From the early 1800s to about 1950, one-room schools operated throughout Kansas as they did in many parts of the United States. At a Eudora Area Historical Society meeting on early schools, former teachers present were Maxine (Schellack) Averill, who taught at Kaw Valley and Weaver; Margaret (Spitzli) Gabriel, who taught at Evening Star; Lena Milburn, who taught at Belle View; and Edna (Bond) Holmes, who taught at Clearfield.
They all remembered building stove fires to heat the schools. These stoves kept students warm on one side of their bodies and cold on the other. The teachers did everything from carrying the coal to organizing programs. Also, during the term year, schools operated every day. Teachers shared their dislike of outside privies. Each school had two, one for the boys and one for the girls. Schools also had a picture of George Washington hanging on their walls. Averill recalled she taught in 1934 to 1935 for $57.50 a month, which was higher than the average $35 to $40 monthly salary. She also said some of her students were not much younger than she.
Most of the following information about one-room schoolhouses around Eudora comes from Rural Schools and Schoolhouses of Douglas County by Goldie Piper Daniels (published in Baldwin, Kansas, by the author in 1975).
Belleview District No. 50. (1874-1948). Max and Caroline Sommer deeded one and one-half acres in the southeast corner of the Southeast ¼ of Section 24 Township 13 Range 20 to build a schoolhouse in 1874, although the school had been operating on that spot for several years. J. R. Allen helped lay out the grounds. C. M. Sears laid the foundation of the school, which was three miles south and two miles west of Eudora, and named it for its beautiful view to the east.
The school had kerosene lights and a large coal stove in the back of the room. Students had their own drinking cups for the well water. The outside well could be pumped dry, but would fill with water 20 minutes later. Outside toilets were northwest of the building.
Gertrude Wells was the only teacher known to have taught there before 1897. In a letter, she said she taught about 70 pupils. In 1898, the school graduated Blanche West and Harry Whaley and had 82 enrolled students taught by Lizzie Tuttle who received $41 in monthly wages. She used the texts of Excelsior readers, James & DeGarmo Spellers, Belefield Arithmetics, Rand McNally Geographies, and others.
O.J. Lane taught after Tuttle (1900-1901), followed by Mr. and Mrs. T. E. Robertson (1901-1903), A.C. Sanborn and Alpha Lane (1903-1904). Other duos who each taught a term were: Blanche Pilcher and Bertha Allison, Edith Wolgamott and Lena Jones, and Maud Lybarger and Estella Lybarger (two terms). In 1907-1908, only B.F. Allison taught.
Following teachers were: Clide Butler, Edith Hess, Nellie Laws, Nellie Hyland, Malta Sheppard, Bernice Giffee, Ada Davis and Bernice Giffee, Ada Davis, Lola Wilbur, Ethel Pfleger, Kathleen Kelsell (one week), Mabel Wheeler, Ethel Kindred, Mabel Hevener, Violet Wilson, A. Louise Freese, Mrs. J. B. Birkhead, Edna Musick, Marian Grist, Milton Janicke, Buena Vista Morgan, Marian Madl, Alma Votaw, Alma Knott, and Lena Milburn.
The school closed from 1946 to 1948. The district voted 19-6 on February 26, 1948 to close the school and to become part of Eudora District No. 9. Leonard Hadl bought the school at auction and dismantled it. Pearson Davis bought the site. Kenneth Tuggle built a home on the site in 1952.
Bluemound School No. 29 (1854-1949). Ed Harvey, a lifetime resident of the area, wrote in 1943: “In talks with old settlers of the district, I have been told that the first school to be held in Blue Mound was held in 1857 in a house located on the northeast corner of the Northeast ¼ of Section 28 Township 13 Range 20 in Wakarusa Township. Records indicate that William Stone was hired in 1859 to teach for a three-month term. Chosen texts were Saunders’ Readers and Spellers, Colton and Fitche’s Geographies, Pineo’s Grammars, Ray’s Arithmetics and Algebra, and Parker’s Philosophy. Martha Cutter and Amanda Lutes taught the next two, three-month terms. Black children were taught in a house in Section 27 by Emma Whaley.”
