This past summer we finally got a new roof installed on Brush College. It looks great. We still have some work to do, including re-construction of the bell tower and reconditioning of the bell. We hope to be able to guide tours in this historic school building in the near future.
Tours available by calling Historical Society
A one room schoolhouse located two miles north of Fort Madison on Augusta Road (X38) at the end of 190th Street.
Brush college was built a hundred years ago to succeed the original log school on approximately the same site. it has been re-equipped with the period 1885-1890 in mind but original equipment was much the same. Furnishings have come from many old schools and institutions that are long gone. The big bell sounded in the Jaybird School, not too far away. The teacher's desk came from an old school on the Chalk Ridge. The ancient carpenter built benches that served in the old St. Paul school, and the organ sounded in the old Baptist Church, now the site of a city parking lot.
Former pupils in schools like this will nostalgically recall the pungent odor of the kerosene lamps and the wood burning stove not only in connection with their introduction to the ABC's but also with regard to the school as a social and cultural center. It's amateur theatricals, spelling bees, and pie socials were important as well as the part played in state and national politics as a registration and voting center. The children of these former pupils will observe that their were not exaggerating much and should appreciate their present day advantages all the more.
At the request of area residents, the North Lee County Historical Society took over this delightfully situated and well preserved example of the old one room school by deed of the community school district and long term, renewable ground lease given by Mrs. John Wenke. Many people and organizations have assisted in the restoration with donations of money and artifacts.
Brush College is open at certain announced times and groups may be shown through by appointment, after contacting a member of the society, or using the Contact Us tab.