Sometimes getting together this blog of my Mother and Dad’s life stories, deciding in what order is a dilemma. Which came first the chicken or the egg, or in this case the rodeo or the wool?
The nature of a town is frequently born in the past, for the past is the best predictor of the present. And stories—those stories the town chooses to tell and, once told, chooses to remember—reveal more about what lies at the heart of things than almost anything else.
As restrictions from the COVIC-19 pandemic have required parents to homeschool their children, it’s natural to reflect on the role schools—and, more specifically, schoolhouses—played in the history of the High Plains. Often the first building constructed in the small communities that sprung to life in the late 1800s and early 1900s, schoolhouses often served a multitude of purposes from the meeting hall and polling place to the location of the widely attended dances held every weekend.
Many of the schoolhouses were modest, single room buildings, constructed with whatever materials were available to accommodate a small group of students and one, maybe two, young teachers. But, sometimes, the schoolhouses—not unlike the communities where they were built—aspired to something grander and perhaps more reflective of the importance placed on education.
One such building is the schoolhouse located in what is now known as Arlington. For years, this graceful, two story structure has caught the attention of those traveling down Highway 96. And one such person is Ashley Doty, as the article credits below.
Some say that great pandemics come along once every 100 years or so. Current circumstances would suggest that’s true. In 1918, 102 years ago, Americans were going through something similar to what we’re experiencing now.
This week we continue our series that takes a look at the immense impact the railroad had on all the towns in Kiowa County. Now that the railroad is back in operation, we wanted to give our readers a clear picture on how the towns in Kiowa County popped up and ultimately developed. It was the railroad that built the towns as the Missouri Pacific expanded its reach toward the West through Kiowa County in the years 1865 to 1890.