In 1897 there were 35 school districts. Below is a numerical list of each school district.
Fairview District 1
Located in the extreme southeast corner of Phillips County, this school district was established in 1908.The district was divided by petition from the residents of the lower half which became District 5, Pleasant Valley. This district serviced students until the 1960's when it joined Holyoke Re-1J.
The first school year was for a term of four months, the teacher was Mildred Kiner who received a salary of $40.00 a month.
Location: 11Miles east, 8 miles south of Holyoke.
Amherst District 2
Although no records are available, it is believed that there was a school in Amherst as early as 1890. The citizens petitioned for a vote which would secure a bond to build a school in 1893. A 26 x 40 foot building was raised, 40 desks, a teacher’s desk and chairs were purchased and paid for in 1894. That same year, the school district began charging a 75 cent monthly tuition to every out of district child that attended school in this district.
In 1917 this district consolidated with district 2, 17 and 79 which student enrollment to 122. A branch high school was established which served the area until 1949. In 1918 a brick school house was built to replace the 3 small building. The new building also served as a community center and both served the area until 1966 when it too consolidated with Holyoke. By 1970 the school had been auctioned off and demolished. It is also interesting to note that Amherst had a parochial school in 1909.
Sunny side District 3
This district was once located in Logan County. Established in May 1887, records show that the district frequently gave and received land which changed its boundaries. 1894 districts 3, 72, 44 combined which allowed them to offer 9 months of school instead of the usual 3 months. One teacher would travel to each district and conduct school for 3 months.
School in District 72, as it was known in 1888 was held in a sod house which measured 12 x 24. In 1889 a framed building was purchased from Ann Lemley and moved it to the Peter’s claim. By 1903 a new building was erected, with a basement, which served as living quarters for the teacher. In 1952 the building was purchased and moved to Holyoke to be used as a residence.
Location: 9 miles north 3 miles w of Holyoke.
Green Prairie District 4 (joint with Sedgwick)
This district was formed while this area was still in Logan County and for awhile the district was jointly used by Phillips and Sedgwick counties. The school was a one room framed building with a basement. After the district was dissolved the building was used as a community center. The building was later sold and moved to Julesburg. The land in Phillips County was given to District 2 and District 39
Location: 15 miles north on 385 north side of road.
Pleasant Valley District 5
Establish in May 1887 this district was located in Logan County and covered a large area South of Hwy 6, east to the state line and south to the county line. In 1908 by vote of the residents, the County Superintendent split the district, with the lower half becoming Fairview.
In November 1922 the district was hit by a tornado, the building was destroyed and the teacher died. The State Line church and a residence was also destroyed. A new building, which included a basement was constructed in 1923 and also served the area as a community center. In 1953 the school was renovated and restrooms and a library were added. The School served the area till 1960 when the building was sold and moved to Nebraska.
Location: 10 miles east and 3 miles south of Holyoke.
Highland Center District 6 Consolidated
The original district, Peyton Valley District 6 was organized in October 1889 a covered the greater part of the southwest corner of Phillips County. In 1918 the County Superintendent annulled district 6 a consolidated Payton Valley, Hilltop and one other district into Highland Center District 6.
In 1919 large brick building was constructed. The new school came complete with a gym, 4 rooms and a auditorium There was a large two story teacherage and a 2 stall bus barn. The teachers were required to live in the teacherage during the week which was later used as living quarters for the cook and janitor. By 1919 a branch high school was established here. The district consolidated with Haxtun in 1960, the building was sold to Marvin Carlson, who used it as a community center. Building burned in 1979.
Location: 8 miles south on Hwy 59, 2 miles east of Haxtun.
Prairie Star District 7
Originally this district was form sometime before the turn if the century, but there is no record establishing the exact date. It is estimated to have been between 1890 and 1896. Sometime after that date the district was annulled, for to failure to maintain the school.
In 1910 the residents again voted to organize the district and a white framed one room school house was built. The school was heated with a coal stove and on very cold morning, Mr. Mc Donnall who lived across the road, would go over and start the stove. The district offered a hot lunch program, which consisted of the teacher heating a pan of water on the stove, where student could place glass jars filled with food from home to heat. The district dissolved in 1950, the building was sold moved to Holyoke for a residence.
Location: 4 miles north and 1 mile east of Paoli.
Evergreen District 8
Evergreen was originally established June 1887. In 1904 the district was annexed to Harmony district 26 when it failed to maintain the school. The school itself was a white framed building. One of the chores preformed by the students was getting water from the McDorman farm ¼ of a mile away. The last day of school all meat a picnic and a good game of baseball with the students for the Lone Star School some four miles away. The district was dissolved in 1952 and the building was moved to town.
Location: 7 miles east of Holyoke on south side Hwy 6.
Hilltop District 9
When Hilltop was organized in 1893 there were ten school aged children in the area. In 1896 the district voted to consolidate with District 27. The newly formed district became District 9. The school was a large 1 room framed building and there was a small stage at the front of the room.
Most of the teachers boarded out with local families but when one teacher refused to do so, the school board, built a small sleeping room. The school served as a community center, with Sunday school, parties and dances being held there. The district was dissolved in 1953 the building sold and moved to Holyoke closed.
Local lore has it that one of the teachers’ chewed tobacco and would spit the juice out an open window.
Location: 5 miles east on Hwy 6, 7 miles south 1/2mile west of Holyoke.
Sunbeam District 10
Sunbeam District, a wooden one room building was established 1916. The school had no well, so the water was carried from the farm across the road and. corn cobs and coal were used to heat the school.
During a severe blizzard in the 1920's, Mr. Hinzie, (who stood in for Santa Claus during Christmas plays) walked ½mile to the school to rescue the children. Looping a long rope around each of their waists he tied each child to the other then taking the loose end of rope he tied himself to the children. These small-fry caravans walked the ½ mile back to Mr. Hinzie house, using to the fence line as a guide. Once back at Mr. Hinzie home, the children were feed and allowed to stay there till the storm subsided and their parents could come to get them.
A special treat for the children was being able to explore the 3 room cave in the hillside behind the school house. It is believed that the cave was dug by J.P. Anderson, a miner, who used it a living quarter.
In those days the Pledge of Allegiance was said, the flag was raised, the Bible was read and a Scripture verse was memorized. Currents events were read from Capper’s Weekly and the Literary held Box Socials to raise money for supplies. During the last few years of the schools existence, the teacher rode the bus from Haxtun to the school. The district was dissolved in 1949.
Location: 3 miles south of Haxtun.
Plainview District 11
Once known as the Flaker school it was originally established in April 1917. The district was formed from District 71 and District 66 and served the children of this area till 1947.
Location: 5 miles east and 1 mile north of Haxtun
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Last updated July 2017