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Rural Schools

The Rural School Collections at the University of Northern Iowa

The Center for the History of Rural Iowa Education and Culture (CHRIEC), of the University of Northern Iowa's Museum is dedicated to the preservation, protection, and dissemination of unique and rare materials documenting America's rural school system and culture with particular emphasis on Iowa and the Midwest.

 

About Us

Mission Statement
The Center for the History of Rural Iowa Education and Culture (CHRIEC), of the University of Northern Iowa's Museums (currently administered by Rod Library), is dedicated to the preservation, protection, and dissemination of unique and rare materials documenting America's rural school system and culture with particular emphasis on Iowa and the Mid-West. Through maintaining archival, historical, and research collections, oral histories, and programming, CHRIEC seeks to advance scholarship and support the educational, research, and service missions of the university. The Center encourages the use of its holdings by University of Northern Iowa students, faculty, staff, visiting scholars, and the wider public.

Statement of Purpose
- To collect, preserve, organize, and make available to researchers, materials relating to the cultural and institutional history of Iowa's rural schools.
- To facilitate access to collections and materials for students, faculty, independent scholars, and organizations, in as much as facilities, budget, staffing, time, and other constraints permit.
- To continue to promote and connect with other rural education focused organizations to further develop the current network of rural cultural resources available.

History
At its height, Iowa's rural school system was comprised of over 12,000 one- and two-room schools stretching across the state. These schools provided much of the state's population with its educational training from 1850 to around 1960.

In May of 2007, with the help of a grant from the Iowa State Historical Society, Preserving the History of Iowa Rural Education, a UNI Museums project, was able to work with Iowa's Area Education Agencies (AEAs) to transfer the over 100 years' worth of official records to the University of Northern Iowa. At the time, the AEAs housed the gathered records of their constituent counties, a result of the statewide consolidation efforts of the mid-twentieth century.

While these records had been in the care and protection of the AEAs for decades, a point was reached at which they were unable to provide the professional attention to preservation and public access that the records warrant. The future and integrity of the records came into jeopardy as the instances of temperature and humidity control, pest infestations, dampness, acid storage materials, dust, and cramped conditions proliferated. Use of the records at that time was also made difficult by a lack of organization, finding aids, or staff trained in assisting researchers. This lack of consistency is a clear reflection of the early independence counties, boards of education, and schools maintained, and has left many of Iowa’s rural school records missing.

In 2011, with the support of an Institute of Museum and Library Services' Museums for America grant, the UNI Museum began organizing and arranging the rural school records of eighty-six Iowa's counties. The Center is working to catalogue these records into an online, searchable database of finding aids to increase researcher access and ease of use.

 

Contact Us

CHRIEC
The Center for the History of Rural Iowa Education and Culture is stored on the third floor of the University of Northern Iowa's Rod Library in the Special Collections and University Archives. Hours of operation are from 9am to 4pm Monday through Friday.

Nathan Scott Arndt
Museum and Collections Curator
nathan.arndt@uni.edu
319-273-2188

 

Fees and Services

Research Services and Duplication
- Requests for research services may be made in writing via email to nathan.arndt@uni.edu or by phone at 319-273-2188.

- Requests that involve simple searches for information, where specific information is provided (such as county, township, year, and teacher or student name), will incur a handling fee. Requests that involve more in-depth and sustained searching through documents will incur a research fee.

- Digital reproductions and photocopies of materials held in the Rural School Records in the CHRIEC archive can be made, when copying will not damage materials. All digital reproductions and photocopies must be made by staff.

- Generally, orders will be filled within 14 days after receipt of request.

- When costs of reproduction have been determined, a cost figure will be sent to you.

- Total fees will include a handling or research fee, reproduction fees, and/or postage fee.

Fees
Handling fee, simple request – $5
Handling fee, microforms – $10
Research fee – $20/hour
Rush order – $20

Photocopies, 8.5x11 – $.25 per copy
Photocopies, 11 x 17 – $.40 per copy
Digital imaging – $5 per image
CD or DVD – $1 per disc
Photographic printout – $2 per sheet

Mailing fee, standard – $2.50 (up to 10 sheets or 1 disc)
Mailing fee, special – Actual cost for express mailing or large packages

Please make checks payable to UNI Museums.

