Blue Star School

Pictures submitted by Sandra Nichols
Text submitted by Virginia Campbell

The following information was taken from a Van Buren History of Schools, deed records and Campbell family information:

About 1897, Elijah C. Campbell, who had a homestead in Section 32 and who had married Cindella Weaver, daughter of Joshua Weaver, and Jim Buck Bradford, who had married Cindella Weaver Campbell's niece, Lewis Bradford and several other members of the Community decided they needed a school. Elijah, who was elected as one of the members of the original school board, donated one half acre of his farm land to be used as school property. Jim Buck and Lewis Bradford donated an additional half acre of land to use as school property, so the community would have one full acre of land to use for the school. A George M. Elliott drew up a plan for the school and all the community members donated material and labor for the construction of the new school. The building was tall with a pitched roof. A beautiful carved star was placed high on the front gable, nailed there by the builders and founders, who were members of the Masons, an organization which has a star as part of it's order. Elijah and Cindella Weaver Campbell had five children in 1897 who later enjoyed attending the Blue Star School which was located across the road from their home.

The school is located 3 miles East of Shirley on Highway 16 on a gravel road which leads to Poe's Ranch and Middle Fork of Little Red River. The book- Early Schools in Arkansas on page 169 states that the school was originally called "The Lone Star Mountain School", but it burned in 1911 and was replaced with an almost identical building with a blue star painted on the front gable.

The last time I saw the school in the early 1990's it was being used as a hay barn.

Elijah Campbell or "Lige" as he was called by family and friends was my husband's grandfather. He died in 1932 in Plumerville, Arkansas.