History of the Cottonwood, Arizona School DIstrict

In 1878, the first school in Cottonwood was established and became Yavapai County School District #6. The first teacher, Mrs. Rubottom, lived in an old adobe building built by soldiers from Camp Verde when they supervised the captured Yavapai and Apache on the Rio Verde Reservation until 1875.

As Cottonwood grew, land was deeded for a school (and cemetery) in 1892. The Cottonwood School opened in 1909 serving students from ages 6-17 who had to carry water from a well 1.4 miles away.

From 1917-1923 the Bungalow School educated students shoes parents worked for the United Verde Extension’s mine and smelter in the company town of Clemenceau. In 1923, a modern public school was build by James Douglas, owner of the United Verde Extension, for $1000,000, which still proudly stands today! The Clemenceau School brought all the students from grades 1 through 9 of Cottonwood together. High School students attended Clarkdale High School until 1947 when the Clemenceau building became a high school. Elementary students attended school in buildings next to the high school.

In 1954, Oak Creek School in Cornville joined with Cottonwood to form Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District # 6. That same year Yavapai County students from Sedona joined the Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District.

In 1958 Cottonwood and Clark/Jerome School Districts merged their high schools to form Mingus Union High School due to declining enrollment. That same year the Willard School, a small school for grades 1-8 in the area of Bridgeport was annexed into the new Cottonwood Oak Creek School District.

Oak Creek Elementary School

The Little Red School House was built in 1913. Grades 1-8 were taught in two classrooms until the late 1940's. The current buildings across the street still house the old school bell.