The District No. 1 School House was originally built in 1871 when the Oliver family decided to stop in Nebraska for the winter on their journey west. It became the first frame schoolhouse in Buffalo County. The entryway was a place for the children and teacher to hang up their coats and store their lunch. The community used the schoolhouse for a variety of gatherings in town, including plays and meetings as well as various school events. Outside the schoolhouse you will find two outhouses, one for boys, one for girls, as well as a pony barn for the students to keep their horses that they might have used to get to and from school each day. There is also a merry-go-round, although it may look a little different from what you are used to seeing at a school or park today! Visit the school house to find out something unique about the Oliver family. - Information provided by the Buffalo County Historical Society
Throughout the plains, children were
often taught in one-room school houses such as the one located at the Trails
and Rails Museum. Farms were spread out across the countryside, making it hard
for children to travel to the closest town for school each day. Parents would
join together and build a small school within a reasonable distance for the
children to travel each day.
Teachers had strict conduct rules to
follow; failure to follow the rules could result in their dismissal, even in
the middle of the school year. Female teachers often had to retire once they
were married, no matter what time of the school year it was.
Teachers were not allowed to smoke or drink.
The teacher was also responsible for teaching a variety of grade levels at the
same time as they were the only teacher; sometimes each child would be in a
different grade, or there may have been more than one child in a grade. At
times the teacher did not have to teach a certain grade level because there was
not a student at that age. They were also expected to take care of daily chores
such as warming up the school in time for the children to arrive as well as
cleaning the chalkboards and keeping the floors clean.