The offer of Henry Landon to donate an acre of land for a schoolhouse was accepted in 1862. The 20-foot by 30-foot stone school house took two years to build as funds were raised. In 1865, students, both black and white, attended the school, which housed a community library and had a stone outhouse. A hedge row provided fencing and a windbreak.
By 1869, the enrollment of 54 students caused the board to enlarge the building to 24-foot by 38-foot. A later coat of stucco after 1900 was the only other change made. The last class (1946) contained four students: Jeanette Mitchell, Gene Johnston, Barbara Mitchell, and Delores Mitchell. In 1949, 45 of 51 voters favored consolidation with Vinland causing the school to close.
Some teachers who taught at Bluemound were: Frankie Miller, Charles Barber, Julia Dunn, W. H. Gill and Katie Gill, Mary Conger, Amanda Allen, Annie Wood, J. J. Mason, Richard Mead, Annie Sears, Florida Bryson, William McQuiston, Josie Wheeler, Minnie Montgomery, L.D.L. Tosh, K. Williams, W. L. Tuttle, William Lawrence, George McNees, Charles Elwell, A.M. Havermole, Sadie Dudgeon, Olive Reed, E. M. Emmett, Minnie Miller, E. C. Cowles, Nellie Oakes, J. W. O’Bryon, Ida Reece, Birch Tuttle, C.W. Pearson, Alma Armstrong, Elizabeth Tuttle, Minnie Reno, Emma Martin, Ida Lyons, C. O. Bowman, Zurie Campbell, Lucille Markwell, Viola Hankins, Stella Stuart, Eva Bates, Emanuel Bixler, Alice Cooper, Ida Lyons, Charles Allison, Paul Brune, Emily Rocklund, Lena Jones, Estella Lybarger, Myrtle Stevenson, Rosalie Griffith, Blanche O’Neil, Jacquetta Reed, Etta William, Lucy Dunkley, Elizabeth Tuttle, Elsie Dolby, Mildred Day, Clara Randel, Margaret Coffman, George McCaffrey, Josephine Gentry, Anne Hill, Esther Eckman, Herbert Nunemaker, Mildred Chandler, Anne Kelley, Erma Rumsey, Alberta Hadl, Freda Cowles, Mae Turner, Ruth Skinner, Edith Hammond, and Anna Hubbard.
Clearfield District No. 58 (Union District No. 24) (1852-1946). Established in 1852, this school is one of the oldest rural schools in Kansas. The first school, a 30-foot by 36-foot log building, was on the Rodewald farm three-fourths miles east of Clearfield on the banks of Captain’s Creek. It had four windows on each side, and inside a rostrum curved outward into the room and served as the teacher’s desk. Until 1880, the community also used the schoolhouse as a church. For many years when enrollment could reach as high as 100 students, teachers taught in German because few pupils could speak English. Families who sent students to the school, included those of Brecheisen, Breithaupt, Fuhs, Kramer, McKinney, Meeder, Strong, Shotterburg, Staffen, Schopper, Sturm, Schendel, Selzer, and Adler.
In 1900, Sarah and Albert Rodewald deeded one and one-fourth acres near the southwest corner of Section 16, Township 14, Range 20 and 21 for a school site on which a former schoolhouse was erected, one-half mile west of the previous school. In 1908, Gideon and Paulina Breithaupt deeded land at Southeast ¼ of Section 17, Township 14, Range 21 so that the school house could be moved to a more convenient location. George Hausmann Sr. signed a lease in 1911 that gave the school the use of his well for 99 years or as long as the school needed it. The school also used a cistern dug later.
After 1946, the school closed and students attended school in the Baldwin school district. The Grange used the schoolhouse for a meeting place for many years until the schoolhouse became personal property.
Some teachers were Hattie Hanson, Alice Reed and Emma Schendel, George Nichols, Ida Reed, Anna Parker, Katharyn Brecheisen, Anna Miller, Ellen Mellville, Elsie Hibner, Stella Breithaupt, Ervie Wingert Breithaupt, John Albright, Vera Breithaupt, Lillian Milburn, Helen Johns, Nora Vitt, Winona Selzer, Helen Selzer, Mrs. H. Breithaupt, Isabelle Maxwell, Fern Broers, Dorothy Gabriel, Anna Louise Welch, Esther Eckman, Katherine Kelly, Lorene Williams, Anna Kelley, Margaret Lytle, Clara Randel, Rosemary Stewart, and Edna (Bond) Holmes.
