The first school in Mapleton Township, southwest of Fargo, North Dakota, was built in 1895, one-quarter mile east of the farm of John Dobrinz. The school designated as Mapleton Township District #27 School was named after John Dobrinz who was the farmer closest to the school when it was built, and the father of thirteen children, one of which later taught at the school.
This building is typical of one-room school houses that were built in the area during the late 1800's and early 1900's. These schools were designed to teach students from grades one through eight. While some students were as young as three or four years of age, other students were older than the teacher. Grade level was based on how many books were successfully completed rather than on age.
Despite also being used for community events, church Sunday School, and as a voting precinct for Mapleton Township, the school wasclosed by the mid 1900,s. Other one-room school houses in North Dakota had a similar fate as school districts consolidated and the state’s rural population dwindled.
The Dobrinz School was given to the Cass County Historical Society in 1968 and was one of the first three buildings at the Museum’s new location in West Fargo, North Dakota.