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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Near Spanwell in Rosebud County, Montana — The American West (Mountains)
 

Howard School

 
 
Howard School Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 14, 2020
1. Howard School Marker
Inscription.  Children first attended school in a log cabin at this site in 1882, the year the Northern Pacific Railroad completed its line through the Yellowstone Valley. The railroad brought growing numbers of homesteaders, and in 1904 the community replaced the old schoolhouse with this clapboard school. The two-story building expressed the homesteaders’ commitment to education and their faith that the area would continue to grow. The bell tower—a status symbol for early schools—had moral overtones; bell towers are most commonly found in church architecture. The large front porch added a homey touch. Two teachers taught fifteen children at Howard School in 1904. A 1916 addition expanded the first floor elementary classroom space to serve the children of settlers who arrived after the 1909 Enlarged Homestead Act. Children of Mexican sugar beet workers also attended the school. High school classes, including Latin, geometry, and chemistry, were held upstairs. Also upstairs was the teacherage, or teachers’ apartment. Howard closed the high school in 1932. Improved roads had made it easier for students to attend school in Forsyth while the Great
Howard School and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 14, 2020
2. Howard School and Marker
The marker is on the right side of the porch.
Depression and declining enrollment had made it increasingly difficult to keep the high school open. In 1947, the grade school also closed and consolidated with Forsyth schools. After the formation of the Howard Community Club in the early 1980s, the Forsyth School District returned ownership of the school to the Howard community. The building continues to serve as a place for community gatherings, dances, club meetings, parties, baby showers, and family reunions.
 
Erected by Montana Historical Society.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Education. In addition, it is included in the Montana National Register Sign Program series list.
 
Location. 46° 16.191′ N, 106° 53.941′ W. Marker is near Spanwell, Montana, in Rosebud County. Marker is on Frontage Road near Old Highway 10, on the right when traveling west. The Howard School is on the north side of the railroad tracks. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Forsyth MT 59327, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 3 other markers are within 10 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Yellowstone Valley (approx. 7 miles away); Terry and Gibbon (approx. 8 miles away); Sanders Gymnasium (approx. 9.8 miles away).
 
Howard School image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 14, 2020
3. Howard School
Howard School image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 14, 2020
4. Howard School
Howard School and Playground Equipment image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 14, 2020
5. Howard School and Playground Equipment
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 21, 2021. It was originally submitted on January 21, 2021, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 28 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on January 21, 2021, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.
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Mar. 5, 2021