Evening Star. Three miles east of Eudora, this square building schoolhouse closed in 1946, remembered Elva Ruth. Students drank with tin cups from a well, which occasionally went dry. When the well ran dry, students would have to go to the neighbors up the road to get water. Ruth said everyone wanted this job to get out of class
Fairview (1880s-1945). Also known as Scratchpoint, this school was located in Johnson County three miles south and three-fourths east of Eudora. It is estimated to have been in existence in the 1880s, but exact dates remain unknown because records before 1937 were destroyed. The building had one large classroom, a small entry-way, coal and wood stove, a well with a pump outside, and outside toilets. Playground equipment was a swing, teeter-totter, and ball bat. The Neis, Mistele, Outland, Hales, Koch and other families sent children to this school. Elsie Oldham remembered that the school had a potbelly stove, pie suppers, and examinations taken at Prairie Center each year. When Fairview consolidated with Hesper in 1945, the building was sold and moved to 731 Maple Street in Eudora. Teachers included Sam and Ruth Hill, Ruth Allison, Mrs. Garrett, Margie Fairchild, Clarence Miller, and Georgie Plistil. Teachers often lived with the Sam Neis family.
Fall Leaf. Students first attended school in a log cabin built in 1865. The #52 school district building was small and didn’t have any desks, only benches. Roxannie Davis of Hesper was the first teacher. The board officers were John J. Weber, clerk; Logan Ziegler, treasurer; and Andrew Brown, director. By 1870, there were 74 pupils enrolled, and in 1881, a stone building was built for the 63 students. The stone structure was replaced with a large, frame one-room building in 1899 that burned February 9, 1909. Then a brick schoolhouse was built on a knoll near the railroad tracks in 1913 by Albert Von Gunten, a contractor from Eudora. Arthur Kirkman, Ed Meinkey, Cleve Evert, Noah Canary, and Walter Dare helped in the construction of the school that still stands today. The last classes held in the brick schoolhouse were in 1953 for 13 students. After that year, the pupils were transferred to Linwood. When the school closed, it had only 13 students, and students such as those from the Tornedon, Bryant, Abbott, Pritchard, Canarys, Schellack, and Koerner families attended Linwood schools. The school later was used for Grange and Masonic meetings. Marie Wickey Milleret, a long-time resident of Fall Leaf, taught the eight-month term during 1941 and 1942, the war years. In August of 1993, Mrs. Milleret wrote some of her Fall Leaf school memories. She recalled: "School board members were Harvey Schlack, Fred Reetz and William Reetz. There were about 25 pupils in all eight grades. The building had a coal-fired stove in a corner. A Mrs. Abott was janitor, sweeping the room and starting the fire in the stove to warm the school before the teacher and pupils arrived. The students were active in the Leavenworth County Relays and "scored very high in 1942."
Farmland No. 71 (1870-1955). The widow of Robert Peebles deeded in 1870 an acre of land at the southwest corner of Section 31 Township 12 Range 21 for a 30-foot by 40-foot schoolhouse of soft bricks. It had four windows on each side and a door in the south. A blackboard extended across the north wall. Two cloak rooms at the front entrance partitioned the entry from the main school room. The partition was eight-feet high so that heat from the pot-bellied stove could pass over and warm the coats and keep the dinner bucket contents from freezing.
Records of 1898 showed the following students in the school: Minnie, Jennie, Gertrude, and Ada Browning; Henry and Lizzie Curlett; Clara, Joe, and Ralph Davis; Guy Grimes; Samuel Harris; Edna, Henry, and Edie Holton; Olive Holmes; James, Elmer, and May Norton; William Miller; John, Emma, Arthur, and Edwin Ott; Irvin, Lulu, and Emmett Pipes; and Mina, Lena, and Willie Schlegel.
In 1926, after oiling the floor to keep down dust and preserve the wood, the teacher built up the fire and banked it for the night. A fire destroyed the school during that night with many thinking the floor heat ignited the oil. Students went to either Kaw Valley School No. 12 or Eudora No. 28. Those coming to Eudora had to travel through a slough with water in it, so Fred Papenhausen was hired to transport them in a covered wagon drawn by a team of horses. He wrapped hot bricks in old blankets to kept students’ feet warm on the trip.
