February 2019

Education Part IV: from Elma Mae Leggett to Cathy Spiker Gregis

The Point Pleasant School

Education Part IV: from Elma Mae Leggett to Cathy Spiker Gregis

By Bobbi Spiker-Conley

Elma Mae Leggett taught at the Summers School. Her father, Nathan “Hedrick” Leggett, and uncle, James “Okey” Leggett, attended the nearby Point Pleasant School. Okey later became a teacher there, as did our Aunt Alice (Williams) Spiker. All of that was unknown to Cathy (Spiker) and Larry Gregis when they purchased the property and school house in 2013. Fortunately, Elma Mae was happy to provide Cathy with some of the school’s history. She wrote the following after interviewing her cousin, Floyd “Bradley” Leggett, who was a student to Aunt Alice at the school.      

(If you missed the first two parts, we talked about Sunday school in November and the Sunny Point school in December .)

Cathy and Larry's new property in West Union, WV, 2013

The Point Pleasant School

By Elma Mae Leggett

Granville Nutter donated land to be used for the Point Pleasant School.

There have been two schools in this location.

Names of some of the teachers:

  • Okey Leggett
  • Inez Tustin
  • Freda Hill
  • Gwendolyn Nutter
  • Alice Spiker

School was closed in the fall of 1943.

There was a platform at the front of the class room. It was about 6 inches high. It had the teacher’s desk and a recitation bench on it. The blackboard was in front also.

It had two rows of double seats for larger children and two rows of seats for smaller children. Three children sat in each seat.

The first school had a coal stove in the middle of the class room. The second school had a gas stove in the middle of the room. They had gas lights.

They had two outside toilets. The girls’ toilet was by the road. The boys’ toilet was back of the school down over a little bank.

They had a water well that used a bailer to get water. Later on they had a water pump. Children had tin cups that they drank water out of.

Everyone brought their lunch to school. During the last two years of school, the teacher cooked bowls of rice and raisins for the children. She made potato soup. She made hot cocoa for the children to drink. She made peanut butter sandwiches.

The attendance at the school was usually 57 or more. Names of some of the families that had children attending the school:

  • Adams
  • Bee
  • Cumpston
  • Day
  • Hileman
  • Jones
  • Leggett
  • Lipscomb
  • and Nutter

Before Christmas time the boys would go to the woods and get a pine tree to decorate. The children would make paper decorations for the tree. They also painted pine cones and hung them on the tree. It was very pretty.

They usually had a “Box Social” during the fall while the weather was still warm. Girls fixed pretty boxes to be sold. The boxes were filled with sandwiches, cookies and fruit. The boxes were auctioned off and sold to the highest bidder. The boy that bought the box got to eat with the girl. The girls always hoped their boyfriends would buy their box.

They had cake walks. Everyone paid ten cents to walk. They walked in a circle. One person was blindfolded. He was holding a broom. (He was standing in the center.) After a period of time, he would let the broom fall in front of someone. They won the cake.

Parents would bring wrapped packages to be auctioned. You didn’t know what you would be getting. Sometimes it would be a funny surprise.

They had a fish pond. Little children would fish for a prize. A small gift would be put on the end of their fishing line.

Sometimes they auctioned cakes and pies.

“Box Socials” were held to make money for the school. Usually they made pretty well. Parents enjoyed getting together with neighbors.

Two swamps froze over in the winter time. The boys and girls would go there and ice skate at recess.

When the weather was good, they would play baseball in the road. Sometimes they played tag or base. There wasn’t much traffic on the road so they used it as a playground.

Mary Nutter bought the school house when it was sold. She paid $300 for it. 

It was used for a dwelling for a number of years.

     Written by: Elma Mae Leggett, Jan. 14, 2014
     Told to me by: Bradley Leggett. He attended school at Point Pleasant
     My father, Hedric Leggett, attended this school. (Elma M. Leggett)

The Point Pleasant School as seen from the road behind it.

Other Notes:

Cathy Spiker-Gregis took the following notes when she spoke to Elma Mae about the Point Pleasant School:

  • The school may have been called Point Pleasant School [which is what we have chosen to call it. Bobbi has heard others refer to it as the Center Point School or Centerpoint School. This may explain Elma Mae’s notation of there having been TWO schools at that location.]

  • The school closed in the fall of 1943. Elma Mae moved into the area in 1944. She began teaching [at the Summers school] in 1946.

  • The floors in the old schools were oiled in order to keep the dust down.

  • The smaller children would listen to the older children from each grade. It was a good learning situation.

  • Aunt Alice taught there the last two years. Lee Boyce owned the old log house Aunt Alice lived in at that time.

  • Rube Jones took Cecil Jones’ place in school for three days while Cecil got the heel on his boot fixed.

  • Granville Nutter donated the land. Mary Nutter paid $300 for the school. She sold it to Otis Leggett. David Jones bought the shingles.

  • Elma Mae’s dad, Hedrick Leggett, received a booklet with every student’s name in it. The booklet is now secured in her bank box.

Bobbi Spiker-Conley stumbled across the following photos of the school while doing some research on Ancestry:

The photos were shared by user JTMcCoy. He confirmed to Bobbi that these came from his own family’s albums. The pics were marked as Ray Howard Gray’s ”first teaching job in Oxford, WV 1932.” He doesn’t know the names of the students. (If any of our readers can identify them, please let us know.)


  • Submitted by two very proud grandmothers –

    • Grant and Alison Morris welcome their second daughter, Josie Louise Morris.
    • Cole and Kylie Grett welcome their first child, a son, Harrison James Grett.