Marshall County rural schools: A history (2023)

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO -The old Le Grand Public School building pictured sometime after its completion in 1871.

Editor’s note: This is the first part in a Times-Republican Education Corner series on some of the area’s rural schools. The series will look at the history and formation of the schools, as well as what challenges they face in modern times.

It’s been well over a century since the first white settlers came to what is now Marshall County. As they arrived, they got busy setting up key foundations of modern towns: roads, homes, stores, churches and schools.

In the time since, there has been an immense amount of changes to education in the state. Three rural school districts in the county – West Marshall, East Marshall and Green Mountain-Garwin – each has a unique history. History also shows some patterns shared among the districts.

Past actions, modern impacts

Each of the West Marshall, East Marshall and Green Mountain-Garwin districts has its own origin story. While unique in their own ways, there are also clear patterns that appear when it comes to the timing of mergers between and among small schools.

Marshall County rural schools: A history (1)

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO -People and horse carriages pose outside the St. Anthony Consolidated School building, which opened in 1913 and closed in 1957. The building has since been destroyed.

As accounts in the book “The Continuing History of Marshall County Iowa, 1997” suggest, residents in some of the communities who lost students or entire school buildings because of consolidation were opposed to merging into larger districts.

“The small town people, like we were … thought consolidation was probably not good for us because we would lose our school,” said 34-year Marshalltown Schools teacher and current Green Mountain-Garwin substitute teacher Julie Lang. “There are pros and cons like there is in everything.”

Lang said she grew up in Van Cleve, east of Melbourne. That small town was eventually added to the Marshalltown School District and its local building closed.

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Lang said Van Cleve, just like some communities in the West Marshall, East Marshall and GMG school districts, could not keep up with the educational and facilities needs required by the state for student success.

She said the first wave of consolidations in the late 1800s and early 1900s came as a result of country schools banding together. In the 1940s and beyond, she said consolidation saw schools in smaller towns lose out in favor of those in larger towns, like State Center, Le Grand and, in her case, Marshalltown.

Gary Krob of the State Library of Iowa’s State Data Center said the state’s population experienced steady growth throughout those time periods.

“Iowa’s population in general has always just had a slow and steady population increase,” he said, noting that was prior to the farm crisis in the 1980s.

He said international immigration from places like Germany and Ireland was a key to that population growth in the early- and mid-20th century like it is today. The arrival of the Baby Boomer generation also contributed to the growth of the state’s population.

Krob said looking at historical population data can sometimes be difficult because methods of collecting information were different than they are now.

West Marshall

Today, the black-and-gold of West Marshall Community School District covers State Center, where all of its education buildings are located, as well as Melbourne, Rhodes, St. Anthony, Clemons and LaMoille.

The modern district came to be in 1962 after an election was held to consolidate several independent area districts into West Marshall, according to “Continuing History.”

The first small schoolhouses appeared in the district in the 1860s in Rhodes and State Center. LaMoille followed suit in 1870. After that, a first wave of school consolidation began in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Rhodes Consolidated Schools started in 1883, combining students at several area schoolhouses. The same happened in State Center in 1909 and in LaMoille and Melbourne around 1914-15, according to “Continuing History.”

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That was the way of things in western Marshall County for a few decades. Another wave of consolidation came in the post-World War II period. Minerva Consolidated School combined with State Center in 1945, and LaMoille did the same in 1955. Rhodes and State Center combined in 1961, just before the final 1962 formation of West Marshall.

The formation of the current district didn’t immediately spell the end for local school buildings in the other towns. However, as the years went on and new educational additions popped up in State Center, other towns began to lose their school buildings.

The final blows came in 1979 with the closing of the Clemons school building and in 1983 with the Melbourne school closing.

According to “Continuing History,” there was discontent among some citizens in the smaller towns around State Center when it came to consolidation.

“Rhodes’ citizens vehemently opposed the (local school) closing because they anticipated a negative effect on the town, but were unsuccessful,” it reads.

