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The History of our Public Schools
Wyandotte County, Kansas

1844
2012

 

 

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Stony Point South

The following is a history by Mrs. L. M. Childers, dated February 1950:

On May 8, 1817, Col. Henry Leavenworth located Cantonment Leavenworth on the present reservation of Fort Leavenworth.  It was intended for and immediately became the western depot for government supplies.  These supplies came up the river in boats and from this point were distributed to the surrounding territory.  Military expeditions also started from this point.  Recognizing the need for a ferry across the Kansas River, the government sent a young man named Moses Grinter, with instructions to open and operate such a ferry.  He arrived in January of 1831 and built a rope ferry across the Kaw River at approximately the foot of 78th Street.  Moses Grinter made his home in a log cabin near the ferry and in 1936 married Anna Marshall, a Delaware woman.  In 1859 they built the substantial brick house which is still standing and now houses a museum.  Many of Mr. Grinter's descendants still reside in this neighborhood and take great pride in his distinction of being the first permanent white settler in Wyandotte County.  (Note:  The Grinter House is still standing in May of 2003, and the developer of this history site remembers having home cooked, family style Sunday dinner numerous times at the Grinter brick house.  It was closed as a restaurant at a later date due to the damage the unguided public traffic was causing to the house and it a museum with guided tours today.)

In 1842, the Government laid out and established a military road from Leavenworth across the Kaw River at Grinter's Ferry and on to Fort Scott and other government posts.

In a treaty with the Delaware Indians in 1829, the Delawares were given as their permanent home, the country in the fork of the Kansas and Missouri Rivers extending up the Missouri River to Camp Leavenworth and an outlet extending along the Kaw Reservation giving them access to the buffalo feeding grounds.  In 1843, the Delawares had sold 39 sections of their land to the Wyandots, the present site of Kansas City, Kansas, and four sections to the Munsees, spelled M U N S E E S, from which our village of Muncie derived its name.  The population of the Delaware tribe was about 1000 and later decreased to about 800 due to their constant battles with the wilder tribes of Indians.  They opened farms, built houses and cut roads along the ridges and erected a frame church at which is now the village of White Church.  The name of the church was the "White Church".  (Note:  White Church Elementary School, in May of 2003, sits next to the frame church spoken about in this paragraph.  White Church came into the USD 500 district in January of 1967, along with other USD 201 schools.)

The Delaware Agency, the home of the Indian agent, and the place where the government payments were made to the tribe, was built about 1/2 mile south of Stony Point South School on the east side of the road.  It was a two-room sturdily built building and continued to be in use as an agency until 1867, when the Delawares moved as a tribe out of this territory.  Then as a residence, a hay barn and finally town down.  Until it was destroyed, it had the distinction of being the oldest structure on Kansas soil.

The location of the agency is significant to us particularly as the activities of the Delawares surrounded the agency and the ferry and accounts for the heavier settlement in this vicinity.

The Methodist Church sent missionaries to the Delawares as early as 1831 and a mission school was established in connection with the White Church.  The first report in 1833 states that the school had an enrollment of five white and twenty-seven Indians.  In 1834, the report was that the Delawares had a school with 24 native children who were learning well.  At the 1837 Methodist Conference, L. M. Stotler was appointed to the Delaware Mission and upon his arrival at the mission on October 9, 1837, was not satisfied with the location.  The old location was not in the center of the population, so he selected a new site and proceeded to build a new building.

The new location was a short distance southwest of the present school in the valley between the first and second houses south of the school's present location and attracted not only Delaware Indian children but those from the village of Secondine (later known as Muncie).  Thus was the origin of Stony Point School.

District #13 - Stony Point School - was organized in 1860.

When the need came soon after that for a new school, it was built on the hill where the south playground is now.  Mrs. Sadie White remember her mother's tales of teaching in the school in the valley and attending the new school herself as early as 1883, (the new school being built in 1868, as evidenced by the old cornerstone, which is now the east wall of the gym).  In an interview, Mrs. White told of trips to the spring to carry water to the school, of the one-room school house and the later addition of a large room making the building "L" in shape.  Mrs. White also told of excavating a basement for a house and finding an Indian burial ground.  The bones were in an excellent state of preservation and the beads, buttons, etc., found buried with the bodies gave a descriptive story of the Indian habits and way of life.

Mrs. White told further of an Indian log cabin still standing on her property and east of her home where her father was held up by the James brothers and forced to supply them with fresh horses when their had become lame.

Chris DeFries tells of attending school in the "old building" until 1918 when he was in the fourth grade.  That year, the four-room brick building, the nucleus for our present school was put into use and the great pride the whole community took in that modern school building.  The four rooms served until 1937 when four additional rooms and the gym were added.

1984 Update:  We are now coming to the end of an era and the beginning of a new one.  The old Stony Point building (built in 1913) is being torn down this summer and in the fall, the students and staff will move into a newly completed, very modern, open concept building constructed this past year on the north side of the campus.  We must not hold back progress, but a lot of history and a lot of memories were made in that "old building".

Just because the old building is no longer there does not mean that the old Stony Point Spirit will stop; the spirit of the community is imbedded in the people, not a building.

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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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