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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 1928


In December, 1928, the Stock Market plunged ominously downward as stocks were dumped on the market. The news was featured in the headlines, but the local paper recorded the events of the following months without reference to the country's finances. When John Carlson, senator and board president, introduced a bill to confirm the board's pay-as-you-go plan, he put a clause authorizing a bond issue if necessary. Under criticism, he took out the portion referring to the bond issue, but insisted it would have been good business to have left it in.

Kansas City businessmen made plans to erect a first-class hotel. Rosedale High School students, aided by the American Legion, the Rosedale Civic Club, the PTA, and the Board of Education clamored for a new stadium. "Buy a sack of cement for the Rosedale Stadium" read the slogan on their "booster" buttons as the solicited contributions from Rosedale citizens.

For the new Wyandotte High School site at 25th and Minnesota, elaborate plans were made for a municipal Education Center. Besides a high school and stadium, there were visualized a junior college and an administration building. M. J. Ferren was awarded the contract in February for grading the old golf course. Wyandotte was crowded and the location on Ninth Street gave little room for expansion. The "sense" of the board was to set aside money for a new colored high school. Argentine High School awaited completion.

Economy moves were made by the board. A long list of teachers not re-elected appeared. Leslie Davis replaced Miss Emily Hall and was named supervisor of physical education and play for the whole city. No shortage of teachers plagued the superintendent, as only 11% needed replacement. No action was taken in regard to employing nurses again. The number of principals' assistants was reduced for 1929-30. The board promised to keep the Open Air rooms open as long as funds were available.

Bruce in old Kansas City could be abandoned, as could the room for the deaf at Prescott. A rule forbidding free schools attendance to those over 21 unless they had been Kansas City residents for a year was passed. Mr. Carlson supported a bill to obtain state funds for the junior college. Nineteen schools, still without kindergartens, petitioned the board to establish them as soon as possible. PTA members held "Bundle Days" and mended old clothes for their Thrift Shop.

Junior College and high school teachers presented to the Teachers' Association a comprehensive list of recommendations that would put teachers in a professional group. Teaching was a career for most, they felt, and not a stepping-stone to other professions. Other members endorsed the suggestions. A committee was appointed to work on an insurance plan for protection against loss of income due to illness.

Teachers desired a reference library. The small north room on the first floor of the library was obtained and $518 collected by a committee headed by Miss Lucy McCoy and Mrs. Bertha McMann, librarian. Art Director, Ethel Luce, designed a book plate to be placed in books donated by individuals and those purchased by the committee.

The library had to have shelves built in the reading room to take care of additional books. The 25th anniversary of its opening was celebrated on March 4, 1929, with an Open House and program. W. E. Barnhart, president of the board in 1904, told of the struggle to obtain a free library which was the only one in Kansas under the management of a board of education.

The night school's 16th graduation exercises were held early in March with John Mermingis receiving his fourth diploma. The night school in 1929 was places on a credit rather then an attendance basis. Miss Lena Feighner, science teacher, was appointed chairman of the committee to fight bagworms. W. R. Honnell, board member, delighted the children by visiting the schools with his collection of Indian relics. He had grown up on an Indian reservation where his fathers was agent and had a never-ending supply of Indian and Pony Express stories for his young listeners.

Old Chelsea School was sold early in 1929. The Fairfax District, Number 46, detached itself from the Kansa City, Kansas, Board of Education in February, but did not maintain a school of its own. In 1951 the district was disorganized and again attached to the city school system.

The board decided in the summer to employ nurses again. It received from white residents of the neighborhood a petition against building a stadium or a high school for colored near 6th and Quindaro. The State Library Association and the KSTA met in Kansas City in the fall. All classified clubs helped to celebrate the opening of the athletic field on October 26. Mr. Pearson declared his "Thoroughness" project successful and talked about "Personality" for the following year.

The Chamber of Commerce wrote a letter of protest to the Missouri Chamber when school officials asked teachers in Missouri schools to reside in that state. As many Kansas teachers lived in the other state, things would be about equal. The reply, however, stated that the other Chamber declined to interfere.

The Kansas announced on October 21 that Wall Street had been in a frenzy of selling. The market was still upset on the 24th, but the head of the steel corporation announced that prosperity was here to stay. Market headlines disappeared.

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

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