Introduction

John Adams taught in one. Abraham Lincoln and Herbert Hoover attended one. Laura Ingalls Wilder attended one, and at the age of 17, began teaching in one.

As of the 2013-2014 academic year there are an estimated 200 scattered throughout America. Montana has 75 of them, the most of any state.

In May 1913 the United States Bureau of Education (then under the Department of the Interior) issued a report stating there were 212,000 one-room public schools in our country and more than half of students attended such schools.

One hundred years later, fewer than one-hundredth of one percent of America’s school children in kindergarten through eighth grade attend a one-room schoolhouse.

Montana’s one-room schools range from Yaak in the northwest to Bloomfield in the northeast to Alzada, in the southeast and Grant in the southwest, in Beaverhead County.

Many of the one-room public schools in Montana are Hutterite. Four are in Fergus County. Garfield County has five, the most of any county. The largest is there, Kester, with 15 students, located 26 miles northeast of Jordan. Sidney Rider at Pass Creek, outside of Belgrade, teaches the most grade levels, seven among her ten students. Lynette Wolf at Hawks Home in Carter County has only one student.