By 1910 Luther was teaching at the Galla Creek or Scroggins Farm School
according to an explanation with this photo of him with the pupils.
The photo was published in a 1999 Bank Calendar
featuring Conway County historical photographs.
Early Teaching Career (1910 - 1917)
Luther's pen and ink record in an old school record book lists his school terms from 1911 to 1921. He taught a winter term at Lone Grove School beginning November 27, 1911 and finishing on February 23, 1912. He was only 19 years old. His younger brothers and sisters were students during the terms at Lone Grove. Noah was 17 and in the 6th grade. Dovie was 13 and in the 4th grade. Virgil (Luther spelled it Virgle) was 12 and also in the 4th grade. Katie was 10 and she was in the 4th grade, too. All of them missed the first two weeks of the fall term. It was about 2 to 3 miles from their house to the schoolhouse and that could have made it difficult for them to get there, but probably they had to help with the crops.
Community bands were popular one hundred years ago. This is the Lone Grove Band. Luther is at the left and old Mr. Ernest McLaren is on the right. Luther played the coronet. After he lost his hearing, he could still sing little tunes and for awhile he could enjoy church music. After that he would sometimes think that he was hearing music in his head and he said it was very realistic and beautiful.
He taught a 20-day summer term in July 1912 at Lone Grove and another in September. He was 20 years old by then. He then went to the Lord's School House for the 1912 fall term (starting in November) and the 1913 winter term. He taught a 2 ½-month summer term at Vinson Chapel. The Maxwells had lived in the Vinson Chapel area when Luther was a child. The building still stands and a church meets there.
The Lord's School House was just a few miles east of the Hattieville/Old Hickory neighborhood where Eugenia Houston lived. She would have been fourteen by the end of school in the spring of 1913. I don't know whether she and Luther had met by this time or not. She would have been a little young for a 21-year old school teacher.
Luther looks very young in this photo of the Lanty Masonic Lodge and may have joined soon after he was eligible at age 21. He is standing third from left. He was a long-time secretary of the lodge.
LANTY, ARKANSAS, MASONIC LODGE - circa 1913
Luther had a 5-month school term at Sand Town in the winter of 1913 - 1914. He was back in Lone Grove for a 2 ½-month summer term. He was back at Sand Town for the 1914 - 1915 5-month term. He thought he did another summer term at Lone Grove.
Luther taught the 1915-1916 term of school in Solgohachia. My grandfather James Arthur Skipper and his family lived just three miles north of Solgohachia but their daughter, Thelma, attended school at Round Mountain where her teacher was Ira Skipper, her father's cousin. My grandfather Skipper had been postmaster of Solgohachia from 1908 to 1912, but lost the job after the national administration changed with the election of a Democrat.
Cars were not common during that time and I was curious about this photo when I was young. I asked Grandpa what he thought about cars when he was little and what he thought about the first one he saw. He indicated that he already knew something about cars by the time he saw the first one and it didn't seem to be very special to him. I asked if the car in this photo was his and what they were doing. He said that he and the boys and girls were out for a walk and that this car had been left in the road with a flat tire. They decided to get in and have their picture made. Luther is in the drivers seat. He once told me who the young women were, but I have forgotten. I have also forgotten who the photographer was, but he was obviously there for his shadow is in the foreground! I had not noticed that the rear tire was flat before he told me that, but it obviously is. The car appears to be a 1914 or 1915 Dodge, but I could find only a few photos to compare it with. (If you are interested in automobile history, Dodge and Chrysler in particular, as I am, check this link to a fascinating chronology of the men and events that produced Dodge and Chrysler.)
This photo of the four Maxwell brothers was made on the occasion of the marriage of Noah to Nettie on August 19, 1916. Marvin was 25, Luther was 24, Noah almost 22, and Virgil was 17.
Eugenia Houston was 17 that year and she and Luther must have been acquainted with each other by the time she was 18, but no one remembers (so far). When Luther took her off on a date the first time, her father told her brother, John Hawk, to "go check out that young fellow." John Hawk said, "Don't worry, Luther is a really good fellow."
Luther was at Solgohachia again for the 1916 - 1917 school term and then back at Lone Grove nearer home for the summer term of 1917. My Grandfather Skipper left the Solgohachia area for England, Arkansas in early 1917.