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Wyandotte County, Kansas




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Prescott School

Prescott Park - former site of Prescott School - Dec 2002In the upper left of the page is Prescott Park - all that remains of the building which once stood there.  

Picture Gallery

Architectural Blue Prints and/or Plot Plan of School Building

Built:  1888
Closed:  1977 (razed)


Other Names: Reynolds

Prescott School Annex 1910On June 14, 1888, J. I. Reynolds of the Boston Land and Park Company said he would sell 10 lots in Boston Place for $30 per foot and furnish money to build a school.  On June 18th, the Board purchased the northeast corner of 13th and Ridge for $7500 (Lots 125 + 25 feet on Ridge, Block 10) and contracted to L. G. Ferguson on July 2nd for a four-room brick. The architect was Colby. The school in Boston Place was to be known as Reynolds in honor of J. I. Reynolds.

Legal Description:  All of Lot 7 in Block 10, Boston Place, also, Beginning at the NE corner of said Lot 7, thence E 65 feet, thence S 50 feet, thence W 65 feet to the SE corner of said Lot 7, thence N 50 feet to beginning, all being in Boston Place.

Also, Beginning at the SW corner of Lot 6, in Block 10, of Boston Place, thence N 175 feet, thence @ 50 feet, thence S 175 feet, thence E 50 feet to place of Beginning.  Also, Commencing at the NE corner of Lot 6, in Block 10, Boston Place, thence N 50 feet, thence W 40 feet, thence S 50 feet, thence E 40 feet to beginning.

Also, Commencing at the NE corner of 13th Street and Ridge Avenue, thence E 250 feet, thence N 125 feet, thence West 250 feet, thence S 125 feet to beginning.

Book 701, Page 25; Book 635, Page 399
Book 328, Page 531; Book 135, Page 413
Book 380, Page 5; Book 380, Page 104
Book 113, Page 65; Book 510, Page 2a6
Book 707, Page 153

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The Kansas City Kansan
February 15, 1953

Just Lookin' Around
with May J. McGuire

The Founders day program which the PTAs of our schools have are mighty nice, for not only do they call to mind the purpose of the founders of this great movement, but they bring together many old friends, who seldom see each other now that their own days of activity in the PTA are over.

The Prescott School PTA had a fine Founders Day program, with many former patrons of the school, nine past presidents and many members present.  Mrs. Derby Nichols arranged the program, which included a history of the school.  Mrs. Harry Weible, accompanied by Mrs. Gladys Kinsey, sang.

Prescott is an old school.  It was during the year 1888 that a portion of "Boston Place," located at Thirteenth and Ridge, was obtained for the building of the school, which was first called "Reynolds school."  It was given the name in honor of J. I. Reynolds, who opened the Grandview area for development as a residential district.

The first school building consisted of four rooms, two up and two down (this portion is now the west part of the present school building). Due to the growth of the district, eight rooms were added and by 1910 the annex of four rooms was built.  Additional ground on the east side of the building was purchased for a playground.  With changing trends in population the enrollment became less, not so many classrooms were needed and in 1937 two upstairs rooms were converted into a school auditorium.


Many years ago, when the names of public schools were given names of historical significance, the name of the school was changed to "Prescott," in honor of the great American historian, William Hickling Prescott.

Prescott has served more than the children of the district.  In the great flood of 1903 it served as a shelter for food victims, as it did in the flood of 1951.

Among the distinguished graduates of the school who were mentioned at the recent PTA anniversary meeting were Dr. Harold Holter, Dr. Don Holter, Dr. Miles Nason, the late Dr. Merle Parrish, Josephine Jirak Gross, Alma J. Yardley, Kenneth Adams, Ray Daley, Frank Abernathy, Ted Gaffney, Esther Erickson, Helen Streeter, Elizabeth Sparks and Mrs. Clark Tucker.


When Central Junior high school was built the seventh and eighth grade students attended that school, which of course changed the enrollment considerably.  This was in 1916.

The first meeting of the Mothers' club, later to become the PTA, was held Nov 26, 1912.  Mrs. Wilson was the first president.  The first ten presidents were Mrs. Wilson, Mrs. Schutt, Mrs. Fernor, Mrs. Jones, Mrs. Rudy, Mrs. Seymour, Mrs. Mercer, Mrs. Adams and Mrs. True.  Other presidents were Mrs. Holmes W. Haviland, Mrs. De Groff and Mrs. Grossman.  The records of the association indicate how busy and how helpful the women have been.

During the depression years, hot lunches were served to children; layettes were made for babies; and other help was given to needy families.  The women gave a minstrel show to raise funds for the child welfare work.  There were many laughs when this was mentioned at the meeting, because after all these years, it is fun to recall that program.

