Friday, March 25, 2011

"For perfect attendance at school"

The above inscription to "Marie" appears on the first page of a copy of "Katrine"1, a novel by Elinor Macartney Lane2.

A Google search for the teacher, F.V. Pultz, revealed just ten results.3
One of them is the history page for Tenth Legion School in Rockingham County, Virginia. F.V. Pultz is listed as having been a teacher there in the 1912-13 school year. So it's not a bad guess to say that "Marie" and "F.V. Pultz" were student and teacher at Tenth Legion School (pictured below, in an image from the aforementioned history site) less than a year earlier, when this inscription was written.

If you're interested in more, check out this in-depth history of Rockingham County Public Schools. Among other things, you'll learn that the Tenth Legion School originated in 1878 as the above structure (which was a one-room schoolhouse before expansion) and moved to a new building and site in 1921. That building lasted until 1972, when Tenth Legion School was closed and consolidated into Plains Elementary School in Timberville, Virginia.

I wonder if the students there receive books as a reward for perfect attendance.

1. "Katrine" was published in March 1909 by Grosset & Dunlap in arrangement with Harper & Brothers. The full text of the novel is available as a free eBook at Project Gutenberg.
2. "Katrine" was Lane's last novel. The New York Times Saturday Review of Books reported on April 3, 1909: "The recent death of Mrs. Elinor Macartney Lane will be deeply regretted by the many readers of her charming novels. To those who had the privilege of knowing her personally it is a matter of profound sorrow. Mrs. Lane's two most important books -- "Mills of God" and "Nancy Stair" -- are tool [sic] well known to need any comment. Her last work, "Katrine," had just been published. In a letter written a short time before her death she expressed the opinion that it was the best thing she had done. All who knew Mrs. Lane well will agree that she was a rarely brilliant and charming personality. She not only possessed genius, but she had the most noble and beautiful qualities of character. Nancy Stair herself was not more splendidly loyal and devoted to her friends than was her gifted creator."
3. Or, I should say, it revealed just ten results when I was researching this entry. The existence of this entry will, of course, bump up the number of Google hits for F.V. Pultz.


  1. The odd double-lines on the signature makes my cynical self wonder if Marie hadn't written the note herself and forged her teacher's signature.