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One Room Country Schools

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TXTibbs

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Who here went to a one room country school growing up?

I went to one from K-8th grades in north central South Dakota. The most in the school was when I was in kindergarten at 12 students and the least was when I was in the 5th grade at 1 student....yep I was the only kid in the entire school that year. Just me and the teacher. When I graduated 8th grade there were two of us.....me and my little cousin who was in Kindergarten.

Just wondering how many of you guys went to a country school?
 

Broke Cowboy

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I did - it was built in 1881 - made of red brick. Outhouse for the girls and outhouse for the boys.

About a two mile walk - uphill both ways (for my daughters benefit :D )

Graveyard right along side with dates to the 1700's.

"Dangerous" creek in the back where we played. The whole school played baseball - never had to worry about making the team.

When you got to grade 6 you got the keys to the school. Your job was to get there ahead of the teacher and start the fire when it was cold, put up the flag and put the kettle on. Kenny Briar and I were the only two in our grade - right from start to finish. We were NEVER late opening the school.

There were a grand total of 13 students.

Far cry from today.

B.C.
 

TXTibbs

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I think the school I went to was built in about 1918. I guess I was spoiled cause by the time I got to school we had electricity and a furnace....and indoor plumbing, although the outhouse still stood outside. It is now at my folk's place and sorta "re-modeled" and set up for use.

As for playing any kind of games usually we didn't have enough kids to ever have a ball team...we'd have to swap kids back and forth just to make it work. We'd play kick the can, pum pum pull-away, tag and we invented several games ourselves. Winter time was always spent sledding and digging snow tunnels and of course snow forts. We had some pretty amazing sculptures built at times, only to have the "other kids" come destroy it. :wink:

The school I went to is still in use and I believe has 5 or 6 students in it now.

Hopefully it will remain open but not sure how much longer since there isn't many young families with kids in the area and any that are for some reason would rather send their kids to the nearest town to school which is 50 miles away and is nothing short of a ses-pool! (sp?) But they think they get more social skills and can play sports! Blah........

Take care
 

Clarence

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I went to school in a one room school. I started to school when I was only 5 years old. There were 17 or 18 students in grades 1 through 8 the first two years. This was during the depression so after about the third year our school got small usually had from 5 to 10 students then.

The teacher boarded with a family that lived about 1/2 mile away. She had to get to school a little earlier in order to get the fire started. Had a big old cast iron stove with a jacket. The first half hour it didn't produce any heat just gave off the cold from the cast iron.

My brother and I walked a little more than 1 1/2 miles to school, had to carry our lunch and drinking water. In the spring we used our drinking water to drown out ground squirrels. When there was snow much of our recesses were spent sledding down a hill south of the school. One spring morning we picked wild flowers that grew in the lanes, got late for school we didn't want to bring them in, so we left them on the step. By recess time they were all wilted.
 

Jinglebob

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I went to the same one room schoo,l as my dad went to, until I was a 6th grader. (Dad was born in 1914 I was born 1958) The district re-orginized and they built 2 new ones, upper and lower grades, 8 miles away and staarted a bus for some of us. It sucked.

Now they are talking consolidating and building a new one 15 miles away. Guess they will run buses. If I'd of wanted to go to town schools I'd a moved to town!

One room schools have been proven to be the best and most effective type of schooling for the lwer 8 grades.
 
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Jinglebob said:
I went to the same one room schoo,l as my dad went to, until I was a 6th grader. (Dad was born in 1914 I was born 1958) The district re-orginized and they built 2 new ones, upper and lower grades, 8 miles away and staarted a bus for some of us. It sucked.

Now they are talking consolidating and building a new one 15 miles away. Guess they will run buses. If I'd of wanted to go to town schools I'd a moved to town!

One room schools have been proven to be the best and most effective type of schooling for the lwer 8 grades.

I heard on the local radio today that the 2 top states for the lowest High School dropout rates were #1 South Dakota and #2 Montana... We must be doing something right :D Makes those miserable years on the School Board seem worthwhile- there were times when I thought nothing you do would please anyone :?
 

