27 January 2005
The two articles below have not been been edited. Editor
Pride of the Golden Bear, Betty S. Gibson, 1981 - There is a copy at the Kansas City, Kansas Public Library at 625 Minnesota Avenue
Please note the copyright on the source book for this material. The following excerpts may be used for research only and not published for gain or profit without the express written approval of the copyright holder.
The Delaware were the first people who settled the entire section of Wyandotte County north of the Kansas river. They did not move to Wyandotte County until October, 1830, and occupied all the land west of the Missouri line and north of the Kansas river. This included the area now called the Muncie area (originally called Delaware, later Secondine and much later Muncietown, shortened to Muncie.)
In January of 1831, Moses R. Grinter (a 21-year old Kentuckian) began operating a Kansas river ferry, from a site on the north bank within the Delaware reserve, 3-4 miles above and across the river from the Chouteaus' trading post (Four Houses near Bonner Springs, formerly called "Tiblow" for Henry Tiblow) and the Shawnee Methodist Mission. The present day location of Grinter's ferry is approximately 78th and K-32 Highway across from the old Grinter home. (By the Grinter Home is the "Military Road" from the ferry to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.) Moses Grinter was licensed for the ferry by the government.
1833: Jotham and Eleanor Richardson Meeker have arrived in this area, bringing with them a printing press purchased in Cincinnati, Ohio. It is set up at the Shawnee Baptist Mission and is the first printing press in Kansas. (Kansas was then Indian Territory)
By 1839, new and improved education is becoming a sincere interest. Horace Mann, a Massachusetts educator, has pioneered new systems and methods which have improved and broadened the standards of public schooling. He has established the first state normal school in the US at Lexington, Mass in 1839. There he instituted new and improved programs of giving teachers professional training. Until Mann's reforms were introduced, state public schools had many weaknesses. One of his early changes was to introduce a central authority for high schools. The curriculum and methods of teaching are revised. A minimum school year of six months is now established. Most helpful to Mr. Mann is Noah Webster's dictionary, published in 1828, which spells and defines words of the English language in a uniform manner that all seem to agree with.
In 1843, the Wyandot Indians emigrate to Wyandotte County, Kansas. Among them are the Armstrong's, Barnett's, Walker's, and Splitlog's, to mention but a few. July 1, 1844, John M. Armstrong opened a school for Wyandots, supported by their money from a fund provided by the 1842 treaty. White children are to be admitted free of charge. On July 26, 1853 at the Wyandotte Council House a convention of "citizens of Nebraska Territory" was held. "A large collection of the habitants of Nebraska" including John M. Ainsworth, Cyprian Chouteau, and Moses Grinter attended. William Walker (member of the Wyandot nation) was elected provisional Governor and Abelard Guthrie (married to Wyandot member Nancy Quindaro Brown) was appointed the delegate to Congress.
The telegraph lines were completed to Leavenworth via Wyandot on January 25, 1859 and the Pony express service began April 1859 starting from St. Joseph, Missouri and across Kansas toward San Francisco and back.
1860: Reports were that the Shawnee Manual Labor school had been conducted so badly for the past few years, with Alexander Soule Johnson's leadership, that it was failing to accomplish its objective. The children were neglected and illness prevailed. The council asked that the children be sent to District schools instead of the labor school, and that the council be paid $500 each to defray the expenses of sending them to District schools and to Ohio to school
Hannah Hewitt has long held an interest in education of our young people. When Wyandott High School was begun March 4, 1861, Hannah and her son, Lansing, went by carriage to visit the school and gain ideas for a school in Farmer. This was successful and September 26, 1861, classes began in a one-room frame house located across Loveland Mill Road from "Pleasant Grove Baptist Church" (present NE corner of 55th and Kansas Avenue). This school is known as "The Farmer School". Stephen Perkins, Edward A Pedigo, and Dr. Richard Hewitt are the first school board. Hannah is teaching until a schoolmaster can be found. There are seven students: Lansing P. Hewitt, John, William, and Anoise Goddard, Lucinda and Marry Farrell, and John Stephen Perkins. [Annotation: Turner was a community with no official name from 1856 until 1859. When the first post office was established in 1859, it was dubbed “Farmer.” In 1879, it was renamed Turner. Mrs. Brooks researched that and can’t prove it; but she’s relatively sure how Turner got its name. “There was a railroad yard in the Argentine; and it sent railroad cars to the Farmer train platform to turn around,” she said. “‘Take ‘er down and turn ‘er around,’ they’d say. That’s the most likely way that Turner was named. I believe that because railroading was really flourishing then.” That circular platform was in front of the train station that stood on Kansas at 55th, in Turner’s main downtown area. Turner was annexed by Kansas City, Kansas, between late 1965 and early 1966; but the name stuck. - Railroad workers agree with Mrs. Brooks. However, Jeanie Turner, states that her father was an engineer who laid out the roads of the newly formed town and it was named in his honor. Article in the Wyandot Herald, May 22, 1879 says Turner is the youngest town in the County.] [Annotation: Farmer was a post office until September 23, 1879, when Robert M. Hester changed the name to Turner.] [See pages 100-101 in book.) The Farmer School (later District #8) hired this 1862-63 school term, Henry A. Saviers, as schoolmaster. He lives approximately near the present 27th and Metropolitan area. Henry will receive $35.00 per month.
