Who'd a thought it that 129 schools have served the students of Runnels County in the past 140 years and one of those schools was actually named "Who'd A Thought It!" The Runnels County Historical Commission is releasing Schools of Runnels County, the second book on the history of Runnels County and the third book published by the RCHC in recent years.
Volume II Schools of Runnels County was compiled by Ruth Cooper and Randall Conner with considerable help from numerous contributors. The book contains 32o pages and includes over 440 pictures, of which many old ones have only been seen by a few people and were hidden away for years.
Schools were established in the county shortly after settlers began coming to the area. The first schools were located at Mud Creek, Walthall, Buck Creek, and Maverick, all of which started in the mid 1870s. In 1920 the county had fifty-four schools at one time.
Education has always been important to the residents of Runnels County. Families established schools soon after they settled a new town or community. They brought educators to the county from all over the United States and continually updated facilities to offer the best in educational opportunities.
As better transportation became available and with higher educational standards implemented, schools were continually consolidated until the county now has only four schools—Ballinger, Winters, Miles, and Olfen (through eighth grade).
Students gave schools unique nicknames, such as Ignorant Hill, Rat Den, Pig Pen, Possum Trot, Hog Den, and Frog Jaw. Who'd a thought it that there was so much history in the schools of Runnels County—and that the folks east of Norton could never come up with a name other than Who'd A Thought It.