East Marshall

On the other side of the county, the purple-and-gold East Marshall Mustangs have come about much more recently. That district currently serves the communities of Le Grand, Gilman, Laurel, Quarry, Dillon, Dunbar and Ferguson.

East Marshall was formed in 1992, according to “Continuing History.” Prior to that, there were a couple of waves of consolidation.

The first school in Le Grand was established in the mid-1850s. By 1871, it was clear a bigger space was needed for the students so a two-story brick schoolhouse was built on the northeast side of town.

A three-story building was built in 1916 to accomodate even more students, but it burnt down sometime in the seven years thereafter. A replacement building was constructed and opened in 1924 and continues to serve as part of East Marshall High School.

As with West Marshall, some communities lost schools as a result of consolidation. The Dillon school closed in 1955, and the nearby Rock Valley school lasted from 1862-1954.

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Ferguson initially had a two-room schoolhouse prior to consolidation with nearby schools in 1915. The last class to graduate from Ferguson was in 1960, and after that the school was for third- and fourth-grade students in the Le Grand-Dunbar-Ferguson (LDF) school district and, later, East Marshall. By the 2010s, Ferguson’s school was also closed.

There was a consolidated school in Dunbar from 1922-1958. The building continued for some time to serve fourth- to sixth-graders for the LDF district before being closed.

The towns of Laurel and Gilman continue to serve East Marshall’s elementary and middle school students, respectively. Laurel saw a new brick schoolhouse built in 1920 and in 1951 a new high school was built.

Change came for Laurel in 1963 when it consolidated with Gilman’s school and part of Jasper County’s Mariposa Township to form the South East Marshall County (SEMCO) district. That district combined with LDF for a few years until East Marshall was formed in 1992.

The first school building in Gilman lasted from the 1870s to 1908, when a fire burned it down. The next year the building was replaced and has been renovated since. It is the current East Marshall Middle School building.

Green Mountain-Garwin

The GMG School District straddles eastern Marshall County and western Tama County. Green Mountain, that small community just northeast of Marshalltown, experienced many of the same pressures as other towns across Marshall County in the 19th and 20th centuries.

According to “Continuing History,” students in the Green Mountain area went to a one-room school house a little north of the current school’s location prior to 1921.

It was in September of that year that voters decided to approve the creation of Green Mountain Independent School District. That decision followed two previous unsuccessful attempts to create the district.

In 1952 came a major decision allowing for the construction of a building to house students in grades four through six and the superintendent’s office for $120,000.

Things remained fairly stable for the small town’s school in the following decades, according to “Continuing History.” Then, in 1992, the current district of Green Mountain-Garwin was formed when the two communities’ schools merged “after much discussion.”

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Nowadays, Green Mountain hosts the district’s elementary students through the sixth grade while Garwin is home to the junior/senior high school.

From one- and two-room schoolhouses on the plains in early 20th century to multi-floor and multi-building school campuses today, the rural schools of Marshall County continue to change as time goes on.

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO –The old Le Grand Public School building pictured sometime after its completion in 1871.
CONTRIBUTED PHOTO –People and horse carriages pose outside the St. Anthony Consolidated School building, which opened in 1913 and closed in 1957. The building has since been destroyed.

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What is the history of Marshall County? ›

Present-day Marshall County was created by the Alabama legislature on January 9, 1836, from Cherokee land acquired in the 1835 Treaty of New Echota. The county was named in honor of John Marshall, chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1801 to 1835.

How many high schools are in Marshall County Alabama? ›

Marshall County contains 4 high schools. For personalized and effective admissions consulting,consider Get one-on-one advising on your essays, application strategy, and extracurricular profile to help you gain acceptance to your dream colleges.

How many schools are in Marshall County Mississippi? ›

Overview of Marshall County School District

Marshall County School District contains 9 schools and 2,740 students. The district's minority enrollment is 60%.

How many schools are in Marshall County Alabama? ›

Marshall County contains 15 schools and 5,758 students.

