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Kansas ORSH List -- Crawford County

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#   School                               Town

1   Old Arcadia                         Arcadia
2   Beulah                              Beula
3   Lone Star (Mason)                   Arcadia/Drywood
4   Cato School                         Cato   opened 1869   
5   Oak Grove (Pawnee Station)          Cato
6   Johnson (Johnston) (Pleasant Ridge) Farlington
7   Fairview                            Farlington
8   Maple Grove                         Hepler
9   Union                               Mulberry
10  Centerville (Bruce)                 Cherokee/Monmouth
11  Yale                                Yale
12  Farlington School                   Farlington 
13  Ozark                               Farlington
14  Hatch (Fairview) (Possum Trot)      Arcadia 
15  Abel (Able) (Pleasant Valley)       Pittsburg
16  Sheffield                           Arcadia, North of Coalvale and Gross
17  Victory                             Mulberry
18  Hadley                              Englevale/Mulberry
19  Second Valley                       Farlington
20  Prairie Bell                        Girard
21  Pleasant Dale                       Walnut
22  Litchfield                          Pittsburg
23  Mound Valley                        Walnut/Neosho
24  Fair Oak                            Walnut
25  Hazard (Maple Grove)                Walnut
26  Salem                               Girard
27  Crawfordville (Emery)               Girard
28  Pleasant Hill                       Walnut
29  Prairie View                        Girard
30  Catholic Church School (Greenbush)  Greenbush
31  Pleasant View                       Walnut
32  Olive (McKinley)                    Walnut
33  Mt. Zion                            Girard
34  Gaskell (Gaskill) (Magic)           Frontenac 
35  Dutch Valley (Pratt) (Radley)       Radley/Pittsburg
36  Liberty (Riling)                    Girard
37  Girard                              Girard
38  Slifer                              Girard
39  Cherokee                            Cherokee
40  Idell                               Walnut/McCune
41  Green Elm                           McCune
42  Spangler (Kyser) (Pea Ridge)        Girard
43  Myers                               Girard
44  Gooding                             Girard
45  Mills                               ??
46  Dunkirk (Ward)                      Dunkirk
47  Frontenac (Georgia)                 Frontenac
48  Kincaid (Pleasant Valley)           Girard
49  Pittsburg                           Pittsburg
50  Lone Star (Warren) (Taylor)         Pittsburg
51  Bayless                             Girard
52  Gardner (Eureka)                    Walnut
53  Lane                                Drywood/Arcadia
54  King                                Monmouth
55  Osage                               Monmouth
56  Millington (Mt. Pleasant)           ??
57  McCune                              McCune
58  Mulberry                            McCune?
59  Monmouth                            McCune
60  Limestone                           Cherokee
61  Baseline (Bass Line)                Pittsburg/Cherokee
62  Chicopee (Amity)                    Chicopee
63  Langdon                             Pittsburg
64  Stilwell                            Pittsburg
65  Round Prairie                       Monmouth
66  Walnut                              Walnut
67  Crosby (Osborne) (Wheeler)          Walnut
68  Neutral (Schweitzer)                Walnut
69  Liberty                             McCune
70  Union                               McCune 
71  Garfield                            Farlington, 1mS. and 1mW. of Englevale
72  Contrary Point (Oak Grove) (Gross)  Gross/Arcadia
73  Titus                               Gross/Mulberry
74  Gregg                               Girard 
75  Polk                                Girard
76  Midway (Pleasant Valley) (Clark)    Pittsburg
77  Cyclone                             Girard
78  Chandler (Pleasant Valley)          Pittsburg
79  Union (West Union)                  Chicopee/Pittsburg
80  Cook (McCune) (Girard)              McCune
81  Barber                              Mulberry
82  Bunker Hill                         Arcadia
83  Star of Hope                        Hepler
84  Banner (Capaldo) (Spradley)         Pittsburg
85  Butler (Kavanaugh)                  Girard/Walnut
86  Meyers (Myers)                      Girard/Hepler                           
87  Ringo (Center Valley)               Ringo/Girard 
88  Bush Bell (Ozark)                   Girard 
89  Keplinger                           Mulberry/Englevale 
90  Freed                               McCune/Girard
91  Mound                               McCune
92  Pea Ridge                           McCune
93  Lone Elm (Cow Bell)                 Girard
94  Adams                               Girard/Mulberry
95  Arma (Spice)                        Arma
96  Mt. Carmel                          McCune
97  Pleasant Prairie (Pleasant View)    Pittsburg
98  Edison (Trask)                      Girard
99  Liberty (West Liberty)              Weir
100 Cockerill (Fairview)                Mulberry
101 Nelson                              Pittsburg
102 Rodenberg (Smith) (Smelter)         Pittsburg
103 Walnut Grove (Stick in the Mud)     Farlington
104 Mulberry (Mulberry Grove)           Mulberry
105 Gem                                 Pittsburg
106 Rowe (Row)                          Pittsburg
107 Curranville (Fuller) (Yale)         Curranville 
108 Hepler                              Hepler
109 Sunrise                             Hepler/Walnut
110 Opolis (Opolis Joint)               Opolis
111 Quick                               McCune
112 Arcadia (Corinth)                   Arcadia
113 Gunn                                Farlington
114 Breezy Hill (Louse Ridge)(New Hope) Mulberry
115 Midway                              Midway
116 Cleveland                           Hepler/Farlington
117 Fairview                            Girard
118 Brazilton                           Brazilton
119 Fleming                             Weir
120 Victory                             McCune
121 Kirkwood (Alston)                   Pittsburg
122 Bethany                             ??
123 Englevale                           Englevale
124 Harmony                             Pittsburg
125 Centerville                         Cherokee
126 Raymond                             Walnut
127 Victory                             Hepler/Hiattville
128 Croweburg                           Mulberry
129 Franklin                            Franklin
130 Foxtown Union                       ??
131 Radley (South)                      Radley
132 Englevale                           Englevale
133 Radley (North)                      Radley
134 Crawford                            ??
135 Gross (Arcadia)                     Gross
136 Corinth                             Arcadia 


