Kansas One Room
School House Project

West Point -- Lincoln County

The Kansas Heritage server would like to thank Edna B. Bates, 1263 Mammoth Rd., Dracut, MA 01826-2221 for contributing this material.

October 27, 1994

I'm writing concerning an article in the Sylvan Lucas News - October 13, 1994 about the One-Room school histories.

This interested me because we, my sisters and cousins went to such a school called West Point, located east of Lucas. We did not belong to that township, but it was the nearest school for us to attend.

My cousin Leona (Witte) Kruger and my sister Ida (Witte) Jacobitz have both died. My cousin Evelyn (Witte) Gier now lives in a nursing home or called Life Care Center, 2451 Pratt, Longmont, CO 80506.

Evelyn and I were in the second grade. Our teacher was Miss Hower for all classes 1-8.

The Lentfer family lived across the road from the school. They kept the school cleaned and also had the big pot-bellied stove warm in winter by the time school started.

We drove to school in a converted surrey (old time surrey with fringe on top). Dad (Henry Witte) took off the top, and it was an open vehicle now, so the four of us had plenty room.

We drove a team of work horses, Prince and Tom, to school every day. Over the hills through my Uncle Henry Wenthe's pasture and yard to the county road that led to school. Might possibly be about two miles.

Evelyn and I had the job of opening and closing all the gates or letting down the pasture fences as we needed to drive through them.

I'm not certain, but there were about 30 students, and I cannot name all the students. Maybe Marie Hower, she was in my class, or the Lentfer family may know all the names. They must be in a book kept by the teacher, Miss Hower.

The year we attended was 1916-1917, during the first world war, because our Sylvan Parochial School was shut down because we were still learning the German language, and such teaching was no longer allowed in school or church.

If you care to ask questions about this period in my school year, I can send it along.

In the snowy winter days, my dad put some runners on our vehicle and it became a sled. (Amen) We did not miss any school because of snow or cold days. Dad would warm some big flat rocks in the oven and we put our feet on them to keep warm.

We also had a heavy horse-hair blanket or heavy quilt to cover our knees in the cold weather.

We took our lunch in tin pails with lids or in 1/2 gallon Karo syrup cans. We managed with what was available at home.

At school they had a shed for the horses or tied to a fence and brought along some hay for them to eat.

Those were some exciting memorable days for me. Lots of stories to tell my grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Edna (Witte) Bates

The Kansas Heritage server would like to thank Edna B. Bates, 1263 Mammoth Rd., Dracut, MA 01826-2221 for contributing this material.

September 19, 1995

I've just read your letter about the One Room School House project.

The school I attended in Kansas for a year during the first world war. The name of the school we, my sister and two cousins, attended was called West Point. It was near the town of Lucas, Kansas.

The name of our teacher was a Miss Hower. There may have been teachers before her, I am not certain.

I would like to hear from any one else who did attend. Marie Hower was a classmate.

We drove to school every day rain or shine. Through the pastures or barn-yards to cut corners. We drove a team of farm work-horses - Prince and Tom.

The family of Lentfers lived across the road, and the boys would open the school and have it nice and warm in the winter when we got there.

We played Handy-Over at recess time. In the snow days we slid down the hill in Lentfers pasture.

The names of some of the children were: the Witte girls (4), Ida and Edna and cousins Leona and Evelyn Witte.

I just like to know if you have heard from any one who attended.

There were some Schorokie children who attended (I heard they may be living at Salina, Kansas now.); Morris and Marie Hower; the Lentfer son; there was a Vonada girl; and so many have now married so I do not know their names.

It was only one room, and there was a small stable for the horses. The drinking water was probably brought over from the Lentfer home.

If you have heard from anyone who did go to West Point. The Wenthe children (my cousins) and the Lance boys attended later after the war.

If you heard from others I'd love to hear, but I was in second grade so not sure how many are still living. Just wondering about school days 1917 - war time! Any note will be fine.

An old student - "I've come a long way Babe!" [age 85] Edna (Witte) Bates

Sunday, March 23, 2003 11:33 PM

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