Most early schools like the Fannin Street School in the town of Rockwall, were one-room country schools that served grades 1 through 7.
In the early days, there were at least sixty different 1-room country schools operated in Rockwall County, usually one per community in places called Happy Home, McCreary, Friendship, Nadine, Munson, McLendon, Locust Grove, Powell, Union, Brushy, Collins, Newton, Prairie View, Elm Grove, Blackland and Griffith League.
In most 1-room schools all grades and classes were taught by one Teacher. If students wished to continue their education past the seventh grade they had to go into towns like Rockwall, Royse City, McKinney, Terrell and other larger towns. And education was not free. All classes had tuitions that supported the teachers. Compensation came in the way of Salary, Room and Board, and dry goods.
As with other aspects of life in the 19th century, Mother Nature determined when classes were held. If the growing season was a late one, school would not begin in the fall until all crops were harvested and gathered. And in the spring, classes were not held when planting occurred. Every member of the family was needed to work the crops on the farm.
Some early schools in Rockwall in 1855 were the Edelman Kindergarten and the Butler Institute. In 1859 a school was held on the lower floor of the Masonic Lodge Hall and operated there until 1878. It wasn't until 1879 that Rockwall built the first "Free School" in Rockwall. The second was opened in 1885 - see Photo of it below.