The Empty Schoolhouse

Memories of One-Room Texas Schools

978-1-58544-264-5 Paperback
6.12 x 9.25 x 0 in
240 pp. 12 b&w photos., Map.
Pub Date: 10/03/2002


  • Paperback $19.95 s
One- and two-room schools represent a time in Texas history when a child's school term was based on the local crop season and family duties received priority. They were the center of educational, social, political, and religious activity, where children were taught reading and math, couples were united in marriage, funerals were preached, and Friday night socials were held.

The rise and fall of the rural school mimicked the rise and fall of population patterns. As more people moved into and settled an area, more schools were necessary. Because of transportation limitations, schools were generally built within a six-mile radius. With the coming of automobiles and mechanization, those small districts were no longer necessary, and the move toward consolidation began.

Luther B. Clegg's School Days: Memories of One-Room Texas Schools provides a direct link to the past through interviews with students who attended these schools and teachers who taught there. Between Fort Worth and Odessa and the Hill Country and Amarillo, former students share stories describing Friday afternoon "literary societies," dead snakes in desk drawers, pranks, fires, travel to and from school, and discipline.

Drawing on historical and sociological data related to the locales and time period, Clegg presents lively firsthand accounts of rural life, preserving the uniqueness of the "olden days."

Texas history enthusiasts and those interested in educational history will enjoy the tales and reminiscences of this slice of Americana.

Centennial Series of the Association of Former Students, Texas A&M University

Published by Texas A&M University Press