Categories of Users
UNI Students – fees are waived for small orders
General public – fees above apply
Commercial users – additional fees will be applied for publication, broadcast, or exhibition

 

Policies

Information for Researchers
The Center for the History of Rural Iowa Education and Culture (CHRIEC), established in 2008 as a joint initiative of the UNI Museums, College of Education, and College of Social & Behavioral Sciences, is dedicated to the preservation, protection, and dissemination of materials and information relating to the rural school system and culture in Iowa. It maintains archival, historical, and research collections containing primary resources—such as the rural school records, photographs, and artifacts—as well as secondary materials including oral histories, reference works, and costumes.

Location and Hours
The Rural School Records, the largest component of the resources at the Center for the History of Rural Iowa Education and Culture, are physically located in Rod Library's Special Collections and Archives. It is open from 8am-4pm, Monday through Friday. Other materials in the collection of the CHRIEC are housed in the UNI Museums and are available by appointment or advance arrangements.

Registration
Researchers are required to fill out a Research Registration Form and provide information on the nature of their visit before being granted access to the collections. A valid identification is also required.

Regulations
- Coats, briefcases, parcels, and personal books are not permitted in the research area. Please leave them at the registration desk.
- No ink of any kind may be used in the research area; use pencils only. Computers may be brought into the archives and used at the discretion of the archivist.
- Smoking, eating, and drinking are prohibited in the archives.
- All archival materials must be handled carefully: use only one folder at a time and keep the papers in their existing order.
- Do not place books or volumes face down. Do not lean or press on archival materials. Do not trace maps or other records.
- Do not write on any materials held by the CHRIEC.
- All materials should be in the same order and state when the researcher leaves as when they arrived.
- No material in the archives may be removed from the research area for any reason.
- Persons requesting access to restricted materials must contact the person or agency imposing the restrictions. The archives cannot permit access to these materials without written permission from the proper authority.
- Researchers are advised that it is their responsibility, not the archives, to obtain copyright clearance to publish or otherwise reproduce or distribute archival material. Whenever possible, the archivist will provide the names and addresses of copyright holders.
- Any published work using the CHRIEC collections must make proper acknowledgement of the fact using the preferred citation template: [Name of Collection, Item], Center for the History of Rural Iowa Education and Culture, University of Northern Iowa. “Published work”, as used here, refers to theses, dissertations, term papers, journal articles, monographs, books, electronic or other other forms of publication prepared for public audience, limited or general.

Duplication of Materials
- Unless restricted or protected by copyright conditions, photocopies of material will be supplied for research purposes at the rate of 25 cents per page. No more than 20% (or 200 pages, whichever is less) can be reproduced in any form for any individual or organization. [See Fees and Services for further information.]
- Copies made of CHRIEC’s holdings are only to be used for research or private study purposes and are not to be made commercially available, reproduced, shared, or exhibited in print or online.
- Since it may not be possible to fill some orders on the day requested, the Center reserves the right to carry out the work over a reasonable period of time.
- Researchers requiring copies of photographs, maps, sound recordings, or moving image materials, or those wishing to copy archival materials using their own cameras or other equipment, are requested to consult the archivist about conditions and charges.
- Hand-held scanners or any type of equipment that is moved or rubbed across the face of documents is not allowed at CHRIEC; these methods cause friction and abrasion and are potential detriments to the integrity of archival resources.

Personal Camera Use
This policy is designed to assist researchers using the Center for the History of Rural Iowa Education and Culture’s collections by encouraging the use of personal cameras for note-taking activities. The use of personal cameras is subject, but not limited, to the following conditions:

- Researchers wishing to take photographs using their own cameras or other equipment must first obtain permission from the archivist for each photograph desired. Materials may have copyright or other restrictions which limit the use of their image.
- All photographs are to be used for research purposes only and may not be reproduced, shared, exhibited, or published in print or online.
- Manuscripts, records, or collections may not be reproduced in their entirety. Photographs are meant to help supplement note taking and allay the amount of scanning and photocopying necessary. Researchers should limit the number of photographs taken to a reasonable amount.
- All materials are to be handled carefully and properly. Do not fold, flatten, or remove any fasteners from any of the records. Do not remove items from their encapsulated environments (e.g., mylar sleeves). Researchers found mishandling or abusing materials will be denied further access to CHRIEC’s holdings.
- Digital cameras and mobile phone cameras must be set to ‘silent’ and to ‘still photography’ mode. Mobile phones cannot be used to take calls in the reading room but can be used for text messaging, in silent mode. Flashes, tripods, scanners, or other specialized equipment are not permitted.
- Researchers wishing to take photographs of the reading room, the staff, or other researchers are asked to see and abide by Rod Library’s policy.
- The CHRIEC reserves the right to examine and/or request copies of all photographs taken.

