52 Ancestors: Back to School

Posted by: Eileen A. Souza

I was searching for material that I could use for this week’s theme “Back to School” and received a couple of surprises. Of course, I knew my father was a school teacher, but I was not aware that a couple other relatives were also connected to schools. I decided that I would write about what I know of this association for all of them.

Thomas P Noble c 1931The first and earliest connection is my maternal great-grandfather, Thomas P. Noble. From his obituary:

“Mount Carmel Township today mourned the death of one of its most prominent and most beloved residents, Thomas P. Noble, former constable, school director, supervisor, health officer and retired veteran miner.

He was first elected to public office in the township in 1887 as constable, serving on year. In 1888 he was elected a member of township school board and served two years. In 1890, he became township supervisor for two years.”

He was a 32-year resident of Connorsville, Mount Carmel Township, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania. For more on Thomas, please see my posts 52 Ancestors: #27 My Great-Grandfather – Thomas Noble and Sunday’s Obituary – Thomas P. Noble (1851 – 1934).

Next there is my maternal 2nd great uncle, William T. Meisberger, the family black sheep. William Meisberger was a prominent member of the Coal Township, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania school board prior to his scandal. You can read more about it at 52 Ancestors: My Favorite Black Sheep.

Then we have David Theodore Meisberger, William Meisberger’s brother. During his life, David was a teacher, graduating from Bloomsburg Normal School in 1907. He served in various teaching positions in the Coal Township School District, finally achieving Superintendent of Schools for the district. You can read more about him at 52 Ancestors: #49 David Theodore Meisberger.

Finally, there is my father, William C. Furlani. He received his teaching certificate at Bloomsburg State Teachers College, Bloomsburg, Columbia County, Pennsylvania in 1932. He was then employed to teach in various Mt. Carmel Township, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania elementary schools. The photo is a picture of his very first class taken in 1932 or 1933. The grade and school are not known, but I would guess fifth or sixth grade. He taught in Mt. Carmel Township school district until his enlistment in the Army to serve in WWII on 30 December 1943 (he may have been called up in the draft). He was discharged from the service on 7 December 1945. His welcome home was to discover that he was one of the seven teachers dismissed by the region school board in the Mt. Carmel Township district.

In 1946, a newspaper article mentions that he is employed teaching fifth grade at Leiperville Elementary School, Crum Lynne, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, which is in the Ridley Township school district. His address is listed as Atlas, Northumberland County, PA. I remember when we first moved to Delaware County, we lived for a time in a boarding house. Until then, he must have stayed in that boarding house during the week and traveled to Atlas for the weekends. Eventually, we moved to Essington, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, where I grew up.

My father was an elementary school teacher, teaching fifth and/or sixth grades in the Leiperville Elementary School until his retirement in 1977. I occasionally see comments on my posts from former students. They all say that he was tough, but they really learned a lot in his classes and still remember him. He also taught arts and crafts at the school during the summers. I remember attending some of these sessions—making baskets and having a great time. You can read more about my father in my posts 52 Ancestors 2015 Edition: #22 William C. Furlani (1912 – 1989) – Commencements and  52 Ancestors: Finding My Dad in WWII.

The 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. challenge, initiated by Amy Johnson Crow, is a series of weekly prompts to get you to think about an ancestor and share something about them. The prompt takes care of the guesswork of “who I should write about.” This week’s theme is Back to School.

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One Response to 52 Ancestors: Back to School

  1. Aleksandra says:

    An interesting topic idea and post.

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