1940 Willshire School Bus for Chatt-area Students

How did rural students get to school in 1940? By riding a school bus, just like they do today.

Below is a 1940 photo of students who lived in the Chattanooga, Ohio, area and rode the school bus to the Willshire Public School.

With help, I have been able to identify most of the students in the photo. Perhaps some readers can identify the others.

Willshire School Bus that transported Chatt-area students, 1940.

Chatt-area students by their Willshire school bus, 1940.

Front row: Don Caffee, Robert Bollenbacher, ?, ?, LaVerne “Vernie” Miller, Hamrick girl, ?, ?, ?, Kenny Miller.

Middle row [Zig-zaging up and down this row]: ? [girl], Catherine Miller, Dorothy Jean Leininger [taller girl behind], ? [shorter girl in front], Dorothy White, Emeline “Em” Miller, Marjorie Pifer, ? [boy], Catherine Leininger, Dorothy Carr, Helen Miller, Herb Miller, Twyla Pifer.

Back row: Carl Ripley, Leland Carr, Laverne “Vernie” Stetler, Robert “Bob” Byers, Fern Bollenbacher, Genevieve Baker, Bill Chapman, Dale Caffee.

My dad and several of his brothers and sisters are in the photo—Uncle Vernie, Uncle Kenny, Aunt Helen, Aunt Kate, and Aunt Em. My aunt Helen was a senior that year and my Uncle Kenny was in the first grade. My dad was aged somewhere between them.

Helen (Miller) Linn

Helen (Miller) Linn, Senior in 1940.

Two Miller neighbors rode the bus—brothers Don and Dale Caffee, as well as some names I recognize from Zion Chatt—sisters Catherine and Dorothy Jean Leininger, siblings Leland and Dorothy Carr, and Carl Ripley.

Someone told me that the 1940 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. Maybe someone can verify this or correct this information.

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