Rural Schools of Wood County, Wisconsin

McMillan is building a digital resource focused on the history of the rural schools of Wood County. This is both a deep look at our local history and a remembrance of a once common, but now vanished, national institution. By Wisconsin statute, rural elementary schools had to consolidate with a high school district by July 1, 1962. Before that consolidation, rural students in Wisconsin often attended small elementary schools that were within walking distance of their homes. Even listing and locating these schools is a challenging task, since many early records have been lost. Before 1915, schools were not named and only designated by their district number. Some schools were physically moved  to serve shifting populations, while others burned down or were replaced with new buildings. Several joint districts spanned county lines, so the building may have been located in another county. The number of schools varied, from nearly 100 early in the century to 77 in 1956. There were also a number of private schools, which are less well documented.

Our ongoing project has several components:

  • Identifying and mapping school locations from 1879 to 1962.
  • Listing books and other print resources on rural schools.
  • Collecting and digitizing documents and images for display online at Recollection Wisconsin.
  • Soliciting, recording and digitizing oral histories from teachers and students who attended rural schools.


Map of the Rural Schools of Wood County

Many locations are approximate and additional information is always welcome. Some schools appear more than once because they had more than one location.

View Rural Schools of Wood County Wisconsin in a larger map, which includes an alphabetical / geographical listing. Green schoolhouse indicators mean the building is still extant.

In compiling this map, the Library consulted:

Print Resources

Books about Wood County schools:

Books about Wisconsin rural schools:

Digital Documents and Images

The main digital collection is a series of histories of rural schools composed by the staff and students at each school in 1956, apparently as part of the celebration of the centennial of Wood County. They vary widely in content and depth, with some including photographs, farm histories, rosters and school board extracts. As they are fully processed, they will be listed in the table below under the name of the school.

Photographs - All individual digitized photographs, housed at Recollection Wisconsin.

Map of rural school districts in Wood County, Wisconsin 1930.

Consolidation - A list of where students went when the schools consolidated.

County Graduation Exercises, rural and state graded schools of Wood County, June 5, 1935, June 4, 1936 - Lists schools, teachers and graduates.

The following table lists documents, images and oral histories of specific schools. These schools can be located on the map above. Those marked * have extant buildings, though not always on the original site.


Altdorf School  Seneca Township 1956 History
Arbutus School  Port Edwards Township  
Aprin Graded School  Arpin Village 1956 History
Audurndale Graded School Auburndale Village 1956 History
Babcock Graded School  Babcock  
Bakerville  Lincoln Township  
Bean School  Hansen Township 1956 History
Bearss Marsh School  Cranmoor  
Bell School  Saratoga Township  
Bethel Academy Wood  
Biron Graded School  Biron Village (1879) 1956 History
Black River School  Hiles Township  
Blenker School  Milladore Township  
Cameron's Pride School (AKA  Richfield Road School, but changed name in 1919.) Cameron Township 1956 History
Carey Bluff School  Carey Township 1956 History
Children's Choice (Before 1917 called Glebke School) Grand Rapids Township  
City Point  Hiles Township  
Clovernook School  Arpin Township.  
Columbia School  Saratoga Township  
*Cranmoor Graded School (AKA Green Grove Island School, Bennett School and Cranberry Creek School before 1925.) Cranmoor Township  
Crescent School  Arpin Township  
Dairy Belt School  Richfield Township  
Daly School Remington  
Dexterville School  Dexter Township  
East Rock School  Rock Township  
Ebbe School  Lincoln Township  
Elliott School (moved and renamed Ross School) Saratoga Township  
Elm Tree School (AKA Koch School) Saratoga Township  
Evergreen Hill School  Marshfield Township  
Far View  Richfield Township  
Garrison School (AKA Pail Factory School) Wisconsin Rapids  
German School  Port Edwards  
Golden Glow School  Rock Township  
Good Cheer School  Wood Township  
Green Elm School  Sherry Township  
*Green Grove School  Port Edwards Township  
Grove Graded School  Wisconsin Rapids  
Hewitt School  Hewitt Village  
Hill Crest School  Rock Township  
*Hill View School  Rudolph Township Students (1912), Schoolhouse, Schoolhouse, Students (1900)
Hillside School  Auburndale Township  
Howe School  Wisconsin Rapids School, School
Irving School  Wisconsin Rapids School
Lincoln School  Lincoln Township  
Lindsey School  Rock Township  
Lone Birch School  Rudolph Township  
Lone Elm School  Lincoln Township  
Lone Maple School  Sherry Township  
Lone Pine School  Sigel Township  
Long School  Richfield Township  
Maple Grove School (AKA  Esser School when founded, sometime before1900) Richfield Township  
McKinley School  Saratoga Township  
*Meadow Brook (Meadowbrook) School  Arpin Township Classroom w/ students (1948-50)
Mill Creek School  Sherry Township  
Mill Creek Grove School  Marshfield Township  
Milladore Graded School  Milladore Village  
Model School  Wisconsin Rapids  
Nasonville school  Lincoln Township  
Natwick School  Hansen Township  
Nekoosa Public Schools Nekoosa Village 1907, 1910
North Arpin School  Aprin Township  
North County Line School  Milladore Township  
North Hansen School  Hansen Township School as converted to a home
Oak Leaf School  Richfield Township  
Otter Creek School Wood Township  
Pail Factory School (AKA Garrison School) Wisconsin Rapids  
Pearl School  Grand Rapids Township  
Pershing School (AKA Sherry School) Sherry Township.  
*Pine Grove School  Seneca Township  
Pioneer School  Sigel Township  
*Plank Hill School  Port Edwards Township  
Pleasant Hill School  Auburndale Township  
Pleasant Valley School  Hansen Township  
Pleasant Rock School  Rock Township  
Pleasant View School  Sigel Township  
Port Edwards Village Port Edwards Village School w/ students (1900)School (1905), School with addition (1910), School (c 1910), School (c1920)
Riverview School  Lincoln Township  
Rocky Run School  Carey Township  
Ross School (was Elliot School before being moved) Saratoga Township  
Rudolph Village (1879) Rudolph Village  
St. Mary's  Auburndale Village  
St. Michael's  Hewitt  
St. Phillip's  Rudolph Township  
Scranton School  Hiles Township  
*Shady Lane School  Lincoln township  
Shady Nook School  Richfield Township  
*Snyder School  Sigel Township  
*Spring Lake School  Sigel Township  
Stepping Stone School  Milladore Township  
Sunnyside School  Rudolph Township  
Sunshine School  Milladore Township  
Three Oaks  Richfield Township  
Turner School  Sigel Township  
Two Mile School (later Woodside) Grand Rapids Twonship  
Veedum School  Dexter Township  
Vesper Graded School  Vesper School  and students (1880s), Brick school (aft. 1907), Students, Brick school (aft. 1907), School and students (bef. 1907), Classroom lunchtime
Wallace School  Hiles Township  
Washington School  Rock Township  
Webster School  Marshfield Township  
West Cary  Cary Township  
White Oak School  Auburndale Township  
*Wittenberg School  Port Edwards Township  
*Wood Farm School  Port Edwards Township  
Woodland Echo School  Aprin Township.  
General images   Girl putting her lunch away at school, Students in classroom having lunch, Mrs. Arndt (teacher at unidentified school)

Help us out!

We are looking for the location of the following schools:

  • Arpin Township: Powers Bluff 
  • Dexter: Silver Birch, Knuteson
  • Grand Rapids: Franklin
  • Milladore: Brookside
  • Remington: Yellow River, Oak Grove, Evergreen
  • Seneca: Jackson
  • Wood: Pleasant Corners, Four Corners