 

FAQ

Why can’t I access the Records online?
Several factors preclude the proper and thorough digitization and indexing of CHRIEC’s holdings. The Center maintains over 600 linear feet of paper records and over 1,000 reels of microfilmed records relating to rural schooling; in many cases the records are brittle, fragile, moldy, or contaminated in some other way. These factors, coupled with the shear bulk of the material (as well as the shortness of CHRIEC staff), make online access impracticable at this time. However, a finding aid for each collection is available for online viewing.

 

Do you have a photograph of my school?
We may.
Rural schools and classes were usually only photographed one time per year. The resulting photographs were normally given or sold to the students and their families. This means the number of photographs of each school varied with the number of students, which was rather low in most cases. Since the Rural School Records are comprised of the official records kept by the rural school administration, there are very few of these photographs (which were kept by the students and their families). The majority of photographs CHRIEC does have are found in the History of Education Collections.

 

Why don’t you have records from my County/school/year?
There are countless reasons for gaps and holes in the Rural School Records. CHRIEC holds records from 88 of Iowa’s 99 counties. These records were transferred to UNI from their Area Education Agencies in 2007. Two AEAs were unable to transfer any records: AEA 9, (Mississippi Bend – Clinton, Jackson, Scott, and Muscatine) had previously transferred their records to the Davenport Public Library; AEA 14 (Green Valley – Adair, Adams, Clarke, Taylor, Montgomery, Ringgold, Decatur, and Union) lost a majority of their records in a fire at the AEA building, and, as far as we know, are no longer available.

Due to the nature of the rural school system, a good number of records never reached the AEA offices. Many of these were kept with the schoolhouse or were taken home by rural teachers or administrators and thus remain in private hands. CHRIEC is happy to see these collections of rural school material make their way into the archives through donations made by likeminded community members who may own or happen across them. We are always looking for and accepting donations of such material.

 

Can I get copies of the records that I’m researching?
Yes, most likely. Please see our Policies page and our Fees and Services page for a complete listing of services offered by the CHRIEC staff.

 

Can I come in and see the records?
Yes, please do! CHRIEC and the Rural School Collections are stored in Rod Library's Special Collections & University Archives at the University of Northern Iowa. Hours of operation are 9am to 4pm, Monday through Friday. See Contact Us for more information.

Displaying 1 - 25 of 1426
Catalog # Name Description
00.31.11.0001a Stereoscope

An instrument where two pictures of the same object are taken from different points of view which is shown through each eye. This produces the effect of a single picture of the item showing the appearance of depth or relief.

00.31.11.0001a (Stereoscope) image
00.31.11.0001b Stereoscope

An instrument where two pictures of the same object are taken from different points of view which is shown through each eye. This produces the effect of a single picture of the item showing the appearance of depth or relief.  

00.31.11.0001b (Stereoscope) image
00.38.6.2.2.0001A Chalkboard

Medium sized slate framed by wood. Both sides usable.

00.38.6.2.2.0001B Slate Pencil

Slate pencil that goes with a chalkboard. It is wrapped in brown paper with blue stars at the end and has twine tied around it.

1970.40.0002 Pencil, slate

All but 2 3/4" covered with gold paper. Pencil of soft slate or of soapstone used for writing on a slate.

1970.54.0012 Holder, pen

Black handle with art deco embossed brass or gold finger grip area.

1970.54.0013 Holder, pen

Red handle, silver colored tip. Engraved with "E-faber".

