Strong One Room School House

Strong School 1903

Strong School 1937

The history of the one-room rural schoolhouse is preserved in this turn of the century building and its furnishings.

Originally located on Silver Street south of the Village of Vicksburg, it was acquired in 1996. Before formation of the current Vicksburg Community Schools in 1947, there were 21 individual districts serving the rural area, each with its own school providing a K-8 education for those children living in its neighborhood.

As was the custom of the times, the school took its name from the adjacent property owner- in this case, Ezekiel Strong.

Rural one-room schools were usually located within 5 miles of each farm in the district, as children walked to and from school in all kinds of weather. Generally, older boys only attended the winter term as they were needed on the farm during spring, summer, and fall.

The interior layout was almost always the same. Two doors – one for the boys and one for the girls – opened to a cloak room where coats and lunch pails were stored. Water from the hand pump outside was available there for hand washing as well as drinking, either from a communal dipper or from individual cups.

The school room itself had two walls of windows for light, and a wood stove for heat. Fathers of those enrolled in each district were responsible for keeping a supply of firewood on hand. The teacher was responsible for building the fire in the morning and keeping it going throughout the day.

Strong school was donated to Vicksburg Historical Society by the Wesley Copenhafer family and Mr. Robert Schroeder in 1996. The building straddled the line between the Copenhafer and Schroeder properties, and both families wished to see the building preserved rather than torn down.

One-Room School Facts

Did you know that students attending one-room schools …

  • walked to school each day
  • had one teacher for all eight grades
  • used outhouses instead of bathrooms
  • had no electric lights
  • used a water pump in the school yard
  • were expected to haul wood for the stove that heated the building
  • carried their lunches in a dinner pail or walked home for lunch
  • had to help younger children with their lessons
  • often did not have more than an 8th grade education

Strong School 2009

Strong School Tours