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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 1947


Nine years after his retirement from Junior College at the age of 77, Mr. M. E. Pearson died on June 30 at the Methodist Home in Topeka.  After services in the chapel at the home, he was buried at Hesper, Kansas.  Another resident of the Home and a former teacher here, Miss Florence Knox, died on July 14, 1948.

Early in the year, in February, notice came from California of the death of a former well-known resident.  Mrs. Sarah Judd Greenman, librarian in 1902 in the building on the southwest corner of 5th and Minnesota and for 20 years in the new building, died at the home of a daughter.  When she moved to the library in 1904, she brought 5000 books.  In 1924 when Mrs. Bertha McCann took her place, there were 55,000 books on the shelves.

"School Issues" was the topic for the superintendent's address to teachers on April 29, 1948, at Argentine High School.  At that time there were eight junior and senior high schools and forty elementary, housing 23,000 pupils.  The median age of the 625 teachers was 46 years, compared to 32 years in 1928.  High school teachers had a load of 32.5 per person and elementary schools averaged 36.5 to a room.  Kansas City had the lowest pupil expenditure of cities of 30,000 to 1,000,000 in the northern half of the United States - $92.99.  In Chicago, teachers threatened to strike if they remained unpaid.  Striking high school teachers in Minneapolis tied up classes in 92 of the city's schools.

Interest in aviation resulted in the enrollment of 135 city teachers in a course sponsored by the Civil Aeronautics Administration.  Classes were under the supervision of John Patterson, head of the education department of the PAA.  Miss Lula McCanles, Wyandotte, and Miss Dorothy Espenlaub, John J. Ingalls principal, assisted.  At the close of class on March 20, twenty teachers chartered a TWA plane to attend a state meeting in Wichita.

To care for delinquent and truant children, a Youth Bureau was established in the city under the direction of Lieutenant Edward B. Hayes.  Schools and the bureau worked together in the interest of erring children. 

For a year or two playgrounds had been in use immediately after school for supervised play under a teacher's direction.  When the service was withdrawn in 1948, Quindaro children and their principal, Miss Martha Bucher, wrote letters of protest to the playground directors asking that the play period be resumed.

Before all war controls had been removed, the papers bore headlines telling of Russian encroachment on small nations.  Speakers warned Americans of danger from sudden attacks.  In India, Mohandas K. Gandhi, who preached revolution by peaceful methods, was assassinated.

Superintendent F. L. Schlagle described conditions affecting schools.  The school board faced difficulties in keeping wages abreast with rising living costs and of securing funds for needed building.  Young men entering the teaching field had military service to include in their plans.  The threat of war hung over everyone, and new ideologies sought recognition.  The schools here refused to lower standards and services lately initiated were continued.

High wages and scarcity of materials prevented building. Classrooms at Sumner had to be used for some Northeast Junior High Students because of overcrowding at the lower school.  Not many taxpayers were eager to support schools.  State and federal aid were needed to relieve the tax on property.  Teachers, the superintendent said, should make plans to replace themselves and should promote the Future Teachers and American groups.

At Lowell, fifty years in the brick building at 11th and Orville were celebrated in April.  Mrs. Lucy May, member of the first graduating class in 1899, wrote of exciting early days in the new school.  Mrs. W. J. Logan, widow of the first principal, and her daughter, Mrs. Allean Falconer, were present.  Mr. Schlagle spoke to the group of former students and teachers.

Next Section   1949

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

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