Jacksonville’s First Schoolhouse


The southern portion of the house located at 560 North Oregon Street in Jacksonville is believed to have been the first official schoolhouse in Jackson County.  In the spring of 1855, $600 in taxes was raised to construct a schoolhouse in this vicinity, but its precise location is unclear.  An 1864 town map shows a small “District School” located several hundred feet west on property owned by James Clugage, one of the town’s founders. By 1866, the population had outgrown the original structure and a new tax was levied to purchase or lease a new schoolhouse on Bigham Knoll.   Shortly after the new school opened, the original structure was deeded to R. Sergeant Dunlap in payment for the $137 owed him for digging a well, building fences, constructing walks, etc. at the new school.  The original building appears to have been moved to its current location at that time.