Country Schools: The Beating Heart of Rural Community

By attending this exhibit, many Steele County residents will have fond memories of attending a one-room school house when they see this exhibit. Other visitors will find it curious, as the rural schools often lacked running water, indoor plumbing, smart boards and hot lunches.

​Rules of Teachers 1892

  • Teachers each day will fill lamps, clean chimneys.

  • Each teacher will bring a bucket of water and a scuttle of coal for the day.

  • Men teachers may take one evening each weeks for courting purposes, or two evenings a week if they go to church regularly.

  • After 10 hours in school, the teachers may spend the remaining time reading the bible or other good book.

  • Women teacher who marry will be dismissed.

  • The teacher may not smoke, use liquor, frequent pool or public halls or ice cream parlors. Men who get shaved in a barber shop will give good reason to suspect his worth, intention, integrity and honesty.

  • The teacher who performs her labor faithfully will be given an increase of 25 cents per week, proving the Board of Education approves. 

  • Women teachers may not attend any function or journey outside the town with a man, if the man is not your father or your brother.

Most teachers were unmarried women.

Children had tasks too: What would you choose? Clean the path of snow, fetch water from the farmer's well, clean the chalk from the erasers, carry wood or coal from the backroom for the stove, ring the school bell when the teacher tells you?

There are 3 activities from the exhibit that young visitors can take home for a little fun "homework."

Fountains in rural schools

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