The Old School In Wolverton


When Miller’s Station was established in 1878, the small trading post town was a steamboat stop along the Red River with a post office, store, and elevator. The growth of the budding village was halted in 1889 when the railroad came through about one mile north on its way from Breckenridge to Moorehead. New businesses sprang up near the railroad in a makeshift town called Jacksville. 

In 1889, land for a town was purchased from Dr. William Wolverton. Wolverton was a Union doctor during the Civil War and later became a physician at Fort Abercrombie. He’d purchased several hundred acres of land as he served as Inspector General at the fort. In 1891, the town officially became Wolverton, Minnesota. There were two general stores, a livery stable, a horse-powered grain elevator, a blacksmith shop, and a hardware store. A lumber company, dentist, bank, and creamery followed. Wolverton even had its own newspaper, the “Wolverton Progress.”

A school was built around 1900 that burned down just five years later. The community built a two-story brick school in its place in 1906. It originally had a central hall and a wing on the north side of the building with classrooms. In 1917, a matching wing was added to the south side to add more space for the growing community of around 150 residents. Until 1918, only grades one through eight were offered. The first class of seniors graduated from the Wolverton School in 1922.

The town’s population peaked in the 1940s at around 225 residents. Rumblings of closing the school due to the declining population started as early as 1957. Children in grades 11 and 12 started attending Breckenridge High School then. By the 1970s, the population of Wolverton had dipped to around 170. Like many rural schools before, it was forced to close in 1978. There were 49 students in school at the time who were bussed to Breckenridge starting in 1979.

Since its closure, there have been attempts to find a new use for the building without much success. It wasn’t clear how the building is being used today, but the community still uses the park and playground behind the old school. 

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