping. I have seen him begin to feel for his switches, while he was saying the last sentences of his prayer, so when he arose he could begin to whip for some devilment during prayer. He did not know who it was or did he ask, but he knew about where it had been going on, and there he would do his work covering a plenty of territory in order to be certain that he would get all who had been cutting up.

McGoogaw always closed his school each day with a big spelling lesson. This class was composed of nearly all the pupils. Webster's Blue Back Speller was the only Speller used in those days. Friday afternoon of each week was devoted to speaking and compositions. We made our own selections of subjects. For a speech if we could get hold of something humorous, so much the better especially poetry. You would hear on these occasions most anything from "Mary had a Little Lamb" up to selections from the most famous orators such as Webster, Hayne, Patrick Henry and others. "Casiblanca or "The Boy Stood on the Burning Deck" was worn thread bare. These occasions were opportunities for much fun to the most of us and generally speaking some of the boys would get a whipping before the exercises were over, for some of their pranks. Compositions always followed speaking. They gave us more fun than the speeches. We selected our own subjects, and if blank paper was not handy, we were allowed to write on our slates. The teacher always gave notice that he would take no excuse for not having a speech and a composition, and if you had none you might expect a whipping. A great many of the boys never thought of writing composition until about the time the exercises were to begin. You could see boys all over the room busy fixing up something to read and avoid a thrashing. They did not care much what sort it was good or bad it made no difference. Sometimes some of the boys would be pressed for time and when called on had hardly begun to compose, but they would get up and read from a blank slate their pretended compositions and to give their minds time to work in composing they would pretend to dot i's or cross t's and so on to the close. If a boy read from a blank slate, he always, the moment he finished, rubbed out his pretended composition. The teacher would say, "Why did you erase it? I wished to see it, to correct it," but the boy would answer that he did it unintentionally or that he did not know he wished to see it. I remember on one occasion, a certain boy in the school, who was awfully afraid of the teacher, came to Bill Bethea and myself and begged us to help him with a composition. He said if he did not have one the teacher would whip him. He was very much distressed and continued to plead with us to help him. We told him to write any little thing, something about a dog or a cow or a horse that he could say something on a subject like that, but he said it was impossible, he could not think of a thing to say, and here it was almost time for the exercises to begin. We asked him if he knew any piece of poetry, that told about the flowers, spring time or some such subject, hoping to find something in these that would suggest some ideas on which he could build a short composition. "No", he said, "I don't know any poetry like that, I did once know a little piece I use to say". "Well, can't you repeat it to us; we can tell you if it will do", we said. Here is the first verse as he repeated it.

"The bullfrog goes Mooneyham! Mooneyham! Catch a lamb! Catch a lamb! I can make a shoe, as good as old Billy Dew." and so on. He had about three verses all such doggerel as this quoted here, and we saw at once a good chance to create some fun, so we told him it was the very thing, and we hurriedly wrote it down in full as he repeated it to us. The names mentioned were people in the neighborhood. After it was finished and we had him to read it over more than once so he would make no mistake, we told him it was just one of the best compositions that would be read that afternoon. He seemed delighted that he now had a composition, especially one so good. By this time the exercises were in full blast, several had read their efforts; and it was not long before the teacher called out, "James Rogers!" that was the boys name. He immediately got up and walked out into the open space in front of the teacher and the whole school and began to read; and by the time he had completed the first verse, he had attracted the attention of all the pupils; they had never seen or heard anything in the composition line like this and soon a general titter was noticeable throughout the room. He had now begun the second verse and the teacher, by this time took in both the character of the composition and the merriment it was causing, yelled out, "What do you mean, Sir? Are you trying to make fun of this exercise, Sir? Do you call such stuff as that a composition? I will teach you a lesson, come up here." The boy was dumfounded and scared out of his wits. The composition was received so differently from what he expected. He stood trembling before the teacher. In the meantime Bill and I were almost busting with laughter; everything had panned out so nicely, and we were enjoying the fun it was causing. The teacher whip in hand again asked him what he meant by such conduct. He told the teacher he thought the composition was a good one for they told him so. We were taking in the conversation, and when he said "they" it looked to us that we might be called on to explain our connection with the matter. "Whom do you mean by 'they'?" the teacher asked. He called our names and we were ordered up. Now, we had not calculated on this turn, and the thing was to make some excuse that would prevent a whipping, so we had to do some fast thinking. My partner was a resourceful fellow and I let him do the explaining. It looked gloomy for us, according to my view. He told the teacher that our purpose was to teach him a lesson, reform him like. We assured him that this was our motive. The teacher said if such was our motive it was commendable and that he hoped our lesson would bear fruit, good fruit, and we went to our seats. Rogers never called on us again to help him write compositions. Now, the teacher took our explanation in good faith, he did not know that we had invented the excuse on the spur of the moment.

