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Wyandotte County, Kansas




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KCKS Public School System, 1819-1961
by Nellie McGuinn
Copyright USD 500, Feb 1966

Return to Previous Section 1909


Next to the astounding growth of the schools in the years following the consolidation was the increase in the number of schools during 1910.  In addition to Argentine, many smaller districts asked to be included in the city system.  It was a year of problems and adjustments.

First William McGeorge and later Grant Landrey of Argentine were invited to sit with the board until the April elections.  The Argentine State Bank was made depository of funds accruing from Argentine District taxes.  The taking over of records was assigned to the clerk.  E. S. McAnany, attorney, advised that a suit should be filed to compel the county treasurer to pay over to the Kansas City Board of Education funds accruing to the Argentine High School under the Barnes High School Law.

[Annotation:  Barnes law, Gen. Stat. 1909, § 7792 et seq. , county commissioners were authorized to submit to electors a proposition permitting the levying of a tax on the taxable property within the counties for the purpose of creating a general high school fund.]

Lowell School in Argentine was inspected by Architect Rose to see if it was fit to use another year.  One of the first necessary projects was an addition to Franklin School.  On July 25, 1910.  Thompson and Fixley were awarded the contract, although the board had discussed dropping the plans because of lack of funds.

Argentine City Hall was no longer needed after annexation.  The board received permission from the city commissioners to use the building for classrooms during 1910-1911.  Franklin would occupy four rooms at Lowell, one at the high school, and two at Morse in Armourdale.  Sanitary and other improvements were needed at the several schools.  Emerson Park and grounds were improved.  They had been a swamp before where people finished.  A board sidewalk crossed the swamp to Strong Avenue.  When Emerson Park was improved, a saloon building on 29th and Strong was torn down.

As there was already a Bruce School in the system, the school in Argentine (also known as Bruce) became the Lincoln School at 24th and Strong.  Melville, lying between Kansas City, and Argentine, was annexed December 3, 1910.  Teachers were retained under their old contracts with District 33.  The school, sometimes known as Ely, had a long and colorful history.  It was said to have first housed pupils who later went to Columbian School.

In November, 1910, Grant Landrey was listed as a board member, although his position on the board had been questioned earlier by Attorney McAnany.

Adjoining districts annexed to the Kansas City schools in 1910 were:

District School 42 in old Chelsea Park was located at 25th and Wood.  The red brick building, the second built by the district, was erected in 1900.  Crowded conditions in the fall of 1910, forced the board to erect a primary building facing Wood, and to rent space in Redman's Hall until the annex was completed.  Miss Elizabeth Miller was principal when Chelsea came into the system and remained there for many years.

The board passed resolutions in June, 1910, concerning the school districts brought into the city:  Same ward school privileges given as to Kansas City children; levy to be in proportion to the average daily attendance.

A committee was appointed to settle with the districts and to make a land book with technical descriptions and plats.  The board bought new city maps.

The first school to be called Grant was a one-room building near 29th and State, where Kensington Park is today.  Colored children lived in the neighborhood popularly known as "Hogtown."  The board rented the building for $100 a year and repairs.

W. J. McCarty, supervisor of annexed county schools, was instructed to get the school records from County Superintendent Randall.  In August, Superintendent Pearson appointed the former Melville (District 33) teachers to teach under their present contracts.  Mention is made in the same minutes of Rock School.  It may have been another name for Melville, which lay west of the present Seventh Street Trafficway and fronted on Shawnee Road at Ruby Drive.

A group of twenty patrons appeared in July to protest against the proposed use of the Armstrong building as a Negro School.  Joseph McGrath, spokesman for the group, wrote a note of appreciation to the board when it decided to let Armstrong continue as a white school.

A Garrison School for colored had been conducted next to Greystone during the years 1891-1893.  In April, 1894, it was abandoned, and the children sent, as they had been in other years, to Rosedale, or Kansas City, Missouri.  The name was revived in 1906 to serve for a colored school in Armstrong.  The colored people of the district asked in 1910 for school facilities.  M. E. Pearson and A. J. Neely were appointed to investigate.  The board promised to secure a lease on a site for a two-room school.  The KC Breweries were notified that their building housing Garrison school would be vacated in September, 1910.