What are some historical facts about Marshall County WV? ›

The county was named in honor of John Marshall, who at the time was the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. On Christmas Eve, 1852, the B&O railroad track was completed at Rosby's Rock. The railroad was the first to connect the Atlantic Ocean with the Ohio River.

What is the history of the name Marshall? ›

Marshall is a boy's name of French origin. It is an occupational surname that translates to “caretaker of horses” and originates from Norman French. This name also has roots in German and Ashkenazi Judaism as an Anglicization of the name “Marschall”.

What is the largest school district in Mississippi? ›

For the 2023 school year, there are 163 top school districts in Mississippi, serving 444,347 students. The most diverse district is Biloxi Public School District, with a diversity score of 0.71. The largest school district is Desoto County School District, serving 34,067 students.

What is the largest high school in the state of Mississippi? ›

The public school in Mississippi has approximately average 500 students (2023). The public schools with the largest student enrollments are listed below (where sufficient data available). The largest public school in Mississippi (by enrollment) is Tupelo High School with 1,937 students.

What is the biggest middle school in Mississippi? ›

  • The public middle school in Mississippi has approximately average 502 students (2023).
  • The public middle schools with the largest student enrollments are listed below (where sufficient data available).
  • The largest public middle school in Mississippi (by enrollment) is West Jones High School with 1,487 students.

What is the best school in Marshall County? ›

The top ranked public schools in Marshall County, AL are Arab Elementary School, Arab Junior High School and Cherokee Elementary School.

What is the biggest 7A school in Alabama? ›

Hoover competes in AHSAA Class 7A athletics. Hoover is the largest high school in the state of Alabama, with an enrollment of 2,770 students.

How many 1A schools are in Alabama? ›

The 2022-23 and 2023-24 football alignment places the 32 largest high schools in Class 7A and 57 in Class 6A, 56 in Class 5A, 62 in Class 4A, 60 in Class 3A, 60 in Class 2A, and 62 in Class 1A.

What is the #1 High School in Alabama? ›

The top ranked public schools in Alabama are Loveless Academic Magnet Program High School, Crestline Elementary School and Cherokee Bend Elementary School. Overall testing rank is based on a school's combined math and reading proficiency test score ranking.

How much do substitute teachers make in Marshall County Alabama? ›

The average salary for a Substitute Teacher is $35,844 per year in Alabama.

What school in Alabama has the most students? ›

List of Colleges by Enrollment. Below is a ranking of the 71 colleges in Alabama with the largest enrollment of full and part time students. The University of Alabama tops the list with a population of 38,316 students.

What are some important facts about Marshall County? ›

Marshall County is home to the largest conical burial mound in North America, at Moundsville. Marshall County was formed in 1835 from Ohio County by act of the Virginia Assembly. In 1852, on Christmas Eve, workers completed the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad's connection to the Ohio River at Rosby's Rock in Marshall County.

What are the demographics of Marshall County Alabama? ›

The largest Marshall County racial/ethnic groups are White (79.9%) followed by Hispanic (14.7%) and Black (2.8%).

What is the history of Lost River WV? ›

Lost River State Park was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps, whose Camp Hardy was located near the present entrance to the park. Starting in 1934, CCC boys built cabins at Lost River, with porches and field stone fireplaces. The park also has a restaurant, a riding stable, a swimming pool, and other attractions.

What does the word Marshall mean in the Bible? ›

The revisers follow Septuagint and Greek authority which favor "marshal" as against "scribe." The office of marshal was to help the general to maintain discipline (compare 1 Macc 5:42). (2) Tiphcar (Jeremiah 51:27), a loan-word whose meaning is clear.

What clan does Marshall belong to? ›

Marshall is a sept of Clan Keith, and the current Chief of Clan Keith is Sir James William Falconer Keith of Urie, 14th Earl of Kintore, 14th Lord Keith of Inverurie and Keith Hall, 4th Viscount Stonehaven, 4th Baron Stonehaven, 5th Baronet, 6th of Ury, born on 15th April 1976.

