Historic One-Room Schools in Missouri

This is not a complete list of one-room schools in Missouri. The information presented here is a selection of schools featured in our MU Extension programs or in the newsletter for the Missouri Historic Schools Alliance. To submit information for inclusion on this page, please email David Burton. You can help support these efforts by joining the Missouri Historic School Alliance.

Schools Worth Knowing About

We are currently working on a book that will feature the very best one-room schools in the state of Missouri. Be watching this site for information on how to get your own copy. Since work on that book is underway, the links to information about these features schools have been removed. Detailed information about these schools, along with others, will be included in the book.

Schuyler School (Springfield, Mo.): Located near Fantastic Caverns, this school built in 1905 is active as a community center.

Cave Springs School (Jasper county, Mo.):   This school was many things in between 1838 and 1966, a school, church, polling place, community center, funeral parlor and, during the Civil War, a military outpost, command post and temporary Jasper County Courthouse.

Wooley Creek School (Cape Fair, Mo.): On a high Ozarks ridge overlooking the James River (and Table Rock Lake), less than four miles west of Cape Fair, Mo., the Wooley Creek Community gathered for generations. The center of this community (named for the Wooley Family who settled here from Tennessee in the mid-1800s) was the old, one-room school house.

Story Creek School (Eminence, Mo.):  On the grounds of Alley Spring stands an original one-room school house, Story's Creek School. The schoolhouse was built in 1896 on the Sam Smith farm about four miles northwest of Eminence and was used until 1957 when the local school district was consolidated.

Franklin Academy (Lawson, Mo.): Located northeast of Kearney, the Watkins Woolen Mill State Historic Site is operated by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ Division of State Parks. The site provides important information about work and life in the 1800s. The Franklin School, or Octagonal School was built in 1856 and was used by the Watkins family and their employees until the mid-1870s.

Sycamore School (Lawrence County, Mo.): Sycamore School was built as a WPA project in 1940 and after consolidation in the 1950s it was used by an Extension Homemakers Club. But in 1999, the school gained new life when a non-profit was established to maintain the school as rural community center.

Star School (Point Lookout, Mo.): Star School began in 1863 in Barry County, Mo. but it is now a showplace of one-room school history next to the Ralph Foster Museum on the campus of College of the Ozarks near Branson.

1905 School (Springfield, Mo.):  In 2005, students at Missouri State University constructed a 1905-era one-room school on its campus, immediately west of the Greenwood Laboratory School. 

Newcomber School (Columbia, Mo.):  There are five acres of paradise in Columbia called Shelter Gardens, created and cultivated by Shelter Insurance. In it stands Newcomber School. Seven farmers met in the Newcomber School near Brunswick, Mo. on March 10, 1914, to form an organization which grew to become the Missouri Farmers Association. 

Swain School (Livingston County): Swain School is a wonderful example of what can be done by volunteers who have an interest in restoring one-room schools. Check out this news item about what members of the Liberty 4-H Club did to restore Swain.

Little Moore School (Lawrenceburg, Mo.) Built in 1901 and moved to Synder Park and restored in 1990.

Mount Hope School (Defiance, Mo.):  A schoolhouse at the Historic Daniel Boone Home and village in Defiance, Mo., is generally open for special events but can also be visited during special events. The school house was originally located in the town of St. Paul, Mo. which is just outside the city of O'Fallon, Mo. 

School at Silver Dollar City (Branson, Mo.): Oak Trail Schoolhouse was built at Silver Dollar City in 1962 to resemble a typical schoolhouse in the 1800s. Story and photos.

Pony School (St. Joe, Mo.): The Pony Express National Museum unveiled plans today for its newest addition, an 1860′s era one-room schoolhouse exhibit. Named the “Pony School,” the project is a partnership between the museum and the St. Joseph School District.

Higgerson School (New Madrid, Mo.):  Missouri has one school that functions as a state historic site:  Higgerson School in New Madrid. Restored to the one-room school that operated at Higgerson Landing in 1948.

Mt. Gilead School (Kearney, Mo.):  Mt. Gilead School operated for over 100 years until it closed its doors in 1946.  The present two story school on the Jesse James Farm was built in 1879.

Bunker Hill School (McDonald County, Mo.) Bunker Hill was built in 1929 and used until 1948 in McDonald County.

Union Chapel School (Galena, KS): Inspired by efforts to save one-room schools in Missouri, one lady made it her mission to save Union Chapel School by moving and restoring it.

Boston Center School (Branson, Mo.):  Boston Center School is located on highway 248, Taney County, MO outside Branson. When the school was built in 1903 the highway was called the Boston Road. Now it is used as a community center for senior adults.

Brownhill School (Texas County, Mo.):  It is the Brownhill School, number 42 on the 1924 School Districts list for Texas County, showing a Yukon address, and J. W. Brown as school board president. Today it is not the name that gets our attention, it is the unusal stone work.

Enterprise School (Saddlebrook, Mo.):  Enterprise School still exists and it is a beloved spot for landowners in the Saddlebrooke Development south of Springfield.

Rocky Point (Marshfield, Mo.): Rocky Point School in Webster County educated students until the 1950s and although it is privately owned, it still hosts area school students once a year.

Mt. Sterling (Gasconade County, Mo.): Used as a school then forgotten, this school was restored as an act of love in 2009.

New Bethel School (McDonald County, Mo.): A two-room school covered in field stones, New Bethel sat empty for years until an attendee at the 2011 Historic School Summit was inspired to organize her friends and neighbors to buy and restore it. 

Ballwin School (St. Louis, Mo.):  Built in 1900 but renovated in 2011 and opened to the public, this is an example of what an interested community can do.

Beluah (Republic, Mo.):  First-hand account: I began first grade in 1937 and attended all eight grades at Beulah. The school building faced south toward Hwy. M at the corner of Hwy. M and Farm Road 103.

Coleman School (Ash Grove, Mo.):  Built prior to 1900, classes stopped at this chool in 1941 and it was reorganized as part of the Ash Grove School District in 1949.

Willey School (Willard, Mo.): Located north of Willard this school is on the county historic sites list but it is slowly falling apart.

Newport School (Lamar, Mo.): This school building is still used as a community center.

Chapman School (Pierce City, Mo.):  Chapman School is located in Jolly Mill Park -- a privately supported recreational and historical park. The purpose of the Park is to restore and preserve the history of the Capps Creek Valley.