The Kansas Heritage Server would like to thank Carol Brooks (sbrooks@ckt.net) for contributing to this information. These schools were compiled by Carol's mother, Virgie M. (Totman) Black, and a lady from the Pittsburg Genealogy Department. 14 Jun 1999

Cuthbertson, William C. Crawford County School Notes.

Home Authors. A 20th Century History and Biographical Record of Crawford County, Kansas. Chicago, New York: The Lewis Publishing Company. 1905.

Langlois, Lucile D. Rural Schools of Crawford County, Kansas. 1 Jun 1996 Rt. 1 Box 24, 604 West Cedar, Cherokee, Kansas 66724-5009

Leigh, Ted W. Index of Names Rural School Census 1908-1912 L-Z Crawford County, Kansas. Volume 12A. Girard Public Library. 128 West Prairie, Girard, Kansas 66743

Farlington District # 12 The wooden Farlington school house was built in 1877. The first teacher was Mary Hatch. Replaced by a brick building in 1884. Original wooden building was sold to the Methodist Church.

Sunrise District # 109 This building still stands two and one-half miles west of Hepler. It was moved to this location from a location one mile south in 18?? Mr. Roy Parker who owns the land that the school stands upon and lives across the road on the south side keeps the building in good repair as of 1982. There is a sign on the front of the building that gives some historical facts. The Sunrise Social Club and the Sunrise Community Club used the building long after school closed. As of 1982 the building is used for storage. As of 1989 the building is re-painted - history on a sign above the door.

Victory District # 127 This building was located east of Hepler four and one half miles, on the north west corner of tile intersection. The building was moved to Hiattville to become part of the Hiattville Methodist Church. The church burned August 20, 1955, and Victory burned too. Ted Wedell and his crew built the new Hiattville Methodist Church and the congregation moved into the church March 1, 1956.

Ozark District #13 This school was located one mile south and one mile east of Farlington. In 1978 Joe Lembeck bought the building for ?? and had Elmer Trogdon and Jim Siemhiser tear the building down. Joe built in Hepler a large machine shed with the lumber located two blocks east of the Masonic Hall. Joe told me a man and his wife kept driving by as they tore the building down. One day a couple came to Hepler and asked him if he had saved the round disc that was on the front of the building and had the name of the school written upon it as well as the date. Joe had saved it and stored it in a dry place. The man offered Joe a twenty dollar bill for the disc. Joe said no, and gave the disc to Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Herlocker. Both of the Herlockers had attended Ozark. Earl Kenning had the machine shed torn down and lots cleared in 1987.

Cleveland District # 116 The building was purchased by Raymond and Vauda Winterbower for an addition for their home. Mrs Winterbower thinks that they moved the house in about 1953. Cleveland closed the spring of 1949. The disc that has the school name, number, etc., still shows on the Winterbower home. The school was used as three bedrooms onto their house. As of 1982 the house is occupied by Lee Winterbower and his family. Lee is the youngest son of Raymond. Located 2 miles south and 3 miles east of Hepler.

Maple Grove District # 8 The school was located two and one-half miles east of Hepler. It was moved to Hepler in the summer of 1954, to be used for the lunchroom for the Hepler Grade School. Thelma Jones and Lizzie Graham were the first cooks in the lunchroom. The next year Thelma Jones and Alice Lowe were the cooks. In 1959 Hepler unified with Stark for some foolish reason and Stark District moved Maple Grove School house to Stark to be used for a classroom. As of 1982 the building is still in Stark on old high school grounds.

Pleasant Hill District # 28 Located one mile south of the intersection west of the Hepler Lutheran Church. This school was once located one mile south the above location on the George Von Soosten farm. When Brazilton school was begun, Pleasant Hill was moved one mile north because of some ruling that rural schools could not be located too close to one another. It was once called "Irish School." In about 1946 Ed and Mabel Barta of Hepler purchased the school for about $95 and moved it to Hepler to make a rental property. The school is the house located first house north of the Hepler Christian Church. Don and Jane Doyle were the first occupants and brought their first child home to this house. Don was the M K T agent. As of 1982 the house is owned by Alvin Curless and is not occupied. The building was made into a garage and used for storage in 1989. Curless sold to Gene Calton in 1990.

