Known as "Sycamore School", the first public school in Defiance was organized around 1881. Located in the floodplains of Darst Bottom, this one-room schoolhouse provided first-through eighth-grade instruction to students living within a two-and-a-half-mile radius. Before the start of the 1897 school year, the school was renamed "Walnut Grove School", and19 girls and 20 boys from 15 local families attended.
Students who attended the school received a well rounded education. The school was a lively place where students of all grades would participate in spelling bees, recite multiplication tables and practice their writing on the blackboard. During the cold winter months the class would huddle around the room's pot belly stove to stay warm.
The entire school day was not dedicated to learning, recess was as popular then as it is today with students. Classmates would often engage in mud-ball fights, in a game of "Shiney" or "Pig in the Hole" and occasionally a game of baseball was played with a string ball and stick. During the winter months, a large snowball fight was the recess norm.
In February 1910, the Walnut Grove District was reorganized and designated "St. Charles County School District No. 68". On Tuesday, June 2, 1950, the patrons of Walnut Grove School District No. 68 voted 17-4 in favor of annexation
with Consolidated School District No. 2 of St. Charles County, now known as Francis Howell R III School District. The old, one-room school closed and the building was sold in April 1951, to Mr. and Mrs. Elmore Meyer of Defiance.