1970.8.0002 Ruler

Advertising piece. Ruler goes to 15" and says "Harris & Cole Bros., All carloads Shipped Direct From Columbia, Tenn." "Manufacturers of Popular Lumber Turned Columns and Wood Pumps" "Address all Correspondence to Cedar Falls, IA." and has a photo of an intricately carved wood pump. Back says "HARRIS & COLE BROS., Manufacturers of POLAR LUMBER TURNED COLUMNS AND WOOD PUMPS." Has a carved wood column in center with "Address All Correspondence to CEDAR FALLS, IA. SAW MILLS AND MACHINES FOR BORING AND DRESSING LUMBER AT COLUMBIA, TENN." and "HEADQUARTERS AND THE Largest Wood Pump Factory In The World, at Cedar Falls, Iowa."

1970.8.0014 Pen

Wooden ink pen with a red handle, nib is metal and must be made of bronze. It is stained from ink and a natural green patina has started to form at the tip. There are black ink splatters on the handle.

1973.46.0009 Textbook

"Physiology for Beginners", by Foster, M. and Shore, Louis E. 241 pp. Illus. In b/w. Bound in dark navy blue cover. Yellow-gold printing on bound-edge of book. On inside is written "Emma Sauer, 2nd year class, High School, 1894-1895." Elementary study of physiology with some background information on chemistry and physics. Color: BL,GD

1973.46.0010 Textbook

"Primary Lessons in Human Physiology", by Oliver P. Jenkins, Ph. D. 211 numbered pages. Illus. With b/w engravings. Bound in dark green with faded red printing embossed into cover on front and back. Front cover says Indiana State Series across the top; Primary lessons in Human Physiology across the bottom. A Guide to Study of the Human Body. On inside cover page in black ink "Emma Sauers/ Clay A. Inter./ Fort Wayne, Ind/ Feb. 7th 1893". In pencil "Adele Sauer/ 172 Madison Str./ Fort Wayne/ Ind/ Harmer 8A/Jan. 30 1899." Color: GR

1975.4.0002 Book

"Recitations, Plays and Tableaux for Boys and Girls'' (Best and most Captivating Selections in Poetry and Prose from World-Renowned Authors for Public and Private Exhibitions.) Editor, Publisher, and city unknown. 278 pages. Color plates, b/w drawings. Handwritten in black ink on front cover page "Aletha Jacobs/Rowley/Iowa" and handwritten in black ink on next cover page "Miss Aletha Jacobs/ Rowley, Ia./Jan. 1903". Cover has multicolors printed with 5 circus performers and a vignette in upper right corner with young woman and lower right corner with a young couple. Color: GR,RD,GY

1975.4.0004 Book

"The Cecilian Series of Study and Song." by John W. Tufts. Music and lyrics. Copyright 1892. 192 pages. "Book III Unchanged voices. Added notes for basses & tenors." Compiled for the changes in voices of students in grades below high school who are unable to read the notes of the F clef. Inside front cover has handwritten lists of students' names in black ink and some teachers, including Aletha Jacobs. Stamped in red ink "Bertha Tomlinson". Cover decorated with vines and flutes.

1975.4.0006 Book

"The Recitation", by Samuel Hamilton, Ph.D. Xi plus 369 pp. No illustrations. A series of lectures on the subject of recitation designed for young teachers. Volume V of the Lippincott educatinal Series. Edited by Martin G. Brumbaugh, Ph D. Handwritten in black ink on front cover page "Miss Aletha G. Jacobs". Black ink stamped on red cover. Gold ink stamped on spine. Color: RD,BK,GD

1975.4.0007 Book

"Primary Handwork", by Ella Victoria Dobbs. xii plus 124 pages with additional advertisements. B/w photos & drawings. Copyright 1914, second reprint. Excercises and methods for handwork for primary school children. Gold print on spine. Color: BK,GD

1975.4.0010 Book

"American School Songs.'' J. H. Kurzenknabe, Editor .256 pp. No illustrations. Paper back. Copyright 1909. For schools, colleges, institutes and the home circle. 202 songs with sections of progressive exercises, marches suitable for calisthenics and concert exercises, responsive readings and an epitome of the fundamental facts in theory of music. Pink insert page at front from publisher to teachers "Sample Copy." sold for $.25 or $.20 for 5 - 500 copies. Cover has textured surface with eagle and U. S. flags in red and blue. Black tape binding on spine. Back cover has advertisement for teachers and U. S. emblem.