Meyers District # 86 The building was located one and three fourths miles east of Pleasant Hill and on fourth mile south on the west side of the road. In 1950 Al and Juanita Martens purchased the building and moved it to their farm located two miles south of Hepler and one and one-half miles east, to the southeast corner of the intersection. They made the school into part of their home and added a new part. As of 1982 the house still stands and Bill and Kathy Segebartt own the farm. Bill Segebartt remodeled in 1991.

Gun District # 113 The school was located two miles west of Farlington, and it became the lumber for the kitchen of the Farlington Methodist Church in 1952 or 1953.

Maple Grove District # 25 This school was located one and one-half miles east and one quarter north of Walnut. Arnold Murdock tore the building down in 1949 or 1950. School also called Possum Trot.

Raymond District # 126 This building was located two miles south and two and three quarters west on the south side of the road. In 1950 the school was purchased and moved to Hepler by the Hepler Christian Church. The building became the annex of the Hepler Christian Church. As of 1982 the building is in use and in the same location.

Pleasant View District # 31 The school was located four miles south of Hepler and two and one-half miles west. In 1948 or 1949 Albert Granneman purchased the building and moved it to his farm located one mile east of the original location of the school. The school became a grainary and a feed grinder room. In 1982 the old building is still on the Granneman farm and is in use.

Bruce School District # 10 The old Bruce schoolhouse now stands on the farm that Aletha Faye McCants Otto inherited from her parents, Bill and Aletha McCants of rural Cherokee, Kansas. The building was purchased by Bill McCants in either the late twenties or early thirties and was moved to its present location.

An addition was built on the south side that served as a cow milking barn for years. The old cow stations are still all along the length of the building. During the years the McCants milked cows, the hay and other feed and hand milking supplies were stored in the school house. The black-boards were still intact, so Aletha Faye, her sisters and their friends spent many hours playing in the building when they were little girls.

After the milking days ended, the building served as storage for many things. Then in the sixties, Bill decided to put a large doorway in the east end, big enough to back his combine into. The building now serves as a car garage and tool shed. (written by Carl A. Otto) 1997

The Bruce school was located at Bruce, Kansas 3 miles west and 1/4 mile west of Cherokee, Kansas. Now nothing there except two farm houses and farm land.

Fairview District # 7 This school house still stands 9 miles north of Girard and one and one-half miles west. Not in good condition as of 1982, but one can still tell that it was one of our rural schools.

Pleasant Valley Located in Bourbon county one and one-half miles west of Hepler and 2 miles north. This building was bought by Marion Westhoff in the 40's and moved to his farm for a hay barn. It is still in use as of 1982. John Wright owns the farm as of 1982. Pleasant Valley unified with Independence when it closed.

Gibson Bourbon County and Crawford County, Kansas. This school was moved to Hepler in the summer of 1949 to be used for a bus garage for the Hepler Grade School. As of 1982 the building is used for a garage for the city of Hepler. It sits on the back of the lot of the old Grade School now known as the Hepler Community Building.

Sheffield District #16 Crawford County, Kansas. Built in ?? Three-room school, now is used for the Sheffield Community Center as of September 1996. Mrs. Imogene Sheffield's father gave land for the Sheffield School and the Sheffield Cemetery.

Custard District #34 Bourbon County, Kansas. Now used as a hay barn as of Sept 1996.

Brazilton District #118 Built in 1885. Building now closed, but in good shape, a historical sight in Brazilton, Kansas. The well pump still sets in the well. The coal house still on lot. Building painted red trimmed with white. Truly "The Little Red School House." (As of 1996)

Mound Valley District # 23 A man named Mason Bass, Sr. bought and moved the school to Walnut to be used for storage in his log business. Mason Bass, Jr. played ball at Mound Valley School.

Star of Hope District # 33 The building was located two miles south and one-half mile east of Hepler. The school was purchased by the Seventh Day Adventist Church of Hepler, June 4, 1948 for the purpose of beginning a church school. The church held school for one year in the building on its original location. Mrs. Irene Shaver was the first teacher. She and her husband lived in a trailer on the school house lawn for that first year. In August 1949, the church moved Star of Hope to Hepler and placed the building on the lot behind the church. (Original Town, Block 52, Lots 9 and 10) The building faced the east. The school closed in the spring of 1964. In 1970 Hepler had a severe wind storm and a very large tree was blown onto the roof of the school. The roof was repaired and the school stood until 1974 when the men of the congregation tore it down. The lumber of the old school was used to build the annex to the Seventh Day Adventist Church which was built in 1974. As of 1982 the annex is still standing.

The following in a list of the teachers of the Hepler Seventh Day Adventist Church School.

Mrs. Irene Shaver. 1948. lived in the trailer

Ila Jones. 1948 and 1949. roomed with Mrs. Frailey and married Ivan Pearson

Unice Guptill. 1951 and 1952. roomed with Mrs. McWilliams

Thelma Stienberger. 1953. roomed with Mrs. McWilliams

Ruby Peterson. 1954. lived two and one-half miles east and one north of Hepler

Joyce Rodie. 1955. roomed with Mrs. McWilliams

Phyllis Roberts. 1956. roomed with Mrs. Elpha Harris

Beverly Tiberghien. 1957. roomed with Arnold Pearsons

Mrs. Frank Kohler ( Josephine ). 1958. lived with her husband in what is the Ray Winterbower home. As of 1982 Dr. Rogers house.

