The Works Progress Administration (WPA), one of the many government programs designed to help combat the economic hard times of the Depression, constructed a new school building in Boswell (Izard County) in the mid-1930s. The original school had been established not long after the founding of the community in the early 1800s.
The structure built by the WPA is a rectangular, single-story, fieldstone masonry classroom building with a central porch on the western end with a large projecting gable roof. Entrance is made through double-hung doors on the west side with two nine-over-nine pane windows and two stationary six-pane windows on each side. Two large bay windows cover much of the eastern side. The southern side has two large windows that allow natural light for a stage area. The northern end has only one small window in the roof gable.
The school was in use until the 1950s, when Boswell School District No. 66 was consolidated with Calico Rock School District No. 50. After the school was closed, the students were bused to Calico Rock (Izard County). The Boswell Baptist Church then took possession of the building.
The building underwent considerable renovation under the church’s ownership. A part of the southern end was partitioned to make a classroom, and another partition was constructed on the northern end to provide for an additional classroom and fellowship hall. While most of the pine ceiling was untouched, it was covered with sheetrock in the sanctuary. In addition, a six-inch raised platform was constructed for placement of a pulpit and choir loft area.
The building remains under the ownership of the Boswell Baptist Church. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on September 18, 1992.
For additional information:
“Boswell School.” National Register of Historic Places nomination form. On file at Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, Little Rock, Arkansas. Online at http://www.arkansaspreservation.com/National-Register-Listings/PDF/IZ0088.nr.pdf (accessed May 18, 2015).
Miller, Mary Cooper. “History of Boswell.” Izard County Historian 12 (July 1981): 13–20.
CALS Encyclopedia of Arkansas
Last Updated: 05/18/2015