White Oak School began as a log building in the northwest corner of Franklin County, Illinois in 1891. It was discontinued after the school year of 1958-1959. Scores of students were educated and transformed in this one-room schoolhouse. The many teachers over the 68 years are to be especially commended for persistence and dedication to the tasks.
1891 – White Oak School began as a log building in Section 9 of Goode Township, Franklin County, Illinois. The school was located one half-mile west and one quarter-mile south of the intersection of Crocker Road (formerly Sesser-Tamaroa Road) and Quiet Acres Road.
1902 – A special election was held to relocate the schoolhouse to a “better road” in nearby Section 4 and build a new structure. This new school became located on the northwest corner of the intersection noted above. There were 75 students at this time.
1938 – In the Spring, the school was heavily damaged by a wind storm. Because of the storm, the school was temporarily established in the basement of the Washington School, about 4 miles away, in Sesser. In the Fall, the school had been sufficiently repaired for opening again.
1939 – Electricity was added to the school.
1941 – In January, it was decided to build a new school, so a temporary building was built to accommodate the students until the new school was finished. In the Fall, the new brick schoolhouse was completed by the Works Projects Administration (WPA).
1945 – The school building was also being used by a Sunday school.
1946 – The Sunday school group became larger and more organized as the White Oak Mission. Worship continued until 1948 when a new church building was constructed about a quarter-mile away.
1959 – The school was discontinued at the end of the 1958-1959 school year and was merged into Sesser Community Unit District 196.
Welcome! We are pleased you have found this site. We’re hopeful that as an alumnus of the school, a family researcher, an old neighbor in White Oak community, or just someone who popped in, you will get a kick out of seeing these old pictures and lists of students and teachers.
Remember that as a one-room school, there was one teacher teaching all eight grades. (In 1902, there were 75 students!)
Be sure to try out the Search feature in the top right corner to find specific names.
School-year photos, teachers, student names and historical material have been provided from a variety of sources: school alumni, old newspaper articles, historical publications, etc. Sometimes, the photo quality is a bit deficient, but they are the best we’ve been able to find at the present time. As time progresses, we are working to make many improvements.
As noted above, we are in search of additional photos and names of students. Of course, any improved pictures and corrections are also welcomed. Receiving pictures other than the school-year pictures of the school, grounds, and interior shots would be super welcomed. See Contact page for those communications.