Until the 1870's, Live Oak county had private schools taught by clergymen and ranch employees in cabins, brush arbors, dugouts. County Judge G. W. Jones initiated (1876) community schools with tuition set at 71/2 cents a day per student. In time there were 43 of these small schools. Oakville in 1881 erected the county's first building for a free school and in 1899 had the first independent district. By 1917 George West and Three Rivers also had independent districts. Consolidations began in 1940, when the county had 9,799 people. By 1970, two consolidated schools served the entire county.