Totem Pole Tales-Felix Heron, Teacher
Submitted by Nute Chapman
From Onaway Outlook ay 11, 2012

Caption: PARRIS SCHOOL 1901 -Back row from left, George Campbell, Clinton Maynard, Belle (DeRosia) Rose, Muma (Bradley) Heron, 
Waiva (Bradley) Liebner and the teacher Lucy (Steele) Mills.  Center row from left, Elida (Maynard) Wigglesworth, Florence
Maynard, Clara (Woods) Ridley, Janie (Fawcett) Lail, Susie (Fawcett) King, Anna (Sonntag) Boyd, Edna Palmateer, Hattie (Burnham) Mason, 
Elizabeth Sonntag, Violet (DeRosia) Jarvis, Dinah Lindall and Sylvia (DeRosia) Crooks.  Front row from left, Pearl Woods, 
Gail DeRosia, Elva Burnham, Lonnie De Peel, Fred Heron and Lennie DeRosia.
width="600" Felix Heron was born July 4, 1900. He was the oldest and most interesting schoolteacher that my wife Pat and I had the opportunity to interview.
Felix attended the Parris School from kindergarten to the eighth-grade. He relates about living close enough to the school to that he would run across the field and have lunch at home. The School was located on the east side of the intersection of South Ocqueoc Road and One Mile Highway. Felix went to the Millersburg School, for his ninth and 10th-grade, and graduated from there in 1917. At that time the 10th-grade was the highest grade taught in Millersburg.
Dec. 6, 1918 found Felix in southern Michigan ready to join the armed forces. While waiting to be inducted he was notified that the war was over. The year 1919 found Felix working at the Fletcher Paper Company in Alpena.
> In 1920 Martha Cadwell, commissioner of schools, had asked Felix to teach in the Vilburn School, as they had a disciplinary problem there. Felix related that he had very few problems after the students found out that he was the boss. At that time knocking a student on his can was not against the rules.
In 1921 Felix taught at the Schmidt School, which is sometimes called the Ryan School and was actually the Cement School. He boarded with the Albert Schmidts and complimented the food they served. By 1922 Felix had found his way to the 4-Mile Corner and taught at the Roberts School. Here he stayed until 1926 and enjoyed having many fine kids to teach. Some of them are still living in North Allis.
Felix recalls a student decline when the Lobdell Factory burned in 1926.
In 1927 Felix tried his luck in the Posen system, this was hard because of the language barrier, and he had 10 students that could not speak English. He did not finish the year out. From 1928 to 1932 Felix taught in Hawks. From 1933 to 1949 he was back in Posen. In 1949 Felix moved to the Old Yellow School House and taught a course for veterans who wanted to finish their high school education after the war.
Leslie Burgess was a teacher who helped Felix teach 79 men from northern Michigan. In 1955 and 1956 he taught PL16s and also taught veterans who wanted an education. Felix recalls that Mike Merritt was a fine man and superintendent to work with. Felix was a tax assessor for Case Township for 39 years, Allis Township for 10 years and the city of Onaway for two years.
He attended many college courses and was a very educated man, and in spite of all his education he never held a teaching degree.
At the time of this interview he was almost 90 years old. He read many books, newspapers and was an active member of the Old Timers Pool League.
-Onaway Outlook, May 11, 2012, p.3. Retyped by J. Anderson.

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