Avis Taylor. 1959. roomed with Mrs. Elpha Harris

Gene Simmons. 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963. lived first house south of the church, the McWilliams house, with his wife and two sons.

Source of information on Star of Hope was Mrs. Earl Holtman ( Bonnie ). She is a member of the Hepler Seventh Day Adventist Church and had access to church treasurer books.


Crawford County Genealogical Society of Southeast Kansas

Vol 6 No 3 Pittsburg, Kansas Fall 1976


It is important that we preserve the things that make us what we are today. Most of us don't like to admit it but school was a happy life. We really appreciate it more as we grow older.

Early schools were of the subscription variety. Hard times and large families prevented most of the children from attending very much. Books were used as could be found or borrowed. Many a man, famous in later years learned to read directly from the Bible. All students studied aloud, the one studying the loudest was considered as studying the hardest. Those were the famous 'blab' schools. However the old education turned out many great men with our early schooling, and most of us learned to read, write and cipher.

Most farm children attended a one-room district school. Usually they walked to and from school, carrying their lunch pails (old lard pails, only the rich had boughten pails).

It was customary for the schoolmarm to 'board around' with one family and then another. She taught all the grades from the 1st to the 8th. Pupils sat two or even three to a wooden desk and seat, often with their mother or fathers initials carved on them. The heating system was a box or pot-bellied stove. It roasted those whose seats were close, but the back row shivered.

Reading, 'riting and 'rithmetic were the main studies but history & geography were included. Every child had a slate, double slates hinged in the middle with a cloth & slate pencil folded inside.

The neighborhood men usually came in on the weekend before school started & mowed the weeds that had grown head high during the summer, leaving stubs that really hurt bare feet. The school was swept out, repaired and the woodshed filled.

Teachers had to be janitor, fire builder, disciplinarian as well as teach the children. Country schools were about every two miles & also served as community center, for social events.

In 1866 Dr. Strong organized a subscription school at Cato & was also the teacher. Cato had the 1st school supported by tax money. William Harris and his brother in 1867 built a log cabin as a schoolhouse near 'old Arcadia .' Dr. Strong taught here as well as Mrs. Lee Wallace who was the 1st teacher in Crawford County to draw pay from taxes paid to support public schools. An old stone school was the 2nd school building to be erected in 1869, near Arcadia and is still standing. (The log cabin school had no light except that which came through the door and a hole in north wall where a section of the log had been removed.)

Green Elm School located 3 miles north of McCune is of 1880 vintage. It now is the 'Little Red Schoolhouse' located on the north lawn of the George Nettles school in Pittsburg, Kansas. It has been renovated & made just like new, even using the old desks & blackboards. It preserves this important bit of heritage from our pioneer days, a living museum for children who can't remember the one-room schools. Classes are held for the children so they can see what it was like first-hand, in the old country school. In Kansas all the 'Little Red Schoolhouses' are white. Former students in 1909 were: Lester Bennett, Orville Taylor, Jesse Hamilton, May Smith, Florence Burch, Phoebe Hamilton, Lela Taylor, Lula Burch, Edna Burch, Willie Johnson, Bernice Hamilton, Gladyse Smith, Bill Fawcett, Loren Fawcett, Charley Smith, May Thompson, Pearl Johnson, Mabel Deill, David Burch, & Oscar Fugate, & another former pupil Frank Burch. The teacher was Evart Newman.

Many good citizens had a hand in the moving, restoring and financing of this fine educational museum. It brings back many happy memories.

In the Monmouth-Cherokee area in 1893 the pupils had their picture taken with their teacher Nelson J. Randall. He had 50 pupils at the time. The first school was taught in 1870 by Mrs. Van Bibber & another bit of information says that Rev. S. T. McClure was the 1st preacher & also the 1st teacher, the first schoolhouse stood just across the street west from the church. The next was built in the summer of 1871 with John Pierce as the teacher. Monmouth claims to have produced more teachers & telegraph operators in proportion to its population than any other in the county & perhaps the state.

One of the schools Garden Park was listed with a picture & teacher in 1898. One of pupils pictured was Milton Nelson about 7 or 8 yrs. old.

The 1st schoolhouse built in the county following the Civil War was Taylor built in 1867, the 2nd was built at Iowa City 2 miles south of Pittsburg in the fall of 1867. It was built of logs, without a floor, a log was sawed out of both the north & south walls to provide light. It was 16 X l8 ft. & 7 ft. high at the eaves. The first teachers institute was held in this building. After organization of the county in 1867 schools sprang up in every neighborhood.

A large Swedish colony settled in the Farlington district about 1870. The 1st schoolhouse for the Farlington pupils was built 2 miles west of the present town and served all the surrounding district. It was later moved to where the cemetery now is. In 1877 the schoolhouse was moved into the town itself, but not without a fight from many people who were afraid to allow their children to cross the railroad tracks. Miss Mary Hatch was the 1st teacher after it was moved to town. In 1884 the present brick school was erected.

Walnut was first known as Glenwood, and their school started in the winter of 1870 by J. Johnston. A new building was erected in the fall of 1882 at the cost of $3000. A notice in the Walnut Journal Jan. 26,1884 "Those desiring to attend or send to the Walnut Select-school would do well to make the arrangements soon, that suitable accommodations in the way of books, etc may be had." Also this item from the same edition, "Mr. Dillon sold an organ to the school in Walnut. This is a progressive school & we. are glad to note the fact that our school has an instrument."

