Reading, writing, and arithmetic! WaKeeney’s schools are gearing up for another busy year of academic excellence and we want to thank all the faculty, students, and administration who have been a part of USD 208 throughout it’s 136 year history!
When our county was first settled talk of a school district was immediately initiated and only a year later, in 1879, WaKeeney’s first school was called to order in a private home on Sixth Street and Warren Avenue. Over the next forty years 65 prairie schools were constructed all across Trego County and teachers as young as fifteen were hired to help students reach their education goals.
WaKeeney’s first formal schoolhouse was built in 1886 where Trego Grade School now stands and by 1905 forty students filled its classrooms. In 1912 a growing population required a second school and on April 4th, 1913 a dedication ceremony for the new two-story high school drew over 3,500 people from around the county. As the population grew with the “baby boomers” an addition onto the west wing added four more classrooms and a lunchroom and dining hall onto Trego Community High School.
In 1997 the Trego County Historical Museum acquired the Pleasant Valley Schoolhouse from county district No. 4. It is a great example of the typical school built between 1880 and 1920, and Marjean Deines, Associate Director of the museum, tells us that visitors touring the building often get a history lesson or two for themselves to take home as a souvenir. “Our older visitors remember time spent in schools just like this, and,” she adds with a chuckle, “kids who visit ask questions about the functioning of a classroom prior to indoor plumbing.”
The Pleasant Valley schoolhouse is open to the public during regular museum hours and restoration efforts are ongoing, including the installation of a wood stove. For a more comprehensive look at the history of USD 208 check out the museum’s collection of school artifacts located inside the main building.
The Trego County Historical Museum is free to the public and open six days a week. For information on hours or directions to the museum you can check out their website at Trego County Historical Museum.