The community of West Valley was located in the extreme northeast corner of Johnson County. A school was built there in the late 1890s. The building was of wood and it faced a road on the east. Records state that Mr. Peyton Irving was Superintendent of Johnson County schools until 1898. Upon his visit to West Valley, he found a new one-room school in excellent condition with home-made wooden benches. Forty-four pupils were present that day. The school was in District Number 77.
West Valley School had no water so it was carried as needed from Mr. C.J. Prater's house, a short distance east of the school. Students would take turns taking the bucket for water and everyone drank from the same "dipper".
Mr. Ernest Prater, who attended school there in 1914, could remember two of his teachers. Mr. Ralph Walker, who still resides in Mansfield and Miss Alice Ponder, who lived in the Mansfield community and for who an elementary school in the Mansfield Independent School District is named.
The West Valley school building was also used as a church and a community center.
To reach the old school site, go south on Main Street in downtown Mansfield, turn right on F.M. 917. Continue on for three miles, turn left at the paved road Number 617. Go around two double corners and the site is on the right.