Demise of the One-Room Schoolhouse

As with so many other things, the one-room school is a thing of the past.

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Since I was born March 24, 1910, almost nothing is now the same. There were one room country schools everywhere and most towns had a high school. Then, dusty and muddy roads were everywhere. The older women's skirts almost swept the floor. The recess games at school were Kick the Bucket, Work Up, (a brand of baseball), Fox and Geese, Andy Over, marbles and horseshoes, coasting parties, skating parties and visits to the old swimming hole. On the farm, horses still pulled the wagon, buggy and plow.

Before long the airplane started to make its mark. The Model T became the king of the road. As they made better cars and built better roads it hastened the one room school and small town demise. In the countryside now there is one house where there used to be eight.

William Woodward
Plevna, Missouri


Back in 1955 a call went out from the editors of the then Capper’s Weekly asking for readers to send in articles on true pioneers. Hundreds of letters came pouring in from early settlers and their children, many now in their 80s and 90s, and from grandchildren of settlers, all with tales to tell. So many articles were received that a decision was made to create a book, and in 1956, the first My Folks title – My Folks Came in a Covered Wagon – hit the shelves. Nine other books have since been published in the My Folks series, all filled to the brim with true tales from Capper’s readers, and we are proud to make those stories available to our growing online community.