Maple Grove No. 25 built their schoolhouse 3 miles west of walnut in Jan. 1884. The newspaper said that they had a very pleasant & efficient teacher Mrs. Philips. They had an evening program put on by the students: Lucy Dunlap, Willie Welty, Della Cover, Sallie Cornwell, I've Cartnell, Thomas Payton, Mary Welty, Leslie Cartnell, Dily Swinger, Dale Cartnell, who was best speller for the evening contest, and William Dunlap.

Pittsburg had a rural school in 1870, the organized city school began in 1877 in a 2-story frame building containing 2 departments. It was built at 5th & Walnut Street. It was still standing a few years back on West 10th Street. A. J. Georgia & Miss Julia E. Darrow were the instructors. In 1873 the term was three months, then increased to 5 months, but later reduced again to three months. Some of the first teachers were: Amos Johnson, G.D. Officer, Jane Rodreick, W.H. Delap, Lucy P. Elliott, J. W. Tulber, Mary Hoffman & Minerva Kelley.

Hepler District 108 built a snug single room school building in 1874 and in 1879 another room was added, making a long poorly arranged school. Teacher for 2 years was W.H. Kyser (now in Oregon), then H. Quick one of the editors of the Walnut Journal and Miss Nettie Gaylord. 82 pupils enrolled in 1884 and there were plans to build a brick building.

Opolis School house was built & the 1st school was taught there it was about 1 miles east of the town. A building was erected in West Opolis in 1881 & taught by Mrs. Hicox & Mrs. Bishop. A school was built in East Opolis in 1882 with Miss Campbell as teacher.

Gregg District 74 Teachers Register in 1893 shows the teacher to be Ida L. Harmon. Pupils were Lena Smith age 8, Gracie Smith age 6, Maud Stump age 5, Mary Wylie 5, Roy Fox 5, John Duensing 6, Nellie Stump 6, Robbie Wylie 7, Fred Cuthbertson 7, Vena stump 8, Mary Cassin 8, Elbert Kennedy 8, Aldon Kennedy 8, Robbie Cuthbertson 9, Etta Hennessy 10, Kate Duensing 10, Eva Kennedy 10, Lizzie Cassin 11, Arthur Cuthbertson 11, Willie Wylie 11, Jane Hennessy 11, Gilbert Kennedy 12, Mattie Duensing 12, Winnie Cassin 14, Clara Stump 14, Mabel Fox 14, Clara Smith 14, Maggie Cassin 18.

Also Gregg attendance records 24 years later in Sept 1917, Jane Smith as teacher. Ages when given. Pupils: Wendell Alexander age 8, Maxine Alexander 6, Lois Bond 9, Leona Bond 7, Iva Bookout 9, Gladys Bookout, Marie Cooper, Hattie Cooper, Elmer Cooper, Gladys Kennedy 12,

Joe Cooper 8, Nannie Cooper, Murrel Copenhaver, Lawrence De Garmo, Berniece Duensing, Rollo Eggen, Chester Kennedy 11, Irma Kennedy 7, Hilda Kennedy 6, Angeline Kennedy 5, Melvia Koppa 12, Minnie Koppa 9, Leo Mattson 9, Hazel Reed 15, Ruth Reed, George Reed, Alice Reed, Loyde Reed, Leonard Cuthbertson, Harriet Mattix, Roberts Alexander 5, Velma Smith, Harvey Smith, Manuel Louderback, Blanche Mattix, Alice Mattix.

The Walnut Journal Jan 1884 shows the school teacher of Hiattville, Miss Lulu Hiatt, was visiting her home on Mill Creek for the weekend.

Second Valley District 19 in 1911 had 26 pupils, Bessie (Gates) Webber as teacher. Pupils were: Mayme Wilson, Bertie (Weir) Burnett, Mabel (Dewhirst) Henderson, Elizabeth ( Torbett) Cox, Goldie Weir, Dewey Cunningham, Goldie ( Martin) Kelly, Eva (Weir) Janes, Leonard

Stonerock, Chloney ( Cunningham) Gilbert , Nina (Dewhirst) Van Slack, Robert Torbett, Vera Wortman, Lois ( Gardner) Dalton, Claire Wilson, Verna Stonerock, Chester Martin, Pearl (Janes) Abbey, Walter Wilson, Margie Gardner, Ethel Davis, Irkle ( Baysinger) Lane, Raymond Stonerock, Jim Cunningham, Georgia ( Weir) Jones, Norman Baysinger.

Pleasant Valley School souvenir District 76, Baker Twp. Verna I. Kelley teacher gave the names of Estella Royer, Naomi Royer, Alvina Flack, Adam Utermoelhen, Oliver Berry, Jessie Berry, Frank Griffith, Viola Griffith, Robert Griffith, Clarence Ferguson, Minta Ferguson, Neva Ferguson, Olive Ferguson, Mattie Hicks, Bessie Hicks, Lena Meyer, Maudie Buckley, Flossie Royer, Matha Utermoelhen, Susie Flack, Nellie Landrus, Teddy Berry, Myrtle Ferguson, Helen Tennant, Alice Hicks, Ross Hicks, George Russ, Irma Hathaway, Robert Bachelder. School Bd. H.A. Tennant, Norman Baxter, L.J. Flack.

