Ygnacio Garcia - Community Donor, Early Pioneer
By Julia Macias Brooks
In 1895, Ygnacio Garcia donated a piece of his land to the school system solely for the purpose of educating the youngsters of the area. The Wickenburg Unified School District Board of Trustees, of which he was a member, acquired an abandoned school building from Vulture Mine and had it moved to Wickenburg at a cost of $50.00.
In 1905, the WUSD Board of Trustees took action on a bond issue in the amount of $1,600.00 and the citizens of Wickenburg passed the bond, which included the school site, construction of the little red schoolhouse and furnishings.
On August 20, 1919, Wickenburg electors voted 63-60 to retain the downtown school location in preference to one suggested in another part of town. The second building "Elementary School Main" was built near the little red schoolhouse that year.
Ygnacio Garcia was born in Mexico in 1837. He moved to California in 1850 and to Ehrenburg in 1860. Mr. Garcia first came to Wickenburg in 1876 and lived both in the town and at Vulture Mine. Written records show that Mr. Garcia was on the Board of Trustees of the school district as early as 1884, and at one time served as its president.
The Garcia family lived in the area along the Sols Wash near the present site of the Frontier-Bashas' Center, (formerly the site of the elementary school.) The Garcia's had substantial land holdings in the area, and were the parents of 15 children, two of who were born at Vulture Mine. Many of the Garcia children and descendants attended school in the early structure.
In 1972, the Wickenburg school board changed the name of the Wickenburg Elementary School to the Garcia Elementary School in honor of Mr. Ygnacio Garcia. The Garcia Schoolhouse (Little Red Schoolhouse) is a national historic monument and housed the Community Bank in downtown Wickenburg for many years.
Community Bank, now Meridian Bank donated the schoolhouse to the Wickenburg children's Cultural Organization (WcCO) a local non-profit organization who formally dedicated the transfer on September 20, 2003. Special guests, including grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Don Ygnacio Garcia attended.
WcCO specializes in teaching musical education to children in our area, and provides instruments and lessons for children who are unable to purchase their own.
Several of the Don Ygnacio Garcia's grandchildren - 6th generation attend schools in WUSD.