Eight country schools were located in Jordan Township. The most known one of all was the building
simply known as the Stone School. It is made out of limestone. Located at the intersection of Freeport Road
and Quinn Road, it’s origins date back to the days of the Coe School that was located a little bit to the north and
on the other side of Freeport Road. Coe School was discontinued in 1869 in favor of the Stone School.
Jordan Center was located on a small “corners” settlement on Hoover
and Penrose roads. It was torn down to make way for the new consolidated school, which was first occupied in 1954.
Kapp is actually a misspelling of the name “Capp” which is the
name of one of the roads this school is on. The school was located on the intersection of Route 40 and Capp roads, near the
Maple Grove subdivision.
Talbott, located on the corner of Polo and Covell roads, has been converted
into a home; as was Fairview, located at the corner of Polo and Penrose roads.
Compton, located on the corner of Buell and Covell roads, was torn down; as
was Gould, located at the corner of Ridge and Genesee roads in the far western part of the township.
Like Erie and Fulton townships, Lyndon Township is an odd-shaped one that
has a central community that was in the center of it. But unlike the others, Lyndon Township had a few more country schools
that served the needs of the area's children.
Only one survives. The Bend School, located north of the
Rock River (on a bend in the river) along former Route 2 (Moline Road), has been converted into a home. There were four others,
and all have been razed over the years.
Hamilton Grove was the school that served the small “corners”
settlement of Hamilton Corners, which is located where Route 78 heads north from the former Route 2. When the highways were
re-routed, the school was moved to another nearby location and later torn down.
Greene School was also located along the former Route
2 just east of Lyndon. Langdon School was located a couple of miles north of Interstate 88 along Route 78.
Richman School was on the corner of Wayne and Sawyer roads. All three have been torn down.
The Bend School may have also been named Fergeson at one point.
Like aforementioned Hahnaman Township, Montmorency was one of the last settled townships in
Whiteside County. There were at least seven country schools located in this township. In 1957, these schools were consolidated
into the Montmorency School that is still in operation on IL 40 south of Rock Falls.
Excelsior School was located on Section #9 of Montmorency Township at the intersection
of IL 40 and Thome Road. For years it served children living just south of Rock Falls. When the Sterling-Rock Falls Airport
was built in 1955, many new homes popped up around it, which was a quarter mile north of the school. The need for a new school
was brought about. Excelsior School quietly stood empty for almost 50 years, torn down in the early 2000s.
East on Thome Road from Excelsior was Sturtz School, which was located not
too far from the Lee County line. It is still standing, and was converted into a home. Two more former schools are still standing:
Allpress School, located on the southeast corner of Buell and Gualrapp roads, is now a home; as well as Bane
School, located off of Star Road near the intersection of Routes 40 and 172.
McWhorter School was located along the county line on County Line Road. Now
gone, the school was where the first religious services of the Township were held (in 1860). The two remaining country schools
in the township have not only both been torn down, but are also no longer accessible by road. These schools were Elmendorf
(on property north of Route 172), and Swan Lake (south of where Freeport Road “T's” with Plautz
Road. It is believed these schools ceased functions earlier than the other Township country schools.
Mount Pleasant Township
Mount Pleasant Township is home to Morrison, which is Whiteside County's
seat and home to many government offices. Morrison is located on the western end of the Township, and there were as many as
seven country schools scattered elsewhere throughout.
Bunker Hill Road, which is a long stretch of road on the south end of the
Township, boasted three of the schools. Only the Humphrey School at the intersection with Yager Road is believed
still standing. The two others – Upton School at the intersection with Sawyer Road, and McAllister
School at the intersection with Lyndon Road – have been torn down.
Three of the other four schools are believed to still be standing. Those
schools are: Hiddleson School at the corner of Lyndon and Holly roads, McElrath School at
the corner of Round Grove and Holly roads, and Mt. Pleasant Center School on Route 30 just east of Lyndon
Knox School on Yager Road between Route 30 and Hazel Road
has been torn down.
The first school was started in the cabin of Mr. Henry Rexroade in Section #23. The first schoolhouse
was built in 1842 on present-day Albany Road. It was then known as “Slocumb Street” and the school
was known as that. It later turned into an Implement company.