J. L. Constant built a new schoolhouse that served the community until 1955 when the district merged with Kaw Valley District No. 95. Carl Perkins bought the schoolhouse and site for $3,300.
Records starting in 1897 show some teachers who taught here: Miss R.E. Emmett, Sadie Dorsey, Eva Barrett, Otta Rhodes, Frances Albert, Ella Hase, Kathryn Leonhard, Mayme Brune, Alta Roe, Mary Fuller, Alice Hyatt, Douglas Harris, Nettie Phillips, Mary Henley, Howard Mann, Mary Schehrer, Phebe Bigsby, Anna Hammig, Louis Knopp, Stella Brazil, Martha Schehrer, Telitha Newton, Vera Hibbard, Gladys Peterson, Nellie Perkins, Bessie Brown, Annabel Rasmussen, Lorene Deckwa, Ruth Bartz, Alvena Knabe, Ethel March, Clara Waner, and Grace Waner.
Franklin District No. 16. At the pro-slavery settlement of Franklin, students first attended school in a cabin, then a church, and later a stone building that also was a store and post office. R. L. and Mary Williams deeded the southeast corner of lot 24 in Franklin for a school site. On that site, a 30-foot by 36-foot white pine school school was made from lumber shipped from Minnesota farms. Students enrolled in the 1897 year were Elmer and Ada Breckenridge; Mabel Chambers; Charles Davis; Nelson, Grace, Arlie, and Nina Duncan; Lloyd and Roy Green; Willis and Leslie Hernel; Allie Hines; Olive, Anna, Edna, and Willis Hartman; Edna, Henry, and Edward Hilton; William, Jeanette, and Edith Johns; Harry Klass; Joe and Josephine Laughley; George, Charles, Maud, and Levi Sternberg; Mae Watkins; Fern Wilson; Jessie, Myrtle, Nora, Ethel, Eva, and Perry Whitney; and Lee, Walter, John, Edith, and Jennie Young.
For some reason, a new school house was built in 1912. It burned the same year and was rebuilt. By 1950, enrollment was so small that students attended school elsewhere. In February 1951, the district disorganized. Perry Kitzmiller bought the schoolhouse and equipment at auction and moved the building to his barn lot.
Some teachers from 1897 on were B.E. Tuttle, Cora Elliott, Maida Donahue, Rella Houdyshel, Martha Koehring, Elsie Hoskins, Lawrenia Shaw, B.G. Allison, D.Z. Hinshaw, Alta Phillips, Maud Butler, Kathryn Saile, Bernice Eastman, Christine Meyer, Carol Martin, Mabel Burke, Florence Banker, Nellie McLean, W.S. Price, Ruth Ford, Ethel Miller, Carolyn Perkins, Ina Bahmaier, Mildred Wilson, Eunice O’Brien, Ellen Melville, Anna Lee, Anna Lee Johns, Kathleen Strong, Erma Rumsey Allison, Louise Pfleger, Dorothy Mae Nuffer, Lora Howe, Mable Nieder, Cecile Roney, and Orva Hoffman.
Harmony No. 57. On March 29, 1871, Anthony and Hannah Karns and Virgil and Agnes Hoffman deeded one square acre in the southwest corner of the Southeast ¼ of Section 1 Township 14 Range 20 and one square acre in the southeast corner of the East 1/2 of the Southwest ¼ of Section 1 Township 14 Range 20. The deed was only valid if the land was used as a school site. Lewis Swanson, a stonemason from Minnesota , built the native sandstone schoolhouse six miles south and two and one-half miles west of Eudora. The school got its name because on the day set for naming, two boys, and subsequently their fathers got in a fight. A suggestion for “Harmony” was then adopted.
Those of school age in 1898 were Wilma, Orion, and Elmer Buford; Emma Butts; Jimmy, Teresa, Ella, and Flory Deay; Perry Dunn; Leonard Evenger; Teresa and Bertha Faust; Ida, Gin, and Rose Friend; Clarence, Effie, and Floyd Gottstein; Verna Hagerman; Fred and Hettie Hanson; Ralph Hatten; Ole, Lottie, George, Sadie, Mattie, Nettie, Charles, Jennie, and Eugene Harris; Bell and Harry Howard; Charlie, Arthur, Willie, Lester, John, and Sadie Joy; Bertha, Lottie, Oliver, Clarence, Jessie, Lola, and Mattie Karnes; Henry and Claud Landon; Peal, Mamie, Charlie, Frank, Everett, Flora, Grace, and George Leggett; Earl Palmateer; Walter Parsons; and Bessie Vitt.
