The Fabulous Schoolhouse

District Number 44, the Rockville village school, was organized in 1866...Shortly after the organization of the district the southeast corner of the southwest quarter of the southeast quarter of Section 17, being about a mile southwest of the village, was selected for a school site and a small frame building erected. This was known as Thomey's corner, where the school stood for several years. As the population of the village increased the people objected to sending their children out into the country, and at a special meeting a site in the village, near the present location, was selected. But the people of the country were not willing that their schoolhouse should be taken from them without a struggle, and so for a considerable time conditions remained in the old state. However, one night the villagers induced a man by the name of Decker to hitch his powerful yoke of oxen to the little building (which had already been placed on skids) and without attracting much attention the schoolhouse made its nocturnal journey into the village. The farmers had either expected this sort of a move or else they had been secretly informed, for they proved equal to the occasion, and very quietly allowed the villagers to remove their schoolhouse, offering no resistance whatever. But the crowd had scarcely dispersed and gone to their respective homes when a delegation of farmers waited on Mr. Decker and induced him to repeat the performance. The building had not been removed from the skids, and with as little ceremony as characterized the first act, it was silently dragged back to Thomey's corner where it was found the next morning by the chagrined villagers. Thus in a single night the little frame schoolhouse had been moved to the village and back again!

The following story appeared in The History of Stearns County, Minnesota (1915). No Hansens are mentioned by name, but Hansens were prominent members of the community so it is possible some were involved. The story sounds like something Garrison Keillor would tell about Lake Wobegon.

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This page last modified on Saturday, November 17, 2007