Old West History Archives

Eighth Grade Exam

Below is the actual final exam for the Salina, Kansas eighth grade in 1895.  Could you pass the test?

GRAMMAR (Time, one hour)

  1. Give nine rules for the use of Capital Letters.
  2. Name the Parts of Speech and define those that have no modifications.
  3. Define Verse, Stanza and Paragraph.
  4. What are the Principal Parts of a verb? Give Principal Parts of do, lie, lay, and run.
  5. Define Case. Illustrate each Case.
  6. What is Punctuation? Give rules for principal marks of Punctuation.

7 through 10. Write a composition of about 150 words and show therein that you understand the practical use of the rules of grammar.

ARITHMETIC (Time, 1.25 hours)

  1. Name and define the Fundamental Rules of Arithmetic.
  2. A wagon box is 2 ft. deep, 10 feet long and 3 ft. wide. How many bushels of wheat will it hold?
  3. If a load of wheat weighs 3942 Ibs., what is it worth at 50 cents/bushel, deducting 1050 Ibs. for tare?
  4. District No. 33 has a valuation of $35,000. What is the necessary levy to carry on a school for seven months at $50 per month, and have $104 for incidentals?
  5. Find cost of 6720 Ibs. of coal at $6.00 per ton.
  6. Find the interest of $512.60 for 8 months and 18 days at 7 percent.
  7. What is the cost of 40 boards 12 inches wide and 16 ft. long at $20 per meter?
  8. Find the bank discount on $300 for 90 days (no grace) at 10 percent.
  9. What is the cost of a square farm at $15 per acre, the distance around which is 640 rods?
  10. Write a Bank Check, a Promissory Note, and a Receipt.

U.S. HISTORY (Time, 45 minutes)

  1. Give the epochs into which U.S. History is divided.
  2. Give an account of the discovery of America by Columbus.
  3. Relate the causes and results of the Revolutionary War.
  4. Show the territorial growth of the United States.
  5. Tell what you can of the history of Kansas.
  6. Describe three of the most prominent battles of the Rebellion.
  7. Who were the following: Morse, Whitney, Fulton, Bell, Lincoln, Penn, and Howe?
  8. Name events connected with the following dates: 1607, 1620, 1800, 1849, and 1865.

ORTHOGRAPHY (Time, one hour)

  1. What is meant by the following: alphabet, phonetic, orthography, etymology, and syllabication?
  2. What are the elementary sounds? How are they classified?
  3. What are the following, and give examples of each: trigraph, subvocals, diphthong, cognate letters, and linguals?
  4. Give four substitutes for caret ‘u’.
  5. Give two rules for spelling words with final ‘e’. Name two exceptions under each rule.
  6. Give two uses of silent letters in spelling. Illustrate each.
  7. Define the following prefixes and use in connection with a word: bi, dis, mis, pre, semi, post, non, inter, mono, sup
  8. Mark diacritically and divide into syllables the following, and name the sign that indicates the sound: card, ball, mercy, sir, odd, cell, rise, blood, fare, last.
  9. Use the following correctly in sentences: cite, site, sight, fane, fain, feign, vane, vain, vein, raze, raise, rays.
  10. Write 10 words frequently mispronounced and indicate pronunciation by use of diacritical marks and by syllabication.

GEOGRAPHY (Time, one hour)

  1. What is climate? Upon what does climate depend?
  2. How do you account for the extremes of climate in Kansas?
  3. Of what use are rivers? Of what use is the ocean?
  4. Describe the mountains of North America.
  5. Name and describe the following: Monrovia, Odessa, Denver, Manitoba, Hecla, Yukon, St. Helena, Juan Fernandez, Aspinwall and Orinoco.
  6. Name and locate the principal trade centers of the U.S.
  7. Name all the republics of Europe and give the capital of each.
  8. Why is the Atlantic Coast colder than the Pacific in the same latitude?
  9. Describe the process by which the water of the ocean returns to the sources of rivers.
  10. Describe the movements of the earth. Give the inclination of the earth.

Samuel Maverick

Samuel MaverickIn 1835 Samuel Maverick moved to the San Antonio, Texas area, and started practicing law.  He was even one of the signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence.

As the story goes, a neighbor owed him $1,200.  With no ready cash, the neighbor offered to pay him in cattle.  So, reluctantly Samuel agreed to take 400 head of cattle.  Not wanting to deal with the cattle, Samuel hired someone to take care of them.  At first the hired hand branded the calves with Samuel’s MK brand.  But soon things got out of hand, and many of the calves went unbranded.

By 1854 Samuel’s unbranded cattle were roaming all over the area, and his neighbors started complaining, stating that if Samuel didn’t do something about them, he wouldn’t have any.

Finally, in 1856, Samuel sold his cattle to another rancher.  The cattle were sold on the basis of “range delivery.”  This meant that the rancher bought an approximate number of cattle that happened to be located on the open range.  Whenever the new owner found an unbranded cow, he claimed them as Samuel Maverick’s cattle, or “Maverick’s”.  By 1857, people in the area were referring to unbranded cattle as “mavericks.”

