MCHF & WHC HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE:

Auchard Creek School (Est. 1897)

Auchard Creek School was originally located 25 miles southeast of Augusta, Montana and can be found on the School Census as early as 1897. The school is named after Mr. David Auchard a wealthy sheep rancher, who lived in the area.

A small frame one-room building in the middle of Montana, the classroom had 4 desks, an organ, maps, 400 library books and two stoves. The teacher’s bed and shelves for her supplies were in one corner of the room.

Each May the Superintendent of schools paid her annual visit to test students and give credit for their achievements for the year. It was a big event to entertain the Superintendent and present a program for her. The students were proud of their educational accomplishments.

During the 1936-37 school years, Auchard School had one full-time student, one teacher, and one part-time student. This was the smallest enrollment in the United States at the time. Depending on the weather, the one full-time student skied or rode horse back to school, and only missed five days of school all year. One winter the teacher, Miss Geneva Olsen, was snowed in for over a month.

In September of 1937, the schoolroom was moved closer to Augusta to what is now the Milford Hutterite Colony. Five students attended the first year in the new schoolhouse. Miss Olsen even had her own room and a kitchen where students could eat their lunch.

Auchard Creek School is still in existence at the Milford Hutterite Colony and currently has an enrollment of 24 students. It is open to both Hutterite and neighborhood students.

Certainly, Auchard Creek School is one of the oldest on-going country schools in Montana.

Reference:

In the Shadows of the Rockies: History of the Augusta Area (Augusta, Montana)