Another great web sitre regarding the Country School system in Illinois can be found at:
This article was written by Edith Buchanan Bingamin with an attached article by Sarah
Elsie Husband. The unique part of the article is the map (shown above) and the very detailed description of
the school's set up and daily routine. This is a must read for history and country school fans. What
a great and simpler time. Imagine the incredible attention a student was given....this is how "no Child Left Behind"
should be run! Excellent article and major thank you to Robert Young for adding another gem to this
To view a copy of Robert Young's actual second grade report card from the Lambert Country
School seen on the map above please visit:
Ben Funk Grade School, located near Shirley in central Illinois south of Bloomington, began
in 1912 as Frank Funk donated land for a rural school to honor his father Benjamin. The Funk family was well-known for their
agriculture prowess in developing a corn hybrid, and were involved in their community, so opening up a school was a way to
give back to the country folk that lived in the area.
The school opened up as a 1-8 facility, and offered high school courses in 1914 (see the Ben Funk page for that information). The building was designed by architect A.A. Pilsbury with an unusual one and a half story
building that was opened shortly thereafter with two classrooms, work room space and an assembly hall for the price of $5,000.00.
The school lifted its roof in 1920 and added on more classrooms and the principal's office for $40,000. Subsequent additions
were added to the building in 1954 and 1960 with the second floor being removed at the time of the latter addition.
The school was closed following the 1990-91 school year and is now used a private residence. Some memorabilia
from the school can be found in the Funk Prairie Home near Shirley, which also hosts a sizable gem & mineral collection
from LaFayette Funk (another relative). Students now attend classes at Heyworth Grade School, seven miles south
of Ben Funk GS.