Mt. Pleasant School in 1902 were children located in the western part of Crawford County about 4 miles north & 1 mile west of McCune. Teacher C. S. Winger. Pupils & teacher are pictured in Eva Janes Scrapbook, names were not given.

Mrs. Edgar Richards taught in the Harmony School northwest of Pittsburg & must have been well loved as she said in 27 years of teaching she never had to spank a pupil.

Union School in 1908-09 located 7 miles northwest of McCune with S.L. Householder & pupils pictured in Eva's Scrapbook. Names unlisted.

Frontenac public school building now in use was built in 1906. They also have a Catholic Parochial school. The elementary class in 1911 at the north school had Eva Myers as teacher. Some of the pupils were: Lewis Hulgan, Cora Purgatorio, Edith Zannou, Katie Franchonie, Julia (Spritzer) Vacca, D.J. Saia, Tony Menghini, Lucy Bollotello, many others pictured but not identified. The scrapbook also contains the 7th grade class in 1914.

The Lone Star School at the intersection of Lone Star Road & West 4th had 2 rooms. Eva Weir as primary teacher & Maude Kettler in the upper grades. Eva in telling of her teaching experience said most were children of European immigrants who had come to work the rich coal fields of Southeast Kansas. She taught 66 children in the first three primary grades. After this she taught at Litchfield, 5 miles north of Pittsburg. At one time it was thought that Litchfield would become bigger than Pittsburg, but there is nothing left of it now. She taught 14 more years at Smelter, Opolis, Spencer , Arma, Franklin, Galena, Kansas City & Pittsburg. schools. She recalls how she took the County Examinations at 17. She attended summer school for 15 summers to get her degree, while teaching winters. Her admiration of her teacher Bessie Webber made her realize she wanted to be a teacher. She taught 34 years with many hardships in winter. She grew up east of Englevale. When she was in high school the Kress store had a 'grab sale.' Clothes in those days were few, so they went to the sale where she 'grabbed' a bolt of 6 cents a yard material from which she made her only 'good' dress. She also taught at Garfield for $30 a month for a 7 month term, and managed to help her 6 brothers & sisters. She also taught at Hadley, Camp 50 & Cherokee. At Arma most of the students were French. She says they were so good and so very neat. She almost had a perfect attendance record only having missed 3 days in 27 years.

The 1916 Kindergarten class of the State Manual Training Normal School, now Kansas State College of Pittsburg, were: John Thiesing, Mary Catherine Dellinger, Calvin Clements, Darlene Roby Williams, Ann Bailey, Virginia Wood, Warren Beasley, Margaret Mary Mackie, Margaret

Mangrum, Betty Black, Robert Whitsett, Lucille Briggs Russell, Don Hobson, Lois Smart, Lorene Barani, Irene Bell, George Snow Moffatt & Betty Givens.

Hadley District 18 in 1916-17 teachers were Ernest Johnson & Eva Weir. Pupils were Pansy, Violet & Ralph Harper, Louise & Elsie Howell, Selma Ethel & Avis Lesher, Mary, Rosie & Stephina Trytek, Ernest Roseboom, Lavonne & Everette Carlin, Carmello & Joe Faranna, Carley Cunningham, Carl, Edna & Roy Stwalley, Clarence & Bessie Forrester, Glen & Willie Bishop, and May & Frank Johnson.



Early Colonies had little regular education for children. Boys and girls learned to read and write at home, were taught the household needs and chores. Fathers building homes and providing for his family. Mothers attending the family and teaching the children. Most families were large, some with ten or fifteen children, sometimes elderly grandparents living with them. There were no schools!

The forefathers were for education, so they started building school houses. By law, towns that had fifty families, had to build a school for boys -- nothing for girls till years later.

Some school houses were very small, some uncomfortable log cabins, rude desks, benches, made of boards with pegs for legs, driven in the floor or dirt floors. Older children sat at the desks, while the younger children sat on logs or blocks. Paper was scarce and costly, so many used slates to write on. Many shared a water bucket with one dipper.

Parents wanted their children to have an education, so took the children to school whether they wanted to go or not, with spellers and arithmetics. Some schools started at 7a.m. let out for lunch. Some went home, and some carried their lunch in sacks, tin pails, flour sacks, etc. Back in school at 1p.m. and were there until 4 p.m. or 5 p.m. when class was dismissed.

Boys and girls usually started to school in a woman's house, called a Dame School. Then the boys were transferred to a school taught by a man. A number of men teachers were ministers, that did all kinds of jobs and not often good teachers. Girls had very little education beyond reading and writing. Some wealthier families hired tutors, who were college graduates, or higher level of education, than the average family.

The Colonial schools opened with prayer--had their classes. The discipline in school was severe. Boys were flogged, who did not do their lessons. ( Stern fathers then whipped their sons at home.) Some teachers rapped students with rullers, sticks, swatted behinds with paddles, standing students in front of others, in corners, set in recess, staying in after school, writing sentence "I will not do --------- ", what ever it was they did. Children were taught to respect their elders and obey their parents, and did not question their judgement.