1975.4.0013 Book

"Iowa Day for Public Schools of the State." by B. W. Hoadley. 160 pp. B/w/ photos. Issed by the Department of Public Instruction, October 20, 1916. Paperback. Filled with information on the history, schools, notable persons, industry and recreation of Iowa. Cover has black print on white with geometric borders and center emblem. Handwriting in pencil on last page & inside back cover. Color: WH,BK

1975.4.0014 Booklet

"Special Days, Iowa Public Schools, 1908-09". No author. 98 pp. No illustrations. (State of Iowa Special Day Annual). Readings and poetry celebrating Thanksgiving, Christmas, Decoration Day, Arbor Day & Patriots Day for special programs in the school. Green cover with laurel branch. Outline of metal staplses visible. Handwritten in green ink on cover "Miss Jacobs". Color: GR,BK

1975.4.0015 Booklet

"State of Iowa 1919 Course of Study for Common Schools''. 39 pp. Property of School District stamped in purple on the front. Color: Black and cream

1975.4.0016 Book

"Primary Reading and Phonics: Helpful Suggestions" by J. E. Cundy; 32 pp. Published by J.S. Latta, Incorporated Cedar Falls, Iowa

1975.4.0017a Booklet

"1,000 Word List''. 2 hand-dated copes of a handout found enclosed in 75.4.16. Color: Black and white

1975.4.0017b Booklet

"1000 Word List". Hand dated in pencil. Colors: Black and white. Slightly smaller than a. Found inside 1975.4.0016

1975.4.0019 Booklet

"War Service in Iowa Schools''. Distributed by United States Food Administration, Iowa Division, September 1. 1918. J.F. Deems, United States Food Administrator for Iowa.

1975.4.0023 Book

"Howes Comic School Speaker" (Choice Selection of Comic and Humorous Pieces Suitable for Scholars of all Ages.) Paperback. 102 pages plus 8 pages of ads. Distributed by School Publishing co., Darrowville, OH. Cover green with black print includes two human caricatures and one elephant. Handwritten in pencil on front cover page "Miss A. G. Jacobs". Color: Green, black

1975.4.0024 Book

"Childrens Comic Dialogues" by Marie Irish. Paperback. 102 pages, with additional advertisments. A collection of humorous dialogues for little folks, particularly adapted for school entertainments, for children 6 - 11. Original price $.25. Grey cover with red print of 4 children and 1 teacher in classroom setting. Label affixed to front cover of publisher's name includes Paine Publishing Company". Handwritten in green ink very faded "Miss A. G. Jacobs." Color: BK,WH

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From the UNI Archives

Historic Textbook Collection

Over 500 textbooks dating from the early 19th century up through the mid 20th century that were used in the rural schools of Iowa.

History of Education Collections

The History of Education Collections at the Center for the History of Rural Iowa Education and Culture (CHRIEC) document and detail rural culture and education in the United States with particular emphasis on Iowa and the Midwest. The collections are wide in the breadth of subjects covered and include many examples of rural school student work, official school records, photographs, plays, realia, school souvenirs, teaching aids, certificates, personal papers, correspondence, and educational trade publications. A majority of the materials date from the late nineteenth century on up into the late twentieth century.

Oral History Collection

The University of Northern Iowa's Museums has keeps an ongoing collection of oral history interviews with citizens who were involved in Iowa's rural school system. These recordings, which include the remembrances of pupils, teachers, and administrators, further develop the unique story of the country school in Iowa. The interviews are now part of the Center's collections, and transcripts of many of them are available in the reading room. Through the efforts of volunteers, we continue to record oral histories and make them available here.

Realia Collection

Includes chalkboards, metal lunch boxes and buckets, phonographs records, hand-held bells, charts, maps, pencil cases, Christmas and Valentine cards, and other ephemera.

Reference Files

The Center for the History of Rural Iowa Education and Culture maintains a collection of ongoing reference files on various aspects of rural education. These files include newspaper clippings, newsletters, maps, brochures, pamphlets, and other ephemera pertaining to Iowa's counties and schools, reorganization and consolidation, curriculum, school laws, and the Marshall Center School.

Rural School Photographs

This gallery represents a selection of photographs and other images curated from the Rural School Collections.

