July, 1978


In 1912 leaders of three one-room schools worked together and brought about the consolidation of Earnest #76, Liberty #78 and Centerview #91. In 1913 Laing Consolidated #1 school opened it s doors to the children of these 3 districts. This was the first consolidated school in the state. Long Valley #77 was annexed in 1924. Later transfers from Thacker, Blue, Otter Creek and Pleasant Valley were added.

The Laing school was located on 4 acres of land donated by W. C. Laing; thus the name Laing was chosen for the school. Members of the first school board were Charley Ellis, Art Rasmusson, and J.T. Williams. The first building was a two story brick with a foyer, two large classrooms and coat closets on the first floor. A stairway on each end of the foyer let to the stage and 2 large classrooms which had a folding partition that permitted this space to be converted to an auditorium.

In 1924, this brick building was condemned. A new two-story building with 2 wings and a combination gymnasium auditorium was completed. It was built about 2 feet below ground level. Again in 1941, a new one-story concrete building was constructed. This building is still standing and is used as a hay barn by its owners.

At one time, the school building was almost destroyed by fire. In 1954, a tornado did considerable damage to the building. Each time repairs were made and school resumed.

The first year or two, patrons furnished transportation for their children. A shed and stall were constructed to shelter the horses during the day. Albert Marteney drove the first wagon for transportation of children in 1914. The route was 8 miles long. Soon 2 more wagons were added. Drivers were Ernest Marteney and T. J. Mitchell. The wagons were canvas curtained, each had a bench on each side running lengthwise. A door was in the rear. A portable kerosene stove provided heat. The first Model T bus was driven by Benton Parker in 1924. Soon more buses were added. The state law required children living within 2 miles to walk. In case of small children, exceptions were sometimes made.

The first faculty was T. O. Davis, Sup't., Miss Nannie Perdue and Miss Minnie

The first Laing baseball team was undefeated in the county in 1915 and 1916. The 10 players were Albert Marteney, Ernest Marteney, Charlie Potter, D. H. Laing, Challen Shelton, Sammie Young, Marion Beck, Ellis Shaw, Greer Moss and Houghton Lee. The team had a varied assortment of uniforms as each player wore what he could find.

In 1918 the first group to complete 12 grades were Edgar Bobo, Madie King and Nancy Laing. The first girls basketball team competed in the County Meet in 1918, winning the Championship. Those wearing the white blouse and full black bloomers with stockings to meet the bloomers were Lovie Parker, Lotus Parker, Nancy Laing, Leone Taylor, Gertie Todd, Jewel Todd, Elsie Pinson and Vesta Hawkins.

The first graduation exercise was in 1925 for Carroll Hanes, Clarence Wilkerson, Betty Richardson, Dewight Jefferson and Robbie McDonald.

In 1929 Lotus Parker Maynord piloted the Laing girls basketball team to State. The girls were Selma Adams, Lomray Beck, Juanita Laing, Reba Hanes, Jewell Payne, Geraldine Kelly, Vivian Payne, Minnie Lee Walters, Maxine Hoover and Susie Marie Lowery.

Outstanding 4-H club members were Cleo Stiles, Robert Warrick, Linda Todd, Andrea Suiter, Kenneth Holloway, L.A. Todd, Bailey Choate, Florene Stone and Bud Barnes. Cleo served as a national president and is a Home Demonstration Agent whose advice is still sought worldwide. Largest families graduating were nine J. W. Sturgess family and seven Marion Kelly children.

The member of the last graduating class of 1958 were Leon Wright, John Capps, Darrell Sturgess, Mary Wolfe and Janice Harvey. The last faculty was Clyde Eoff, Sup't., Mrs. Mary Capps, Mrs. Jack Torbert, Mrs. JoeBob Hubbard, Mrs. Anna Kelly and Mrs. Eoff.

After the passing of the A. D. A. law requiring schools to have an average daily attendance of 40 in high school to receive state aid, the patrons voted to transfer all students to Snyder, Manitou and Tipton.

Submitted by Peggy Haynie on January 13, 2001.