Wisconsin - Old Time Schoolhouses


Greenfield S school

o Fifield and is shown here in its new location in Fifield. The Price County Historical Society operates it. It serves as a repository for rural school history.


I have read the schoolhouse has an abundance of information about one-room schoolhouses in Price County Regrettably, I have not gone inside to find that information. I will fix that soon.


Laurie Pilch,  Price County Historical Society, has alerted me to two books providing insights on the  Greenfield School. Both books were written by the Committee for Research on Rural Schools in Price County and are still in print and for sale at the society’s website.


The first is “Country School Recollections,  Price County One Room Schools 1879 to Consolidation.”


In the 1920s, about 40 children were attending the school. The school was in district Nr 8, which included Lymantown and Pixley Dam. It closed during the 1950s. After closing, the Town of Lake used it. as a town hall This photo, taken from this history, is shown here.


The second book is “Country School Recollections II Rural and Village State Graded Schools, One Room Schools Updated Price County, Wisconsin.” 


This source carefully documents circumstantial evidence that there was a school roughly in the location of the known Greenfield School as early as 1890. It concludes the Greenfield School could well have been built any time in  1904 or thereafter.


In addition to these documents, I have found fascinating “History of the Public Schools of Price County” notes and compilation by leading educators. I want to draw some interesting notes from it.


Right off the bat, I noted that in the 1800s, the primary objective of a school in Phillips was to keep the kids out of mischief. Teaching kids who did not speak or write English was very hard. 


Teachers generally had to move to obtain a position. Moving to a new town was difficult, especially when moving to the logging towns of Price County. The teacher most often moved in with a town family. Teachers often preferred walking to school over other forms of conveyance.


The enrollment numbers in rural schools were small. As new settlers arrived, enrollment increased. Obtaining books for the children could get complex if the school did not provide them. Christmas at the school was very much a family affair. 


Students received rewards for excellence in lessons, perfect deportment, and outstanding attendance.