The Newton Country Schools were unique in one way for a strong unity. In 1918 “Township
Homecomings” were started. The first one was started while welcoming home soldiers from the Great War (World War I)
and all country schools participated along with Dublin in Albany Township. Baseball games were played with each school contributing
a part of the winning purse that was divided amongst the players of the winning team. This effort lasted for about 20 years.
The township had two small settlements, Kingsbury and Mineral Springs, and both have dwindled
to almost nothing. Kingsbury School, built in 1854, was expanded and retained for the new Newton Consolidated
School – formed to bunch the one-room schoolhouses in the township together. Mineral Springs was located
on a site where there were natural minerals thought to be relieving to the human body. A school was set up around the site,
and today the Mineral Spring school is now a home.
Of the five other county schools in the township, three are still at their original locations
– all having been converted into homes: Anglese (at the corner of Stropes and Pryor roads), Dewey
(at the northern curve of Wilder Road just west of the Erie-Albany blacktop) and West Newton (on Rice Road
west of Diamond Road).
Cottle School was located on the corner of Frog Pond and Rock roads before
being torn down in the late 1950s, and Byers was later moved from its original location on Elston Road between
Albany and Benson roads.
As many as eight schools were in existence in Portland Township in the late 1840s and there
were ten by the 1880s. The number went back down to eight by the early 1900s. The first school in the township was located
in a log cabin on the Seeley property along present-day Thunder Road along the Rock River.
Portland was the predecessor to Prophetstown. After the CB&Q railroad bypassed
Portland, most of its settlers moved into Prophetstown. All that remains of Portland are a few houses. It's school was located
on the bottom of Thunderbolt Hill – said to be named after an Indian chief from the area. That school was converted
into a home after the consolidation of all the township's country schools.
Spring Hill is the largest settlement in the Township, despite having less
than 50 people. It's school was converted into the town hall. Jefferson Corners didn't become the platting
it planned to be, but a school was erected there; it has since become a home.
Kempsterville School is located in the far southwest corner of the county,
in an area known as Dutch Bottoms. The school building retains its original brick appearance and was converted into a home
for many years before abandoned. Kempsterville is located on the highway leading southeast from Hillsdale (in Rock Island
County) between Hurd Road and the Henry County line.
Sandytown was, oddly enough, nowhere near any “town”. It was located
along Spring Hill Road between Portland and Spring Hill. The building was used as a bus garage for the consolidated school
when that opened, and later used as storage when that school closed. The bell tower remains intact, but the bell was removed.
Burke School on Lyman Road just west of the Erie Road has also been converted
into a home. Arnett, located on Osage Road between Lynch and Smit roads, has been torn down.
Sharon School is still in need of research. It is believed to be in the vicinity
of the Sharon Church and Cemetery on Spring Hill Road, west of the namesake settlement.
Outside of Prophetstown, located in the far north part of the Township, there were six other
country schools. The first school taught was located at the Asa Crook home outside of Prophetstown. That building is a historic
landmark now. A unique octagon-shaped building was built in 1860 in Prophetstown called the Franklin Institute. It was discontinued
at an early date.
Two schools had the word “Street” in their names, because they were located on roads
that led to, and led out of, Prophetstown. Benton Street School was located on present-day Kiner Road and
Cooper Road, and was the last one-room school in the county before closing in 1961 (Woodside School in Hopkins Township was
the last two-room country school to close). It's school bell was later moved to Prophetstown, and is displayed near the Prophetstown
Jackson Street School was located on the corner of present-day Star Road and
Felton Road. Both schools have been converted into homes. (It is also important to note that the names of the Prophetstown
streets changed at some point in its early history. Benton Street is now Washington Street, and Jackson Street is now 3rd
Street – and not to be confused with the current Jackson Street on the south end of town).
Four of five other country schools have since been removed. Leon, located outside
of the settlement of Leon Corners, was on Yager Road between Hurd and Lomax roads. Prairie (or Prairieview)
was located on Perkins Road just north of Mill Road. Centerville was on Lyndon Road south of Lomax Road before
being torn down in favor of the new consolidated school that would later serve the township. Crestview was
at the junction of Prophetstown and Star roads before being torn down in favor of the new consolidated school.
Woodward Bluff was located on the corner of Lomax and Lake roads near the bluff.
It is now a home.
Another former school building, that is now a home, was located on Anderson Road between Lyndon
and Felton roads. The name of this school is unknown to this writer at this time.
