Spring – Sam started school at Mrs. Horr’s school in Hannibal, a small log cabin at the southern end of Main Street, near Bear Creek. Elizabeth Horr (ca.1790-1873) and daughter Miss Lizziewere the only teachers. On Sam’s first day of school he broke a rule twice and was told to go find a switch for his punishment. He kept looking for smaller and smaller switches until he came back with a cooper’s shaving (a cooper is a barrel maker). Later, Miss Mary Ann Newcomb(1809-1894) would help at the school [Wecter 54]. Sam, during his last visit to Hannibal in 1902, would say: “I owe a great deal to Mary Newcomb, she compelled me to learn to read” [Wecter 84]. McGuffey’s Readers were the new rage.
In his Aug. 15, 1906 A.D. Sam recalled his first school: “There were no public schools in Hannibal in those early years, but there were two private schools in Hannibal—terms twenty-five cents per week per pupil, and collect it if you can. Mrs. Horr taught the children, in a small log house…; Mr. Sam Cross taught the young people of larger growth in a frame schoolhouse on the hill” [AMT 2: 177].