There was a school near the Grinter home where the Grinter, White and Ainsworth children attended but the feeling in Munceytown was that there was a need for a schoolhouse closer to home. An organizational meeting was held with Jacob Maegly, Hugh Wren, and Hugh Reed appointed as the first school board. A Schoolmaster was hired named William Walker from Wyandot and school began November 17, 1862 (this became District #5). A one room frame house has been built on an acre of land owned by Ebenezer and Rebecca Zane. The Zanes gave formal deed to this property February 7, 1865 for $1.00 and the provision that this ground be used "for a school house forever."
In the fall of 1868, with eight students needing to attend school, a quick building was put together on the NE Section 33, Township 11, Range 24 for the purpose of providing education for these children. Ann Giswiger was hired to teacher. The school board is Gottlieb Everhart - Michael Mesh - Joseph Scheutz and their decision was to pay her $20 per month and furnish room and board, letting her live with Joseph and Anna Scheutz. Permanent land for the school District #21 was purchased from Edward and Anne B. Earle, who live in Worchester County, Mass. on August 6, 1873 for $45.00. District #21 is called the "Hester School."
January 4, 1869 the Shawnee Township was organized setting aside the land that is in Wyandotte County but lies south of the Kansas river as a separate township from Wyandot Township. The first election was held at the Junction School, junction of the Wyandotte and Shawnee Road with the Shawnee and Kansas City Road.
Towns/cities/communities in this area: 1869 - Farmer, Junction, Oak Grove, Lovelace, and Hester.
September 11, 1870: Seeing a need for education for black children in the area, John Gibbs organized organized and built on the northwest corner of present Key Lane and Gibbs Road a birch wood school house. He hired a black teacher, Benjamin Franklin Rose from Westport. The school was named the "A. J. Lewis School". This is the closest school for the white children but are not happy in the predominately black school. The white families met, appointed a school board, and authorized the purchase of "one acre more or less of land for $800 and built a brick school and fenced the premises with a good plank fence." This is located at a grove of stately Oak Trees west of the border of John's Gibb's property (present 53rd Street) and was named "Oak Grove School District #32," November 11, 1873. John Gibbs moved the A. J. Lewis School to the Gibbs & Payne Addition NE Section 30, Township 11, Range 25.
The Wyandotte Commercial Gazette carried an article April 16, 1868 stating, "The people of School District #16 near Junction intend to put up a fine school house this season worth 2 or 3 thousand dollars." Land given by Mr. Mattney, the teacher is Ella Kingscott.
Muncie School District #5 passed a school tax on March 28, 1868 for funds needed to keep the school in good order.
A wagon load of pupils travel to District #2 (Kerr/Roosevelt/Eugene Ware) from Muncie District #5 to participate in Master Brown's Spelling Bee. District #2 won but it was a lot of fun.
[Annotation: The following information was excerpted from "History and Growth of Wyandotte County Educational System," a four-page typewritten paper forwarded to the Board of Education offices in June, 1969, when the office of County Superintendent of Schools was closed. "The first school to bear the name "Muncie" was located at 61st and Riverview. This was District #5. In the year 1898, a second Muncie was built at the present site, 65th and Riverview. This was District #43. The two schools were about a mile apart known ad Old and New Muncie Schools. The original building at 65th and Riverview was a one-room building. The first teacher was Mr. Day. In 1918, District #5 became Lindbergh and District #43 remained Muncie. In 1924 one room was added at District #43. In 1938 a four-room brick building was built. In 1951, the first addition of the upper building was built. In 1960 eight classrooms and an office was built. January 1, 1967: became a part of the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools as a result of votes of Washington USD #201 patrons to attach to USD 500."]