Since the city of Sterling is located within most of Sterling Township's borders, not many country
schools were located there. There were four country schools located in the township.
The first one was Science Ridge Country School. That school soon split into an East-West arrangement.
The original building, West Science Ridge, was located along Science Ridge Road just east of Route 40. In
1877, there were 125 students enrolled. The East Science Ridge School was on Holly Road just east of
Freeport Road. When Washington School in Sterling was built in 1951 children were moved to that school, which was the northernmost
school in the city at that time. Both schools later became homes.
Another one was east of Sterling on Woodlawn Road. Named Woodlawn School (and
originally named Mount Parnassus), it was a frame building that was built in the 1800s. A 1927 fire destroyed the building
and a brick structure replaced it. Subdivision growth towards the west with the Mineral Springs additions and the east with
the Gregden Shores and Crestview additions prompted school expansion into a larger structure. The school later became a part
of Sterling's school district before being closed in the 1980s. The main building has since been torn down, but the annex
survives and is now home to the Woodlawn Arts Academy.
Union School was located on the corner of Fulfs and Hickory Hills roads. It
has been converted into a home.
In 1856, the first school was located in the Aldrich property. By 1885 there were seven country
schools located in the Township. The number narrowed to six in the 1900s.
Only two of the six country schools in the Township are still standing.
Maple Hill was a brick school that was located on the corner of Hahnaman Road
and Luther Road. After closing, it was used as the Fairfield Amish Mennonite School for those Amish living in the area until
perhaps the 1970s. Sunnyside School, located on the corner of Blue Goose and Hurd Roads, was later put into
use by the nearby Sunnyside Farm.
Of the four schools that are now gone, Highland sat on the corner of Blue Goose
and Mill roads, Cloverdale sat on the corner of Yorktown and Hurd roads, Pleasant Hill sat
on Coleta Road just north of Hurd Road, and Olson was also on Coleta Road between Fargo and Mill roads. Cloverdale
may have also been named Ross at one point.
Union Grove Township
Not much is known about the schools in Union Grove Township other than those located within
the platted towns. Union Grove and Unionville each had schools. Unionville had the first
school in the township and a second was built in 1854-55. That building was converted into a town hall. After school functions
ceased, students went to the adjoining Morrison School District.
There was a country school located on the NW corner of present-day Prairie Center and Hillside
Roads. It was known as the Prairie Center Country School, built in 1879. Another school, the original Union
Grove School, was moved alongside it in 1954 and served as part of the Union Grove Consolidated School. Its school bell has
been restored and is on display at the Morrison Heritage Museum.
Lincoln School, located on the northeast corner of Court and Millard roads,
has been converted into a home. Bunker Hill School is located on Bunker Hill road near the top of the bluffs
and west of a peat farm. Independent is along the bluffs on Fenton Road just north of Garden Plain Road.
The latter two have been converted into homes.
Green Valley School, located on Bunker Hill Road north of the intersection
with Smit Road, has been torn down. Delhi (or Diehl) School, also located on Bunker Hill Road at the intersection
with Henry Road, has also been torn down.
In 1841 the first school in Ustick Township was organized in the attic of the cabin of Mr. Amos
Short. The first country school, Otter Bluff, was located on Section #8 on the corner of present-day Spring
Valley and Smaltz Roads in 1856. Eight more schools followed, eventually going down to seven by the 1900s.
Cottonwood was one of the last to operate, closing in 1958. It was located
on the grounds of the Franklin Methodist Church and Cemetery off of Route 30 and Millard Road. It was originally called Franklin.
After closing, the building became a produce stand and then into a home. The building was made out of cottonwood logs, hence
Hollinshead School, which stands on the northern corner Spring Valley and Smaltz
roads along the west end of the bluff, was converted into a corncrib.
Gridley School, on Malvern Road between Creamery and Henry roads, has been
converted into a home. Cobb School, on the corner of Covell Road and Route 78, was also converted into a home. Spring
Valley School, located near the church on Spring Valley and Hillside roads, was also converted into a home. Robertson
School, on Loron Road just west of the settlement of Ustick, also became a home.
Crouch School, on the corner of Union Grove and Millard Roads, has been torn
down. Goff School was moved from the former lot along the bluffs on the corner of Hillside and Krueger roads.