Children had less toys, less privileges, less freedom, no electricity, no running water, no indoor toilets, no radio, no T.V., unlike today's life style. Children helped with farm chores, and household duties. But they paved the road for education in the years that followed.

By 1950's many rural schools had consolidated with city schools. Very few old rural country schools left. The schools now in the past, live in the memories of those that attended and endured the hardships of that period of time. Modern technology, highly educated teachers make for a better environment in the progress of our civilization. Our forefathers fought for our freedom and education ----- So let America grow!

We never get too old to learn, we cannot live on this earth long enough to learn every thing!

I am honored to be member of the Limestone School District #60, between 1934 through 1942. We had good educated teachers, that really inspired the students and helped them on to a higher education.

Lucile Daron Langlois
604 W. Cedar
Cherokee, KS 66724


by Herbert A. Stevens

The Great Depression of the 20th century began with the stock market crash of October, 1929. Born July 31, 1928, I was about 15 months old when the crash occurred and some 12-13 years old when we could say that the Depression ended with the start of World War II. My Dad, Webb Stevens, and I were both born on the same farm 7 miles southeast of Pittsburg, Kansas.

My earliest memories of the Depression date to the year 1934, when I can vaguely remember how hot and dry it was on my 6th birthday. 1934 was a drought year in the Midwest, probably one of the driest years on record up to that time. The drought severely affected farmers as they depended on spring and summer rains to water the fields and make the crops grow. Dad farmed with horses and mules, milked cows, raised a few hogs and he and Mom raised chickens for fryers to eat and laying hens for eggs for themselves and to sell. They also had two good sized gardens. The year, 1934, began three years of almost total crop failures (of corn, wheat, milo, hay, and soy beans) and poor gardens. First, there was the drought with many days where the temperature exceeded 100 degrees F and the topsoil just turned to dust. I remember going barefoot where the dust in the yard would be an inch deep. So that year, Dad raised only barely enough crops to feed the livestock through the winter.

The next year, 1935, was a very wet year, and Farmers were either unable to get in the fields to plant crops or, if they did get seed planted, the plants drowned out. So there was a second year of poor harvests.

Then 1936 was a drought year even worse than 1934. We had over 100 days that summer when the temperature was 100 degrees F or above, often several degrees above. You may notice on the weather news on TV during the summer that many of the record high temperatures were set in 1936. Dust storms were prevalent with the dust as thick as the worst fog you've ever seen. Cars and trucks didn't have air or oil filters then, so as the air was drawn into the carburetor, to mix with the gasoline, the dirt would be drawn in as well and clog the engines and ruin them.

The year, 1936, was a particularly memorable year for me beginning on Valentine Day. I attended a one room country school of about 15 pupils (that year) and it caught on fire and burned that day. The teacher had a fire drill and we all got out safely, but the school burned to the ground. We finished the school year at nearby Opolis in a room of that school they were not using. Incidentally, our school only went 8 months, not 9 as is typical now. Then in June, my Grandpa Stevens died and I remember it was extremely hot the day he was buried.

Dad was elected to the 3 member school board in March or April that year and it was the school board's job to see that a new school was completed in time to open for school that Fall. They accomplished their task (for just over $2,000 as I remember) and I started school that fall in a new school building and went there through the 8th grade.

The year 1937 was another drought year, but not quite as bad as 1934 and 1936, so we raised some crops. My mother's youngest sister and her husband, who lived near us and had 3 sons all older than me, were having such a hard time (my uncle was on WPA and a couple of my cousins had been in CCC camps) that they left and moved to northern California where two of Mom's brothers and their families had gone a couple years earlier. They had found jobs in the timber industry. That year, several of them had bought new cars and that was a big deal to me. A new Chevrolet coach (2 door sedan) with heater cost about $700 - most people didn't get even a radio and air conditioning, automatic transmission, power equipment, etc. weren't even invented then. As for the family that went to California (Aunt Snip, Uncle Guy, Mart, Cliff, and Tom), all but Cliff returned to Pittsburg in a year or two. Mom's brothers, Uncle Dave and Uncle Chick and their families stayed on in California and their children still live in Anderson, CA.

Here are some examples of how hard times were during the Depression:

- One Christmas (probably 1938 or 1939), I took up a collection at school among the students to buy our teacher a present. A family that lived across the field from us had 6-7 children (3-4 in school). One of them gave me 15 cents and said that was all the money his Dad had. You can bet those kids didn't get much for Christmas that year.

- I think it was 1936 Dad had a 1926 Chevy coupe that was about worn out, so he felt he had to trade for something a little better. When car dealers in Pittsburg 7 miles away found out Dad was interested in trading cars, they'd drive out with one they thought he might trade for, and I'm talking about trading a $25 car for one costing no more than $100. In fact, Dad wound up trading for a 1928 Chevy 4 door sedan and gave, I think, $25 "boot" (difference).

- A safety razor/razor blade salesman came to the farm to sell Dad probably a $.50 razor and blades for like 5 for $.15 - and he'd come by once in a while to sell Dad more blades.

- We used Dr. McDonald in Pittsburg as our doctor. I remember going into his office with Dad (usually on Saturday afternoon-that's when we went to town to do our week's shopping). Doc would ask what the problem was, Dad would tell him, Doc would examine, prescribe, etc. Dad would ask what he owed. Doc would usually say, "a dollar." Dad would take out his pocket book and pay him and that was it. Doctors made house calls then and cost $5 for the few times he came 7 miles out to the farm.

