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The History of our Public Schools
Wyandotte County, Kansas




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Noble Prentis PTA

In February of 1910 plans for a two-room school was drawn by N. P. Nielson, ground donated by Mr. Roe.  It was located on Roe Tract west of the city of Rosedale.

A note left by Abigail Newton, first principal who was teaching at Whitmore - She lived at the home of William Ball, Rosedale School Board President.  Elsie Ball, wife of William Ball, was primary teacher at Whitmore for several years.  Two new schools were being built.  Mr. Ball asked Abigail and Elsie to suggest names of prominent Kansans.  A Kansas History by Noble Prentis lay on the table.  Abigail suggested the name "Noble Prentis" for one school.  Elsie suggested "Snow" for the other in honor of the K. U. Chancellor, who was said to have attended school in Rosedale at one time.  Much to the girls' surprise, the names were accepted.

The following is an excerpt from a letter written by Serleana Wilhite Reynolds in 1940.

"School begun in the fall of 1910, in an old store building owned by people named Snedeker.  It was housed in an old yellow store building at 21st and Steele Road.  Miss Wilhite was the only teacher.  It had six grades.  Older children went to Rosedale.  It was like the Little Red Country Schoolhouse of earlier days.  The floor was concrete, desks were old and tipped crazily.  Parents objected to concrete floors as they feared the children would contract "rheumatism."  Planks were then laid on the floor and desks anchored to the planks.  The boards warped and the room looked like a sea with rocking boats.  Dust rose in clouds when stirred by the boards.  Once a week the furniture and floor were moved and the concrete floor was swept.  Miss Wilhite was only able to talk in a whisper for weeks on account of her bad throat."

The new school, in 1911, had stoves with galvanized shields around them.  Mr. and Mrs. Harding were the janitors.  The stoves were used for preparing hot lunches.

Between 1912 and 1914 was the addition of two upstairs rooms.  There were three teachers listed in 1912 and four teachers in 1914.  Ada Shellington came in 1912 and Florence Jones came in 1913 when all grades were taught.

December 11, 1914 was the date the P.T.A. was organized at Noble Prentis.  Mrs. John McMahon (Sherwin) was the first President with 15 charter members.

1920-1922 came another with another addition.  We became part of the KCKs system in 1922.

September, 1937 was the starting of the Kindergarten.  November 20th was the day the new addition was dedicated - four rooms and an activity room.  Plans were made to remove the old building.

In March, 1954, the new building was located at 14th and Gibbs.  It was not in the city, but in the school district.  The old four-room brick was to be razed.  The 1950 addition was to remain. A second floor was to be added, and an addition on the south and east to be L-shaped. The front would be on Gibbs Road.  There would be a total of thirteen rooms, including Kindergarten and activity rooms, office, health room, and library.  The architect was Raymond E. Meyn.  Enrollment had doubled in ten years.

December 5, 1955 the school was occupied. 

1984 - September 1:  Major Hudson joined Noble Prentis.  Major Hudson was divided into three schools.  Walkers from Greystone to 10th & Shawnee Rd., including side streets off Shawnee Rd. were to go to Noble Prentis.  From Mill Street to Southwest Blvd would go to Frank Rushton.  From Southwest Blvd to 14th & Roe would go to T A Edison.


The PTA was organized by Mrs. Williams on Friday, December 11, 1914.  There was a motion made and second4ed for nominations for officers, then an election.  They had 43 members in 1915 and 1916.

Their Constitution and Bylaws contained seven articles:

  1. Objects and Membership
  2. Name and Meeting
  3. Joining to National Congress of Mothers
  4. Officers
  5. Standing Committees
  6. Annual Meetings in May
  7. Amendments

The Standing Committee consisted of Reception and Entertainment.  The Special Committees were Lighting of Schoolroom, Roads and Sidewalks.

The PTA had monthly meetings.  The meeting was opened by the President, then children sang, minutes were read and approved, committee reports were read, then guest speakers poke.  Had a banner of school colors to be held each month by the room having the least tardy marks.  They had parental homes to help out parents who couldn't take care of their children.  They had a culture teacher who spoke on cleanliness and general health.  They had a 2-hour lecture on "Efficient Mothers."  Gave a talk on "Courteous Manners of the Child and Parent."  They had a "Baby Week" each giving experience of 1st child.  The Secretary was instructed to write to Washington D.C. for "Bulletin of Practical Suggestions for Baby Week Campaigns."  There was a suggestion of getting a painting or good picture to be placed in each room as a means of an educational benefit to the children.  Had someone talk on suitable reading material to be placed before our boys and girls when they begin reading for themselves.

Mrs. Copenhagen talked on good reading and its effects on us and our children's lives.

The above information in just a small part of the recorded PTA history.  The rest can be seen in the Kansas Room at the KCKs Public Library, 625 Minnesota Avenue.

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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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