On the Real Estate Market: Greater Hoyt School property

Posted August 29, 2019 at 3:31 pm

j Greater Hoyt School newspaper photo.tif

By Julie Ann Madden

As time nears a decade since the Greater Hoyt School District was dissolved by South Dakota state officials, hopes to have the one-room country school moved to the Union County Historical Museum site, restored and preserved have ended.

In 2010, when the last Greater Hoyt School Board members donated the property to the Union County Historical Society, it was with the understanding a foundation would be created to control the property and find funding for the schoolhouse preservation project.

Those originally listed as “Foundation” members were Rodney Anderson, acting president; Pat Benton, acting vice-president; Audrey Ericson, and Eric and Joann Hedeby, acting members. However, the foundation was never legally formalized.

In 2011, the schoolhouse was repaired and secured with grant funding but the building has begun deteriorating as time passes by.

On July 15, with an annual property insurance premium due and no foundation and no funds in the schoolhouse account, the Union County Historical Society Board voted to sell the property.

At their Aug. 20 meeting, the board decided to sell the property by sealed bid.

People have until Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019, to submit written bids to Union County Historical Society, PO Box 552, Elk Point, S.D. 57025.

The board has reserved the right to reject any and all bids received. They plan to keep the school’s contents, bell and playground equipment.

The property is approximately 1.056 acres and includes the one-room country schoolhouse and its cave.

The land is zoned agricultural, and it meets the county’s requirements for a rural residential housing eligibility; therefore, a future owner could remodel the building into a home or build a new home on the property.

Greater Hoyt School

History Highlights

Known as Hoyt No. 36 School, the Greater Hoyt School building was the last Union County school that was still being used for school purposes.

After the state closed one-room schoolhouses in 1967, the school board continued to meet there until June 30, 2010, when the property was turned over to the Union County Historical Society.

Since 1967, students living in the Greater Hoyt School District have been educated at Akron and now Akron-Westfield Community School District.

Currently, there are about 50 students enrolled at Akron-Westfield.

April 6, 1880

Voted to build schoolhouse: A 1 percent tax was levied in the district for the 1880 School House Fund. Authorized to loan $250 on School House Fund, which was paid back in one year.

School to be built, 18 x 24 feet with 10 feet frost brick foundation, built with cottonwood lumber. Sided with fine siding. Inside should be ceiled [sic] with fine ceiling. One brick chimney with three windows on each side of building. One door on each end of building. Build as soon as the necessary money could be raised. Tax of one-half percent for teachers fund; three mills on the dollar of valuation was voted for confinement fund for 180. Term of four months winter school.

Åug. 27, 1881

Teacher’s Report for Hoyt District No. 36, Sioux Valley, Dakota. E.L. Ericson, Superintendent of Schools. Total of 60 days taught by Josie Waterbury in 1882. Eighteen students enrolled.

April 1883

Any scholar attending school from out of district will pay a tuition of $1.25 per month.


Teacher salary was $30 per month.


New schoolhouse to be built 24 x 36. Two cloak rooms. Billfry [sic] on roof of cloak rooms, main building bell platform extend above peak of main building with a roof.

Teacher salary was $55 per month.


Basement dug out under schoolhouse. New furnace and coal bins.

Teacher salary was $80 per month.


Teacher Bernice Hanson did a textbook inventory with her report: Civil Government textbooks cost the most, Dunn’s Community Civics, $1.25 and Johnson, $1. Drawing textbooks were the cheapest at 27 cents while readers ranged from 45 to 80 cents.

Teacher salary was $130 per month.


Storm cellar built.

Teacher salary was $115 per month.


Bought playground equipment. Bought 1.5 acre land from Akron Savings Bank.


Dike built west of schoolhouse.

District Clerk’s Annual Report and School Treasurer’s Report, dated July 14, 1937: 25 students; Value of School Buildings & Site, $2,000; Total Value of Furniture & Equipment: $750. Money deposited at First National Bank in Akron.


Wired for electricity.

Teacher salary was $85 per month.


New furnace bought and installed for $168.

Teacher salary was $120 per month.


Teacher Lois Laferriere had 10 students in this final year of teaching in the one-room country school. Her salary was $330 per month.

There were 227 books in the library and 95 textbooks. There were two reference sets (one each): World Book and Atlas encyclopedias.

Class of 1967 was final year of classes in the Greater Hoyt No. 36 School. Classmates were eighth grade: David Ericson; sixth grade: Patricia Brown and Jon Spicher; fifth grade: Denise Radtke and Lynette Waag; fourth grade: Bruce Ericson and Brenda Lucht; second grade: Melinda Lucht; and first grade: Kenneth Waag and William Brown.

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