The one Room School House Project was the original idea of Richard Krone, 5th Grade Teacher at South Elementary school in Rowley, Iowa. Mr. Krone, other faculty and employees at South Elementary had the idea of moving and restoring a one-room school house.
The one – room school house would be unique in that it would not only be a historical site but a place where students could learn a valuable part of history of education through actual experiences rather than reading about it in a text book.
On June 20, 1994 the group approached the Independence School Board which unanimously approved the idea of moving and renovating this one-room school house to the Rowley site. The school house was moved to Rowley on June 28, 1995 and the exterior renovations were completed in the fall of 1995. The interior renovations were completed in the summer of 1996. (the school was moved from Julie Flickinger parents farm in Fayette County, Iowa near Starmont School).
The group raised cash contributions of approximately $18,000.00 and in-kind donations in excess of $6,000.00. A pancake dinner was held on Tuesday, September 24, 1996 from 5pm until 7pm at the Rowley School in conjunction with their Open House. Lutheran Brotherhood matched up to $1,000.00 of the money raised at the pancake dinner with all the proceeds to be used towards the completion and renovation of the school house.
The formal dedication of the one-room school house took place on Thursday, September 12, 1996, at 1am. Governor Terry Brandstad being the key note speaker at the dedication. All elementary students of the Independence Community School District attended. The program ran from 10-10:30am.
The following is a list of South Elementary Faculty and employees who were involved in the project: Richard Krone, Julie Flickinger, JoAnn Crain, Marcia Woolley, Kathy Meyer, Sue Olson, Janette Hopkins, Kathy Wilson, Candee Higgins, Jeanette Griffith, Dave Fiester, Linda Steffen, Lee Nichols, Diane Ossman, Pam O’Loughlin and Emmett Cooney.
The school is ‘on the move’ once again. In 2006 it was decided by the Independence School Board and the Town of Rowley to move the school to a new site at Heartland Acres Agribition Center near Independence. With the closing of the Rowley school it was decided this location would serve a better purpose. So, January 2007 saw the school once again travel down the road of time to a new home. Now located at the Heartland Acres Agribition Center showcasing Iowa’s Agriculture – Past, Present & Future.