In the year 1900, Izard County consisted of 94 school districts according to the county treasurer records which distributed funds to each school. By 1903, a few of these school districts began closing or defaulting. According to censuses, the county population peaked in 1910 with 14,561 persons enumerated. In the 1930s schools began consolidating due to losses in population and lack of funds to operate even with the state mill tax that was created in 1874 when the present Constitution was adopted. Consolidation continued during the 1940s with better modes of transportation and busing. The first school bus was put into use around the Melbourne area.
Juanita Stowers, editor of The Izard County Historian, is collecting names, histories and pictures of as many "old" schools of Izard County as can be gathered for a book being produced for the Izard County Historical and Genealogical Society. In an effort to preserve the history of these "old" schools, she is asking for help in supplying missing school names, pictures and any school records, documents and memorabilia as noted in the following school lists:
Of the 94 school districts created in the county before consolidation began in the 1830s, these are the known school names: Anderson (?), Bandmill, Barron Fork, Bear Creek, Bellview, Benbrock, Berry, Bonetown (?), Boswell, Brockwell, Brooks, Calico Rock, Cedar Grove, Chadwick, Colored, Cone, Crossroads, Dolph, Fairview, Flint Hill, Forty-Four(?), Franklin, Gid, Gorby, Greasy Bottom, Guion, Halls Chappel, Hamm, Hickory Flat, Hidden Creek, Hightower, Iuka, Izard County Normal, Jack, Johnson View, Jumbo, Knob Creek, LaCrosse, Lafferty(?), Larkin, Lone Star, Love, Lower Bone, Lower Twin Creek, Lunenburg, Macedonia, Maple Grove, Melbourne, Moccasin Creek, Moser(?), Mt. Leberton, Mt. Olive, Mt. Zion, Myron, Needmore(?), Newburg, O'Possum Trot, Olive Branch, Oxford, Pearogue, Philadelphia, Pine Grove, Pine Ridge, Pineville, Pleasant Grove, Red Hill, Rose, Ross, Rural Special, Sage, Salt Peter, Sanders, Sandy Flat, Slow-go, Shady Grove, Shaver Campground, Slabtown, Smith, Spring Hill, Sylamore, Thorn Hill, Tremble(?), Upper Bone, Upper Twin Creek, Violet Hill, Walnut Grove, Wayland Arbor(?), West Point, Wideman, Williamson, Willow Spring, Wiseman, and Zion.
Of these 93 school names there are seven that Mrs. Stowers is unsure of and the name is followed by a (?). This list leaves one school unnamed; however, some schools may have had more than one name during different times of operation so more names could be missing than appear.
Over the past year, Mrs. Stowers has been collecting "old" school pictures from society members, all of the "old" Izard County Historians, and other interested parties. Missing known school pictures are still needed for the following schools: Anderson(?), Bandmill, Bear Creek, Bellview, Benbrook, Bonetown(?), Brockwell, Cedar Grove, Colored, Cone, Forty-Four(?), Gid, Gorby, Greasy Bottom, Guion-class, Knob Creek-class, LaCrosse, Lafferty(?), Love, Lower Bone, Lower Twin Creek, Macedonia, Maple Grove, Moser(?)-class, Mt. Olive-class, Mt. Zion, Needmore(?), Newburg-class, Oxford-class, Pearogue-class, Philadelphia-class, Pleasant Grove, Pine Ridge, Red Hill, Rose, Rural Special, Salt Peter, Slow-go, Smith, Spring Hill, Trimble(?), Violet Hill-class, and any other unknown or unnamed school in the first list. Some schools are missing class pictures and these names are followed by (-class). The schools listed here are missing mostly any picture at all.
If you can name a school not on the first list and/or have school information, records, memorabilia or pictures, please contact: Juanita Stowers, P. O. Box 306, Pineville, AR 72566. Phone 870-499-3237 or E-mail email@example.com. She can scan pictures and /or documents and return the originals to you within the week. Mrs. Stowers would like to make this upcoming book as complete as possible and needs your help to do it.
There were five known upper learning academies in the early days of this county and their names are: Barron Fork, LaCrosse, Teacher's Institute, Philadelphia, and Spring Creek. Were there others? It is unlikely that class or group pictures exist for these; however, if any do please let Mrs. Stowers know. She has a drawing of the building for Barron Fork, a picture of Spring Creek's building, and a picture of a Teacher's Institute group (date unknown), but nothing of the others except some history from "old" Historians. In the late 1930s or 1940s there was a small college at Calico Rock (up on the bluff) for a few years. Does anyone have its name, a picture and history information for it?
A section about the singing schools of Izard County may be included in this book as well. The ones known of or published pictures are available for the following: Antioch, Brockwell, Concord, Dolph, Mt. Pleasant, Old Kingdom, Wises Chappel (Fulton or Izard Co.?) and how many more? Please send any information and/or pictures to Mrs. Stowers on any other singing schools. Your help on this project is greatly appreciated.