McGoogaw and some of his oldest pupils in 1864 had to go to the war and the school closed.

The next teacher was JW St. Clair who hailed from Kentucky. He drifted into our neighboorhood, I think in 1866 and the trustees employed him. He was a strange character. He was a fine teacher as far as he knew and what he did not know, he pretended to know and on this account he was constantly getting into holes. He said he had been educated at such and such a place. He told this so differently so many times nobody believed him; but he certainly had received a pretty fair education somewhere and what he knew, he knew thoroughly but he would occasionally overstep himself and, if he became cornered, he did not hesitate to make statements that were untrue. He claimed to be a Confederate Colonial but he never could exactly establish it. He was a gifted conversationalist and always had on hand a store of anicdotes of remininiscincs in which he was the hero. He said his native state was Kentucky, but this was very doubtful for he really lacked common-geographical knowledge of that commonwealth. Old man, Capt. Elisha C. Bethea put him into a hole on a certain river in that state. He felt safe, he thought, in the old Captain's company to assert that a certain river in Kentucky rose in a certain place and flowed into a certain other river. The old man told him he was wrong, but St. Clair visited that he was right. The old Captain sent for his atlas and proved he was right. St. Clair did not know that the old Captain was an expert in this study, but he was more particular afterwards when around the Captain.

He had the manners of a Chesterfield, and there is no question about his knowledge of polite society and he must have had good training in his early years. He would give us an occasional lecture on good manners which some needed very much. He was one of the best fishermen you ever saw. He always brought home fish. He could tell you some big fish stories. There were very few streams South of Mason & Dickson's line in which he had not fished. You could hardly mention a place but he had been there or mighty close to it. He would get on occasional drunk, was a great gambler at times, and at one time, even joined the Radical party and chummed with the niggers. He repeated this lush act and the people overlooked it and continued to employ him.

His school was a good one and patronized by people outside of the community. His School exhibitions were grand affairs, and he had the knack of showing off what his School was doing, which impressed the patrons in a high degree. He pretended to teach Greek but his knowledge of that language did not extend far beyond the alphabet. He did not have any Bible reading or prayer in opening his School. I don't know why, but, I suppose, it was because at this time the members of the board of trustees were less puritanical than formerly, I suppose. St. Clair would have done so if they had insisted on it. Consistency was not a factor in his make up. He seldom whipped anybody. He did not believe in it he said. He had a model School for the times; fine discipline and excellant order. His School was quite as good as McKerall's if not better. The boys had a heap of fun, but the School management did not give them the opportunity some of the previous Schools did. I remember a funny incident that occurred in our class in Rhetoric. The class had as a lesson an exercise under the subject of "Hyperbole". We had several examples to transform into hyperbolical experssions and the first one was; "The height of the waves of the ocean during a storm". When the class was called and became seated the teacher told Bill Bethea to go to the board and transform the first example which is the one quoted above. Here is what he wrote on the board: "During a storm, at sea, the waves of the ocean ran so high, they washed the angels out of the lower part of heaven". This extraordinary exaggeration caused quite a laugh in the class. St. Clair said, "O, that's overdoing the thing. Why that's blasphamy." Bill said he thought he wanted exaggeration and he was giving it first class.

St. Clair had as his assistant the widow of Pickett Bethea. They were married at the close of the School and went to Georgia where he taught school.

The foregoing are the different Schools we had at old Hofwyel from 1853 to 1869.

So far as these Schools are concerned there is no doubt that the Schools of McKerall and St. Clair wre the best. The others might as well not been taught, really, it would have been better had the pupils been at home at work on the farm.

After St. Clair left a new era began and the School at Hofwyl was of a more modern character. New men and new methods. Nothing of the old time nature clung to it.

John C. Sellers taught in 1869.

The next teacher was John A. Kelly, who was followed by Philip Y. Bethea. His school was the last.