- The Frisco Railroad ran through our farm about 300 yards from our house. I remember many times hobos (we also called them tramps) would jump off the freight train and come to the house for a handout. Generally, they would offer to do some work for food, but Mom would give them something to eat and send them on their way. And sometimes, too, they would come in from the road as they walked or hitch-hiked by.

I've mentioned car prices, doctor charges, etc., but you might be interested in some other prices during Depression times. Gasoline was 12-13 cents per gallon. We used about 3 gallons a week in our car. We would go to town on Saturday afternoon to get groceries, feed, clothes, supplies, etc. and stop at the "filling station" on the way home, get 3 gallons of gasoline, a quart of oil and maybe Dad and I would each get a bottle of NuGrape pop, and Dad would get change back from a dollar. Sometimes we'd go across the state line into Missouri to a station about 3 miles away where gas sold as low as 10 cents a gallon for awhile. These were "full service" stations, too.

You could buy a hamburger or a bottle of pop or a single dip ice cream cone for a nickel. Movies cost from a nickel (Saturday matinees) to 35 cents for double features with newsreel and cartoons. J. C. Penney's sold Oxide brand overalls for 35 cents and Big Mac (overalls) for 45 cents (we bought Oxides), and blue chambray shirts for 25 cents. Mom made me dress pants from a coat so they just cost her thread (she was a good seamstress). Men's dress shirts were $2-2.50 each.

These prices really sound good today, don't they? Remember though, wages were correspondingly low. For the millions that had no job (unemployment reached 26%-maybe even higher), there were no wages. Many went on what was called WPA (Works Progress Administration) at $40 a month. These were jobs the federal government "created" to give men something to do and to give them enough money to barely live on. Farm hands were paid a dollar a day, often working at least 12 hour days. They also got dinner (lunch). Mom's younger brother, Uncle Fred, worked in Detroit a few years for Ford Motor Co. for $5 a day building Model T and Model A Fords. He had a good job. Dad's younger brother, Uncle Ted, worked at the Pittsburg Post Office all during the Depression and until he retired in the early 1960's. During the Depression he made $250 a month - he had about the best paying job of anyone I knew. He and Aunt Myrel had a 1930 Buick coupe with a rumble seat that I remember riding in once that really impressed an 8 year boy.

Country school teachers were paid $50-75 a month. For 8 months as my school was, that was only $400-600 for the whole year. Most teachers of these country schools were young, single women. Often they would room in a home in the school district. Their room and board cost them $15-20/month. As I mentioned earlier, Dad was elected to the school board in 1936 and served until the school was consolidated into the Pittsburg schools in the mid 1950s. Each summer, he, along with the other 2 board members, would receive many teacher applications. At that time, a person could get a teaching certificate upon completing 60 hours (maybe even less) of college credit. Applications were hand written and good penmanship was an important requirement. Some applicants had really beautiful handwriting.

What was school like during the Depression? Of course, there wasn't as much history to study as you have now (1994). The Second World War, the Korean War, the Cold War, the Vietnam War, the Great Society, Grenada, the Civil Rights movement, the Gulf War, man going to the moon and other outer space excursions to name a few hadn't yet occurred. But we had the "3 Rs", Reading, 'Riting and 'Rithmetic plus English, Geography, Music, History, (Kansas History, in my case) and Spelling. I liked Spelling because I could always make 100 and I especially liked recess when, weather permitting, we played "work-up" softball. We also played "hide and seek" and sometimes football and other games.

About the time I started to grade school (1934), the community started what they called The Pleasant Prairie Pep Club. It was a club of the residents in the school district/community that met monthly at the school. They would have a short business meeting, a program and refreshments. Frequently, the school children would put on the program - plays, readings, songs. I gave several readings and was in several of the plays during my grade school years. Of course, we had to memorize everything which was good training. These meetings gave the people in the community something to look forward to for fun and fellowship in a time that was really hard. Many of the surrounding country schools had similar clubs and sometimes exchanged entertainment.

Our school was heated by a big coal-fired stove. A treat in the winter time was for each of us to bring a big potato to put in the ash pan under the fire grate. By lunch time it would be baked, we'd clean off the ashes and have a good baked potato lunch (do I hear a few ughs? ). I had a little Fox Terrier dog named Teddy who got in the habit of coming to school. He'd scratch on the door, we'd let him in and he'd come in and lay in front of the stove. He got about as much education as some of the pupils and was about as smart!

While you can read about the Depression (and wars) to get some idea of what it was like, it's nearly impossible to understand and appreciate if you haven't lived through it. Scanning the sky day in and day out in the midst of a drought looking for a cloud that might bring on a rain that would save the crops must be lived to be fully appreciated. Standing in line for a job when your chances of getting that job was slim to none (and you were like the family I mentioned that gave their last 15 cents to buy the teacher a Christmas present) is unbelievable to almost everyone in America in this day and age. Using an unheated outhouse in zero weather is indescribable to a person raised with indoor plumbing and central heat. Nevertheless, maybe reading about the Great Depression helps you better understand those of us who did live in that time and maybe why we think like we do.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004 11:35 AM

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