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Saturday, January 10, 2009

Miss Margaret and the Mystery of the Missing Candy - Don Maxwell

Just a little tidbit about Miss Margeret Adams, the principal of New Gretna School for many years. She taught several generations of New Gretna children. Anyway, she was a dedicated teacher and a tough taskmaster.

Miss Margaret was a teacher and principal of the New Gretna School for 42 years. She, evidently, had a candy business on the side.  I bet she could hide a whole bag of candy in that hat, and nobody would notice. (Photo courtesy of Naomi Post Maurer.)

I started kindergarden in 1932 and went from kindergarden thru second grade in her room. One instance I remember was her different forms of punishment for insubordination. They included having to go up in front of the class when called by name and having your fingers rapped by her with a ruler. How many times was according to the severity of your so called mischieviousness.

Another was being locked in a dark closet for an undetermined amount of time determined by the severity of your act. One time I remember a fellow classmate named William Cramer, commonly called Buddy, who was constantly getting in trouble with Miss Margeret and frequently getting locked in the dark closet at the end of the cloakroom. At that time Miss Margaret was selling different kinds of candy to the kids, and she kept it locked in this same closet on a higher shelf. One day Buddy was in that closet for quite a while, and some of us kids would occassionaly go up to the closet door and try to comminicate with him. He would answer, and he seemed perfectly content with his punishment.

After a while Miss Margeret let him out, and he seemed okay. Everything was all right until Miss Margeret went to get her candy, and it was all gone. She approached Buddy about it, but he denied having taken it. However; we noticed, and so did Miss Margaret, that Buddy was sluggish the rest of the day.

Our favorite nickname for Miss Margaret was Maggie Jim.

Don Maxwell


Does anyone know how Miss Margaret got her nickname, Maggie Jim or Maggie Jimmie?

Pete S


  1. Pete - I started in Miss Margarets kindergarden class in 1931 and 2nd grade in 1932. In defense of Miss Margaret I do not remember any incident of her punishing students by wacking with a ruler. Placing them in the cloak room or supply closet was a common practice, although this happened for not studying or completeing their lessons not for misbehavior. Silence was golden but with 30 plus students of a young age how could you learn if not strickly enforced. Buddy Cramer was mentioned as a behavior problem his older brother Charles who was in my class who also received the wrath of Miss Margaret. His problem was difficulty in reading at which he turned the book sideway, upsidedown and all directions. Very annoying to the teacher. A condition called "dylexsia" a common term today. This could have been applied to the Cramer brothers, certainly a learning not a behavior problem.

    Nicknames in New Gretna have always troubled me because they are terms which cannot be used when talking directly to the person. Case in point calling Miss Margaret "Maggie Jim" in a conversation. Nicknames usual describes a personel characteristic of a person not an relationship to another.

    Whats your nickname DON??

    Submitted by Clif Brown

  2. I remember Miss Margaret and Johnny having their disputes. I remember one time Johnny got so mad he was shedding tears, and Miss Margaret called him a baby. Johnny got up, put his fist in her face, and said, "I'll give you baby right between the eyes." He got suspended.

    Dave Kalm in Florida

  3. hey clif how are you, its been a long time since we ran around together, remember. you must have forgot but my nickname was logger. DON

  4. Don,

    How did you get the nickname "Logger"?

    Pete S

  5. Don: Lots of water under the bridge which makes us both wiser and older. I have enjoyed your stories, remarks and comments on New Gretna. You certainly are the "Sage of Bass River". Better title than "Logger". I'll make you a deal - no stories on Sat nite at the Tuckerton Yacht Club and I do likewise. Pass you e-mail along so we can reminise. Respectfully - Clif Brown