ERIC Number: ED211280
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-May-2
Reference Count: 0
"Work and Leisure in Country Schools in Wyoming." Country School Legacy: Humanities on the Frontier.
Gulliford, Andrew; And Others
The country school legacy of Wyoming is rich in history, folklore, and tradition. Materials (many anecdotal) gathered from school records, oral histories, autobiographies, and memoirs provide glimpses into the diverse and demanding role of frontier teachers (who were mostly female and, by contract requirement, usually single) and the work and leisure centered around the country schools of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. An accurate look at Wyoming reveals a frontier that ended by 1890 with the widespread presence of country schools providing roots and a sense of community. The 1890 Wyoming school census lists 16,291 students, aged 5 to 20. A 1915 survey records 63 brick or stone schools, 141 log or sod schools, 331 frame schools, and 22 teachers who did not answer the question. Recollections indicate teachers were involved not only in instruction but in janitorial work, rounding up stray cattle, extinguishing prairie fires, and assisting with haying. Tales show the school buildings, centrally located to keep travel distance equal for students, becoming the natural center for community life, serving as voting centers, town halls, churches, dance halls, and even the place in which to perform an autopsy. (NEC)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Historical Materials
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Endowment for the Humanities (NFAH), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Mountain Plains Library Association, Silt, CO. Country School Legacy Project.
Identifiers: Country School Legacy Project; Wyoming
Note: For related documents, see RC 013 047-058 and RC 013 070-083. Paper presented at the Annual Wyoming History Day (2nd, Rock Springs, WY, May 2, 1981).