Friday, September 6, 2013

1930-1931 Clay County Rural School Map


Below is the map of rural schools in Clay County, Nebraska during the 1930-1931 school year. The red dots identify the location of each school with the district number in black. Red lines outline each school district, typically from seven to nine square miles. Essentially every farmstead was within two miles of a school.

Note that there were no district numbers for five schools surrounding Harvard. The posting following this one identifies 1913 teachers listing five rural schools in District #11, the Harvard schools. Those five were called "N.W." "N.E." "S.E." "S.W." and "S.C." that is, Northwest, Northeast, Southeast, Southwest and South-central Harvard schools and can be found represented by red dots in those directions from the town of Harvard.

Note also that several schools were destined to be swallowed up by the Hastings Naval Ammunition Depot - see the second map below for that story.

1930-1931 Rural School Map from the Clay County, Nebraska Educational Directory,
Fannie R. Haylett, County Superintendent.

The 1953-1954 Clay County rural school map reflects the configuration of county schools immediately prior to the major consolidation efforts in 1954 and subsequent years. 

Several school districts disappeared into the U. S. Naval Ammunition Depot during World War II. The 1946-1947 map showed that Districts # 33, 34 and 60 held on briefly before dwindling from the loss of portions of their districts and kids.

It also appears that only the Northwest Harvard rural school survived of the five Harvard rural schools with the others losing land, and pupils to the Naval Depot and to Harvard Air Base.

1953-1954 Rural School Map from the Clay County, Nebraska Educational Directory,
Mary W. Rippeteau, County Superintendent.

Rural school districts were not only the educational centers for farm kids but were the social centers for small rural neighborhoods of up to a dozen farm families. School districts gave isolated farm families a group to identify with forming close relationships that spilled over to shared farm equipment and labor, women's clubs, card parties, etc. How often did schoolmates in rural schools become spouses?

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