EJ

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I went 8 yrs country school also. Was the only one in my class for 7 1/2 yrs. It closed in the middle of my 8th grade because the only one`s left were my brother, sister, and myself and there was another country school 3 miles south. I had 4 classmates in that last 1/2 yr. The first school, was 3 miles east and had a barn for our saddle horses and didn`t get electricity until my 6th grade. We never did have indoor plumbing. A few years back I went into the museum country school at the SD State Fair. Close your eyes and you knew the smell. They all smelled alike, must have been the sweeping compound and or maybe mouse droppings.
 

nr

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There is a one-room school house up the street from us a mile or so and sadly it is being allowed to fall to ruin. It was charming at one time. Red brick with a porch. Turned posts and a rising sun pattern in the roof peak.
The bell disappeared first. Then the roof fell in and now some of the brickwork has collapsed.
I tried once to paint a picture of it to "heal" it back to its former glory. Sad to see a part of history fade and disappear.
 

Silver

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I am the product of a one room school also, grades one through seven. No kindergarden, junior high started at grade 8 in town. There were 21 kids in school my first year, 7 my last year. Out door plumbing, teacher was the janitor and principle. We had it good... hockey rink and soccer/baseball field, neighbours garden to "borrow" rhubarb and carrots from, little critters to chase in the woods. It was a good time. I wish my kids could get the benefit of a one room school, but they closed it down after I left and now it's gone.
Now it's on the bus for an hour and 20 minutes each way for our kids. Yuck.
 

mickey

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country school was good and small high schools are good. Was to a meeting tonight where the gov and his sec of ed was speeking and I think ther main agenda was to start letten us know they're gonna start closen small schools. Maybe more so east river where schools are closer together.
 

EJ

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OT, I can relate to those school board years. I had a heck of a lot more irrate parents call into the ealry morning hours as to why their kid didn`t get to play in a game then parents calling about classes that would help their child in later life. I was also on the special ed coop board, and that really got aggravateing to hear the complaints about sports when on the other hand there were kids struggleing to get by.

The country school setting had advantages that can`t be dupicated. I will grant that social activities were limited to 4 H and church. But that sure didn`t hinder social skills in later life. TX Tibbs sure is an example of that, relateing to more recent country school production.
 

Northern Rancher

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I just missed it-they closed ours about 5 years before I started it was in the corner of one of our fields actually-one thing I do remember is not having running water and 'holding' it till we got to town school in the a'm. The old schoolhouse stayed here for years and was used for picnics. Our 4H kids were playing ball the other day and it was like the old days-18-8 year olds on the same team. As for the education _I have 4 kids in the school system now and there are lots of great teachers now a days. My Uncle taught at our country school and was a firm believer in the strap lol.
 

Saddletramp

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I just got in on the country school house era before they were gone. I went to Kindegarten a mile and a half from our house. Best three years of my life. LOL Had to walk to school sharing one glove with my sister. Did our homework on a shovel......

Seriously.. My Teacher's name was Mrs.Johnson. She seemed really old at the time but must have been a young lady....The other day my Dad said she was still living in my hometown but was in a resthome.

I remember we had a pail of water to drink and wash our hands with and we had some of those really neat paper cups that were shaped like clown hats.

I remember getting to play ball and everyone got to bat even Mrs. Johnson.
 

Liberty Belle

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The little one room country school that I attended, North Strool School, is no longer there nor is the town of Strool it was named for. There was a small barn for horses and the teacher lived a ½ mile down the road. Our Christmas program was held in the old dance hall at Strool five miles away from the school and was usually a joint program with the South Strool School, another school that no longer exists.

When I started as the only first-grader there were 10 students in 6 grades. The three 8th graders graduated that spring, reducing our numbers to 7 and beginning a steady decline in enrollment that culminated in the school closing in 1966.

There was an outdoor biffy, a tin water bucket with a dipper and no electricity, even though the power line ran maybe fifty feet from the school. Most of the older kids brought their lunch in tin lard pails, but I had a genuine Red Rider lunch box! We did have phone service using an old wall ringer phone on a party line. The phone was installed by my father and my mother was the local switchboard operator, working a “switchboard” that consisted of four toggle switches on the wall of our house.

The school was three miles from our house and for a first grader, those were the longest miles I ever walked in my lifetime, and I had to walk them every day. The only third grader would walk the first mile with me to the mailbox on the road leading into her ranch, pat me on the back while I cried, and we would separate for the remainder of our journeys in different directions down those lonely prairie trails. We were like the old time postal service, “neither rain nor snow or gloom of night” kept us from our appointed rounds… well, I guess gloom of night didn’t bother us much because we usually made it home before dark.

The walk to school made the two mile walk to the old town of Strool seem easy and I was often sent to the store for groceries for Mom and cigarettes for Dad. These trips for tobacco and groceries started at the tender age of four. I even sold beer to customers at my aunt’s café before I was old enough to see above the counter! Now the proprietors of the store and the cafe would be locked up for selling tobacco products to minors and having a bartender who hadn’t started grade school yet.

