Here we see the McIntosh School. It was the only school near Cotton Mills, Winona, Mississippi. A photograph in May 1911 shows the teacher and the pupils. It was a private school taught by Miss McIntosh. It might be called an old fashioned dame school. Miss. McIntosh operated a school for several years. She charged each pupil only $1.00 a month. With about 10 pupils the job was not very lucrative. She said it was discouraging, but that many of the children seemed to appreciate her efforts. "What we need is compulsory education and a free school out here, which we may get before long." The children she taught ranged from 6 to 10 years. The Southern states did not have public schoo; systems before the Civil War and lagged behinfd the other states in establishing public schools after the War. In fact, one of the charges leved against Reconstruction government was reckless spending, especially for education. Mississppi well into the 20th century was commonly at the bottom of the lost of states for spending on education.
One of the 10 year old boys said, "Only two more years and I'll be in the mill." A little girls added, "Four years more and I'll be there." They all seemed to feel they would get into the mill as soon as possible.
At the time Mississippi State had not compulsory school attendance. The first law about compulsory education was introduced in 1918. Compulsory education laws and child labor laws went hand-in-hand.
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