The first public school law in Illinois was the Free School Act of 1825. It provided that common schools should be established in each county of the State, which were to be free and open to all white citizens between the age s of five and twenty-one. This law was amended in 1827 because some families that did not have children did not want to pay taxes to support the school. This weakened the Law of 1825 to the point that few public schools were established.
Iroquois County was first settled in 1830. People came to this county from Indiana and Ohio. Often a school was established in each settlement. These schools were not free tax-supported schools, but were subscription schools, where parents paid according to the number of children enrolled. These schools were privately operated, usually by a minister, a lawyer, a doctor, or some other educated person of the community.
Another Free School Act was passed in 1845. This gave the legal voters the opportunity to meet together to determine the feasibility of levying taxes for the support of building school houses, repairing of school houses, and for other school purposes.
In 1870, a third Constitution for the State of Illinois was approved. Article VIII stated, the General Assembly shall provide a thorough and efficient system of free schools, whereby all the children of the State shall receive a good common school education. By this Article it was mandated that all counties in the state must organize elementary school districts.
In January of 1877, Lewis J. and Hannah Bennett made an agreement with School Trustees to establish a school house in Section 11 of Douglas Township, Iroquois County, Illinois ("A piece of land containing one half acre commencing at a point thirty rods South of the Northeast corner of Section Eleven Town Twenty six (26) North Range Ten East of the Third P.M. running from thence South Eight rods thence west ten rods thence North Eight rods thence East ten rods to the place of beginning"). The amount of Forty dollars exchanged hands.
Turner and Hannah Maria Torrey purchased the North 1/2 of the Northeast 1/4 of Section 11 of Douglas Township, Iroquois County, Illinois on September 8, 1877.
Cyrus K Snyder purchased the North 1/2 of the Northeast 1/4 of Section 11 of Douglas Township, Iroquois County, Illinois in March of 1881.
Perry Wakes purchased the North 1/2 of the Northeast 1/4 of Section 11 of Douglas Township, Iroquois County, Illinois on January 1, 1883. In the Warranty Deed there is mention of the school house. This school house does not appear on the 1884 plat map of Iroquois County, Illinois (nor is it referred to by name in other documents).
Thomas Parker purchased the North 1/2 of the Northeast 1/4 of Section 11 of Douglas Township, Iroquois County, Illinois on March 1, 1895. In the Warranty Deed there is mention of the school house. This school house came to be known as the Parker School House (District #116). This school house appears on the 1904 plat map of Iroquois County, Illinois.
The original school house burned. Classes were temporarily held at Dr. Palmer's Home while the new building was constructed. Dr. Palmer lived 1 mile east and a short distance north. The new building consisted of indoor toilets, an indoor coal room, a cloak room, swinging doors between the large room and the library (a small room on the north side). There were different size desks to accommodate younger and older students. Their was a well south of the school building.
The last reported student enrollment dates to 1941.