Cutter Morning Star School as it appeared in 1925.
(photo and info courtesy of the Garland County Historical Society)

  The Legend of Cutter and the Morning Star

There are many stories going around Hot Springs about how the Cutter Morning Star School got its name, and the history behind it. Was it a "Pocahontas and John Smith" type story where the brave soldier Major Cutter met a lovely Indian girl named Morning Star?

Not quite, but Cutter Morning Star School has a rich history, and an unusual story behind it. This school is actually a merger of 2 old schools. Morning Star, a one-room school, was located 5 miles east of Hot Springs, just 100 yards south of the Morning Star Methodist Church. The school and local fire department got their namesakes from the church. Legend tells us that the church was having an all-night revival, and they had services until they saw the Morning Star come up at the crack of dawn. (Sorry Pocahontas)

Cutter School was named after Charles Cutter, an early settler in that area that came as a prospector. He donated land for the school to be built on. To get to this school, many of the students had to cross a swinging bridge that crossed Mill Creek.

An election was held on October 31st, 1922, which consolidated the two schools into one…. Cutter Morning Star School District. Until the 1925-26 school year, the only high school in Garland County was Hot Springs High School. To get a high school education, children living in the rural areas surrounding Hot Springs had to either walk, ride horses, or ride in wagons several miles to school. Some of the more affluent families could afford to board their children in town during the week, but the poor had to walk several miles to get a high school education.

Cutter Morning Star is known for many firsts in the area. The first school buses in Garland County were run by Cutter Morning Star as early as 1925. The first rural indoor gymnasium was built in 1928. (this gym no doubt assisted the school’s basketball teams to win the county basketball tournaments for 4 consecutive years) A whopping 97% of seniors graduate from the school!

The school has an impressive website at:

Dr. Rando, PhD of Wit



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