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When formerly enslaved African Americans migrated to the Midwest during the post-Civil War Reconstruction period, they faced many hardships. With little supplies to build stable housing, initial shelters consisted of burrows—a dwelling dug in the side of a small hill or bank. Sod dugouts and wooden structures eventually replaced the burrows. In June 1879 School District No. 1 was established in Nicodemus by Zacharias and Francis Fletcher. Francis taught forty-five pupils in her dugout home until 1887 when a formal four room structure was erected. The establishment of District No.1 School demonstrated the desire for freedom and education of the early homesteaders of Nicodemus.

The original school was later destroyed in a fire. A new structure, the one we see today, was built on the same site in 1918. The school closed in the 1950s.

District No. 1 School

Sky, Cloud, Building, Window

District No. 1 School

Sky, Building, Cloud, House

Greenlee, Macia M.. December 1974.

Zachary T. Fletcher, November 9th, 2022.

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