From our early days as a one-room schoolhouse to our current location in a beautiful, state-of-the-art building, the mission of Bouse Elementary School has been to provide a top quality education for the youth of Bouse. We continue to fulfill that mission today due to the unwavering support of the Bouse community through the years.
A Look Back
The history of Bouse, Arizona, stretches back to the late 1800s when it began as a mining camp known as Brayton. Re-named Bouse in 1907, the community enjoyed a booming economy between the arrival of the railroad in the early 1900s and the closure of the Swansea mine in the 1920s. Later, in 1943, General George S. Patton established Camp Bouse, a top-secret military base where troops trained to use a classified night-fighting weapon.
Throughout our fascinating history, Bouse School has served as an educational pillar of the community. Diana Mae Evan, a local historian, recorded the following regarding the educational history of Bouse:
“At one time, Brayton, now known as Bouse, had three mercantile establishments, several first class hotels, one ice-cream and confectionary parlor, two barbershops, a blacksmith shop, several saloons, and one grade school, starting from the first to eighth grade.
Historical records indicate that, in the [twenties], it seems a larger school with a water tank and large bell existed. There is also a personal biography of a student in the forties going to a one-room school building with a stage in the middle of the back of the room and a bathroom on each side of the stage. The front had two doors that opened up and one door on the left side of the building. The room had about 50 desks of different sizes and one teacher. Outside was a merry-go-round to play on and tamarack trees. There were no swamp coolers then or electricity till 1952. The heat in winter came from an oil heater and sometimes we students were let out of school early in summer because of the heat factor.”
Cited from Part history of Bouse, AZ, and the surrounding area as I know it, Vol. 1: The Descendants, 1862 – 1940, pp. 61 – 62, Diana Mae Evan
Our current school building, funded by the Arizona State Facilities Board, cost $1.6 million to build. Construction began in 2003, and we welcomed students to the new building in August 2004. You can view a photographic video of the entire construction process here.
The building, designed to serve 100 students, has now been a part of our community for a decade.