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Glancer Magazine

LITERARY LOCAL | An Ornament In Prosperity: A History of St. Charles Township’s Rural Schools


by Adam D. Gibbons

ST. CHARLES–"An Ornament In Prosperity: A History of St. Charles Township's Rural Schools," was compiled through the cooperation of the St. Charles History Museum. The book, published by Old Adage Press (Geneva, IL) is 261 pages in length, and features more than one hundred color interior images, including reference maps of St. Charles.

Written by Geneva resident, Adam Gibbons, his inspiration came from acquiring the Alice Davis collection from the family of Carrie (Latimer) Miller in September 2020. The collection consisted of more than a thousand photographs, papers, and many personal items associated with education in St. Charles. There is a school in St. Charles named for Ms. Davis, and she was a well-known and respected teacher for many decades. Alice Davis passed away in St. Charles in 1966. Soon after processing the Alice Davis collection, Adam Gibbons donated the vast majority of the items in the collection to the St. Charles History Museum in the fall and winter of 2020/2021.

The book details the history of every one-room school in St. Charles Township, starting with the region's first school, founded in 1835.

The story of education is St. Charles is traced through the consolidation of most rural schools in the late 1940s, and well beyond. Several interior images date to 2021, and feature the three remaining buildings in the area which once served as schools.

The book title is taken from a quotation by Aristotle, who called education "An ornament in prosperity and a refuge in adversity." With more than one thousand footnotes and a full name index, the book will make a great gift for someone interested in local history.

Available at Harvey's Tales of Geneva and Town House Books of St. Charles. Read more about this local author in this month’s cover feature. Adam Gibbons is one of Glancer Magazine’s 15 Fascinating Faces of the Year.


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