Faye Hagerman taught 19 pupils in 1940. By 1947, only six pupils attended the school. Consolidation with Vinland No. 88 was favored by 16 voters (4 opposed). One acre returned to the Karns estate; the other with the schoolhouse reverted to Howard Deay as part of his farm.
Teachers were Alice Reed, George Nichols, Alvin Crouch, Leslie Fitz, Helen Gill, A.H. Crouch, Ada Lill, W.H. Horrell, J.W. Phelps, George Nichols, Clara Allison, Leroy Harris, Mrs. A.R. Shannon, George Nichols, Ellen Mellville, Ruth Harris, Stella Breithaupt, Ruby Selzer, Vera Saile, Gracy Fordyce, Cora Eckman, Winifred Stevens, Mildred Day, Bernice Holmes, Ellen Owen, Mildred Cook, Harzel Shirar, Lottie Jane Harrell, Mrs. Argel Cochran, Josephine Staadt, and Faye (Hagerman) Deay.
Hesper No. 5. School began in the Hesper community as soon as families, many of them Quaker, came to this settlement. Jeremiah and Elizabeth Hadley deeded an acre of land at the Southeast corner of Section 21 Township 13 Range 21 for a school site as long as it was used for a school. A log structure was put up, then replaced with a stone schoolhouse lit by kerosene lamps. Used until 1888, this building was replaced by a frame building. A coal furnace warmed the school in the early 1900s and piped-in gas in 1907 also provided heat. In the 1930s, the district bought Coleman lamps, new furniture, a furnace, and playground equipment. Jim Harris attended first and second grade at Hesper. His memories included being taught by the older girls and the teacher getting locked in the coal room. When the school consolidated with Eudora No. 28, the building became the property of the community.
Children attending the school, included those from the following families: Albright, Anderson, Bagby, Bruan, Baker, Bales, Bebout, Bisel, Broadshaper, Brooks, Brown, Burnell, Buck, Beers, Caviness, Cloud, Conger, Creevan, Cosand, Daltin, Davis, Daugherty, Deay, Dollnig, Douglas, Dunlap, Ehart, Epperson, Frazier, Frederick, Gabriel, Gault, Gerstenberger, Goodyear, Grantham, Guenther, Griffin, Grist, Grob, Hall, Hargardine, Harris, Haverty, Henderson, Henley, Henshaw, Hill, Irvin, Jamison, Jones, Jeffrey, Johnson, Kaseberger, Kelly, Kendall, Kerr, Kesinger, King, Kloche, Klopenstein, Koch, Koshler, Kramer, Kurtz, Lawrence, Lindley, Lowenstein, Maness, Marshall, Mathia, McBratney, McGillis, McIntryre, McPherson, Miller, Millington, Mohler, Moore, Neis, Needham, Nesbit, Ott, Page, Parker, Parks, Pearson, Perkins, Pfleger, Rausch, Rees, Rogers, Rosenau, Rush, Schooley, Seiwald, Simmers, Smith, Snow, Stubbs, Stanley, Stanton, Terrill, Todd, Tuttle, Vogel, Votaw, Walker, Warner, Watson, Welborn, Westerhouse, Williamson, Wilson, and Woodard. The Votaw families may have sent the most children, because a partial listing shows Alma, Blanche, Clara, Dorothy, Eldon, Eva, Everett , Georgia , Joseph, Josephine, Lela, Lucile, Marion, Milo, Ralph, Velda, Vernon, Victor, and Viola attended.