But the term didn’t come into general use until after the Civil War, when the cattlemen returned to find tens of thousands of unbranded cattle roaming the plains.  It’s interesting to note that during this time, although taking a branded cow was a hanging offence, to take an unbranded calf that wasn’t following a cow, or a maverick, was not rustling.  And rounding up mavericks is the way many a cattle ranch started out.

William Brazleton – Masked and Unmasked

William BrazletonWilliam Brazleton was about 6 feet tall, and weighed around 200 pounds. He was described as “a great big, good natured fellow who was as harmless as any man could be.” Little is known about his early life. He did tell a friend that he had robbed a couple of stages in northern Arizona, three over by Silver City, New Mexico, and four around Tucson.        
 
There were stage robberies in the vicinity of Tucson that mysteriously had two sets of horse tracks leading to the scene of the robbery, but none leaving it. These robberies were performed by a man who wore a mask over his head with holes cut in it for his eyes and mouth.              
 
Because of information received from a confederate of Brazleton’s, the sheriff set up an ambush. On August 19, 1878 Brazleton was shot down in a hail of bullets.     
 
At this time, the reason for two sets of horse tracks leading to the robbery scenes, and none leaving it, was the following. It seems that Brazleton had devised horseshoes that could be reversed in order to confuse trackers.  
 
Now, as to his fame after death… Brazleton was brought back to Tucson, propped up against a wall, with his guns on his lap. And, pictures were taken of him with and without his mask. Today, any series of outlaw photographs, either alive or dead, includes at least one of the two pictures of Brazleton.
 
Incidentally, taking pictures of dead outlaws wasn’t unusual. Quite often dead outlaws were displayed in public with photographers charging money for people to have their picture taken next to the local bad boy. That is, until he started stinking too much.        
 
 

William Johnson and an Old West “Romeo and Juliet”

Born and raised in Ohio, when the Civil War broke out, William Johnson became a Captain on the Confederate side. Following the Civil War, he mustered out in Texas.       
 
Deciding to do some ranching in New Mexico, Johnson picked up a small herd of cattle in Texas and drove them up to New Mexico. On the way up he ran into some Indians, and was wounded in both legs. He managed to make it to the Beckwith ranch in Lincoln County, New Mexico.             
 
During Johnson’s recuperation he fell in love with one of Hugh Beckwith’s daughters, Camellia. Although Beckwith was also a believer in the Confederacy, he was against Johnson marrying his daughter. Thinking love conquers all, the two got married anyway. And Johnson started a ranch near the Beckwith spread.    
 
The cattle on the Beckwith ranch seemed to grow beyond all proportion of normalcy. And neighboring rancher John Chisum felt the reason for this was that Beckwith was stealing some of his stock. So, in April of 1877, John Chisum and a bunch of his cowboys conducted a raid on the Beckwith ranch. As it happened, none of the Beckwith men were present. But son-in-law William Johnson was. And he engaged the Chisum men in a rifle shootout until Chisum decided to give up the cause. 
 
Now, you would have though old man Beckwith would have been pleased with the performance of his son-in-law. But it doesn’t seem he was, because their one-sided feud not only continued, it escalated, until on August 16, 1878 when Johnson was talking to Beckwith about ranching practices… quite possibly criticizing Beckwith’s practice of taking other rancher’s stock… when Beckwith grabbed his shotgun and fatally shot his son-in-law. And you think your in-laws are harsh.     
cowboy with rifle

David Neagle – Marshall of Tombstone

David NeagleOn July 15, 1880 David Neagle arrived in Tombstone, Arizona. If he had had the ability to see the future, he would probability have continued on down the road.       
 
 David had operated a mine in the past, and knowing many of the miners, thought he could earn a living in that business in Tombstone. But that wasn’t the direction fate took him. He signed on as county deputy sheriff under Sheriff Behan where he perused stage robbers and stock rustlers… one time alongside Wyatt and Morgan Earp.           
 
David Neagle was a man “credited with being one of the fastest pistol shots in the West, and of indisputable courage,” and was liked by both the Democrats and Republicans. 
 
After the O. K. Corral shootout and the ambush shooting of Virgil Earp, Neagle decided to run for town marshal as an independent and won. This was during a time when the conflict between the Earps and the Clantons, and the Republicans and the Democrats was at its worst. But Neagle serving both as the town marshal and deputy county sheriff was liked by everyone, yet not quite trusted by anyone because he seldom took sides.  
 
When County Sheriff Behan decided not to run for another term, Neagle, again as an independent, decided to run for county sheriff. But this time he was branded as a Republican friend of the Earps, which resulted in his being defeated. It also resulted in the Democrat vote being split, and a Republican elected.  
        
By now Neagle was wearing thin on everyone. So David quietly served out his term as town marshal, left Tombstone, and headed for Montana. 
 
David Neagle is a good example of how, in a polarizing situation, when you want to be everyone’s friend, you sometimes end up being no one’s friend. 
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