History of Laquey School

By Steven Beattie

The Laquey area is an unincorporated community that consists of a post office, a feed store, and a school. The Laquey R-V School is located on Highway AA, just south of Interstate 44 exit 150.

The first schoolhouse in Laquey was called the Lewis School. It is currently used as a home and is located  on Highway P, just North of Highway AA.  Sometime after 1913, the Lewis School was re-named Laquey School after Joseph J. Laquey, whose benevolence helped to establish the Laquey Post Office. The post office and a general store were the gathering points in the community at the time.

Leaders from ten adjoining school communities met at the old Laquey School for the purpose of consolidating into one central school district in 1948. The leaders  represented the communities of Pleasant Grove, Fairview, Cave Spring, Bellefounts, Laquey, Turkey Ridge, Independence, Hilton, Prospect and Center Point. They agreed to reorganize into one school district.

The new Laquey School was built on Highway AA, between Highways AB and P, which is the site of the current Laquey School. It was opened to students in the first through eighth grades in the fall of 1952. Students in grades nine through twelve attended either Richland High School or Waynesville High School at that time. The first school board consisted of Cecil Harris, President; Emerson Storie, Vice President; Burley Dye, Secretary and Treasurer; and members Leon Roam, Ernest Gladden, and Henry Willing.

Increased population and cost factors brought about a school district vote in 1975 on whether or not Laquey should join the Waynesville School District. A “no” vote was the outcome.  Money was then raised through bond funding to add the ninth and tenth grade levels to the district during the 1976-1977 school year. The eleventh grade level was added during the 1977-1978 school year. Finally, the twelfth grade level was added during the 1978-1979 school year. The first Laquey senior class, consisting of 31 students, graduated on May 21, 1979.

The Laquey School District currently covers approximately 64 square miles and has a student population of over 750 students. Laquey School has become the center of the social life of the community, and it is used for a variety of community events throughout the year.