The following is a list of the students who attended at least one or two of the schools of McDuffie, Covington, McKerall, McGoogan and St. Clair:

J. C. Finklea

Wm Finklea

Agnes Finklea

E. Bethea Jr.

Pickett P. Bethea

Morgan S. Bethea

Wilmina R. Bethea

Augusta Bethea

Alice Bethea

W. W. Bethea

J. N. Bethea

Jesse P. Bethea

Kate R. Bethea

Jas D Bethea

P. Y. Bethea

E. J. Bethea

D. M. L. Bethea

Clara E. Bethea

M. Belle Bethea

R.L. Bethea

Hugh G. Fladger

Lizzie Fladger

Fannie Fladger

Jas Fladger

Nora Fladger

Ellen Fladger

Joseph Steed

Henry Baggett

Peter Baggett

Milton Stackhouse

Robert Stackhouse

Wm Manning

Jas. R. Jackson

Jeff A. Jackson

Frank Jackson

Jos. J. Bethea

Almira Bethea

Addie Bethea

L.S. Bethea

H.C. Bethea

Thos. C. Bethea

E.A. Bethea

L.B. Rogers

Pinckoney Tart

Pink McKibben

Wm Jordan (Cherain SC)

John C. Sellers

Annie J. Sellers

W.W. Sellers

P.B. Sellers

Mary O. Sellers

Maggie Mace

Lucinda Mace

G.J. Fore

Flora J. Fore

Amanda Fore

Florence Fore

Russell Fore

O.C. Fore

Annie Fore

Andrew J. Bethea

D.N. Bethea

Louisa Bethea

Flora J. Bethea

Kattie Bethea

S. J. Bethea Jr.

J.B. Moore

Charlotte Bethea

Lucinda Bethea

Wm Crawford

G.G. Crawford

A.J. Bass

T. J. Bass

Rosa Bass

Araminta Bass

Robt. Hennigan

M.Q. Bryan

Neill Bass

Robt. Bass

Edgar Bass

F.M. Godbold

Augusta Richardson

Alice Richardson

Lizzie Woodbery (or Julia)

W.B. Atkinson

Thos. Hargrove

R.L. Lane

R.K. Clark

J. Calvin Clarke

Frank Emanuel

W. H. Bethea

W.A. Bethea

Jno D. Bethea

Belle Bethea

Geo. J. Bethea

Charlotte Bethea

Lon Bethea

Henry L. Bethea

Houston Norton

Woodbery Norton

Eaves Shaw

T. C. Moody

Albert C. Moody

E.B. Berry

Thos. Berry

Ashton Berry

Wm Berry

John Berry

Jos E. Jernigan

J.F. White and two sisters

Truss Waters

Alfred Waters

James Sanderson

Geo. Sanderson

Ellen Sanderson

P.S.Dew

D.M. Dew

J.L. Dew

W.E. Bethea

G.C. Bethea

A.L.Bethea

Bettie Bethea

Ella Jenkins

Rebecca Palmer

Ida Hays

Mary Witson

Wm Shucleford (Hung)

J.G. Huseldon

Gregg Mace

Maleon McGoogan

John C. Bethea

Kenneth Murdock

John Edwards

James Edwards

Mel Edwards

W.M. Monroe

Robt. Monroe

David Monroe

E.M. Tart

H.G. Price

B. S. Ellis

J. Albert Smith

J. M. Bethea

Lawrence Bethea

Augustus B. Bethea

W. M. Bethea

Jno. B. Bethea

W. J. Watson

Milton Watson

Jas. R. Watson

Kittie Bethea

Asbury Jackson

F.S. Jackson and two sisters

Wesley Stackhouse

Armand Legette

Geo. Munnerlyn

Jesse Snow

Thos. Bruce (40 yrs. old at the time)

Mouzon Price

Robert Hennegan

Jas A. Bethea

Rod McLucus

Susan Smith

Henry Tart

Jas Galloway

Lige Ellen

Bob Ellen

Wm Ellen and two sisters

Mary Lester

Bob Lester

Chris Shaw

Bill Seveab

Dare Caider

John Mears.

The following incident occurred during St. Clairs School: Several days after the opening of the first session James B. Moore and Samuel J. Bethea Jr. came to enroll as students. This was their first School and consequently they were green as the grass as to the ways and customs of School. Soon after the School had assembled and School work had begun, these two boys walked into the School room and took seats on the nearest bench. In a short time St. Clair called them up to his desk and the following conversation took place: "What is your name?" St. Clair asked Sam J. Bethea Jr. He replied "My name is Sam". St. Clair told him that it was not right to reply in that way, that when he was asked his name, he should say Samuel and not Sam. While this was going on James B. Moore was standing by and waiting his turn to be questioned by the teacher. He quickly decided not to be caught like Sam; so when the teacher asked him "And what is your name, Sir?" He replied "Jimuel, Sir". This incident caused quite a row of laughter in the School and James B. Moore is called "Jimuel" to this day (1916) by a great many who are familiar with the incident.