Cave Creek’s One Room Schoolhouse

Our family left San Angelo, Texas, in 1931 and came to Arizona for my mother’s health.  I was 10 years old at the time.  In 1932, we moved to Cave Creek and lived in a house on the west slope of Black Mountain.  The house was owned by H. H. Shoup, owner of Shoup Lumber Company in Phoenix.

I went to school in a one-room schoolhouse located on the west side of Cave Creek Road about one-half mile south of what is now Carefree Highway.  The school had 25 students in grades one through eight taught by Mrs. Stidham.  Her duties were teacher, school nurse, truant officer, and playground supervisor.  Our favorite activity at recess was chasing, and sometimes catching, young cottontail rabbits.

Students rode their horses to the school and tied them to the hitching post outside of the building.  The children were seated in the schoolhouse according to height, with the oldest and tallest in the rear.  Mrs. Stidham would instruct the children in the back on a topic, then tell them to turn around and instruct the row of smaller children in that topic, then the next row would instruct the younger, smaller children in the next row until all had received instruction on the topic.  The procedure was repeated for each subject.

Two students I remember well, Logan and Laverne Morris. Their parents came to Cave Creek about 1910 after Roosevelt Dam was built and their ranch above the dam was flooded.  They lived on the west side of the creek about a mile or two north of town.