Prine School

This was one of the last country schools to close in the whole state of Iowa. Prine operated from 1861 until 1966. It was built northwest of Oskaloosa, near the corner of Highway 163 and Independence Avenue. The school was built on land donated by the Prine family, one of the early families in Mahaska County, hence naming it the Prine School. The cloakroom in the front of the building was added in 1926 because of the increase in attendance.

The students all learned in the space together, studying their own lessons while the teacher worked with one group of students at a time. The recitation bench at the front of the room was where each grade level would work with the teacher.

The building closed officially on May 20, 1966, and was donated to the MCHS in 1967. It was donated in memory of Henry H. Prine by his wife Lois E. Prine and children Jean Prine Barnhill, Joan Prine Jacobson, and Robert Henry Prine. After moving it to its new home, a dedication ceremony was held Sept. 3, 1967.

A Note to Photographers

Please call our Director Mac at 641-672-2989 or email her at to get permission to come take photographs of the property. This is not an open site and permission is necessary so we can let our property caretaker know.