Ray County Genealogy
|On Feb. 2, 1917, patrons of the Rockingham Community met at the Union School to discuss the possibility of consolidating the following districts: Union, Stratton, Midland, Plum Grove, Shackelford, and Riffe. An election was held, and the consolidation carried by a vote of 52 to 51.
On Feb. 5, 1917, a meeting was held at the Bank of Hardin to organize a board for the new district. It was decided to hold future meetings at the Union School. At a future meeting it was decided to build a two-room building for a two-year high school. Since voting bonds were out of the question, the building was built with donations of labor and money.
In August of 1917, permission was obtained to use the Rockingham Church for school purposes until the new building could be completed. During the spring of 1918, the new building was completed and school continued there.
School opened the first year with one teacher, Miss Martha Davis, and an enrolment of 32 Freshmen and 4 Sophomores. In the fall of 1918, another teacher was added and three years of high school work were added. During the summer of 1919, another room was added, another teacher employed, and four years of high school offered. Central was approved as a first-class high school. In the middle 1920s, a fourth teacher was added and the basement remodeled for Home Economics and Vocational Agriculture. Several bond elections were held but all failed to carry; therefore, all of this was done by donations.
In 1936, some of the grade schools on the outer edge of the district were closed and one of them moved across the road from the high school making it possible to centralize the students by using the Union School which was nearby. A school bus was purchased, and for the first time, transportation was available to the students.
In 1950, with a dwindling enrollment and educational expenses mounting, it was decided to close the high school and send them to neighboring schools. All of the elementary students were brought to the former high school building. A bond election was held to build a modern building but again it failed. In 1966, with the enrollment getting low, the Board of Education thought the students would have a better chance with the new methods of teaching by closing the school and merging with the Hardin Public School.
Adapted from Hardin, Missouri: A Centennial History (1870-1970).