Some teachers were Emma Aldrich, Nina Anderson, Jennie Armstrong, E. F. Bailey, L. E. Baily, Ella Bartlett, M. L. Bischoff, Florence Braun, Esther Brecheisen, Katherine Brecheisen, Lena Brecheisen, Florence Brown, Isabelle Byers, Carrie Cox, Cora Cox, Lizzie Crew, Millie Davidson, Della Davis, E. S. Davis, Lena Davis, Mildred Davis, Samuel Davis, Maida Donahue, Cora Elliot, Bertha Ellsworth, H. P. Evans, Jessie Fitz, Ellen Flinn, Mary Fuller, Ashely Garratt, Kathryn Garratt, Alma Gibson, Johanna Griffis, A.W. Hadley, Judith Hedley, Mary Henley, Lydia Henshaw, Sylvia Henshaw, P. Hiatt, Ellen Hill, Gurney Hill, Jennie Hill, Penelope Hill, W. G. Hill, Annie Hollister, Belle Howard, Ella Jay, Inez Jensen, Alvena Kanzig, Mrs. Carl Kelley, L. J. Kendall, Melissa Kersey, Marian Kidder, Robert E. Lee, Judith Lindley, Sena Marvel, Lottie Moll, Irene Neis, C. H. Nowlin, Zella Page, Mrs. J. C. Parks, J. E. Pearis, W. J. Pearson, Ethel Pfleger, A. E. Pieans, Emma Ryan, Lilly Scott, Leslie Setzer, Opal Irene Shaw, Harold Smith, Leora Smith, Edmund Stanley, Saymona Stanley, A.S. Stanton, Veda Stanton, Lena Thoren, Eunice Torrence, Elizabeth Tuttle, Grace Wanmer, Alma Watson, and Margaret White.
East Hopewell No. 68. Little is known about this school. A 1938 map shows its location in the southwest corner of the south half of the Southeast ¼ of Section 15 Township 14 Range 21 in Douglas County. About 1900, it joined with No. 70 in Johnson County and was known as No. 68 -70 until it disorganized in 1950 when students went to Baldwin schools. An 1897-1898 report shows W.R. Parks as a teacher for $30 a month and 27 students, three of them more than 20 years old. These students were Mary, Edith, Ellen, and Penina Balkey; John, August, Emma, Dan, Eddie, and Herman Bonsock; Walter, Mary, Sara, Lena, Anna, and Sophia Brecheisen; Sam, Darnda, and Milly Davidson; Michael and Lloyd Thomas; Dafne Kendall; Zella Page; and Lesta Radliff.
Pupils in 1905-1906 taught by Bertha Green were: Sophia Brecheisen, Amos Westerhouse, Theodore Thoren, Helen Kendall, Nettie Musick, Oscar Breicheisen, Mary McPherson, Leland Kendall, Florence Schneider, Lydia Kanzig, Oscar Westerhouse, Orpha Schneider, Alvena Kanzig, Leoti Milburn, Erwin Kanzig, Orin Eales, Jesse Brecheisen, Edwin Burnell, Bonnie Burnell, Ethel Westerhouse, Donald Rogers, Ethel Blakeman, George Musick, Elsie Bales, Agnes Thoren, Golder Blakeman, Esther Kendall, Hulda Thoren, Esther Brecheisen, and Gertrude Milburn.
Later teachers were Jennie Armstrong, Ida Katherman, Cora Elliott, A.H. Couch, Alma Watson, Lena Brecheisen, Mamie Dauberman, Sophia Brecheisen, Mae Knabe, Lydia Kanzig, Anna Hammig, Inez Westerhouse, Ethel Kindred, Alvena Kanzig, Georgianna Stanley, Nellie Hyland, Esther Brecheisen, and Esther Miller. Reports after 1925 indicated that Johnson County took over the school.
Kaw Valley No. 12. Kaw Valley was unusual because it had classes for nine months of the year instead of the usual eight-month term. The Kansas River also flooded it several times. Each time it flooded, a mark was painted on a brick to indicate the water height that year. In 1892, a red brick schoolhouse replaced the sandstone building built on the acre donated by William and Ellen Hughes in 1867. Families who attended the school through the years were Altenbernd, Benefield, Carter, Catlett, Cox, Crawford, Faith, Garvin, Hall, Hughes, Kindred, McCabria, McFarland, Meuffles, Jenkins, Redmond, Richardson, Schaake, Suiter, Trueblood, and Walters. The schoolhouse was sold to a musician’s union, then burned May 2, 1964 .
