AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF JOHN FRITZ 21
the scholars, the studies were few and simple in character. However, had they been otherwise, a very large majority of the boys could not have given them proper attention, as after school they had long distances to walk, the stock on the farm to take care of, the wood for the night to put in the box, then supper. The principal light used in the rural districts at that time was the tin dish open lard lamp, and the tallow dip, with frequently the spitting vnck. In the morning the duties of the night previous had to be repeated; after this was done, then the long walk to school in aU kinds of weather. When I look back from this distant period to my boyhood days and compare the economic conditions of the school system of that time with those of the present, with the beautiful and comfortable schoolhouses (I might, comparatively speaking, say palaces), located at most con¬ venient distances, divided into rooms suitable for elemen¬ tary teaching, and to some extent technical, under the charge of teachers graduated in the science of pedagogy, all under the watchful eye of the county superintendents, who are, generaUy speaking, persons well educated and intelli¬ gent, comparing favorably in that respect with most of our learned professors, and when I consider the high schools where the graduates who receive their diplomas are weU fitted to accept responsible positions or to study almost any one of the learned professions, I ieel that the youth of to-day should be most profoundly grateful for the almost marvelous opportunity they have for securing, in our free schools, an education that wiU fit them for almost any position in life.
When I was going to school, some of the weU-to-do farmers would send their sons to an academy and their daughters to what was caUed a Young Ladies' Seminary, but neither of these schools could be compared with our present system of high schools. The Friends, or Quakers