The Richmond Register

Lifestyles & Community

August 28, 2013

Pigs visit school house

NEWBY — Pigs visit school house

To start this story, I thought I would write a little on what I found on mimeograph or ditto machines, the beginning of what we call copy machines and whatever the new digital things are called.

In 1870 ,Thomas Edison patented what he called the electric pen, the original copier. Then in 1887, A.B. Dick of Chicago perfected it with his mimeograph machine. With his invention, one person with a typewriter and this machine became their own printing factory.

A stencil that you had typed was put on the drum of the machine. and ink was forced through the stencil to make the copy. It was a pretty messy process.

Now, in about 1945/46 the folks who ran Newby School decided they were in need of one these machines. The first step was, of course, to find the funds for it.

Ruth Turner was teacher and principle at the time, and she came up with the idea of gathering walnuts from the many trees in the area and finding a market for them. They soon found a man in Mt. Vernon who would buy them by the sack full.

She would choose a few of the boys in class to go out and gather the walnuts. Orville Newby and Bill Prewitt were always part of any group because they new every holler and tree in the area.

It was great fun in the beginning to hunt walnuts, then play awhile, then hunt some more. But as with all boys, this soon became boring with no new adventure added to it.

One particular day, Orville and Bill were sent out on there own. They hunted for a while and came up on the fence line of Clyde Long's property, where he had an old sow and her pigs. They decided it would be great fun to bag the pigs and bring them into the school.

They climbed the fence and chased them round and round. They knew if you caught them by a hind leg they usually wouldn’t squeal, but Bill’s put up a good fight. He finally wrestled it into his sack, losing his glasses in the battle.

When both boys had their pigs in a sack and they had climbed back over the fence, Bill realized he had to go over the fence again to find his glasses.

After searching in the mud a while he found them and they headed back to school, adding their sacks to the bagged walnuts in a corner of the classroom.

It wasn’t long before one or two of the girls in the class room noticed the sacks were moving and started to scream.

Mrs. Turner knew the boys had done who knows what and told them to open the sacks, which they gladly did.

Out came the pigs which made the girls scream all the more and climb to the top of their desks, which made the pigs squeal all the louder as terror and laughter filled the room.

Mrs. Turner ordered the boys to return the pigs and gave them mischievous students a good tongue lashing.

But you should know that the school earned that new mimeograph machine from the walnut sales!

I can hear Mrs. Turner now saying,”Whew, I’m glad this school year is over”.

Contact me at or 859-625-0355


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