Rural School Records

Official records documenting Iowa's rural school system from the mid-19th through the mid-20th century as well as artifacts, ephemera, and other items relating to the history of rural education in the state. A database containing finding aids to the Rural School Records, organized by county name and keyword searchable, is available.

Rural School Reference Collection

The History of Education Collections at the Center for the History of Rural Iowa Education and Culture (CHRIEC) document and detail rural culture and education in the United States with particular emphasis on Iowa and the Midwest. The collections are wide in the breadth of subjects cover and include many examples of rural school student work, official school records, photographs, plays, realia, school souvenirs, teaching aids, certificates, personal papers, correspondence, and educational trade publications. A majority of the materials date from the late nineteenth century on up into the late twentieth century.

Archive ID Archive
RSC/HEC/002 Aletha Hutchison (Jacobs) Collection, 1898-1960
RSC/HEC/003 William H. Dreier Collection, 1930-2006
RSC/HEC/004 William L. Sherman Collection, 1901-2006
RSC/HEC/005 Jerry and JoAnn Kramer Collection, 1883-2006
RSC/HEC/006 Fred W. Cover Papers, 1898-1946
RSC/HEC/007 August Meester Collection, 1927-1955
RSC/HEC/008 Harry Barck Collection, 1915-1958
RSC/HEC/009 Jane Fauser Collection, 1902-1989
RSC/HEC/010 William W. and Helen (Lewis) Gibson Collection, 1883-1968
RSC/HEC/011 Helen Marine Collection, 1943-1986
RSC/HEC/012 Rough Woods School Collection, 1924-1929
RSC/HEC/013 Funnemark Family Collection, 1912-1947
RSC/HEC/014 Lorraine Turnipseed Collection, 1950-1995
RSC/HEC/015 Agnes Horn Collection, 1918-1950
RSC/HEC/016 Paul McCulley Collection, 1872-1893
RSC/HEC/017 Clark Van Hauen Collection, 1913-1949
RSC/HEC/018 Nancy Brochers Collection, 1905-1941
RSC/HEC/019 Harry L. Eells Collection, 1895-1933
RSC/HEC/020 Dr. Robert Sutton Collection
RSC/HEC/021 Susan Hightshoe Collection, 1923-1942
RSC/HEC/022 S. Elouise Walters Collection, 1934-1935
RSC/HEC/023 Dorothy E. Mason (Perrin) Textbook Collection, 1899-1920
RSC/HEC/024 Nebraska Rural School Collection, 1889-1910
RSC/HEC/025 Jim Riley Collection on DeSoto Consolidated School, 2004-2014
00/31/01 Iowa School Reports, 1918-1960
01/01/21 Henry Sabin Papers
MsC-51 "Memories of Clarke County, Iowa One-Room Rural Schools, 1924-1942" by June Walters Bryan
06/03/17 Rural School Lantern Slides
13/00/13 "The Rural School Messenger", 1937
13/01/13 "The Rural School and Community", circa 1923
13/03/11 The William H. Dreier Papers, 1949-1985
MsC – 8 "The Teacher and the Parent: A Treatise Upon Common-school Education" by Charles Northend
00/10/05 Teachers Agency Directory, 1932-1933
00/06/15 Riceville Record articles on One Room Schools, 2009-2010
MsC – 71 The Agnes Hanus Luze Collection, 1893-1936
00/02/03 Ohio Teachers Certificate, 1847
13/01/14 Marshall Center One-Room School Selection and Dedication, 1986-1995
00/02/02 Iowa Teacher's Certificate Facsimile, 1864
05/03/09 The Herbert M. Silvey Papers, 1947-1974
00/31/01 Reports of the Department of Public Instruction, 1918-1952
00/31/03 Iowa Education Directories, 1894-2013
00/31/02 Iowa Curriculum Guides, 1927-1990
MsC – 81 The May E. Francis Collection, 1910-1942
14/05/10 The Charles A. Fullerton Papers, 1900-1945
13/00/09 Conference on Local School District, 1976
MsC – 47 O'Brien County, Caldonia Township, #9 Happy Hollow - Daily Attendance Register,1937-1945
06/03/21 A Day in the Life of a Teacher (Film)
13/00/06 Journal of the Midwest History of Education Society, 1972-1976
Marshall Center School - A History
Realia Collection
Rural School Photographs
Rural School Clothing Patterns

Marshall Center School - A History

The Marshall Center School was built in 1893 and moved to UNI in 1987.

