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Clay County Schools

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Scope and Contents

The Clay County (S.D.) School Collection primarily contains records from its rural school districts.  The collection is comprised of eight series: Correspondence, Ledger Books, Manuscripts, Photographs, Printed Materials, Typescripts, Ephemera, and Oversize.

The Correspondence series contains letters to and from several Clay County superintendents such as E.E. Collins, Charles Kahl, Alice Cope, and Elvira Bliss.  The letters concern school district business.

The Ledger Books series contains a superintendent book containing school accounts, statistics on school districts and officer information, a land book describing school district boundaries, and the minutes from the Clay County Teachers Association.

The Manuscripts series consists of four items: two notebooks pertaining to the sale and description of school lands, a notebook by Mrs. Julia Simonson containing notes about rural students’ physical education and rules to playground games, and an essay on the history of Meckling, South Dakota by, a student, Orville Barkley.

The Photograph series contains eighth grade graduation pictures from 1896-1969.  Also included in this series are photos of the Young Citizens League (YCL) candle lighting ceremonies and group photos of the annual state convention held in Pierre.  The activity pictures contain photos of groups of children in costumes, Clay County School floats from 1954-1955 and a several schoolroom photos.

The Printed Materials series has many sub-series: booklets, building contracts, census, certificates, circulars, financial records, legal papers, miscellaneous, newspaper clippings, pamphlets, posters, publications regarding the Blind, school census, school insurance policies, teacher’s contracts, teacher’s register, teacher’s reports, teacher’s salary, teacher’s term reports,and textbook inventories. The booklets cover school related topics. The certificates sub-series includes certificates from Save the Children Federation, The United States Treasury and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Group.  Also included are blank Clay County diplomas and teaching certificates.  The Circulars are memoranda sent by the state to local school officials, relating to early education policy in South Dakota, which are organized chronologically.  The Miscellaneous sub-series contains educational materials and several programs for events.  The newspaper clippings cover the history and issues of Clay County Schools.  The pamphlets and posters contain materials that relate to YCL.  The publications regarding the Blind contain several publications about Seeing Eye dogs and helping the blind become self-sufficient.  Also included is a Braille copy of the Christian Record. 

The Typescripts series includes contest winners of spelling and track and field days, YCL materials, county essays from two students, and Superintendent reports.

The Ephemera series includes school ribbons from spelling contests, the track and field day, and YCL convention.  Also included are a card, a student drawing, an embossing stamp for the clay county Superintendent and a copper etching letterpress printing block of the old school house.

The Oversize series contains additional eighth grade graduation pictures and ledger books.  The Ledger Books contain student, teacher, and school officer information.

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