Museum Opened in Honor of York County Native
Barn at Rock Ford, site of Henry Kauffman Museum
A friend, who is active in the Lower Windsor Township Historical Society, called my attention to the reopening of the Henry Kauffman collection at Rock Ford Plantation in Lancaster. She pointed out that Kauffman, who collected Pennsylvania German artifacts and wrote prolifically on the subject, was born and raised in York County, gaining his initial education in a one-room school, probably in Windsor Township.
She also shared the following brief biography of Kauffman as well as an excerpt of his thoughts on one-room schools.
One-Room Schoolhouses – One Man’s Opinion
Henry J. Kauffman (1908-2001) was an artisan, an author, and a scholar. Born in York County, he attended the one-room Locust Grove School. In 1926 Kauffman graduated from York High School and in 1932 from Millersville State Normal School, now Millersville University.
Henry Kauffman then taught industrial arts in public schools in Connecticut and Pennsylvania until he returned in 1942 to Millersville as professor of industrial arts (1942-1973). Kauffman published at least 300 journal articles and more than 20 books on Pennsylvania German folk art, on metalworking, on Pennsylvania rifles, and many other subjects.
Many years later he wrote about his one-room schoolhouse –
“My life in a one-room school was doubtless one of the happiest periods of my life. I cannot say my learning was erudite, but it prepared me for what lay ahead, and that was its function.
Something seems to have occurred beyond the passing of grades and the assigning of marks. Factors like self-reliance, honesty, and the persistent stretching towards a goal fitted me well to survive and solve many of life’s problems. I would love to shake the hand of Carrie Ligget [his teacher] and tell her how positively she influenced my life.”
Henry J. Kauffman. 1997. The American One-Room Schoolhouse.