There is a well-equipped PTA kitchen, and it here that the PTA members served meals to 80 flood victims.  It is fine to hear of the good work that goes on from one year to the next and to know that women are working together to build better understanding between the home and school and a better world for children.

Architectural Analysis - Public School Buildings (New/Additions) by Rose and Peterson - 1890-1927

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1888 - December 3.  School being held in two buildings.  W. A. Morriston, principal.  One teacher:  Julia Hixon.  Six grades.  Two rooms were upstairs; two down. 

1900 - Cloakroom used for classes.

1902 - February 3.  Prescott was promised four-room addition. 

July 7.  Addition not going well.  J. W. Ferguson, contractor.

1903 - C. W. Myers, Principal, reported eight rooms and ten teachers.  Annex evidently finished.  Hoped for annex during following year.  Growth phenomenal.

June.  Flood suffers housed in building.

Architect of addition was W. W. Rose.  Address shown as 1236 Ridge Ave.  The original building was designed by W. F. Hackney.  (Rose and Peterson Architects, 1994)

On September 3, 1903, the name of Reynolds School was changed to Prescott.  The History of the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools by Nellie McGuinn.

School called Prescott in honor of William H. Prescott, American historian.

1905 - February 6.  Superintendent M E Pearson recommended four-room addition.  Contract let on March 13.

1908 - July 6.  Plans adopted for four-room annex. 

1895-1909 - W. W. Rose, Architect - Rose also worked on six separate school projects which resulted in additions to the following Hackney-designed elementary schools:  Morse, John J. Ingalls, London Heights (Abbot, and Reynolds (Prescott).  The strong resemblance of Ingalls to Lowell, Irving, and Eugene Field suggests that in this instance, the addition was more in the nature of a complete reconstruction or replacement.  The first and sixth projects involved Hawthorne Elementary, a school Rose more than likely originally designed.  These two plans added a total of eight rooms to this grade school.

July 25.  Contract to A. J. Hibbs

August 30.  Room at 14th and Central rented for two months until annex is completed.  750 children enrolled.

1912 - First PTA President, Mrs. Wilson.

1916 - September.  7th and 8th grades to junior high (Junior High School, later called Central Middle School).  Room for deaf established.  Miss Keturah Stevens, teacher.  Served whole city.

1917 - One room in building used as Red Cross headquarters during World War I.

1925 - First Open Air Room in Kansas opened in Prescott.  Edna Griffis in charge.  Sponsored by Junior Red Cross, but Board furnished room.  Twenty children selected by school nurses in first class.  Had dietician to plan meals.

1929 - Board said would continue Open Air room as long as had funds.

1932 - Deaf Room and Open Air discontinued.

1935 - First WPA nursery school in Kansas City, Kansas, established at Prescott for working mothers.  Mrs. Mary Jansen and five assistants in charge.

1936 - Dads Club organized.  Mr. Carl Larson, president.

1937 - Enrollment down.  Made two rooms into auditorium.

1939 - School for Retarded Children established by Mrs. Fred Green, assisted by Mrs. J. Enloe.  Not part of school system, but Board furnished room and janitor service.  Moved in 1939 to Kansas City, Missouri by Mrs. Enloe.

1940 - First time in 24 years Prescott alone with own set-up.

1951 - Armourdale flooded.  Prescott a center for homeless. Overall history on this school's involvement with the 1951 flood.

At 3:30 a.m., Sunday, July 15, extreme fire hazards in the Southwest Blvd area required new evacuation of residents and the Major Hudson School was opened.  At 4:10 a.m. the Rosedale High School was opened to accommodate those on the south side of the area.  Rosedale High School was closed after about two days of operation.  No feeding was done in the school and the cafeteria was not opened.  Major Hudson later dropped to a census of twenty-two and these people were moved to Prescott and Douglass.

1974 - August 20.  Agreement between City, Bethany Hospital and School district whereby district sold, Abbott, Stowe and Prescott property to the city for park purposes and the district was able to acquire land for M E Pearson school to replace Prescott.

1977 - School closed and building razed.  Pupils transferred to M E Pearson and Whittier.

June 7:  Land transferred to city as neighborhood park based on agreement of city sale of property in Bethany Park to Bethany Hospital, funds transferred to USD #500 for purchase of M E Pearson site.


1888 - W A Morriston / 1889 - R E Morris / 1890 - C W Porter / 1891 - R E Morris / 1892-95 - C W Porter / 1895-98 - Frank Colvin / 1898-1908 - C W Myers / 1809-13 - Ida Meyer / 1913-25 - C W Myers / 1925-61 - Gladys Kinsey / 1961-62 - James Hammer / 1962-68 - Ruby Crary / 1968-75 - Lillie May Budimlija / 1975-77 - Fred W Vaughan

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Contact the History Webmaster - Patricia Adams

History Site created on December 02, 2002
Page last updated: 23-Apr-2014

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