The History Behind Karval School

On January 15th, 1956, Karval’s new school, the one we all know today, was dedicated. A long history is behind that proud moment.

The Community of Karval came into existence with the second “homestead act of 1908.” This act allowed individuals to apply and settle on 320 acres of land. If they satisfied the government requirements, the property became theirs. A portion of these requirements were to live on the property for a period of three years, build a residence, and plow a required number of acres.

In the early 1900s, Til Hershberger, Jim Peyton, the George Barker family, and others settled in this area. These early homesteaders had the responsibility of building the first churches and schools in Karval.

In the fall of 1903, George Barker built the first little red school house. He hauled the lumber from Hugo and the building was erected by Mr. Anderson. The first teacher was Vera Tobine, who received $40.00 for her wages. Out of that, she paid $12.00 for her room and board. School started in November and the school year lasted six months. The first students were Joy and Bertha Barker. As the early settlers migrated in, the Huckaba children, George Wezel, and the Culver children attended the school. Soon, another school was built near the Wezel’s and additional teachers were hired. By this time, more homesteaders were using the schools

Gulick Kravig was the first postmaster of the post office established in 1911. He had the privilege of naming the post office. Having come from a valley in Norway called Kars Valley, he suggested using the first three letters Kar and Val making the name Karval which has been used since.

In the spring of 1913, District 23 was formed. It had two townships and two sections. Bonds were passed to build the Karval, Webb, Cross, and Dudley schools. Prior to this, many schools were held in people’s homes. Three high school girls attend the first school built, the Webb School. The Carl Kravig school replaced the little red school house built by George Barker, and the Cross school only lasted one year.

In 1921, a new school was built and all the schools were consolidated into the town of Karval. This one-room school house was only 14 feet by 16 feet. The second school had four rooms, two upstairs and two downstairs. The third had four rooms and an auditorium. In 1951, Blue Cliff District combined with Karval to make a larger district and a better school. This school had seven teachers and the principal was a local gentleman, Quentin Kravig. Mr. Kravig was related to Barker who built the first school.

This new school had a grade school, high school, full size gymnasium, a modern kitchen, and lunchroom. It cost $160,000 and was the culmination of the hopes and dreams of many of the Karval residents.