A View From The Attic
20 April 2009
by Lotus Foster
ONE ROOM SCHOOL
tell us that probably the first school in Fremont County was a log
cabin on the Lovelady farm west of Riverton. It was built in 1843.
Much later the Bee Hive School was built north of that first
been at least 122 one-room country schools in Fremont County. They
were not all in existence at the same time. An example would be
when the Mount Hope School, located in section 22 in Prairie
Township, burned on April 22, 1943. It was replaced by Center
School which was built in section 25 of Prairie Township.
schools were placed two miles apart so that the children normally
would not have to walk more than a mile.
I began my
research for the school locations by finding various old maps. A
man who worked for the County Engineers office had a map on which
he marked the names and locations of the schools. This was a
More difficult to
find were the dates the schools opened and closed. When the County
Superintendentís Offices closed, the records were taken to the
Area 13 Education office and were put on microfiche. Only record
I found from them for Fremont County was a part of one file on
placed signs at the sites of their one-room rural schools for the
Sesquicentennial in 1996. Since I was active in the Fremont County
Historical Society, I felt that the one- room schools were an
important part of the history of Fremont County as well and their
schools should be identified and marked.
I found an 1875
map, an 1891 and a 1910 Fremont and Mills County history at the
Museum in Sidney and with all of the other information I had
collected to arrive at an approximate time that a school opened.
In Fremont County there were eight country school names that had
either two or three schools with the same name in different
townships. There were three Fairview schools, two College Hill
schools, three Morning Star schools, two Centennial schools, two
Lone Willow schools, three Spring Valley schools, two Sunnyside
schools and two Center schools.
The closing years
were not quite as hard because I had several sources of
information I used. In a few cases a school would close when the
number of students dropped below five and then reopen if five or
more students moved into the district.
As the town
schools consolidated the country schools closed. In Scott and
Green townships all but two were closed by 1920. This was also
true in Riverton Township. Sidney Township, one of the largest
townships in the county at one time, had at least twenty country
schools. Many of these closed before 1940. Bright Side and Hazel
Dell in 1946, Lacy Grove in 1945 or 1946, Spring Valley in 1948,
Grand View in 1950, and West Grove in 1951 or 1952. The last two
schools to close in the county were Honey Creek and Sunny Slope,
both in Monroe Township, in 1959.
this information at hand it was time to approach the Historical
Society with the idea of making signs and placing them in the
location where the country schools stood, but that is another
forward to another View from the Attic from Lotus to share the
next step in this project. Meanwhile you can contact her on her