This picture was taken in the front yard of Lambert Grade School. In conversation with Julia (Green) Williams concerning this picture I believe that this is the 1936 - 1937 school year. In the background is Route 45, a 16 feet wide concrete pavement, my house, the garage behind the house where we lived whilte our house was being built and our big barn.Those in the back are Howard Gordon, 8th grade, me, Bob Young, 5th grade, middle row, Carl Letner, Marilyn Green, 4th grade, Dorothy Ann Bingaman, 4th grade, and my brother Philip Young, 2nd grade, front row, Edna Letner, Hazel Letner and Julia Green. Lambert was a one room "blab school", that is the 8 grades took turns reciting at the front of the room, hence the students in their seats while say the 8th grade was reciting gained much information by listening to the other students recite. They also did all their homework at school and enjoyed a 30 minute recess in the morning, an hour lunch period at noon and another recess in the afternoon. Students brought their own lunches as did the teacher. As is evident, Philip and I could have easily gone home for lunch but that was never even considered. The teacher was paid about one hundred dollars per month and arrived early to start the fire in the furnace for classes to start at 8 am, brought her lunch, furnished her own transportation, held recitations for 8 grades, supervised recess, prepared Christmas and other programs for the parents and straightened up the room for the next day after classes were dismissed at 4 pm. We tended to be jealous of our city grade school student friends who had classes in separate rooms for each grade and a separate study hall. But experience shows thet the "blab school" provided as good if not better education. At recess and noon we played baseball or basketball with girls, boys and usually the teacher competing and occasionally the boys would play football. Since my house was right across the road as can be seen, at recess my mother, to my distress, would shout "Bobby, get your jacket and overshoes on!". How embarrassing!! These schools were two miles apart thus to the south was Bee Hive School, to the the west was Apperson School, to the north Buttermilk School and to the east Silver Lake School.
Recently my friend Rowena has come across a publication of Cumberland County which has much county historical information. From that she has given me the following: In 1871, Lambert School, initially known as Frog Pond School was established on the Prarie Community owned by a Mr. Lambert. He had bought the land in the middle 1850s from the Illinois Central Railroad Company. In 1850, The state of Illinois gave the IC Railroad Company alternate sections (640 acres) of land to assist the company in funding the Illinois Central Railroad. Even when I attended there, the south part of the school yard was low and swampy which apparently earlier justified the "Frog Pond" name. Later the name was changed to Lambert School to recognize the original owner of the land.
Teachers of Lambert School:
Austin Gilpin - 1901
Roby E.Thayer - 1903
Leslie Haskett - ????
Ethel McClain - ????
Adam Brick - 1914-15
Daisy Jones - 1915-1916
Lois Whitaker 1917-1918
Ethel Hackley - 1918-1919
Leah Dove - 1919-1920
Cecelia Sands - 1920-1921
Winifred Buchanan - 1921-1922
Sylvia Buchanan - 1922-1923
Emma Francis Moran - 1923-24
Russell Hovey - 1924-1925
Ethel Bickle - 1925-1926
Nina O'Day ?
Mary Woods - 1931-1932
Dorothy Hite - 1932-1933
Jenny Major - 1933-1936
Thelma Noyes -1936-1941
Lois Lashmet - 1942-1943
Philomena Gruel - 1943-1947
My four teachers were Mary Woods, Dorothy Hite, Jenny Major and Thelma Noyes ---- all very skilled teachers. Thelma Noyes was my teacher for my last years at Lambert and she was an active participant in our baseball and basketball games. She came from a distinguished Mattoon family and was a descendant of Ebenezer Noyes. The following is from the 150th Mattoon Journal Gazette issue listing the 150 most important citizens of Mattoon:

"Ebenezer Noyes
Was most notable founder of Mattoon who moved to (now Gays) in 1836. He platted the west side (1852/55), built a house and carriage house at 2206 Western Ave. (1858), built other businesses and warehouse, warehouse burned Nov 9,1867, elected mayor (1867) soon resigned, organized a gas manufacturing company (1867), member of committee that persuaded Indianapolis & St. Louis RR to locate headquarters and shops in Mattoon (1869), was a spy in Civil War, published The Radical Republican newspaper (18671871), donated land for and later opened Essex House (1859), organized fire company and was president (1861), deeded lot in 1877 for Davis Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church at 2321 Dewitt, donated land for Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church that was dedicated 1859. It is said that : his house was used as a stop on the Underground Railroad, as a hospital during the CMI War, as a school by his daughter, and a home for nurses. In later years, Dr. John Jemsek used the house as a medical office and Nancy Owen used it as a law office. His influence in the city still exists with names of Noyes Court, Noyes Addition, and Essex Avenue. Noyes was the only person to vote against the name Mattoon (he wanted town named Essex). He is listed on the taxpayers list as a farmer. He married, had nine children, and is buried in Dodge Grove Cemetery."

Lambert School was closed in 1949 and then all students were bussed to Pioneer School about four miles south of Lambert School on Route 121. A reason for the big turnover in employment of women school teachers was that at that time when a woman teacher married she was prohibited from teaching grade school. Such discrimination does not exist today.


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