A recent post about James Edward Rampley indicated that I had probably determined why he was listed an attendee of Carthage College in the 1890s and yet only showing on a 1940 census enumeration as having attended school through the 6th grade.
A private email from the archivist at Carthage College today confirmed my suspiscions. It says in part:
Edward attended the Carthage Academy during the academic years 1893-94 and 1894-95 and was from Hickory Ridge, IL. The Academy was a prep school associated with the college...
It seems possible that Rampley's parents wanted him to have more education that he could get within walking distance (or a horse trip) from his home in rural southern Hancock County. I am reasonably certain there was no nearby high school, but am not aware of just how many grades of education were available locally.
At this point, I'm not going to analyze the ages of Rampley's classmates. Given that the archivist confirmed my assumption about the Academy, such work seems like overkill and not a productive use of my research time.
I wanted to make certain that the Edward Rampley shown in the catalog was actually the James Edward Rampley I already knew about (son of James and Elizabeth (Newman) Rampley) and not a "new" one. Sometimes when researching unusual names, the researcher never likes to have any unknown people with the last name hanging around as a loose end. Based upon the archivist's email, I don't have a new Rampley in Hickory Ridge, Hancock County, Illinois.
If only I could have found out his grades.
Note: the Carthage College Catalog (1890-1902) is online at Hathitrust. Just click on "full view."