Teaching, a Family Tradition: The Hightshoe Sisters

With a combined total of 139 years of teaching experience, the Hightshoe sisters established themselves as pillars of Iowa's educational community.

Eighth Grade Examinations

Imagine it is 1916, and you are finishing eighth grade at a one-room school in rural Black Hawk County, Iowa. Your father has agreed that you can go on to high school in town. However, in order to do so, you must pass the state’s eighth-grade examination.

Reorganization and Consolidation

The Center's Rural School Records contain large number of official records documenting the history of Iowa's reorganization and consolidation movement. This ongoing exhibit showcases a sampling of the types and kinds of these materials available for research.

Lee County Color Slides

These color slides document the rural school culture in Lee County, Iowa circa late 1940s-early 1950s.  Snapped by an unknown photographer--likely the County Superintendent--they provide a rare glimspe at Iowa's rural schools.

Charles A. Fullerton and Rural Music Education

Charles Fullerton and his "Choir Plan" was instrumental in the development of music education in the state and the nation.

The online bookshelf contains links to rural school related reference materials from around the Internet. These resources are free to browse and (in most cases) to download. Titles are listed alphabetically below; entries with an asterisk are available in both physical and online formats.

Displaying 1 - 30 of 135
Title Author Date
Addresses Delivered at the Opening of the Iowa State Agricultural College, March 17, 1869 Iowa Agricultural College 1869 View
Agronomy, Principles and Practices Laurence Frederick Graber, Henry Lawrence Ahlgren 1946 View
American Journal of Education
The American Rural School: Its Characteristics, Its Future and Its Problems Harold Waldstein Foght 1910 View
The American State Normal School: An Instrument of Great Good Christine A. Ogren 2005 View
Among Country Schools O. J. Kern 1906 View
Analytic Survey of State Courses of Study for Rural Elementary Schools* Charles Myron Reinoehl 1923 View
The Annals of the American Institute of Instruction Being a Record of Its Doings for 54 Years, 1830-1883 Chas. Northend 1884 View
As The Twig is Bent: A Rural School Drama Estelle Cook 1917 View
The Beginnings of Agricultural Education in Midwestern Rural Schools, 1895-1915 Audrey Renee Shoemaker 2010 View
Better Rural Schools George Herbert Betts, Otis Earle Hall 1914 View
Biennial Report of the Iowa Department of Public Instruction
Bulletin of the Board on Secondary School Relations: The Accredited High School Iowa State Board of Education 1911 View
Comparative Study of City School Attendance and Rural School Attendance Earnest Wilder Fellows 1912
The Consolidated Rural School Louis W. Rapeer 1920 View
Consolidated Rural Schools and the Motor Truck 1920 View
Conditions and Needs of Iowa Rural Schools John F. Riggs 1905 View
Country Life and the Country School* Mabel Carney 1912 View
Country Schools for Iowa* Camilla Deiber, Peggy Beedle 2002
A Course of Study for the Preparation of Rural School Teachers Fred Mutchler, W. J. Craig 1912 View
Democracy's College: The Land-Grant Movement in the Formative State Earle Dudley Ross 1942 View
Early American Textbooks, 1775-1900* Office of Education Research and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education 1985 View
Early Schools in Two Townships of Black Hawk County, Iowa* William H. Dreier 1993 View
Economy, Efficiency, and Equality: The Myths of Rural School and District Consolidation* Jonathan P. Sher, Rachel B. Tompkins 1976 View
Educational Achievements of Eight Grade Pupils in One-Rooms Rural and Graded Town Schools* Clarence C. Martens 1954
The Evolution of Dodd's Sister: A Tragedy of Everyday Life Charlotte Whitney Eastman 1897 View
Exercises in Manual Training for the Rural Schools John Ross Slacks 1917 View
Farm School Children: An Investigation of Rural Child Life in Selected Areas of Iowa Bird T. Baldwin, Eva A. Fillmore, Lora Hadley 1930 View
Future Farmer Chapter Management Herbert McNee Hamlin 1936 View
The Geography of Iowa Alison E. Aitchison 1936 View

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