What does Marshall mean in English? ›

marshal \MAR-shul\ noun. 1 a : a high official in the household of a medieval king, prince, or noble originally having charge of the cavalry but later usually in command of the military forces. b : a person who arranges and directs the ceremonial aspects of a gathering. 2 a : field marshal.

What is the richest school in Mississippi? ›

Of active districts in Mississippi with at least 100 students, Madison County School District – located in Madison County – ranks as the wealthiest.

What are the oldest schools west of the Mississippi? ›

Saint Louis University (SLU) is a private Jesuit research university with campuses in St. Louis, Missouri, United States, and Madrid, Spain. Founded in 1818 by Louis William Valentine DuBourg, it is the oldest university west of the Mississippi River and the second-oldest Jesuit university in the United States.

What is the biggest school in the state of Virginia? ›

The largest institution is Liberty University, with over 110,000 students.

What is the #1 high school in Mississippi? ›

#1. The Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science.

What is the most diverse high school in Mississippi? ›

Biloxi High School

#1 Most Diverse Public High Schools in Mississippi.

What is the highest paying school district in Mississippi? ›

What are Top 10 Highest Paying Cities for Achievement School District Jobs in Mississippi
CityAnnual SalaryWeekly Pay
6 more rows

What is the #1 middle school in America? ›

The Davidson Academy

#1 Best Public Middle Schools in America.

What was the first school in Mississippi? ›

Another was the Franklin Academy of Columbus, opened in 1821. This school was a free school and has been called for that reason the first public school in the state. Another academy of note was Hampstead Academy, established in Clinton in 1826, which later became Mississippi College.

What county has the best school? ›

The Best Counties in Education
  • Tompkins County, New York.
  • Norfolk County, Massachusetts.
  • Centre County, Pennsylvania.
  • Westchester County, New York.
  • Johnson County, Iowa.
  • Warren County, New Jersey.
  • Sussex County, New Jersey.
  • Middlesex County, New Jersey.
Jun 23, 2022

What is the best high school? ›

U.S. News Best High Schools Rankings
  • #1. Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. Alexandria, VA.
  • #2. Academic Magnet High School. North Charleston, SC.
  • #3. Signature School. Evansville, IN.

Is Marshall a prestigious school? ›

Marshall University's ranking in the 2022-2023 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities, #299.

What is the oldest high school in Alabama? ›

Murphy High School History

In April, 1976 Murphy celebrated its golden anniversary as the oldest school in Alabama. Originally named Mobile High School, the name of the school was changed in 1927 to Murphy High School in honor of Mr.

Are there 7A schools in Mississippi? ›

MHSAA reclassified schools based on student population in October. The 24 schools with the highest enrollments will be included in Class 7A, followed by the next 24 schools in 6A and 5A, respectively. Classifications 4A through 2A will include the next 40 schools with the highest enrollments.

What is the oldest school in Alabama? ›

Barton Academy is considered the birthplace of public education in Alabama, having been established by Alabama's first public school system in 1836.

What schools are 2A in Alabama? ›

Class 2A
  • Southeastern School.
  • Sheffield High School.
  • The Altamont School.
  • Pleasant Valley High School.
  • Collinsville High School.
  • Vincent Middle High School.
  • Chickasaw City High School.
  • Wicksburg High School.
Dec 14, 2021

What school is number 1 in Alabama? ›

SchoolRanking (2022 vs 2021)
RankSchoolRank (2021)
1Loveless Academic Magnet Program High School1
2Mountain Brook High School2
3Vestavia Hills High School3
7 more rows
Sep 20, 2022

What high school has the most state championships in Alabama? ›

Since 1966 there have been exactly 250 state championship games played in the AHSAA. Of those, 109 different teams have won one or more of these championships. Hazlewood leads the way with eleven titles followed closely by Berry/Hoover with ten and Sweet Water with nine.

