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School House Project

Middle Seven Mile -- Riley County

The following was submitted by Fred O'Malley whose Great Grandparents, Patrick and Ann O'Malley deeded the land for the Upper Seven Mile School (AKA O'Malley School) to School District #33 on July 1, 1873 for the sum of $1.00. According to Mr. O'Malley, the land for the school was located in the southeast quarter of Section 18, Township 10, Range 6 east of the 6th PM. Location of The O'Malley School was clearly identified as such in the 1909 Standard Atlas of Riley County Kansas. The school was built and continued in operation until Spring, 1941, when the land was taken for the expansion of the Fort Riley Military Reservation. The following information is excerpted from the book, Buffalo, Bullwhackers, Breweries and Boomtown, A History of Ogden and Ogden Township, Ogden PRIDE Committee, Ag Press, Manhattan KS, publisher

Middle Seven Mile School, District 32, was in Ogden Township until about 1916 when the territory was detached and placed in newly organized Seven Mile Township. Original Ogden Township included the town of Ogden on the south. Boundary lines ran north seven or eight miles to the south boundary of Wildcat Township, west to a mile west of old Highway 77 and east to include some of Eureka Valley. In early days there were two voting precincts, one in the town of Ogden and the other in Upper Seven Mile schoolhouse. This school was sometimes spoken of as the O'Malley School.

Some other schools in original Ogden Township were: Middle Seven Mile known as the Still School, Lower Seven Mile spoken of as the Mallon School, Three Mile School, Oak View, and Vinton spoken of as the Harvey school.

About 1912 or 1914 there was unrest among the farmers in the upper part of the township. The cause was a bond issue proposed to help pay for an Interurban railway to run from Manhattan to Junction City through Eureka Lake, Ogden and Fort Riley. The farmers organized, protested vigorously and filed a law suit. The courts decided the bond issue, as it pertained to the farmers, was not legal. In due course of time the large original Ogden Township was divided and the northern and western portion detached to form a new township called Seven Mile Township. Some early day settlers of the area were the families of William Still, Sr., Dan Still, Anthony Kelly, James Barry, Frank Nelson, Patrick Mallon, Nelson Cary, James Hays, Dennis Hays, George O'Malley, John O'Malley, Edward O'Malley, Addis and Emmett Marron, Joseph Taylor, Lewis Taylor, William W. Taylor, Patrick Kelly, Jim Kelly, Tom Kelly, John Kelly and Charles Lungren. All of these families were there before 1908. The Nelsons and Lungrens immigrated from Sweden, many of those with Irish names came direct from Ireland. Others came Eastern or Southern states and were several generations removed from "the old country."

Middle Seven Mile, District 32 was organized in about 1867. The first school was in the southern part of the district, the exact location not known at this date. Some time in the last 1880's or early 1890's it was decided that the school building should be more centrally located. William Still, Sr. donated an acre of land and a one room stone schoolhouse was built. The schoolhouse was rather isolated, being located in a pasture with the nearest public road one-half mile away. Children and teachers walked from all directions to school, across ravines, over and under barbed wire fences and up and down hills. Detours were made after a heavy rain when a ravine might be full of water or when snow was drifted. In later years the township built a public road along the east side of the pasture and up to the schoolhouse.

Miss Anna Dixon was the first teacher in the new schoolhouse, followed by Miss Dolly Myers. Miss Rose Kelly was the third teacher. Miss Kelly lived in the district and taught from 1896 or 1897 until the spring of 1908 when she left to teach in the Ogden Grade school for one year. She returned and taught Middle Seven Mile for one more year, the term of 1909 to 1910.

During this time the district contained several household with large families of children. At one time there were eight coming from the home of Frank Nelson, six from James Barry, five from Lewis Taylor, eight from Patrick Mullen and five from the James Maloney home. The teacher needed a firm hand since she taught all eight grades in the classroom. Desks were the old doubledesk with an ink well on each side.Parents stood by the teacher and there was never a discipline problem.

(Written by Mrs. Leonard J. (Edythe Nelson) Wilson, Milford, Kansas)

Three Mile School

Buffalo, Bullwhackers, Breweries and Boomtown, A History of Ogden and Ogden Township, Ogden PRIDE Committee, Ag Press, Manhattan KS, publisher


Tuesday, November 27, 2001 9:08 AM

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