Jewell  County 

School News


Barry Isaac, son of Mr. and Mrs. Bob Isaac, is working on a summer project at Mayetta, Kans., with two Kansas University professors. Barry will be a senior next year at K. U. (Jewell County Record, June 20, 1963, page 1)


Lawrence - Barry L. Isaac, junior; Martha Shirley, junior; and Catherine Waldron, freshman, all of Mankaato, are among the 630 students who earned places on the spring semester honor roll of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Kansas, Dean George R. Waggoner announced this week.

Each honoree had a grade point average of at least 2.26, on a scale of 3 for A and 2 for B.

Honor roll students are permitted to enroll for more than the prescribed maximum course loads and are eligible for many of the restricted honors courses designed for the best students. (Jewell County Record, June 20, 1963, page 1)


Willard Elder will teach the 7th grade at Smith Center next year. Willard has been the grade school principal at Mankato for the last eight years and Mrs. Elder has taught in the high school. The Elders have made many friends during their stay in Mankato and everyone wishes them continued success in their new location. Barbara, who graduated from Marikato high school this spring, is attending summer school at Hays and will go to college there this fall. Donna will be a freshman in high school this fall. (Jewell County Recorder, June 20, 1963, page 1)


No history of the Jewell county schools was prepared by the proper officer. The following sketch of the schools of Mankato, one of its most important towns, was written by Supt. E. M. Brockett.

Mankato Schools.-While the original settlers were still scrambling for choice farms within the boundaries of Center township, Jewell county, a portion of them still dwelling in the "prairie schooner" which conveyed them to the new colony, and while others had just completed the rude shelter which, for the present, was to be called by the endearing name of home, the noble settlers found time to arrange for the mental development of the rising generation; and in the summer of 1874 the necessary funds were raised by subscription, and Miss Sadie Shaw engaged to instruct the children in the rudiments of an education, in the district of which Mankato is now a part.

In 1873, arrangements were made for the erection of a schoolhouse of two departments, which was completed and ready for use the following year.

The first term of school paid for out of the public treasury was taught in the new building, by J* W. Pickel, for which he received a salary of $80 per month, which was good pay compared with the salary of D. J. Vance, who, in the early settlement of the town, stood behind a soap box and transacted the business of postmaster for $12 per year, and also of our venerable townsman, L. J. Gould, who willingly contracted to carry the mail to and from Jewell City for $2 per quarter.

The first attempt at grading the schools was made in 1889, by Miss Emma Dorant, who was for three years an efficient principal.
This building sufficed for the accommodation of the district until 1884, when the increase of school population necessitated more commodious quarters. A fine structure of four departments, built of native stone, was ready for use in 1885.

The first principal to wield the scepter in the new building was Professor Metcalf. A rapid growth of the city marked the progress of the next few years, and in 1890 the schools had again outgrown their accommodations, and two new departments were added, making the present value of our school property $16,000.

Between the time of the erection of the first stone structure and the time of the building of the last addition, the schools had been presided over by four different principals-Professor Metcalf, Prof. Wm. Ebaugh, Professor Southard, of Pennsylvania, and Prof. J. G. Long, also of Pennsylvania.

The supervision of the schools, with their additional departments, now came under the direction of Prof. E. M. Brockett, a graduate of Valparaiso, Ind., Normal School, Mr. Brockett is a man of wide experience in the educational field, and though still young, has been engaged in teaching in Minnesota and Ohio, and in both normal and public-school work in the States of Missouri and Kansas. Under his administration our city schools, as well as our county normals, of which he was for several years conductor, rapidly advanced to prominence, and attracted many students from all parts of the county. This increase numbers created a demand for a more comprehensive curriculum and a greater number of teachers. By untiring efforts, Professor Brockett succeeded in securing the employment of an assistant, and in so thoroughly revising and improving the course of study that the pupils of the schools are now, without examination, admitted to all the educational institutions of the State! With Professor Brookett still at the helm, assisted by W. S. Pate, as assistant principal, E. A. Ross, of grammar department, Mrs. O. A. Spencer, intermediate, and Misses Bina LaBar and Anna Converse in primary grades, our schools are now in the midst of their most successful season.

Mention may here be made of our school library, consisting of about 300 volumes, well and carefully selected. Of this library we are justly proof, since the greater part of it has been secured by the united efforts of the present teachers and pupils.

Source: Columbian History of Education in Kansas, Compiled by Kansas Educators and Published under the auspices of the Kansas State Historical Society for the Columbian Exposition, 1893, Commemorating the Four Hundredth Anniversary of the Discovery of America, 1893, pages 142-143)

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