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The History of our Public Schools
Wyandotte County, Kansas

1844
2012

 

 

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Stony Point School

The following personal narrative (shared with us by SPSouth Principal, Judi Webber) is written (in part) by Mr. Jan Way, a local citizen.  Mr. Way attended Stony Point South. His daughters are the fourth generation of his family to attend the school.  My Way's family is typical of the strong sense of family and history associated with the Stony Point South community.

The first formal school was founded in 1831 when Methodist missionaries came to the bend of the Kaw River to establish a mission to the Delaware Indians.  About 1/2 mile south of the present school on the east side of the road, a mission was built.  In 1833, there were five white and twenty-seven Indian children attending.

A new school was built in 1837 in the valley just southwest of the original one attracting not only Delaware Indian children, but also children from the village of Seconkine (later known as Muncie), which was about 200 yards east of the present site of the old Grinter House.

The mission school probably continued until 1861 when Kansas became a state and Stony Point became an official Kansas public school, District 13.  (Note:  March, 2003 - In front of the current building, is a brick and stone facade with the name of Stony Point South, District No. 13.)

In 1869, a larger school was built on the present site just south of the old gym.  This was a one-room building housing all eight grades.  It was later enlarged and became a two-room L-shaped building.  The water for the school came from the spring located in the valley.

Some 40 years passed and in 1913, the white frame school was replaced with a 3-room brick structure ('the old building' - see picture at top) which was a source of great pride to the entire community.  Two rooms were downstairs:  one had the first and second grades, the other had grades 3, 4, and 5.  Grades 6, 7 and 8 were in the upstairs room.  In 1926, a fourth room was added.

The grades were separated in the rooms by folding door partitions.  These were folded back when a school play was put on and a portable or collapsible stage was set up.

In 1924-25, there was a school bus for about 1/2 year which consisted of a truck furnished by John DeFries.  This was advertised as one of the benefits of the school.  Thereafter, there were no buses for a while.  There also was no electricity in 1924.   The school advertised a play was being put on in the evening with electricity.  The community showed up, but had to go home because there were only candles.  The purpose of the subterfuge was to show the need for electricity.  Electricity came to the school the next year, but there were hard feelings over the method by which it was obtained.

Water was available at the well south of the present school on which an enameled cup hung for the use of everyone.  In 1927, the school had the students come to the school with their individual collapsible folding water cups.  In 1929-30, just as the great depression was beginning, the girl's outhouse was upgraded from two holes to four holes.  In 1931, indoor water came to the school, but an outhouse and the well still existed as relics in the mid-1950's.

Heat was supplied by a central furnace in the basement.  Because children walked from Grinter Heights and other areas two miles away through the snow, they were often cold and wet when they got to school in the winter.  First hour class was then held in the furnace room and the students sat around the furnace so they could dry off and warm up as they did their lessons.  Some of the children would wear burlap wrapped around their shoes on snowy days.  In 1929-30, on a below zero day, only 11 people showed up, four teachers and seven students out of an enrollment that reached 140 is 1932.

Lunch was brought from home in a syrup pail and consisted of biscuits with peanut butter or bologna on dry bread.  Bread was not bought sliced yet and there was nothing to spread on the sandwiches because there were no preservatives added to the food.  Students ate at their desk.  In 1931-32, the beginning of a school lunch program was started as students were given soup and applesauce to go with their sandwiches from home.

Children often had two sets of clothing, the dress a girl had on and the one at home in the laundry.  However, there was only one pair of shoes and they were only worn during the school year.  The first day school was out was when everyone began to go barefoot.  The school year was only eight months long because of the need to attend to crops.

The school day began and ended with the ringing of the bell.  At the beginning of the day, the lower grades would recite "we are all in our places with bright shiny faces" and at the end of the day there was a different recitation.

Recess included outdoor basketball as there was no indoor court.  The baseball had outseams which often hurt when one caught a seam on the end of a finger.

The four-room school house served until 1938-39 when a one-story building was added to the remodeled old structure as well as a combination gym and auditorium.  Additions were made in 1948, 1952, and 1955, giving a total of twenty classrooms, a health room, and an office.  There was also a small library.  Also each room had its own book case full of books that were completely read each year by several students.  Stony Point North was built in 1958.

During these years, the people of the Stony Point community continuously improved and supported their school.  The PTA started the hot lunch program with the Dad's Club, who gave financial, physical, and moral support.

Sports were very popular as could be attested to by the large crowds attending and the many trophies proudly displayed throughout the building.

In 1966, the enrollment at Stony Point was 685 students in grades K-5.  Stony Point became a part of the Kansas City, Kansas Schools (USD 500) on January 1, 1968 and official became Stony Point South School.

The 1972-73 school year saw the opening of a new modern open concept building on campus into which moved the fifth and sixth grades and the Library.  It has since become the nucleus of the present building.

There is a lot of pride and history contained within the Stony Point South community.  The school has always been and will always remain a very important of the community.  That pride and history will continue through the years.  The new building has already begun its story to add to the stories of the past.

Return to the History Page of Stony Point South

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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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