Willshire Village School Bus No.3

I recently spoke at the Willshire Alumni Banquet, to a great group of people who waited a long time for that banquet to take place. One of the things I talked about was Willshire Village School Bus No. 3, which picked up the Chatt-area school children in 1939-40. I have posted this photo of the students who rode that bus before on Karen’s Chatt.

Willshire School Bus No. 3, 1939-40

However, since posting it a few years ago I colorized and labeled the photo. For some reason the colorized version seems sharper and clearer and labeling the individuals makes their identification easier.

Willshire Village School Bus No. 3, colorized & labeled.

While preparing for the alumni talk I discovered that I have two additional photos of that bus and the students. These three bus photos were very likely taken on the same day.  

Willshire Bus no. 3, 1939-40, colorized.

The above photo appears to have been taken immediately before or after the first photo. The kids have moved around and most are inside the bus. The are wearing the same clothing and that makes it easier to identify them. It looks like they were horsing around and having a good time. Perhaps the photos were taken on the last day of school. Everyone would have been happy about that.

The final photo shows the bus driving down the road, probably Sipe Road. Or maybe the bus was just parked on the road for the photo. Willshire Village School Bus No. 3, written on the side, is quite visible. What a cool bus!

Willshire Village School Bus No. 3, colorized.

The school bus seats were not arranged as they are today. Instead there were two long benches down the center of the bus and the riders faced toward the windows.

The bus picked up the Miller children at the end of their lane and dropped them off at Stetler Road. Stetler Road ends at Sipe Road and the Millers called Stetler Road “North Road.” Either way, it would have been a little trek in bad weather.

My dad Herb Miller and several of his brothers and sisters are in the photo—Helen, Em, Kate, Vernie, and Kenny. Helen was a senior that year and Kenny was in the first grade. My dad would have been in the 8th grade and was the third oldest of his siblings in this photo.

Who doesn’t love these old photos!



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    • Kenny Miller on October 8, 2021 at 7:42 am
    • Reply

    I remember calling Stetler road the North road. The bus dropped us off at the intersection of Sipe road and Stetler road but picked us up at the end of our lane. My memories could be of a later time and bus?

    1. Thank you for that clarification and I have corrected that.

    • Sondra Samples on October 8, 2021 at 7:53 am
    • Reply

    I was a Willshire School “town kid”, so do not have the waiting- for- the -bus memories that country kids do, but we would meet up with neighborhood friends and walk the several blocks to school together, often in bad weather. Most families were “one car” families back in the 40s and 50s, so there wasn’t the option of our mom driving us to school or picking us up at the end of the school day. That is a neat picture of an old school bus, and the description of the center bench seating instead of current forward-facing double seats is interesting.

    1. Thank you for your memories and information. As always, very interesting.

    • Brian Siefring on October 8, 2021 at 9:15 am
    • Reply

    Thank you so much for sharing! I have no historical connection to that area, but love your posts!!!!!

    1. Thank you very much and thank you for reading!

    • Dawn Strickler on October 8, 2021 at 10:33 am
    • Reply

    Thanks for sharing, I love reading your writings . Perhaps my Mom and aunts rode this bus years later?! Mom was born 1935.

    1. They may have! The 2 Leininger sisters rode that bus and they were from Chatt. Your mom would have started first grade about 1941, which would have been just a year or two after these photos were taken. A good possibility and interesting to think about. Thanks for writing!

    • Janet James on October 8, 2021 at 11:07 pm
    • Reply

    We are so glad that you we’re finally able to come to the alumni banquet and speak about goings on throughout willshire school history. We appreciate you keeping our area history alive and I flavored with interest

    1. Thank you! And thank you inviting me to speak at the banquet. I am glad you enjoyed it. It was a lot of fun and I enjoyed seeing and visiting with the Willshire alumni.

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