WABAUNSEE COUNTY, KANSAS

HISTORY OF THE WABAUNSEE COUNTY SCHOOLS

In the struggle for existence in the early days, the pioneers did not forget the education of their children. Prior to 1859 four school-houses were built, principally by private subscription. D.B. Hiatt was the first man to teach in the county and Miss M. H. Cotton (Mrs. J. T. Glenn) was the first women teacher. The first school-house was built in Wabaunsee. Public school districts were organized in 1859 in three localities. The county was favored in having men of fine education at the head of its schools. The first county superintendent was J. E. Platt, afterward professor in the Agricultural College for twenty years. Supt. Robert Tunnell was afterward principal of Fairmount College at Wichita. Upon Supt. W. W. Ramey devolved the work of grading the county schools. Matthew Thompson, editor, was county superintendent for ten years. He rendered another valuable service to his county when he wrote his Wabaunsee County history, considered one of the best county histories in the Historical Library at Topeka. Florence Dickinson was county superintendent in 1890. George L. Clothier was county superintendent in 1892. The present county superintendent is Fred I. Hinshaw of Alma. In 1863 there were fifteen school districts, in one of which there was held no school because of Indian raids. District No. 10, used the stone fort built in 1864 on the farm of August Wolgast. Many of the school-houses were built of logs. There are now eighty-nine organized school districts, sixty of which have libraries. There are Catholic schools at Alma and Paxico, a German Baptist school at Altavista, and a Lutheran school at Alma. The county has 4,204 persons of school age.

(Source: Business Directory and History of Wabaunsee County, published by the Kansas Directory Company of Topeka, Kansas, 1907, pages 14-15, transcribed by Peggy Thompson)

ESKRIDGE BIBLE SCHOOL

This structure still stands about a block east of Main Street. It is currently a residence, but was a hotel when I was a youngster in the 1950's. It mostly housed elderly single men and women at that time. It was used as a substitute for classrooms for one school year when Eskridge Rural High School burned in the early 1920's. (Submitted by George Bowers)


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