One Room School House

Union Center School District 67

The Union Center School District 67 sits just south of the main museum it was moved from Dacoma, Oklahoma in 1983 and stands as a representation of the many rural schools that once dotted the prairie.

When you see the impact Woods County has made on Oklahoma, you see two things: agriculture and education. When the Cherokee Outlet was opened for settlement in September 1893, the pioneer’s first concern was shelter. After establishing their homestead and starting to work their claim, the focus shifted to education. Thus began the birth of the one-room school house.

Many rural children attended these schools through the eighth grade. A few of the schools were Liberty, Pleasant Valley, Yellowstone, Red Hill, Rose Hill, Winchester, Mt. Vernon, Manila, Coy, Mound Ridge, Fairvalley, Fairview, Goshen, and Greenleaf to name a few. These one-room schools were more than just a place of education: in many cases they served as the community center, sometimes as a place of worship.

The teachers who spent countless hours teaching the children had many duties. They arrived early in the cold months to fire up the stove. They stayed late to clean the school, making sure it was ready each day for the children to learn. Many were not much older than their pupils. Their sacrifices have often gone unnoticed.

The Cherokee Strip Museum in Alva helps preserve of the legacies of these one-room school houses and the teachers who directed them.