Many of our District students have continued on and completed high school at the Wyandotte County Common School or Wyandott High School, Wyandot City. Getting to and from school is a challenge as it must be done either by horseback, carriage, or railroad. It is good news to hear of the opening of the Olathe Academy in 1876 in Olathe, Kansas. "It is of the Junior College type and will be of use to our young scholars."
Mrs. Mary See is the Junction School District #16 teacher with 67 pupils.
The area and School District #13 west of Muncie has been called "Stony Point" since approximately 1857 when the school was first started for the children of Moses and Anna Grinter. The school District Boundaries have been set for some time and District #5 and #13 have divided into District #43 (which was developed in 1891 to shorten the walking distance of these two huge districts).
Wyandotte Herald: April 10, 1879 - "Where is Muncie"? All of that tract of country north of the Kansas River to the Parallel Road, between Muncie Bluff's and Secondine (Stony Point).
A number of Muncie students plan to take advantage of the new Wyandott Academy which opened September 15, 1879 to continue their education. It is located on the corner of 7th and Armstrong.
District #19 (Carlisle School) has been in existence for some time before 1868 but our families have not been involved because of the virtually underdeveloped land between them and the Farmer Community. This School is located in Section 18, Township 11, Range 25 and to date Bernard Speaker is the only resident that we are acquainted with. The Santa Fe involvement and advertisement encouraging young farmers to settle the land and till the soil we are experiencing an influx of young couples into this Section. The 1880 election for District #19 School Board has John O'Conner as Director, George Frey as Treasurer, and Hen Boeke as Clerk.
In District #21, a new one room school was completed in 1880 and this year the new teacher, M. L. Hudley is teaching.
School Districts #5 (Muncie) and #13 (Stony Point) have been experiencing some problems. The Districts are so large and the distance so far for the children to travel to either school that the feeling is that a new District should be begun in the center section. The two superintendents called a general Community meeting with the County Superintendent of Schools for the purpose of this division. The result of this meeting was the organization of District #43 - "New Muncie". Distict #5 is now called "Old Muncie" Lindbergh retained the District #5 number.
Junction, District #16, is growing in enrollment. A petition was made to the County Superintendent and the Junction School Board in 1894 to change the District boundary. The petition was allowed and the change was made.
* * *
From another prospective: The first free public school in Wyandotte county, or in the territory of Kansas for that matter, was opened July 1, 1844, and John McIntyre Armstrong was the teacher. The building was frame with double doors, and but a few years since stood on the east side of Fourth street, between State and Nebraska avenues in the Wyandotte part of Kansas City, Kansas. It was sometimes, but erroneously, called the Council House. Mr. Armstrong built it himself and commenced teaching on the date named. The council of the Wyandot Nation met in it during vacations, or at night. The expenses of building the school were met out of the fund secured by the Wyandot treaty of March, 1842. The school was managed by directors appointed by the council, the members of which were elected annually by the people. White children were admitted free. Mr. Armstrong taught until 1845, when he went to Washington as a legal representative of the nation, to prosecute their claims. The Rev. Mr. Cramer, of Indiana, succeeded him; then Robert Robitaille, chief of the nation; next the Rev. R. Parrott of Indiana. Mrs. Lucy B. Armstrong taught there from December, 1847, to March, 1848. Afterwards Miss Anna H. Ladd, who came with the Wyandots in 1843, assisted. Mrs. Armstrong was teaching the school at the time of her husband's death, which occurred at Mansfield, Ohio. while on his way to Washington to prosecute Indian claims, in April, 1852. The school was closed in the old building April 16, 1852; resumed in Mrs. Armstrong's dining-room; removed the next winter to the Methodist Episcopal church three quarters of a mile west of her house, and left without a home when that structure was burned by incendiaries April 8, 1856. This is the history of the first free school ever taught in Kansas." ("History of Wyandotte County Kansas and its people" ed. and comp. by Perl W. Morgan, Chicago, The Lewis publishing company, 1911. )
The Stony Point South Elementary School was
part of USD 201; attached January of 1967 to the Kansas City, Kansas Public
Schools (USD 500).
School 1869 - 1913
(Courtesy of Mr. Jim Converse and the Kansas City, Kansas Public School System).
For other scenes, including of older class photos, see Stony Point Picture Gallery
Times New Roman.
Copy 10 December 2004. TH