Missouri and Ozarks History

Information and comments about historical people and events of Missouri, the Ozarks region, and surrounding area.

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Location: Missouri

I'm a freelance writer specializing in the history of the Ozarks and surrounding region. I've written sixteen nonfiction books, two historical novels, and numerous articles. My latest books are Wicked Women of Missouri, Yanked Into Eternity: Lynchings and Hangings in Missouri, and Show-Me Atrocities: Infamous Incidents in Missouri History.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Small Town High Schools

I think I've commented on this blog previously about small towns that used to have high schools and no longer do. For instance, I believe I recall citing the example of McDonald County, Missouri, as a place where school consolidation, particularly during the 1960s, left several small towns without high schools. It is little wonder that small towns tend to fight school consolidation, because the towns that are left without high schools often die a rather rapid death. Often, the school had functioned as one of the main hubs of social activity, and when that unifying social force is gone, the rest of the town disintegrates as well. This general observation, however, does not really apply to the case of McDonald County that I previously discussed. Of the several towns in McDonald County whose schools went together to form McDonald County High School, the only one that has almost died out in the years since is probably Rocky Comfort. However, I think the general observation still applies in the majority of cases. For instance, another area with which I am familiar, the area of Dallas and Hickory counties, Missouri, comes to mind. I remember when Tunas and Windyville in Dallas County both had high schools. Both, however, were consolidated in the 1950s or 1960s, and now both of them are virtually ghost towns. I believe Louisburg also had a high school at one time, and it, too, hardly exists today. In Hickory County, the same can be said about Cross Timbers and Preston. About the only town in either county that used to have a high school and no longer does but yet manages to survive is Urbana. And that's probably due in part to its proximity to Skyline High, which formed when Cross Timbers, Preston, Tunas (or part of it), and Urbana came together. Louisburg and Windyville, I think, are now part of the Buffalo School District, and I think a part of Tunas may have gone to Buffalo as well. There are other communities in these two counties, such as Charity, that also had high schools at one time, but that time was longer ago than my memory goes back. I'm old but not quite that old.


Anonymous Tom Gourley said...

Elkland as well.

May 5, 2013 at 8:21 AM  
Blogger Larry Wood said...

Yes, I remember Elkland, but the reason I didn't mention it is because it's in Webster County, whereas all the others I was talking about are in Dallas and Hickory. As I understand it, Charity lost its high school in the 1940 or thereabouts through consolidation with Elkland. But then when Elkland lost its high school about 1958, those kids from the old Charity district went to Buffalo, while the rest of the Elkland kids were split between Marshfield and Fair Grove. Glad to see you're still reading my blog.

May 7, 2013 at 6:18 PM  

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