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The History of our Public Schools
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 1949


Troubles plagued the country in 1950.  On June 25, North Korea declared war against South Korea and the United States sent troops aboardCoal miners alternated between work and strikes.  While Christmas mail for Korea awaited shipment, a strike of trainmen was announced.  President threatened to use the bomb against Red enemies and said he would put the country on a National Emergency basis.

Some building went on.  The Town House Hotel was near completion.  Eugene Ware, scheduled for occupancy in January, was delayed by construction troubles until April 6.  The first to be erected since the work, the one-story four-room brick was also the first permanent building for the district founded 25 years before for children of Bradish Road, Combs Park, and Queens Garden areas.  Two portables at 4768 Oakland had housed classes on a two-acre site, enlarged to 3 1/2 after the new building was erected on Bradish Road, 1/4 mile north of Highway 40.  It adjoined Kansas City limits on the west.  L. G. Barcus had the contract for improving the grounds.

The new Noble Prentis building of four rooms and a kindergarten activity room was ready by September.  At the dedication on November 20, Frank Rushton, president of the board, reminded parents that although the school was well outside the city limits, it had been favored with one of the first buildings erected after the war.  Also present were Superintendent F. L. Schlagle, Joseph Radotinsky, architect, and Robert Eldridge, contractor.  The old building would be removed. 

Whitmore ran half-day sessions in September for some pupils until a two-room addition was ready.  Snow, at Texas and Minnie, had one new room.  Two portables were moved to lincoln and one to Frances Willard.  The old four-room Parker building at 33rd and Haskell, idle for ten years, was put into use.  On the Northwest Junior High grounds, the board erected a quonset-type building for storage purposes.

The board prepared for expanding the Argentine High School site by buying houses and lots when they were available.  On February 27, the Ruby Avenue Congregational Church at 22nd and Ruby was offered for sale after long consideration.  It was purchased with the understanding that the church could occupy the building for two years.

The program for training high school boys at the Union Pacific shops continued operating under the Smith-Hughes Act.  [Annotation:  Vocational agriculture officially began in 1917 when Congress passed the Smith-Hughes Act. That legislation enabled students in high schools to enroll in vocational agriculture. The act was proposed by two men from Georgia for whom the act was named: Senator Hoke Smith and Representative Dudley Hughes. Their legislation encouraged vocational education for any high school by supplying funds to those qualified high schools. Vocational programs began to spring up across the nation. Before the adoption of the Smith-Hughes Act, only fourteen states had any vocational agriculture. Just five years after the legislation was passed, there were more than 2,500 schools in forty-eight states offering vocational education.]   Letters to parents at Wyandotte informed them of the law concerning secret societies.  By a ruling of the Kansas State High School Activities Association, students belonging to such groups were forbidden to take part in state contests and other activities.  When the executive secretary of the American Association of Junior Colleges, Dr. Jesse P. Bogue, visited Junior College here, he found much to praise.  The library, gymnasium and other facilities were superior to those in most junior colleges.

At the request of PTA groups, sixteen automatic lights were installed at school crossings.  The American Legion and school children sent a shipment of toys to Europe.  It was the second year for the "Tide of Toys" project.  The board was encouraged by an increase in property valuation of $4,500,000 which permitted increased services without a rise in the levy.  As the ordinance passed by the city to annex Fairfax was declared invalid in October, revenue from that district was not available.

At the close of the year in May, 1950, friends from Hawthorne and Central attended a farewell party for Miss Frances O'Brien, teacher for 41 years at the two schools.  At Wyandotte, two guests were present at the traditional ceremony of the "Passing of the Robe."  They were Miss Inez Wolfe and Mrs. Clay Coburn, students in the old high school at 7th and Ann in 1894.  Miss Wolfe in the year was the first person to receive the robe.  Among the 130 new persons introduced at the September convocation was Miss Esther Norman, who succeeded Mr. Sandy as librarian.

Next Section   1951

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

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