Siouxland’s lost and forgotten one-room schools, Plymouth County

14 Jun

The idea of attending a one-room school house to most people probably seems weird. A few students, one teacher, the building located in the country. But early in the history of the U.S. one-room schools were the norm. I attended a one-room school growing up in Illinois for my first grade. The same school my father attended and received his education. In some ways, that same tradition continues with what is now known as home-schooling. Just fewer students and all of them from one family. But these schools dotted the rural landscape, offering children of rural America a chance to become educated.

In Siouxland I came across what looks like it was a former school in Plymouth County. Sitting at the crossroads of State Highway 3 and Fir St. An empty shell now, with a storm shelter sitting nearby. Easy access to the farm families in the area. There was no indication what this former school’s name was or who it served. But I fondly remember my days in the first grade. Learning to read, write and doing simple arithmetic. Playing outside on good days, then inside in the school’s basement on bad weather days for recess. I remember more good days than bad. That school eventually became someone’s home. Definitely a different era, one to look back on simpler times, or so it seems now. But sometimes simple is good.


Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

2 Responses to “Siouxland’s lost and forgotten one-room schools, Plymouth County”

  1. wideworldofwiki June 14, 2014 at 9:35 am #

    Any idea if there are any of these in Minnesota on the old Sioux reservations?

    • jerrymennenga June 15, 2014 at 9:37 am #

      I have no idea. I tried to search online about the number of Iowa one-room schools of any number but didn’t find any info. I have no idea about the reservation. I would assume there had been as that was the way of education until the smaller communities and industrialization began pushing people looking for work into the cities.


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