Early education on the Nebraska plains

Pure Nebraska
Published: Oct. 26, 2022 at 11:42 AM CDT|Updated: Oct. 26, 2022 at 11:55 AM CDT
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TECUMSEH, Neb. (KOLN) - A one-room school is being preserved by the Johnson County Museum, and helping people experience what going to school might have been like in the state’s early years.

“This school was three miles west of town and it was called Hedge Corner Schoolhouse. It was probably built in the late 1890s,” Johnson County Museum director Sarah Williamson said. “In Johnson County, we had 79 country schools, and they were all close to areas with a small town or a group of people. This is one we moved into town, so that people could experience what it was like to be in a one-room schoolhouse, or at least remember it.”

The one-room school is located just to the west of the main Johnson County Museum building in a vacant lot. The location allows the visitor to come to the main museum, and then walk next door to see the school.

“We wanted people who came to the museum to do one-stop shopping,” Williamson said. “Most of the school is intact from when it was built. The ceiling is new, but the floors are original. We moved in some old wooden desks, because they had modernized it at one time. We put together four photo albums of school pictures that we’ve collected, and this brings back memories for visitors. This school at one time had a stove, but in the summer you just opened the windows. The schoolhouse was full of books. We have organized those. We have books that date back to the 1800s and on up.”

Williamson says it’s important to maintain a historical building like this.

“My key goal is for preserving memories, for the people who do remember,” Williamson said. “The next goal is to remind people about what it had been like in the past.” Check out this old-time school at the Johnson County Museum in downtown Tecumseh.