Teachers were Bertha Van Tries, Miss Black, Mr. Shuck, Eva Frowe, Mildred hall, Louise Leonard, Lottie Brune, Rose Barker, Alice Barnhard, Nettie Caldwell, Mayme Brune, Bertha Crowder, Anna Powers, Fern Evans, Ruth Evans, Louise Loesch, Cecile Kiefer, Grace Showalter, Evelyn Hayden, Esther Brecheisen, Lena Brecheisen, Sena Sutton, Ethelmae Dodds, Mildred Chandler, Mrs. William Roe, Helen Brown, Mrs. Iva Dittrich, Josephine Foster, Maxine Shellack, Ann Williams, Coila Thurber, Alice Springer, Bessie Callahan, Rose Douglas, and Esther McCabria.
Oberlin No. 80. One miles and one-fourth east of Eudora on Seventh Street was the site Daniel and Maria Phoenicie donated on the Northeast corner of the Southeast ¼ of the Southeast ¼ of Section 4 Township 13 Range 21. Records of 1897-1898 show that Louise Leonhard taught there for $27 monthly. Students at that time were: Amelia, William, Henry, Mary, and Harman Bartz; Alfred, Willie, and Henry Eisele; Karl and Oscar Lothholz, both seen in the this photograph; George, Minnie, Stella, and Tommy Monroe; and Samuel, Karl, Freddie, Bennie, Gideon, Lillian, Frank, and Hedwig Neis. School board members were Fred Neis, Mary Bernitz, and William Lothholz.
Other teachers were Florence Alberts, Mrs. Nellie Robertson, Gertrude Sellards, Mrs. D.P. Merrion, Alice Reed, Alice Grimes, and Rosa Smith. Students were sent to Eudora for school in 1908, then returned to Oberlin the following year. However, students attended the Eudora school in 1910 after their school ultimately closed.
Pleasant Oak No. 45. When the Clearfield school became too crowded, Pleasant Oak School was built in 1907 to accommodate students two miles east of Clearfield . The school house was a frame structure with a belfry and bell. Carrie Blakeman taught from 1907-1910. Her students were: George, Bertie, Blanch and Minnie Breithaupt; Phillip, Harry, Teddy, Aaron, Benjamin, Rosa , Mae, Gertrude, Lena, Alma, and Emma Brecheisen; Harry, Willie, Katy, and Edna Dwyer; Earl, Arthur, and Elsie Mathia; Phillip, Nana, and Mae Meeder; Elmer and Flossie McKinney; and Margaret Baecker. Later teachers were Ida Steel, Stella Brazil, Ruth Kring, Ellen Mellville, Mabel Russel, Paul Selzer, Gertrude Brecheisen, and Edna Smith. In 1920, it became a joint district with Johnson County. Fire later destroyed the schoolhouse.
Jean Reynolds remembered the school had a good library and music program. A well supplied water, and a large, round wood stove heated the building. Students used outside toilets and visited other schools for spelling bees and immunization shots. Each morning, students gathered around the flag pole and recited the Pledge of Allegiance.
Roscoe No. 44. John McKnight and Sarah Ann McKnight deeded one acre for a school building site in 1864 for the Roscoe School, five miles south of Eudora. At the stone school house, W.P. Hamm taught the first year. His daughter later would serve on the school board and his grand-daughter teach at Roscoe School, too. The second schoolhouse was frame with a belfry and large bell. Its library had 206 volumes and a blackboard filled the back wall.
Students in 1897-1898 were: Ulysses, Frank, Annie, John, James, and Willie Anton; Lata Belvoir, Florence Bishop; Stella and Charlie Brazil; Omar Coates; Russell, Irvin, Arthur, and Freddie Deay; Fred, Martha, Carl, Homer, and Walter Gerstenberger; Charles and Gene Griffin; Joe and Jennie Reilback; Zuella and James Milbourn; Ephraim and Alice Music; Enda and Euna Nicol; Alma and Hervey Reed; Frank, Willie, Jake, Robert, Maud, and Wallace Reusch; Charlie and Clara Schehrer; Gustave Schmidt; Willie and Sammie Todd; Lelia Thoren; Bernie, Walter, and Ollie Vitt; Clinton, Meda, Elmer, Ida, and Jessie Wade; and Walter, Bessie, and Harry Werts.
When the 1940s started, less than 10 students enrolled. Enrollment picked up when families working at Sunflower Ordnance Works moved near DeSoto. But enrollment declined at the close of World War II, and the school closed in 1944. On January 24, 1948, the school joined the Eudora district.
