Smoky Hill School
When one mentions country school, first thing to come to mine is the little one room schoolhouse on the prairie. Not the Smoky Hill school. It had been a large two story structure with numerous classrooms for over 100 students. It is located on the North Fork of the Smoky Hill River, close to the Kansas border.
It was prime land for farming and ranching and people flocked to the area during the early 1900’s, late 1800’s. Collapse of farm prices after WWI chased a lots of people off the land. Then the dust Bowl rolled over the land, chasing more people off the land. Yet the country school survived until the 1950’s. A spring storm boiled up, producing a tornado that tore up school and some of the out buildings.
Rather then rebuilding, the students were bused to a nearby town to continue their education. The school skeleton still stands on the prairie, a reminder of other days. The building in back is still intact and looks like the tornado did not touch it. It appears it may have been apartments for some of the teachers.
Spring on the plains can be a touchy time and terror does strike. It is one of those things a person learns to live with for there are other moments on the prairie that are beyond compare.