Wednesday, January 14, 2009
The Tripp School in Vernon Township was located on the east side of Route 21, one mile north of Deerfield Road. It was located in this general location from the 1840s to 1979.
The original Tripp School was a log house built as a dwelling at the "back" of the Francis Tripp farm. The students sat on benches, the older children having a bench and a desk, and the heat source was a fireplace at one end of the building.
On August 15, 1848, Tripp sold a small portion of his land along Route 21 to the school district for $10.
Parents paid 50 cents per scholar/per term to send their children to the school. The teacher, generally female, was paid from this money.
In 1912, the school's frame building was lifted and a basement put under it, an entryway added and a furnace installed. The remodeled school is shown below in 1918.
Interior view of the Tripp School's classroom, 1918.
A map of Vernon Township was drawn by Tripp School students in 1918. The communities of Half Day, Prairie View and Aptakisic are shown, now all absorbed into Lincolnshire and Buffalo Grove. The Tripp School is indicated at the bottom right. Note there are four other schools on the map, all within a few miles of each other.
In 1912, there were 92 one-room schools in the county. But by this time, the popularity of the “rural” schools was waning in favor of larger, more completely equipped schools with teachers specializing in subject areas rather than one teacher teaching all subject areas. Some of the one-room schools had as few as ten students, and it was considered cheaper to bus them a few miles down the road to the larger “central” schools than to maintain smaller, separate schools.
Seventh and eighth graders of the Tripp School, 1918, are from left to right: Ruth Rockenbach, Louis Steen, Lillian Seiler, Maudesse Nitzer, and Molly Seiler.
The Tripp School continued until 1957 when it was consolidated into Aptakisic-Tripp Elementary School District 102. For a time the historic building was used as an American Legion hall, but in 1978 it was scheduled to be burned for firefighting practice by the Vernon Fire Protection District.
Thankfully, a group of concerned local citizens rallied to save this chapter of their community's heritage. In 1979, the building was re-located by William Boyd and Phil Spinuzza, and is now being used as an antiques shop at the Sale Barn Square antiques center at 971 N. Milwaukee Avenue (Route 21) in Wheeling.
The history written and photographed by the Tripp School's scholars in 1918 and in the Dunn Museum's collections is hosted at the Illinois Digital Archives: Tripp School Online