By:  Jack Swift

As reported in last week’s Tomahawk, the Johnson County School Board is planning to sell at auction the old Shouns Elementary School building and the site it is on. The date set for the auction is October 8th at 10 a.m. WPA (Work Progress Administration) built the school in the early 1930s using stone in its construction. WPA was a program for the unemployed that was created in 1935 under President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The purpose of the program was to provide work for victims of the Great Depression. The school building has been used for a number of functions following its use as an elementary school. Other projects of the WPA were the old high school gym and the Shady Valley Elementary School. Perhaps there are others. The fact that the Shouns School was built by the WPA and due to the fact that it is one of the few old school buildings that still exist, it has historical value. I’m sure many who were students there can look back with nostalgia to their time as a student in the old building. I believe that those of us who graduated those schools got a pretty good grade school education. I graduated Dewey Elementary School in 1952. That building has been gone several years. The Johnson County Historical Society met Sunday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. in regular session in the lower level of the Johnson County Welcome Center. One of the topics of discussion was the Shouns School building and if all or part of it could possibly be preserved and restored as an historical entity. Members expressed concern that many historical sites are disappearing from the landscape. And when they’re gone they’re gone.  Anyway, it will be a matter of only a few days to find out the fate of what was once a thriving, learning place where the laughter of children echoed around the old rock schoolhouse at recess and lunchtime.