Some teachers were Lovie Reed, Estella Cowgill, Alice Jay, Gertrude Bell, Jennie Armstrong, Ida Reed, Leonard Root, Anna Miller, Mabel Sawhill, George Nichols, Anna Brecheisen, Stella Brazil, Hallie Person, Missa Ripley, Frank Cheney, Ruth Harris, Vera Breithaupt, Helen Sommer, Ethel Sommer, Jessie Dover, Martha Schehrer, Thelma (Haverty) Deay, Belle Rohe, Nora Vitt, Peggy Clayton, and Olive Randel.
Weaver No. 86. John and Australia Weaver deeded one acre of land for a school in the Northwest Corner of the Northwest ¼ of the Southeast ¼ of the Section 34, Township 12 Range 21. A building was built in 1893-1894 and is shown here when photographed in 1931. Two graduated in 1898: Rosa Erwin’s essay was “Soliquoy of an Old Ink Bottle,” and Lizzie Hill’s essay was “Little Things.” In 1900, there were 53 pupils ─ 18 black, 35 white, according to Oscar Broers in 1976. Weaver, located in the Kansas River bottoms, was fondly remembered by students Robert Neis, Kermit Broers, and Louis Kindred who told of the train that ran close by the schoolhouse. Broers remembered the old bell being turned upside down and filled full of water, then when the teacher pulled the rope the next morning, the water soaked the teacher. She wore wet clothes for the rest of the day.
By 1937, the growing decline in the number of pupils reached 10. The next year, Weaver school closed. The students were bussed to Eudora. The land reverted to Sadie Roberts, and Oscar Broers dismantled the school, saving the floor for his new house one-half mile south of the school site.
Teachers were Rebecca Herning (1898-1900), Alta Stanton (1900), W. J. Parnell (1901), S. B. Katerman, Bessie Smith, Alto Roe, Anna Miller, Lena Brechiesen, Etta Meinke, Douglas Harris (1911), Esther Pfleger (1915), Malta Sheppard (1916), Helen Shepherd Guer (1917), Mabel Caldwell (1918), Lydia Kanzig (1919), Rebecca Miller (1920), Mayme Hale (1922), Susie R. Lowman (1923), Elizabeth Ruth Becky (1924), Gladys Pierce (1925), Mabel Deay (1925), Marian Grist (1927), Hazel Smith (1929), Agnes Pine (1931), Gertude Churchbaugh (1933), Maxine Schellack (1934), Georgia Plistil (1936), Marcella Dwyer (1937), and, in 1938, pupils taken to Eudora School with tuition paid by District #86. About the school, Mayme Kohler, wrote:
“I started before I was six, Doug Harred was my first teacher, I will always remember him holding me on his lap and pulling a tooth. I had refused my mother’s offer, but felt ashamed to refuse him. He was like a father to me. He drove a buggy and horse to school from Keystone Corner. Esther Pfleger was my second grade teacher and they used flash cards. Lydia Kanzig followed Esther. We thought that she was the most beautiful teacher in the world.
“We had fall and spring programs. We had song recitation, and dialogue. We were so excited if we had a special part. We practiced several times a week. It was a disgrace to make a mistake or not know your part. We usually had a pie supper afterward or a gift exchange at Christmas time. Rebecca Miller followed Lydia Kanzig. She had a lot of singing ─ Christian and patriotic songs ─ and had devotions. I took my first piano lesson from her. I swept the school house to pay for the lessons. She lived in Lawrence. Mayme Hale was my last grade school teacher. I was the last pupil who had nine years at Weaver. If I ever was a teacher’s pet it was for Mayme. Hale. Our last event of our school year was our last day of school was the school dinner. My mother was always asked to bring sweet pickles. They were so crisp and crunchy. Each lady had a special dish. The food was fit for a king.
“I can remember walking in the springtime, smelling the corn stalks burning. The men were plowing and disking for potatoes and corn. Women were making their gardens. I often thought it was one of the most beautiful and fertile valley God ever made in America.”
Copyright 2015. Cindy Higgins. Where the Wakarusa Meets the Kaw: A History of Eudora, Kansas. Eudora, KS: Author.