Tag Archives: one room school house

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

Grand Meadow Heritage Center

7 Sep

This weekend, Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 8&9, there will be a festival at the Grand Meadow Heritage Center near Quimby and Washta, Iowa. The center itself is set up as a museum area with older buildlings and displays of times past. A log cabin, a former one-room school house, wagons, a black smith shop and a museum in a former area community school.

There should be a variety of activities occurring, although I am not certain what is actually taking place and have not been able to find much information doing an internet search. There is some antique farming equipment and people will be dressed in period clothing. This is a posting that contains a map and directions to find the Center, which is east of Hinton off of County Road C66. Reprints of the Center are here.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

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