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The school was probably named for the Chance Brothers. [Note: "The Chance Brothers Park was developed and partially occupied by Robert E. Chance, a local contractor and builder. It was, by all accounts, a beautiful and spacious park. The park consisted of many varieties of wood common to Kansas. The park was located in the northwestern portion of Armourdale. Chance had worked for the US government for ten years on river surveys before moving to Armourdale." Loren L. Taylor]
The city of Armourdale was named for the Armours, bankers and pork packers. It gives promise of being the center of many great manufacturing interests, and already many large establishments have bought ground here and are moving out of Kansas City, which is just across the river. A new bridge, by the Belt Line Company, is now being erected across the Kansas River, in the southeast part of Armourdale. This will let the various railroads in to the elevators and other interests now building in that part of Armourdale. - William G. Cutler's "History of Kansas."
"The youngest of the three towns that formed the consolidated city of Kansas City, Kansas, was Armourdale. Boston capitalists in 1880 incorporated the Kaw Valley Town Site and Bridge Company and obtained a large tract of land in the Kaw Valley. A portion of this land was platted into a town, which was called Armourdale in honor of the Armours of packing house fame. The town grew rapidly and was incorporated in 1882. The boundaries extended southward from Kansas Avenue to the Kaw, and west to 18th Street. A very level plot of land, and well suited to industries, Armourdale became the home of many meat-packing plants. Home of the operations of the Big Five Packers, this city became the second largest meat packing center in the United States in the early 1880's." (Views of the Past, published by the KCKs Bicentennial Commission)
Since 1873, Armourdale children had formerly been attending Armstrong School . When the new city was incorporated under the name Armourdale in 1882, Armstrong School became part of South Wyandotte, which left Armourdale without a building. The officers of the Armourdale School Board were: N. Sherrick, president; E. Sheldon, secretary; and F. W. Dyer, treasurer.
The newly-incorporated city at the spring election in 1882 elected its first board of education. N. Sherrick, president; E. Sheldon, secretary; F. W. Dryer, treasurer. Bonds to the amount of $9000 were voted for a new building. One of the committee, P. W. Service, recalled the selection of a school site. He and other members followed a path through a cornfield and staked out the ground for the school. The path became Eighth Street in the city of Armourdale. After the consolidation the street name was changed to Fifth, and the school's location was on the southwest corner of Fifth and Shawnee. For years references in old records were made to the Eighth Street School. The building, a two-story, four-room brick, was erected on four lots and completed by 1883. (Some records say October 5, 1882.)
1883 - George E. Rose was the first principal. The attendance was around 300 that year. Shortly afterward the four rooms were divided to make eight, and a hall enclosed to make an extra room. Two additional lots were purchased in January, 1884.
A Mr. Brock followed George Rose as principal in 1884, and Oscar B. Johnson taught the colored school. By 1885, C. F. Foley had taken over the principalship. The town had a population of 2800 and the board was levying a five-mill tax on property. The six lots and nine-room building were deeded to the Kansas City Board of Education in the spring of 1886.
From the Iconoclast, published Armourdale, Kansas, October 20, 1883, Vol 1, No. 2 (loaned by Eva Owens Stephenson): Over 300 pupils are enrolled. Last month the percent of attendance was 90. The following are the names of those placed upon the Roll of Honor at the close of the first month - First Department: Alice Duinmire, Eddie Fisher, Eva Owen, P Chandley, Nettie Martin - Second Department: Theodore Douglas, Dania Foore, Gertrude Lattimer, Cornelia Galup, Minnie Patterson - Third Department: Mary Jones, Effie Burk, Grace Owen, Charlie Buckley, Earnest House - Fourth Department: Charlie Sterne, Nellie Reddington, Walter Chance, Mattie Pate, Charlie Fenerherdt, Willie Bolton, Pearl Rinehart, Grace Staley, Mary Kunkleman, Minnie Coover - Mr. George Rose, the efficient principal of the public school made us a pleasant call last Tuesday.
1885 - From the Armourdale News, August 14, 1885: J E Klan was elected clerk of the school board and Ben Chance was elected director at the meeting of the school board meeting. A five mill tax was levied for school expenses for the coming year.
From the Armourdale News, August 21, 1885: Teachers appointed for the year commencing September 7, 1885. Principal C F Foley, Assistant J M Holferty, Miss M M Justin, E M Hollister, Shade Parsons, Colored: Oscar B Johnson. Population of Armourdale 2800.
1886 - Chance School is listed as one of the nine original schools at the time of the 1886 Act of Consolidation wherein Wyandott, Kansas City, and Armourdale (including Armstrong and Riverview) became one city with the name of Kansas City, Kansas.
[Note: One source tells us that early in the school year, 1886, the board instructed the superintendent to inquire into the workings of the school in Armourdale. In the latter part of November the board rented for thirty dollars a month a two-room building in the Armourdale district. J. J. Maxwell was appointed principal and Miss Nannie Groomer named his assistant on a two-weeks' trial. Possibly this two-room school may have also been referred to as "Chance" School and mentioned in early records. Ninety children attended. J. J. Maxwell, principal. resigned in the spring of 1887. The rented building was in need of repairs, which had not been made when possession was given up early in the summer.]
1888 - December 3: Crowded. Room needed. Well installed in place of cistern.
1889 - May 27: Plans for addition to school.
July 17: Contract for four-room addition to L G Ferguson. Old and new buildings attached.
August 12: Repairs made. Building struck by lightening.
September: District was all part of old Armourdale, east of Mill. Morse 7th and 8th grades to Chance. In 1889 listed as twelve-room brick with 747 students.
1890 - August 4: School to be called Armourdale. See Armourdale history page for further information.
June 2003 - When viewing the area today, no school building remains. 5th Street going south now ends at Shawnee and you find the Graham Express Lines (trucking firm) where once children went to school.
1882-84 - George E. Rose / 1884-85 - Bock / 1885 - C F Foley / 1886-87 - J J Maxwell / 1888-90 - J C Fertig / See "Armourdale School"
History Site created on December 02, 2002
Page last updated: 02-Jan-2012