Report Cards Sure Have Changed

Earlier this year Sarah Richardson of Atlanta, Georgia, donated a handmade report card for S.H. Orr dated March 5, 1875. The card reports on Mr. Orr’s attendance, number of words missed, number of head marks, and number of idle marks. After research, we are still unable to determine what “head marks” are. The card pronounces Orr’s behavior as “good” and his advancement as “good.” The report is signed by his teacher J.O. Edwards, who was running the Pilot Grove school in Grayson County, Texas. Mr. Orr was related to the Orr family of Adair County, Kentucky. In the top right hand corner, you will notice that a later individual has sent this to Sara Nell [Orr] “to put in the Bible–when she gets it.”

The salient feature of this otherwise utilitarian document is the illustrative material. The leaves surrounding the report were most likely drawn by the student; each is filled with a quotation. Two of the leaves are filled with a passage from Psalm 23; another is filled with a classical homily; another contains a quotation from J.O. Edwards, the teacher.

The Manuscripts section of the Kentucky Library & Museum is always interested in adding new items to our collection with Kentucky ties. If you have letters, diaries, journals or travel accounts, business records, club minutes or records that you would like for us to review for possible donation, please contact Jonathan Jeffrey at 270-745-5265 or e-mail him at

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