What is the history of Marshall County Minnesota? ›

History. The Minnesota legislature created the county on February 25, 1879, with territory partitioned from the southern half of Kittson County, with Warren (which was first platted that same year) as the county seat. It was named for William Rainey Marshall, who served as Minnesota governor from 1866 to 1870.

What is the history of Marshall County Kansas? ›

Marshal County, one of the most northern counties of the state, was officially organized on August 25, 1855. Founded by Frank Marshall; A. G. Woodward; John D. Wells; A. G. Barnett; and Joseph Langdon, the county was one of the original 33 counties organized by the Territorial Legislature in 1855.

What is the history of Marshall County Oklahoma? ›

The county was created at statehood in 1907 from the former Pickens County of the Chickasaw Nation. It was named to honor the maiden name of the mother of George Henshaw, a member of the 1906 Oklahoma Constitutional Convention. The county and its cities are part of the Texaoma region.

How did Marshall County in Kentucky get its name? ›

On June 1, 1842 a new county was legally formed from part of Calloway County. This new county was named Marshall, in honor of Chief Justice John Marshall who had recently died.

What is the oldest suburb in Minnesota? ›

Richfield: Minnesota's Oldest Suburb.

What is Marshall Minnesota famous for? ›

Marshall is a regional center in southwest Minnesota, and the county seat of Lyon County. It is the headquarters of the Schwan Food Company and the home of Southwest Minnesota State University.

What was the first county in Minnesota? ›

The first Minnesota counties were Benton, Dakotah, Itasca, Ramsey Wabasha, and Washington established on October 27, 1849.

How many states have a Marshall County? ›

Marshall County is the name of twelve counties in the United States: Marshall County, Alabama. Marshall County, Illinois. Marshall County, Indiana.

When was Marshall County established as a County? ›

Madison, Jackson, DeKalb, Etowah, Blount, Cullman and Morgan Counties bound Marshall County. It was created by the Legislature, January 9, 1836.

What is Marshall County? ›

Marshall County is a county located in far western portion of the U.S. state of Kentucky. As of the 2020 census, the population was 31,659. Its county seat is Benton.

Who was Marshall County TN named after? ›

"An Act to establish the county of Marshall, in honor of John Marshall, late Chief Justice of the United States, to be composed of a part of Bedford, Maury, Giles and Lincoln." SECTION 1. J.

What is the oldest organized town in Oklahoma? ›

Fort Gibson, Oklahoma
Motto: "The Oldest Town in Oklahoma."
Location of Fort Gibson, Oklahoma
Coordinates: 35°47′41″N 95°15′11″W
CountryUnited States
19 more rows

What is the smallest country in Oklahoma? ›

Cimarron County, Oklahoma
Cimarron County
• Land1,835 sq mi (4,750 km2)
• Water6.1 sq mi (16 km2) 0.3%%
Population (2020)
• Total2,296
18 more rows

What were the 3 original counties of Kentucky? ›

How long did Kentucky County exist? Kentucky County was established on December 31, 1776, and it ceased to exist on November 1, 1780, when it was divided into three separate counties: Lincoln, Fayette and Jefferson.

What was Kentucky before it was called Kentucky? ›

Sometime before 1769, Botetourt and successor counties of Virginia Colony whose geographical extent was south of the Ohio/Allegheny rivers beyond the Appalachian Mountains became known to European Americans as Kentucky (or Kentucke) country named for the Kentucky River, a tributary of the Ohio River in east central ...

What is the oldest county in Kentucky? ›

1792. Washington County 1792 from land taken from Nelson County. It was the first county created by the Commonwealth of Kentucky after its separation from Virginia.


1. Rural, Marshall County Fire
(iNewZ TV)
2. Marshall County School Bus Crash
(FOX54 News Huntsville)
(KCAT TV 15)
4. Suspect Identified In Marshall County Deputy Shooting
(ABC24 Memphis)
5. Teenager dies after school bus, truck crash in Marshall County, Indiana
6. History Is Lunch: Jodi Skipper, "Behind the Big House: Reconciling Slavery, Race, and Heritage"


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