Ah, those were the good old days…
 

Juan

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Liberty Belle........You had to be "one tough little fart"...Three miles every day!We had to walk a little over a mile and thought that was bad!The only time we got a ride was when it rained. No rain coats!Of course that was durring the "dirty thirtys",so we got very few rides. :? :mad:
 

Clarence

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Those lard pails for dinner buckets brings up a story. Sometimes we carried our lunch in 4 lb. lard pails, sometimes we had dinner buckets. When I first started to school I had one of those lunch boxes with a thermos, mother sometime put hot chocolate in it. One time I fell or something and broke the thermos. I had the habit if swinging my dinner pail, so often my lunck was a bit mixed up.

Back to the lard pails, We would alway open our lunch buckets at first recess and get something to eat. One boy opened his, and what do you suppose he found, Lard. He didn't have a mother, his sister made his lunch for him. That morning he picked up the wrong lard pail. As it turned out, the teacher shared her lunch with him. We all said that that pail of lard must have been sort of heavy to carry to school that morning, but then he only lived 3/4 mile from school.
 

OldDog/NewTricks

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Just missed - - We had a moderen 2 room schooll - K through 4Th and 5th through 8th 'Adams School' - - Home of "Adams 4H" - I grew-up one District over - We moved and I would have attended 8th grade there but it burnt to the ground and I had to bus into town.

The school was build on Huge Granit Rocks that had Indian Painting with a creek below - - Now the location is "Ohlone Indian County Park" - - A lot of 4H great misadventires there! :wink:
 

TXTibbs

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Like I said I went to a very rural country school 50 miles from the nearest town starting in Kindergarten at age 5 and finishing the 8th grade, so total went there 9 years. Out of them 9 years I had 8 different teachers!!! And I think everyone of them was a first year teacher! Do you guys all have similar situations? Seems like back in the older days the teachers would stay till they were forced out by illness or death. Now days the only teachers they can find to teach in a country school is a new freshly graduated teacher desperately looking for a job and to get that first year of experience so they improve their chances of getting hired elsewhere.

The country school I went to was the same one my grandpa and dad went to as well, as well as all their brothers and sisters. Although it sat in a different location when grandpa and his siblings went to it. Grandpa started school in about 1920. Also my mother taught at this school for a couple years. My sister also taught at a country school in rural Montana near for 3 years or so.
 

DOC HARRIS

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EJ said:
I went 8 yrs country school also. Was the only one in my class for 7 1/2 yrs. It closed in the middle of my 8th grade because the only one`s left were my brother, sister, and myself and there was another country school 3 miles south. I had 4 classmates in that last 1/2 yr. The first school, was 3 miles east and had a barn for our saddle horses and didn`t get electricity until my 6th grade. We never did have indoor plumbing. A few years back I went into the museum country school at the SD State Fair. Close your eyes and you knew the smell. They all smelled alike, must have been the sweeping compound and or maybe mouse droppings.
My Gosh! I have been sitting here for almost an hour reading all these nostalgic posts, and almost crying - not for myself (exactly :cry2:) but for the poor, DEPRIVED kids of today who do not have a clue as to what real tough and valuable education is and how unfortunate they are to not have had to struggle a little bit for it. Thank God for all the so-called tough times I experienced. As far as the smell you mentioned, the sweeping compound is part of it, but I think that the shellac on the desks is also a part of it (Gad - I can still smell that stuff!). And did you ever stick your tongue on a desk top and taste that yuck? Bly-k-k-k-ck! You know - Teacher says, "Rest time. Put your heads down on your desk for a few minutes!" Wheww-ww - the smell of those desks would almost put you to sleep - - PERMANENTLY! And wet 'Sheepskin coats' and Galoshes and knit caps in the 'cloak room would stink up the whole school room. But Thank God, we were learning how to live. I feel sorry for today's kids who have "EVERYTHING" and can't appreciate ANYTHING!
 

nr

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What do you think of this? Last evening our school-teacher son said in exasperation there are many middle school children who have not learned cursive writing because there is little emphasis placed on it anymore due to the availability of computers and word processors!
They can print but that is so slow for note taking.

And think of all the situations in life where NO computer will be handy, and for many who never have access.

What a commentary on the public school system. :mad: And the parental involvement :mad: :mad:
 

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