Early Schools of
Holt County, Missouri


First School of Lewis Township


      The early settlers of Holt County seem to have been fully alive to the importance of educating their children, and steps in that direction were early instituted, Lewis Township enjoying the distinction of being the first to inaugurate within her limits an enterprise of this character.

      In the fall of 1839, Uriah Garner began to teach the first school opened in Holt County. This was in a log cabin, 14x16 feet in extent, and built by R. H. Russel for a residence, a very rude and primitive structure. It was located on the southwest corner section 12, township 59, range 38, three and a half miles southeast of Oregon, on a farm now (1882) owned by the heirs of Simeon Conn.

      Population, in that early day, was sparse, and the entire school included the children of John Russel, Thomas Crowley, James Crowley, G. B. Thorp and John Sterritt. With the influx of population, this temporary shelter soon gave way to more extensive and better appearing buildings, and perhaps more cultivated teachers, but to Uriah Garner undoubtedly belongs the distinction of being the pioneer teacher of Holt County. He met with a sudden and violent death, some years after, by being struck over the head with a spade or pick, in the hands of a man with whom he was working the road.

Source: "History of Holt and Atchison County, 1882"; Transcribed by Karyn, 2016


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Page updated on September 21, 2016 by Karyn
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