by Barb and Dave Else
A love for Iowa’s small rural schools set Barb and Dave Else on a journey to find the lost high school buildings that are no longer being used for education. In the latter part of the nineteenth century and into the early 1900s, the Iowa countryside was dotted with one-room kindergarten through eighth-grade rural schools. In addition, nearly every town in Iowa had a high school, often just a few miles away. Due to declining enrollment and for purposes of efficiency, many of Iowa’s high schools were closed or merged with other districts beginning as early as the 1940s.
For All the Small Schools is a photographic pursuit designed to rekindle memories of Iowa’s great rural schools and the students, parents, and communities they served. As you join in this exploration of Iowa’s small schools, your own memories will likely come alive whether or not your high school is included.