The Public School System Of The State—First Schools Taught In Different Portions Of Iowa—A Summary Of The Development Of The School Laws—Origin Of The Educational Funds—Valuable Comparative Statistics—The Amount Of School Fund For The Several Counties—Other Important Matter.
THE germ of the free public school system of Iowa, which now ranks second to none in the United States, was planted by the first settlers. They had emigrated to "The Beautiful Land " from other and older States, where the common-school system had been tested by many years' experience, bringing with them some knowlege of its advantages, which they determined should be enjoyed by the children of the land of their adoption. The system thus planted was expanded and improved in the broad fields of the West, until now it is justly considered one of the most complete, comprehensive and liberal in the country.
In the lead mining regions of the State, the first to be occupied by the white race, the hardy pioneers provided the means for the education of their children even before they had comfortable dwellings for their families.
School teachers were among the first immigrants to Iowa. Wherever a little settlement was made, the school-house was the first united public act of the settlers; and the rude, primitive structures of the early time only disappeared when the communities had increased in population and wealth, and were able to replace them with more commodious and comfortable buildings. Perhaps in no single instance has the magnificent progress of the State of Iowa been more marked and rapid than in her common-school system and in her school-houses, which long since superseded the log cabins of the first settlers. To-day, the school-houses which everywhere dot the broad and fertile prairies of Iowa are unsurpassed by those of any other State in the great Union. More especially is this true in all her cities and villages, where liberal and lavish appropriations have been voted, by a generous people, for the erection of large, commodious and elegant buildings, furnished with all the modern improvements, and costing from $10,000 to $60,000 each. The people of the State have expended more than $1,500,000 for the erection of public school buildings.