Tuesday, March 12, 2019

The Life of a Female Teacher in the late 19th Century by Kimberly Grist

One of my goals, when I write, is to combine my love of history with an inspirational theme, a bit of romance and believable characters. As I was researching the life of a teacher during the late 19th century, I was astounded by the rules that a female teacher had to adhere to. Which do you find the most outrageous?

Fast forward twenty years later and although society was in a phase of rapid industrialization with the introductions of electrical power and telephones, very little changed for the rules for female teachers. The idea that married women didn't need income was the most common rationale for the ban of marriage for female teachers.
Boarding was both common and practical for teachers and allowed them to live within walking distance to the schoolhouse and to live as well as their students. 

New, inexperienced teachers, hired by the lowest paying districts, often endured poor living conditions.  

Excerpt from A Promised Land: "What about a beau? You are an attractive young woman. Was there no one special in your life?" Mrs. Baker added cream to her coffee.

She shook her head. "According to the rules of the school board, male teachers could court one evening a week and twice if they attended church regularly. But they have different rules for females. We are not allowed to be seen in public after dark unless it's for a school or church function. I was also required to spend my days off working in the community, to teach Sunday School and sing in the choir. Even if the school board allowed me to have a beau, which they didn't, I don't know when I would have found the time."

"Goodness, I never realized there were so many rules involved for a teacher." Mrs. Baker took a sip of coffee.

Meriwether giggled. "They had rules for everything including how and when petticoats and other unmentionables could hang on the clothesline."


In my new novel, twenty-year-old Meriwether Walker enjoys teaching students of various ages and skills in a one-room schoolhouse. What she hates is the nomadic lifestyle that comes with it as she rotates boarding with families in the community every month. From feeling like an unwanted guest to leaky roofs and bedbugs, Meriwether longs for a place to call home. Unexpectedly she inherits an estate from a devoted uncle. 
A buyer is already lined up. But Meriwether snatches at the opportunity to put down roots in Trickling Springs, Texas. The handsome prospective buyer thinks she's holding out for more money and she finds him rude and offputting. 
Circumstances cause them to work together and their feelings change. But is he interested in her, or is the real attraction the property and the water rights he needs and she has inherited?

Combing History, Humor and Romance with an emphasis on Faith, Friends and Good Clean Fun, A Promised Land is available on April 8th and for pre-order now:

Connect with Kimberly 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FaithFunandFriends/ 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/GristKimberly
Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Kimberly-Grist/e/B07H2NTJ71 
Website: https://kimberlygrist.com/ 
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/kimberly-grist

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