When ground at Mill and Gilmore was considered, white residents protested.  A three-member board committee and a group of the objectors met on September 20 to discuss the matter.  In November, a building was rented for Garrison and property at 348 South Eighth purchased for a site.

Reverend Wolf and Dr. Hughes of the Masonic Lodge, and the patrons of Central School requested in March, 1910, that the school be permitted to use the Masonic property on Seventh and Barnett for a playground.  The board asked that written permission be obtained from the lodge before the grounds were used.

By 1910 the practical arts were well established in the schools.  Sewing machines and other supplies were sent to the Domestic Science Department at Sumner, and manual training equipment purchased for the boys.  In February, M. E. Pearson and B. A Spake visited Milwaukee and Rochester technical schools.  The superintendent and Dr. Williams attended a manual training convention at St. Joseph in May.  With sufficient high school equipment, the board planned for seven additional centers in the grades.  L. D. Darrow, manual training supervisor, arranged an exhibit of the school work in Carnival Park on Armstrong.

The library committee ordered a case for elk and reindeer in the museum, where E. A. Clark was employed full time during May to work on exhibits.  The State Board of Health held an exhibit at the library in March.  The Council of Clubs took up a collection for a memorial tablet for Sarah A. Richart, library benefactor.  A request came from the Park Board that light wires go underground at the library.

The library in 1910 had 16,167 books on its shelves.  Books were sent to Greystone, Quindaro, Park and Argentine Schools.  Miss Mary Daugherty of Longfellow School became widely known for her story hours for children and adults.  She worked during the summer in many western Chautauquas, using her story-telling ability for entertainment.

On April 18, 1910, Mr. Pearson talked to the board about the advantages and disadvantages of keeping the schools open part time for special work aside from the regular term.  Eight centers were open for four weeks of summer school.  Night school continued, it being the "sense of the board" that it was self-supporting.  Tuition for adults was one dollar.  Those under twenty-one could attend free of charge.  The board gave five hundred dollars to Sumner to provide instruction for minors.

The high school changed.  A committee was appointed by the board to purchase a wireless telegraph for the school.   At class receptions the boys and girls danced and played cards.  In April, 1910, Ministerial Alliance representatives protested.  An addition was necessary to house the increased number of pupils attending the high schools.

With the annexation of Argentine schools, the high school at Ninth and Minnesota needed a more distinctive name.  A committee was appointed in November, 1910, to select a name. 

At a meeting in September, 1910 a delegation of Sumner patrons appeared before the board and presented a matter pertaining to discipline at the school.  The nature of the complaint was not mentioned in the minutes.  That it was serious is evident, for the board immediately appointed a committee of three members and the attorney to consider the questions submitted by the delegation.

In May, 1910, the Committee on Teachers and Salaries recommended that all married teachers be dropped.  A committee of board members, Architects Rose and Peterson, and real estate men appraised the real property of the board during the summer.  The board made changes in rules for bills and invoices.  An order and receipt to obtain warrants for others had to be presented to the clerk.  Forms were printed for the purpose.  Teachers' exemptions applied, from October on, only after the teachers had reported for work.

Superintendent Pearson recommended that flag poles be prepared for the outside of school buildings and that sockets for classroom flags be installed.  W. A. Seymore, clerk, was appointed as assistant to W. H. Biscomb, Building and Grounds Superintendent, because he was familiar with the requirements of that position.  Coal had to be weighed and inspected and an appraisal and inventory made of all property belonging to the board.

New supervisory groups were made in September, 1910:

  1. J J Maxwell - Armourdale, Morse, John Fiske, Emerson, Franklin, Stanley
  2. J L Howard - Riverview, Bancroft, Irving, Whittier, Armstrong
  3. H W McKean - Longfellow, Eugene Field, Everett, Horace Mann, Central
  4. C W Myers - Prescott, Lowell, Greystone, Melville
  5. E H Jackson - Hawthorne, Abbott, Bryant, Cooper
  6. A J Neely - Douglass, Stowe, Dunbar, Lincoln, Bruce, Garrison, Grant
  7. W J McCarty - Chelsea, Park, Quindaro, Oakland, Kerr

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History Site created on December 02, 2002
Page last updated: 02-Jan-2012

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